Tuesday Team Talk: ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ as ticket price stats labelled as misleading

The cheapest average adult match day entry price for last weekend’s Championship fixtures was £26.38.

That’s a stark contrast to The Football League’s statement last week that ‘the average admission price paid [to watch Championship football] was £15.65 per supporter’ for the 2014/15 season.
The reason for the disparity is that The Football League’s figure includes both adult and concession prices and season ticket discounts.

However, an adult paying on the day can often expect to pay in excess of £30 to watch their team play, even in the cheap seats.

Last week’s £15 claim by The Football League had fans all over the country hitting back on Twitter.

When last weekend’s pay on the day prices are analysed –  the cheapest adult price in ‘standard’ enclosures and not including promotional offers – the figures paint a very different picture.

The cheapest pay on the day prices for last weekend’s Championship fixtures range from £37 at Leeds United to £17 at Charlton Athletic, which is still more than the £15.65 quoted.

It’s a similar story in League One as the average cheapest pay on the day price for an adult was £20.50, considerably more than the £11.72 declared in The Football League’s statistics.

Meanwhile in League Two the average cheapest pay on the day adult price was £17.25 in contrast to the £11.58 figure quoted by The Football League.

Seemingly prepared for an online supporter backlash, Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “These figures show that, on the whole, Football League clubs continue to offer value for money to their supporters. 
“Ticket pricing will always be an emotive subject and any debate about whether fans are getting a good deal clearly has to take account of what fans are paying across the board rather than purely focusing on selected prices that they could be asked to pay in certain circumstances. 
“Clubs offer a wide variety of ticket prices with the best value being offered to those home fans that commit to purchasing a season ticket or benefitting from a ticket promotion.

“As a result, season ticket holders now make up a greater proportion of crowds and account for 10 million of the 16 million plus admissions to Football League matches every season. 
“The inevitable consequence of offering such good value to these fans at one end of the spectrum is that those fans at the other end, such as those paying on the day for a single match, will be asked to pay more.”

The announcement came at a time when Football League clubs are under increasing pressure from fans to bring prices down.

Last weekend saw 20 Premier League and 10 Football League clubs’ supporters come together in protest against the rising cost of ticket prices.

Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) said: “Pricing is a major barrier to watching live football for many fans – no club should deny fans the right to freedom of speech within grounds on such a central issue.

“Any club who does that will rightly face criticism from their fans.

“In the coming weeks, Premier League clubs have a choice to make when they carve up the latest multi-billion-pound media deal.

“Without match-going fans filling the stadiums, and particularly those who make such arduous away trips, football simply wouldn’t generate such wealth.

“Of course it’s not just in the Premier League that we see high prices, many Football League fixtures can be very expensive too.”

The campaign is called ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ and the group have already been well backed on social media.

Image courtesy of The Spirit of Shankly, via Twitter, with thanks 

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