New research into the cost of leisure activities has revealed that the cost of Premier League tickets has risen 198% over the last 10 years. Is top-class football getting beyond the means of traditional fans?
In comparison, the research from Halifax found that cinema tickets cost a ‘mere’ 43% more than they did in 2003, with tickets averaging £6.34, up from £4.44. General inflation over this period, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, stands at 30%.
Watching football is the most expensive activity included in the Halifax report, with an average monthly spend (based on tickets to two Premier League matches) of £85.85. That’s a 16% hike in the last year, with an increase just shy of 200% over the last decade.
Prawn sandwich, anyone?
In Germany, it’s now possible to buy a season ticket for a top German club for the same price as a single game ticket to watch Arsenal. And with ticket prices in England exploding, it’s not hard to imagine London’s top clubs becoming the exclusive preserve of corporate hospitality types who prefer free prawn sandwiches to supporting their teams.
You might think the lower leagues would offer a low-budget fix for football fans craving action – but you’d be disappointed. The BBC’s ‘price of football’ survey last year found the average cheapest ticket in the Championship to be £21.07 – not cheap by any means.
The equivalent figure for League 1 was £18.54, while fans of League 2 clubs were still shelling out an average £17.06 to watch the action in the basement division of the football league.
Has English football lost its way?
I’ve been a Bristol City season ticket holder for around 15 years. My season ticket last year set me back around £400 – roughly £17 a game. But match day prices for those who like to turn up spontaneously are typically £25 or £30.
Now living in London, I’m unlikely to be able to make enough games to justify a season ticket. So I’ll be paying for single games next season, although I have to say I’m not thrilled at the prospect of paying £25 for third-tier football plus the cost of train travel.
A trip to Berlin a couple of years ago highlighted to me the way English football has lost its way. A ticket to watch Hertha in the Bundesliga cost €8 and came with public transport to the Olympic Stadium thrown in.
Do you watch your team regularly? How much do you pay? How much would tickets have to cost before you’d consider doing something else with your Saturday?
Do you think football tickets are too expensive?
Yes (60%, 282 Votes)
I don't go to football matches (40%, 187 Votes)
No (0%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 471