THE price of football in the UK can be perfectly summed up by one fact, found by BBC Sport in their Price of Football study: Eastleigh, who play in the National League, offer the cheapest season ticket in the top five leagues of English football, at a cost of £120. However, this is still more expensive than a season ticket at German giants, Bayern Munich.
If this doesn’t highlight how extortionate football in the UK has become, then nothing will. Paying £120 to watch one of the best teams in the world at the moment, in a stadium renowned for its incredible atmosphere, seems too good to be true for football fans in the UK. For example, fans at Arsenal have to pay at least £1,014 for a season ticket. Yet in Germany lower prices are normal, making football accessible for all.
This divide in expectations in price was shown when Bayern Munich held a protest before their Champions League fixture at The Emirates against Arsenal. Many of the German club’s fans entered the game late to show their objection to their £64 ticket cost. Although the majority of Arsenal fans in the stadium will have paid more than that for their own seat, they still applauded the Bayern fans, showing that they too feel enough is enough.
The study also looked at the cost of other aspects of a day out at a football game, including the price of replica shirts, pies and a cup of tea. Overall, it is estimated that it costs over £200 for a family trip to their league football team.
However, it’s not all bad news. 70% of tickets either saw prices frozen or reduced, meaning only a minority of prices were raised. However, in an interview with BBC Sport, Kevin Miles, the chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation made the extremely good point that: “It says a lot about modern football when it’s hailed as unusually good news that ticket prices aren’t rising even further.”
On the contrary, the women’s game is still very much affordable and is now starting to become a potential alternative to the men’s game. Tickets for any FAWSL game cost less than £5.
Football started in the UK as a working-class game, accessible for all to come and enjoy. However, with prices rising, soon it will only be a select few that will be able to afford to experience watching their team live, in a stadium environment. Something must be done to reduce ticket prices, before the majority of football fans are priced out of the sport they love.
Featured image: The Independent