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    Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 6:18am

 

Grant concerned by cost of football

15 October 2014 Last updated at 17:00

Price of Football: Sports minister Helen Grant 'concerned'

The Government is "really concerned" about the rising cost of tickets, and has asked for football clubs to review their pricing.

Minister for Sport Helen Grant told the BBC: "I feel clubs really must not take their fans for granted."

The average price of the cheapest tickets across English football has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011.

BBC Sport's Price of Football study analysed prices at 207 clubs.

The average price of the cheapest match-day ticket from the Premier League to League Two in England is now £21.49.

Katie Gornall reports on the rising cost of football tickets in England

That has increased 13% since 2011, compared to a 6.8% rise in the cost of living. Year-on-year it is up 4.4%, more than treble the 1.2% rate of inflation.

"I can see why fans are cross. I'm cross," said Grant. "Fans are the lifeblood of the game, without the fans we won't have football the way we know it.

"To take a family of four to a Premier League match now you're talking about £130, and that's before petrol, parking, a programme, hot dogs, burgers and a drink.

"That is just not affordable for most families so clubs really do need to look at this."

Arsenal's Supporters' Trust is expected to demand a price freeze when it addresses the club at its annual general meeting on Thursday, after the study found the Gunners have the most expensive match-day ticket in the Premier League.

A statement read:  "The ticket price increase this season has created bad feeling amongst the fanbase, made worse when we see the club sitting on such a large unused cash pile.

"Will the board consider the difficulty fans have with keeping up with ever increasing costs of attending football and confirm there will be no increase next year?"

Price of Football 2014 - the key findings

Arsenal have the most expensive match-day ticket in the Premier League at £97

Manchester City have the league's cheapest season ticket at £299. That's cheaper than at 15 Championship clubs, 10 clubs in League One, four in League Two and even one in the Conference.

Charlton's £150 season ticket is the cheapest in England's top four divisions. However, Barcelona charge about £103 for their lowest-priced season ticket.

In Scotland's Premiership, the average price for the cheapest day at a match, including a ticket, pie, cup of tea and a programme, increased by just 61p to £26.95 from last season.

This year's Price of Football study found the cheapest Premier League season ticket is £299 at Manchester City.

Danny Wilson, the club's director of sales, said: "When you scratch down deeper into the work we're doing, it's about creating a better experience for our supporters.

"We want to make sure coming down to the stadium is a far broader and more engaging experience than just the 90 minutes of football.

"Our long-term goal is to keep growing our fanbase and keep filling the stadium week-in, week-out."

The Premier League has pointed to packed-out grounds as a sign it is getting the pricing right.

"The attendances so far this season are very encouraging, with more than 95% of seats sold and average crowds tracking with last season's, which were the highest in English top-flight football since 1949-50," said Cathy Long, the Premier League's head of supporter services.

 Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said the Price of Football study showed clubs are rewarding fans for their loyalty and financial commitment with better-value season tickets, which has led to prices falling in the period since 2005.

Crowds also increased by 136,000 across the Football League last season.

Critics of the price hikes said clubs had lost touch with fans and argued the £5.5bn windfall from the current television rights deal  should have resulted in a drop in ticket prices for supporters.

Justin King, former chief executive of British supermarket Sainsbury's, feels clubs could fail if they do not meet the needs of supporters.

"Any business that thinks it can simply rely upon the loyalty of its customers, regardless of how they treat them, in the end will fail," King, a Manchester United supporter, told the BBC.

"I would be asking clubs: 'Are your fans happier today than they were five years ago with the experience that they get, the value for money that they feel they're getting?'"

Price of football statistics

The BBC's economics editor Robert Peston pointed to factors such as rising players' wages in the Premier League and the fact a majority of clubs operate at a loss.

"Yes, clubs do need to take a commercial decision, they set the ticket price, but there's got to be reasonableness," Grant said.

"I have two lads. They both love football and now and again we went to see a match but it was very, very expensive and it's the affordability.

"Football can be good family entertainment, it's our national game, but you need to be able to get through the gates."

Some clubs are adopting discount initiatives to help cash-strapped supporters.

Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard illustrated some of those schemes and backed the Price of Football study for unearthing its findings.

Ditching Man Utd for League Two

"I have been at Chelsea and Manchester City and they are making big strides, they are trying to freeze prices and encourage people to come to games," he said.

"They reduce prices for certain away games as well as other incentives and they need to do more of that."

Grant backed up those schemes, but called on clubs to do more.

"Although I'm concerned about this survey, there's some good practise happening," she added.

"I know, for example, West Ham run their 'kids for a quid' promotion. This is the sort of thing I want to see more of."

Grant revealed the government has set up a panel of senior football administrators to give supporters the opportunity for their concerns to be raised.

"We've set up an Expert Group. You're going to hear more about that soon - we're about to launch it - and this group will look at very important issues such as... pricing, club ownership and debt, seating.

"It will give fans the profile and platform to air their views."



Edited by Double Maxim - 16 Oct 2014 at 6:20am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flanno7hi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 10:08am
£18 for a seat at Chester in the conference, was £14 two years ago.
 
£342 for a season ticket in my stand or £285 for the cheapest.
 
It's bloody expensive but I'd rather pay it and have a club in the conference than not and be struggling 3 divisions down or not have a team at all. I know what the money goes towards and it affects which players we have on the pitch.
 
Premier league prices are ridiculous especially when you see how much money they are actually making from the TV deal.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roberto Baggio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 10:20am
Originally posted by Flanno7hi Flanno7hi wrote:

£18 for a seat at Chester in the conference, was £14 two years ago.
 
£342 for a season ticket in my stand or £285 for the cheapest.
 
It's bloody expensive but I'd rather pay it and have a club in the conference than not and be struggling 3 divisions down or not have a team at all. I know what the money goes towards and it affects which players we have on the pitch.
 
Premier league prices are ridiculous especially when you see how much money they are actually making from the TV deal.
 
 

You can get one at Man City for £299

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nvidic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 10:23am
€99 for my season ticketThumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flanno7hi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 10:24am
Originally posted by Roberto Baggio Roberto Baggio wrote:

Originally posted by Flanno7hi Flanno7hi wrote:

£18 for a seat at Chester in the conference, was £14 two years ago.
 
£342 for a season ticket in my stand or £285 for the cheapest.
 
It's bloody expensive but I'd rather pay it and have a club in the conference than not and be struggling 3 divisions down or not have a team at all. I know what the money goes towards and it affects which players we have on the pitch.
 
Premier league prices are ridiculous especially when you see how much money they are actually making from the TV deal.
 
 

You can get one at Man City for £299

I know but like I said City don't exactly need the money. they could in theory give all the tickets away for free.
I understand why our tickets are so dear, it's the cost of being fan owned. there's a balancing act of needing the money and wanting to lower ticket prices to get people in.
The problem is that the town is full of barstooling Man U and Liverpool "fans" that wouldn't support their home team if the tickets were a fiver.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jackthelad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 12:54pm
A another bitchfest has commenced here. Premier Leagus fans - bad. Airtricity League fans - good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nvidic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 1:02pm
Originally posted by Jackthelad Jackthelad wrote:

A another bitchfest has commenced here. Premier Leagus fans - bad. Airtricity League fans - good.


Where exactly?Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flanno7hi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 1:06pm
Originally posted by Jackthelad Jackthelad wrote:

A another bitchfest has commenced here. Premier Leagus fans - bad. Airtricity League fans - good.
??
 
Confused Who was talking about the Airtricity league?
 
 
 
One day you can sit on my barstool son.
 
 


Edited by Flanno7hi - 16 Oct 2014 at 1:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote corkery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 1:40pm
Used to pay £10 at Hibernian. Hearts were £25 though. €15 at Cork.

Edited by corkery - 16 Oct 2014 at 1:41pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jason Kelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 1:48pm
My season ticket was 190 Euro at Cork City. Great value.  10 quid in to watch Cliftonville.

Tourists get ripped off everywhere, just look at Temple Bar! Football Tourists are no differant. Milk the fookers dry i say.

Edited by Jason Kelly - 16 Oct 2014 at 1:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jackthelad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 4:13pm
Originally posted by Flanno7hi Flanno7hi wrote:

Originally posted by Jackthelad Jackthelad wrote:

A another bitchfest has commenced here. Premier Leagus fans - bad. Airtricity League fans - good.


??
 

Confused Who was talking about the Airtricity league?

 

 


 

One day you can sit on my barstool son.

 

 


I didn't mention either of ye did I? Why so touchy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flanno7hi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 4:21pm
Originally posted by Jackthelad Jackthelad wrote:

Originally posted by Flanno7hi Flanno7hi wrote:

Originally posted by Jackthelad Jackthelad wrote:

A another bitchfest has commenced here. Premier Leagus fans - bad. Airtricity League fans - good.


??
 

Confused Who was talking about the Airtricity league?

 

 


 

One day you can sit on my barstool son.

 

 


I didn't mention either of ye did I? Why so touchy.
?? We were 2 of only 4 people to have posted in a thread where "another bitchfest has commenced here". Think you were the touchy one there. Nothing had commenced. Back to your stool.Thumbs Up

Edited by Flanno7hi - 17 Oct 2014 at 12:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Landon Donovan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 4:46pm
I think the only argument against allowing supply and demand to happen is that younger folk are not really that bothered or can afford to go to games any more. You gotta source your future supporters too. They are happy enough to just watch on TV as the coverage is so good now a days.

I dont know if this happens to anybody else but I have often found myself at football matches, see something happen and for some reason I am awaiting a replay to be shown. I have just got so much into the habit of waiting for the replay  LOL
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Stool?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mulvanystrasse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2014 at 6:16pm
Have an EUR 15 ticket for the Bochum-Darmstadt Bundesliga II game tomorrow evening and a EUR 31 ticket for the Schalke-Hertha Berlin Bundesliga game on Saturday evening. Stopped going to league games in England in 1992 because of the increase in ticket prices.

Edited by Mulvanystrasse - 16 Oct 2014 at 6:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Double Maxim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2014 at 12:03am
 
Arsenal fans

Arsenal's most expensive match day ticket is more than double that of seven other Premier League clubs

16 October 2014 Last updated at 19:32

Price of Football: Arsenal defend expensive cost of match tickets

Arsenal have defended the cost of their match tickets after the BBC's Price of Football survey showed they had the most expensive in the Premier League.

At Thursday's AGM, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said ticket prices had gone up below the rate of inflation and wages.

"The board has never approached ticket prices glibly or lightly," he added.

But Arsenal Supporters Trust member Tim Payton said pricing promises had been broken and warned the club were "breaking the loyalty bond" with fans.

Arsenal's most expensive match-day and season tickets are £97 and £2,013, with the cheapest coming in at £27 and £1,014.

The Price of Football study reveals that Arsenal's £97 ticket is more than double the most expensive match-day ticket at seven other top-flight clubs, despite being reduced by £29 on last season.

The side's £2,013 season ticket is double the price of Manchester United's most expensive ticket and more than four times the cost of West Brom's.

Arsenal's prices

Cheapest season ticket Most expensive Cheapest match-day ticket Most expensive

£1,014.00

£2,013.00

£27.00

£97.00

Pressed on the issue at Arsenal's AGM at the Emirates Stadium, Gazidis said ticket prices have increased at a rate of 1.3% since 2006, which was below the growth of players' wages, fans' wages or inflation.

The 50-year-old said: "Demand for tickets continues to far exceed supply. Underneath those headline ticket prices, the club continues to make tickets available to as many as possible."

Gazidis, who was appointed Arsenal's chief executive in January 2009, added: "We make responsible and reasonable decisions. We understand the pressures. We have tried to take a balanced and sensible approach to competing pressures. We have relied mostly on commercial and broadcast increases to compete at the level we demand.

"Our ticket exchange continues to grow and it's the most advanced in the game, 60,000 will use it this season. That continues to remain a priority for us. We are always looking at initiatives."

Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) member Payton was present at the AGM and said Arsenal fans were "disappointed" by the response from the Gunners' board.

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Payton told BBC Radio 5 live: "The point he (Gazidis) made was that the commercial income had gone up by over £100m in the last three years and the ticket income had hardly gone up at all.

"But he conveniently forgot that three years ago he promised us that when the commercial income went up he would take the pressure off ticket prices.

"It is just breaking that loyalty bond between the club and the fans."

Gazidis also went on to reject the idea the club are sitting on "tens of millions of spare cash", as suggested by the AST, which they refuse to give to manager Arsene Wenger to spend on players.

"There is an inaccurate analysis about cash available. We are not hoarding a vast cash balance. We do not try to broadcast our cash situation, but the situation is more complex," Gazidis told fans and shareholders.

Arsenal spent around £60m in the last transfer window, the second highest amount in Europe, as they recruited the likes of £35m Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and £16m Danny Welbeck from Manchester United.

"We do try to keep a reasonable amount for the transfer budget," Gazidis added. "It is quite untrue that we are sitting on a huge cash pile for some unspecified reason."

Arsenal boss Wenger later confirmed that he would be looking to spend in the January transfer window and would focus on strengthening his defence.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clonbhoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2014 at 12:18am
It has always amused me that the worst ground for a football fan is the most expensive.
I had free tickets there and still went elsewhere
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Double Maxim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2014 at 8:29am
Originally posted by Clonbhoy Clonbhoy wrote:

It has always amused me that the worst ground for a football fan is the most expensive.
I had free tickets there and still went elsewhere
 
 
Re Everton and Liverpool prices these days.
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