How Much Does it Cost to be a UK Football Premier League Fan?
We all know NFL American Football is king in the States, but what about England? Football is the UK’s most popular spectator sport, but for years now, many supporters have felt priced out of going to watch their favourite team. At the beginning of the 2014/15 English football season it was calculated that the average price of tickets had increased at nearly twice the cost of living rate since 2011.
Across the Premier League through to League Two in 2014/15, the cheapest match-day ticket average cost £21.49, having increased by 13% since 2011. Meanwhile, the cost of living increased by only 6.8% during the same period.
The latest TV rights deal for the Premier League reached record levels and critics of the continual ticket price rises, such as the Football Supporters’ Federation, have argued that there should have been a reduction in supporter ticket prices. However, the counter-argument from clubs is that they must have the pricing right as they have no problem selling the tickets.
Of course it’s not just the ticket prices that you have to consider. There’s also the cost of food and drink around a day at the football, as well as costs of replica shirts and other memorabilia. There’s also the cost of paying TV subscriptions so that you can watch the football at home and most fans will also do a bit of football betting during the season. So, you also need to consider that in the price of being a football fan.
So, which supporter paid out the most during the 2014/15 season? In the Premier League, Arsenal had the most expensive match-day ticket, costing £97. Although this was a reduction of £29 on the previous season, it was still more than double the price of an equal ticket at a number of other Premier League clubs. At £1,014, the cheapest season ticket at the Gunners was more expensive than 17 other Premier League clubs’ most expensive season ticket.
Supporters for Manchester City had relative value in their cheapest season ticket, which was £299 for the season that’s just come to a close. This made City better value than many Championship clubs, some League One and Two clubs and even one of the Conference clubs.
Across England’s top four divisions the lowest price for a season ticket was £150 at Charlton. Not bad, you might think, until you discover that the cheapest season ticket for a massive side such as Barcelona works out to about £103. It’s not just Spanish fans that pay less to support their team. AC Milan supporters can get a season ticket for around £163. Match-day tickets for French side Lille can be as cheap as £5 but can be as much as £100. The Bundesliga offers good value for fans with a club such as Bayern Munich selling match-day tickets for as little as £13.
Some Premier League clubs, such as Chelsea have already announced price freezes for season tickets for the 2015/16 season. Chelsea have also introduced a new price bracket for fans under the age of 20.
Nonetheless, at the beginning of the 2014/15 season, the cheapest average price for a Premier League ticket had risen by 8.7% since 2012 from £467.95 to £508.55. Being a Premier League team supporter certainly isn’t cheap, but even so the number of fans willing to pay doesn’t seem to diminish, with many matches being played to packed stadiums throughout the English football 2014/15 season.