Not only are football fans having to absorb the enormous costs of the modern game, it seems they are now having to be told to keep their mouth shut about it too. Following on from the disquieting story of Manchester City supporters being warned by police to take down banners questioning the price of an away ticket at their recent match at Arsenal (a slogan with no swear words or severe antagonism, by the way), Uefa has fined Ajax €10,000 after their crowd displayed banners about the effects of mega-money in football.
During their Champions League match at home to Manchester City in October, Ajax fans unveiled a banner with the motto "Against Modern Football", beneath a cartoon of a sheik holding a bag embossed with a dollar sign, the image presented as a stop sign with a red line through it. Another slogan read "€80 for the away section is ridiculous", and there were banners with offensive messages aimed at Manchester City, Chelsea, Red Bull Salzburg and Red Bull Leipzig.
City are owned by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling family. Ajax, who last won the European Cup in 1995, have struggled to compete at the top level of the continental game since the arrival of heavy overseas investment at some of the wealthiest clubs in Europe.
Uefa's official stance was that the Dutch club was fined for "display of a provocative and inappropriate banner".
This article was amended on 18 January to correct the use of "their" in place of "there"