A Yeovil Town fan told to pay more than £1,500 to take a banner into Wembley on Sunday has slammed the fee as “modern football gone mad”.
Having already caught the eye of the television cameras during the npower League One play-off semi-finals, Dan Cabell had hoped to display his ‘Little Old Yeovil…’ banner before kick off between the Glovers and Brentford.
However, after approaching both the national stadium and the Football League for permission, the digital printer of Milborne Port was informed, that because of its size, he would have to stump up a four-figure sum.
Because the banner – a light-hearted dig at Yeovil’s reputation as a small club – would be passed over supporters’ heads an event organisation company would need to supervise its movement.
As a result, Wembley Stadium charge £1,250 plus VAT to cover the contractor’s bill, as well as the cost of a parking space.
Mr Cabell said: “Only when the Football League sent us a document on what we needed to do did we realise how much it would cost. It’s just modern football gone mad.
“The banner was done in jest because everyone always refers to us as ‘little old Yeovil’ when on the pitch we are not actually that little any more.
“It would have been nice to have seen it on Sky again but it’s not going to be. There’s not really a lot I can do because I am not stumping up that amount of money and I don’t think many other people will do it either.
“I wouldn’t expect to have to pay to take a flag of any sort into any other ground in the country so why should we have to pay at Wembley?”
The incident draws a sorry line under the Mr Cabell’s journey with the banner after he was left pulling his hair out when it was misplaced in the celebrations following Yeovil’s second leg victory over Sheffield United.
An appeal via Yeovil Town’s website and the Western Gazette guaranteed its safe return to Huish Park.
“One of the stewards at Sheffield United actually said how good it was, but it will have to stay at home,” added Mr Cabell.
A spokesman for the Football Association said: “The cost is in place for a contractor that we have an existing relationship with.
“They have to bring in a team of eight people to ensure the flag is manoeuvred safely over the heads of fans in the stadium. The cost is to bring in extra man power.
“It is something we have to do from a stadium point of view to make sure we are looking after the safety of supporters.”
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