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Festive costs soar as fans fork out up to £468 to attend matches

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Cost of Xmas football

 Festive football costs soar as fans fork out up to £468 to attend matches

Cost of supporting your football club away over Christmas revealed 

  • Away fans will spend more than £170 on average over the festive period watching their team
  • Plymouth Argyle fans impacted the most paying £468 and will spend 26+ hours on the road
  • Match-going fans will clock up 32,388 miles seeing their team in action
  • Nottingham Forest fans paying on the gate will fork out £42 for a ticket away at Leeds United on New Year’s Day – the most expensive away ticket across all the leagues

Plymouth Argyle fans face the highest cost and most arduous journeys to watch their team over the festive period. This is according to annual research carried out by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), and supported by Virgin Media, into the cost of Christmas football.

The analysis includes ticket, travel and food costs, plus journey times, incurred by supporters of all 92 clubs across the Premier League and English Football League for festive fixtures played between Boxing Day and January 4 2018.

The findings show that Plymouth Argyle fans will spend £468.43 – 11 times more than the lowest costs paid by Morecambe FC fans (£42.89). The Pilgrims will travel more than 1,000 miles to get behind their team at MK Dons on Boxing Day and Blackpool on December 30.

Premier Prices

Overall, the average fan will spend £171.37 to watch their team this Christmas, where supporters of 46 clubs will travel twice to support their teams away. In total, Premier League fans will pay the most (£182.08) to watch top-flight football over the Christmas break.

On top of costs, some fans will have to travel huge distances to attend games across the country. Total distances that will be travelled range from 20 miles (Chelsea away at Arsenal) to 1,096 miles (Plymouth Argyle at MK Dons and Blackpool) taking between 1hr 41mins and 26hrs 47mins respectively.

The findings underpin the FSF’s Twenty’s Plenty campaign, backed by Virgin Media, which calls on clubs to cap the cost of an away ticket to £20.

Kevin Miles, Chief Executive, FSF said:

“Despite money being tight around this time of year, supporters will be travelling up and down the country over Christmas and New Year to back their teams in remarkable numbers once again.

“Away fans are a huge part of our match-going tradition and that shouldn’t be taken for granted, so clubs and sponsors can and should do more in making football as affordable as possible.”

As the official shirt sponsor of Southampton FC, Virgin Media is on the side of fans this Christmas by subsiding Southampton supporters’ coach travel and match-day tickets for the Saints’ game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium. Crystal Palace fans visiting St Mary’s on January 2 will also have their tickets subsidised to £20 as part of Virgin Media’s ongoing cap on away ticket prices at the stadium.

cost and distance by league

Match ticket cost

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe