Club faces 'sex discrimination' claim

A RETIRED police officer is claiming sex discrimination against his local football club in a row over concessionary charges - and he now plans to boycott matches as a protest.

Will Clarke

A RETIRED police officer is claiming sex discrimination against his local football club in a row over concessionary charges - and he now plans to boycott matches as a protest.

Les King, a long time fan and sponsor of AFC Sudbury, is furious with the club after learning the concessionary charge threshold was 65 for men and 60 for women for games at the Kings Marsh stadium.

The 63-year-old believes the “old fashioned” rule treats men unfairly.


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He discovered the club's policy after his wife Maureen received a discount at 60 when he didn't. Mr King has written to club bosses but they say the concessions arrangement is within league guidelines.

Mr King said it was common for clubs to set a concessionary threshold at 60 or 65 for both genders - at Ipswich Town FC the threshold is 60.

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For first team matches a full price ticket at AFC Sudbury is £7 and a concession ticket £4. A full price season ticket costs £115 or £65 for a concession.

Mr King said: “I am really disappointed in the club's attitude. It is really old fashioned and I believe it is discriminating against men.

“In my view it is not about encouraging women into the club, it is about maximising profit. Most other clubs recognise 60 as the concessionary age.”

Mr King, who spent 31 years with the Metropolitan Police and still works with Suffolk police as a crime reduction officer, wrote to the club with his concerns but now feels he must take his protest further by boycotting matches.

In a letter Keith Morris, club chairman, explained to Mr King that AFC Sudbury had considered the rule but had voted not to change it.

He said they had consulted with the FA, lawyers and the league on the club's obligations: “The matter you raised is an important issue and needed to be investigated and discussed at committee. The issue has now been debated by the club committee which has voted that no change will be introduced to the existing policy.

“Therefore for the forthcoming 2008/09 season the concession age for a female will be 60 and 65 for male.”

Speaking to the EADT Mr Morris said: “As far as we are concerned there is nothing which says we have to have a concessionary rate for any age.

“The system we have is the way we have had it for many years - we are just following the legal retirement age. There won't be any changes.”

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