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Ticket prices outstrip the cost of living

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

Ticket prices have grown at almost twice the rate of the overall cost of living since 2011, the BBC’s ‘Price of Football’ survey has found. BBC researchers analysed prices at 207 clubs, in their fourth annual look at how much fans are being charged to watch football across the UK.

Since 2011 the cost of a matchday ticket has risen 13%, compared to just a 6.8% rise in the cost of living. In the last year alone prices have risen 4.4% on average, more than treble the rate of inflation in the UK which now stands at 1.2%. 

Some of the key findings include:

  • Arsenal have the most expensive match-day ticket in the Premier League at £97. That’s down £29 on last season but still more than double the most expensive match-day ticket at seven other top-flight clubs
  • The Gunners also have the most expensive season ticket in the top flight at £2,013, although it includes seven credits for cup competitions. Their cheapest season ticket is £1,014, which is more than 17 Premier League clubs charge for their most expensive one.
  • Manchester City have the league’s cheapest season ticket at £299. That’s cheaper than at 15 Championship clubs, 10 clubs in League One, four in League Two and even one in the Conference.
  • Charlton’s £150 season ticket is the cheapest in England’s top four divisions. However, Barcelona charge around £103 for their lowest-priced season ticket.
  • In the Football League, the average cost of the cheapest match-day ticket increased 31.7% in League One and 19% in League Two. In the Championship, the average price fell 3.2%.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSF, said: “We want football to be affordable for all. At a time when there’s more money in football than there ever has been before with the incredible television revenues coming in, it is ridiculous that fans are still being squeezed.”

“Some of that money has to be made available to subsidise tickets rather than creating a climate where prices are constantly going up.”

“Football is not just another business. Long-term fans are asked to choose between their loyalty to their club and their financial welfare. Working class people are being priced out. Football is losing its social inclusion.”

Shadow sports minister Clive Efford MP said the inflation-busting increases “just cannot be acceptable”.

“Any business that thinks it can simply rely upon the loyalty of its customers, regardless of how they treat them, in the end will fail. It’s an absolute fact,” he added.

“Therefore I would be asking clubs, ‘are your fans happier today than they were five years ago with the experience that they get, the value for money that they feel they’re getting?'”

The ‘Price of Football’ survey is in its fourth year and is the largest study of its kind in Britain, covering 176 clubs across 11 division in British football and 31 clubs from 10 different leagues in Europe. As well as ticket prices, information was gathered about the price of replica shirts, pies, programmes and a cup of tea.

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this story.

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