We might shake our heads in disbelief every time we buy a pie inside the ground and our hearts probably skip a beat when we purchase a ticket or renew our season tickets, but watching football is becoming cheaper in England.
Well, in some aspects, that is.
The BBC’s annual Price of Football study found that ticket prices across 164 in the top divisions have fallen by up to 2.4%, a stark contrast to last year’s 11% increment, when the percentage was four times the rate of inflation.
This year clubs in the Football League are facing a drop in attendance of up to 5%, as the overwhelming majority of fans have had to prioritise their lives in the wake of the economic crisis and – who would have thought? – football comes after feeding families and sending kids to school in the list of areas we invest our money in.
Across the four top tiers of English football ticket prices might have dropped, but watching football remains a scandalously expensive activity with Crystal Palace and Kidderminster charging £4 for the dearest pies in the land, while despite their shambolic transfer window Manchester United are top of the league – but only as far as a cuppa is concerned.
A cup of tea at Old Trafford costs an astonishing £2.50 and David Moyes must be hoping a big freeze between now and January will boost sales at Old Trafford, so that him and Ed Woodward might have a few extra pounds in the pocket by the time the winter transfer window opens.
On the blue half of Manchester, having a brew costs “only” and Manchester City also offer the cheapest adult season ticket in the Premier League for £299, a far cry from Arsenal’s most expensive season ticket priced at a mind-boggling £1,955 which, despite including seven cup matches, remains a shocking price and one in the line with the rest of the Premier League, which saw a 4.3% rise in the average price of the cheapest season tickets.
Those wanting to watch Mesut Ozil at the Emirates could pay up to £126 for a category A adult matchday ticket, while the cheapest way to watch Wenger’s men on home turf is to fork out £26, which is still almost four times as much as what Albion Rovers charge for their cheapest ticket.
In a remarkable effort coated in late 80s/early 90s nostalgia, Rovers are the only club in the country to charge less than £10 for a matchday ticket, with their cheapest ticket costing only £7.
SKY’s new Tv deal with poured an unprecedented amount on money in the coffers of Premier League clubs but despite their increasing – in some cases, new-found – wealth, the 20 top clubs in the country refuse to cut admission prices.
As usual, fans are rooted at the very bottom of the table of English football’s priorities.
What do you make of the BBC’s survey? Has your club increased or reduced prices this season? How much do you pay for your tickets and season tickets? Let us know below or get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter.