Why do we pay so much for our love of football?

Following the BBC Sport Price of Football survey revealing a hike in the amount we pay to chant / worship at our chosen stadium / temple, this article asks the question why do we go along with it.

The figures tell a shocking story. Only three English league clubs, all 92 of them, can offer you a match for less than £20, down from last season’s number of 12. Want to know the cheapest price for an Arsenal season ticket? A whooping £1,955. And don’t get me started on the price a pie in Kidderminster of the Blue Square Premier League. Ok go on then, £4!!!

These figures can only reveal that football clubs, despite what people say, are feeling the pinch of a tough and wide reaching economic uncertainty and instability. So naturally the average fan (you and me) has to stump up that bit extra to compensate.  Business is business.

However what baffles is that, on the whole, we fans sit back and accept it. We allow people to charge us £4 for a single pie (still can’t believe it), or £2.50 for a cup of tea in both Manchester clubs. We pay up £34.30 as the cheapest option to an Arsenal match. We accept that the price of the cheapest ticket has risen 11.7% overall since last year.

Is the game alienating its working class roots? It looks that way. Working class people who pay more for basic items on a slowly disintegrating wage simply have not got the extra money to watch their beloved team in action. Unless of course that team is non-professional or at least a professional side in a lesser followed league (Welsh Premier League?).

It may be a shocking revelation but at the same time it is somewhat expected. Clubs should take these lessons to realise that if value for fans has diminished, than excessive transfer market splurges cannot be healthy for a struggling club. Financial Fair Play may be a primitive and early concept but it is sorely needed to heal the bleeding wounds of our football clubs up and down the land.

Examples of Luton, Portsmouth, Rangers, Gretna and Wimbledon (amongst many others) must not be ignored. The Premier League prides itself on being the greatest league in the world but financially it is head and shoulders behind profitable leagues such as the stellar German Bundesliga.

Tomos Llewellyn


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