BBC's Annual Price Of Football Study Reveals Average Ticket Prices In England Down 2.4%
The BBC's Sport Price of Football study has found that average ticket prices across English football's top four divisions "have fallen by up to 2.4%," according to the BBC. The annual study -- "the biggest in British football" -- includes the prices of 164 clubs in the top 10 divisions. U.K. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said, "The key thing is that it is replicated in years to come. I think clubs are beginning to understand what fans are going through and to adjust their prices accordingly." In the top four divisions of English football, the "biggest fall was 2.4% for the cheapest adult season ticket category," down from £344 ($545) in '12 to £336 ($531) this year. The average for the most expensive adult season ticket fell 1.6% -- from £546 ($864) in '12 to £537 ($850) in '13. The average for the "cheapest adult match-day ticket is down 1.9%."
ARSENAL MOST EXPENSIVE: The study also found that the "most expensive ticket in English football" remains at EPL side Arsenal, where a category A adult matchday ticket can cost up to £126 ($199). Arsenal's cheapest ticket is £26 ($41). The "cheapest adult season ticket in the Premier League" is £299 ($473) at Man City. The most expensive is £1,955 ($3,100) at Arsenal, "although this includes seven cup matches." The "cheapest adult match-day ticket in men's football" is £7 ($11) at Scottish League Two side Albion Rovers -- the only men's club to charge less than £10 ($16). The "most expensive pies in British football" are at EPL Crystal Palace and fifth-tier side Kidderminster, with both charging £4 ($6). The "most expensive cup of tea" is £2.50 ($4) at ManU -- the same as in '12. Meanwhile, the Premier League saw a "4.3% rise in the average price of the cheapest season tickets" (BBC, 9/12).
EXPLOITATION 'AN OUTRAGE': EUROSPORT reported in light of the new figures, British Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said that "more should be done to make football affordable." Farron said, "The reality is, if you are Manchester United or Liverpool the demand is very inelastic: people will pay nearly anything to go and watch their team. They will grumble and they will complain, they will make all sorts of other sacrifices, they will go and watch their team. If you want to be cynical from the point of view of clubs, they will just take advantage of that, and that is an outrage, frankly. It's an obscenity how much footballers get paid, but having said that it's a free market. I don't blame footballers for taking it, up to a point. But undoubtedly it is going to a situation where it is unsustainable" (EUROSPORT, 9/12).
CHAMPIONSHIP: The BBC's Karen Fazackerley reported League Championship club Huddersfield Town provides the "cheapest Championship match-day experience for the second consecutive season." The lowest-priced adult ticket has remained at £10, with the addition of a match program, a cup of tea and pie making a total "day-out cost" of £17.80 ($28). Blackpool has the Championship's cheapest season ticket at £195.30 ($309). Ipswich's are the most expensive at £1,061 ($1,700) (BBC, 9/12).
LEAGUE ONE: The BBC's Andy Cryer reported League One side Sheffield United offers the cheapest match-day experience in the Football League for the second successive season. Sheffield's cheapest adult matchday ticket is £10 with the cost of a program, a cup of tea and a pie adding £7.70 ($12) to a visit to Bramall Lane (BBC, 9/12).
SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP: The BBC's Andy Campbell reported "the average cost of the cheapest match-day tickets in the Scottish Premiership rose by more than 3% in the past year." The average price of the league's cheapest season tickets, however, is "1% down on last year's equivalent" (BBC, 9/12).