Tuesday Team Talk: British football needs to learn European ticket price lesson

The BBC released its annual Price of Football report last week and the results reveal that football in the UK is rather expensive to watch. Who knew?

The report analysed the amount of money fans part with on match-days and across the season in 13 UK leagues with results based on ticket prices, shirt sales and food and drink.

While findings such as Manchester United selling the most expensive season tickets outside of London are unsurprising, when comparing the prices to European clubs it makes grim reading for fans of the beautiful game in Britain.

For example, National League side Altrincham’s season tickets range from between £240 and £290 whereas staggeringly Barcelona offer fans at the Nou Camp prices as low as £73.88 for the full La Liga campaign.

Furthermore, besides Paris St-Germain and Juventus, fans of the top 28 clubs in Europe can pay less for a season ticket than Robins supporters.

Bayern Munich fans have been so repulsed by the £64 price tag to watch their Champions League clash at the Emirates Stadium this evening that they will enter the stadium five minutes after kick-off in protest.

IT is hoped that he move will reiterate the point that without the fans football is nothing and that they should be treated as supporters not customers.

In fairness, lower league clubs in Greater Manchester are leading the way when it comes to match-day prices, with the four League One sides in the area offering tickets below the average cost in the division.

Wigan Athletic’s price of £15 is the lowest in the league – a figure matched by Bolton Wanderers in the Championship.

The highest priced tickets at Rochdale, Oldham Athletic and Bury on match-days are £22 – 10% below the League One average.

Prices of replica shirts were also included in the BBC’s report, and it’s bad news in particular for Manchester United fans, who have to shell out £60 for a home strip – the most expensive in the UK.

If a Red Devils follower wished to get midfield maestro Bastian Schweinsteiger on the back too that fee rises to £77 – including 5p for a carrier bag!

Bury’s home shirts are the most expensive in League One at £45, whilst average prices have seen a 4.8% increase across the 13 UK leagues.

Based on Manchester City’s cheapest season ticket price of £299 and last season’s results, it costs a City fan at the Etihad £6.79 to watch a goal – the lowest in the Premier League.

While this may represent value for money to UK supporters, it’s a stat which would still shock supporters of clubs across Europe.

Unfortunately, ticket prices in the UK show no signs of dwindling and fans can expect to have the feeling they have been short-changed for some time yet.

Image courtesy of Steenbergs, via Flickr, with thanks

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