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Cost of Watching Football Rises By 11.7%

Thu 18th Oct 2012 | Money & Finance

The average cost of the cheapest ticket across the top four divisions of English football has increased by 11.7% according to a survey commissioned by the BBC. 

The BBC Sport Price of Football survey found that the average price of the most affordable ticket in league football has gone from £19.01 to £21.24 in the past 12 months. 

The survey looked at 166 clubs in 10 divisions across British football, including the Conference Premier and Women's Super League.

The comprehensive survey into the cost of attending a football match in the UK recorded the most expensive, and cheapest, season tickets and adult matchday tickets as well as the cost of a cup of tea, a pie and a programme, to calculate the cheapest day out at a football match.

The figures show:

  • Only three out of 92 English league clubs offer a day out for less than £20 this season. Last year it was 12.
  • In Scotland, 21 of the 42 teams across four divisions offer a day out for less than £20.
  • The most expensive adult matchday ticket is Arsenal at £126 and the cheapest £6 at Montrose.
  • Arsenal also have the most expensive season ticket at £1,955, while Montrose's was the lowest at £90.
  • In the Women's Super League, matchday adult tickets range from £4-£6, with season ticket prices between £22-£40.
  • The most expensive tea in British football can be found in Manchester, where both City and United charge £2.50. The cheapest costs 50p at Alloa and Brechin in Scottish Division Two.
  • Kidderminster, in the Blue Square Bet Premier, charge the most for a pie at £4, while the cheapest is in Scotland, where Alloa, Albion and Forfar charge just £1.
  • Leeds United sell the most expensive programme in Britain at £4, while Inverness CT's is the cheapest at 50p.


The highest price of a day out at a football match in England, Wales and Scotland has gone from £109 to £134.30 in just 12 months, with Arsenal the most expensive club to visit for a second successive year.

Arsenal's cheapest day out (£34.30) comes in exactly £100 cheaper than their most expensive, but it is Newcastle who offers the Premier League's best value day out, with a ticket, programme, pie and cup of tea coming in at £23.

Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis told BBC Sport the club was doing its best to offer value to fans with the club's cheapest league ticket (£26) among the most affordable in the division. 

"We've seen ticket prices rise across the game," Gazidis said. "This isn't just a football issue. 

"If you look at the prices of entertainment across the board they have gone up significantly in recent years and clearly we now have an environment where people are economically challenged.

"What we know, because of the tremendous take up, is that there are people who want to watch top class football but for whom price is a factor. That is something we have to be continually conscious of." 

The survey found Wigan offered the Premier League's cheapest season ticket (£255) with champions, Manchester City (£275) close behind.

In the Championship, Bristol City offered the cheapest season ticket at £249.

Kevin Smith, City commercial director, said: “We are very pleased with the findings of this survey, which once again shows the excellent value we are offering to supporters in the npower Championship. 

“We have the cheapest season tickets available in our division, and with our new dynamic pricing structure, for fans who buy early, we also have some of the cheapest matchday ticket prices too.

“On top of that, with the 2012/13 season tickets we factored in a number of added value rewards for supporters.

“We’re always looking at ways to entice more fans to come and support Derek and the team at Ashton Gate, and we’re well aware price remains one of the key factors in this day and age. This survey proves we’re making it as easy as possible whilst remaining competitive at the same time.”

The price of a day out at a Scottish Premier League match remains more affordable with only Celtic (£36.30) costing more than £35. Celtic's most expensive season ticket comes in at £609, however, some £409 more than Inverness Caledonian Thistle's cheapest offer. 

Read the full report here


Posted by: Aaron Gourley




If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk

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