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Ticket prices rise at four times rate of inflation

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

The average cost of the cheapest adult ticket in the top four divisions of English football has risen by 11.5% in the past 12 months – almost four times the rate of inflation. The BBC Sport study shows that the average price of the cheapest matchday ticket in English league football has gone from £19.01 to £21.19.

The BBC Sport Price of Football study looked at prices for 166 clubs in 10 divisions across English and Scottish football, including the Conference Premier and Women’s Super League.

It recorded the prices for the most expensive, and cheapest, season tickets and adult matchday tickets as well as the cost of a cup of tea, a pie, and a programme – to calculate the cheapest possible day out at a match.

Headline statistics:

  • Only three out of 92 English league clubs offer a day out for less than £20. Last year it was 12.
  • The most expensive adult matchday ticket is Arsenal at £126 – up £26 on last year’s highest price at the same club.
  • The cheapest adult matchday ticket in English and Scottish football is at Montrose at £6.
  • In Scotland, 21 of the 42 teams across four divisions offer a day out for less than £20.
  • The most expensive season ticket is at Arsenal – at £1,955. The cheapest in the English and Scottish Football Leagues is at Montrose at £90.
  • In the Women’s Super League, matchday adult tickets range from £4-£6.
  • In the Women’s Super League season ticket prices range from £22-£40.
  • Out of 166 clubs in England and Scotland only 38 offer a day out for less than £20.

FSF chair Malcolm Clarke said: “There’s a danger of alienation between fans and players at the top of the game. Younger fans in particular are being priced out and if they don’t get the live football bug at a young age they might not become season ticket holders.

“If you compare prices to other countries like Germany there are huge disparities. Season tickets at Borussia Dortmund start from €225 [£183] which includes three Champions League games – that works out at about £8.90 per match and includes free public transport.

“In comparison the prices at many of our clubs are simply unacceptable.”

The BBC study also looked at the cost of teas, pies and programmes and found that the most expensive tea in English and Scottish football can be found in Manchester, where both City and United charge £2.50.

The cheapest cups of tea are in Scotland at 50p at Alloa and Brechin in Scottish Division Two. The most expensive programme in England and Scotland is at Leeds United for £4 while the cheapest programme is at Inverness CT, where a programme costs just 50p.

Kidderminster, in the Conference Premier, charge the most for a pie at £4. Just like tea, the cheapest pies can be found in Scotland, where Alloa, Abion and Forfar charge just £1.

Year on Year cheapest ticket average comparisons (2011 – 2012):

  • Premier League: £24.87 – £28.30
  • Championship: £20.37 – £21.07
  • League One: £15.52 – £18.33
  • League Two: £15.29 – £17.06
  • Overall: £19.01 – £21.19 – an overall rise of 11.5%

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