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Cost Of Watching Football Busts Rate Of Inflation

Wed 15th Oct 2014 | Money & Finance

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

According to the latest figures compiled in the BBC Sport Price of Football study the average price of the cheapest match day ticket from the Premier League to League Two has increased 13%, compared to a 6.8% increase in the cost of living during that time.

In the Premier League, the cost of the cheapest matchday ticket increased by 15.8%. Of the Premier League clubs, Arsenal are still the most costly with their most expensive  matchday ticket costing £97, however that represents a reduction of £29 from their most expensive ticket last year at £126.

In the Championship, the average price has dropped 3.2%, while in League One, clubs increased ticket prices by a whopping 31.7% and 19% in League Two.

Compared to 12 months ago, the cheapest matchday tickets in the top four divisions of English football is up 4.4% from 12 months, from £20.58 to £21.49, more than treble the current rate of inflation which is 1.2%.

Malcolm Clarke, Chair of the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) said there was ‘no excuse’ for ticket prices to rise above the rate of inflation, especially in the Premier League. “There is no excuse for the price of tickets to rise above the rate of inflation,” he told fcbusiness.

“The money from the Premier League’s new media deal needs to be shared more evenly across the pyramid and there is no reason why some of it cannot be passed onto the fans instead going straight into the pockets of club owners and players.”

However, Clarke was sympathetic of the rises in Leagues One and Two, but warned that they were still unacceptable. “Matchday ticket sales represent a significant level of income for clubs at this level. I have sympathy for these clubs but the level of increases seen here is simply unacceptable.”

The BBC Price of Football study is in its fourth year having begun in 2011, and is the largest of its kind in Britain, covering 176 clubs in 11 divisions across British football, including Women’s Super League One and Two.


Ticket price highlights

  • Arsenal have the most expensive match day ticket in the Premier League at £97 – but that represents a reduction of £29 from their most expensive ticket last year at £126.
  • Chelsea's cheapest match day ticket is £50, highest-priced of the Premier League’s cheapest.
  • Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday's £10 match day ticket - for specified matches - is the cheapest in the top four leagues in England - only matched by Southport in the Conference.
  • The average price of the cheapest match-day ticket in Scottish football’s top flight has increased by almost 8% since 2011 – from £18.92 to £20.42.


Season tickets

  • Arsenal have the most expensive season ticket in the Premier League at £2,013.
  • Their cheapest season ticket is £1,014, the most costly in the Premier League.
  • The cheapest season ticket at Arsenal is £1,014. That is more expensive than the top-priced season ticket at 17 Premier League clubs. The only exceptions are Tottenham (£1,895) and Chelsea (£1,250).
  • Manchester City have the cheapest season ticket in the Premier League at £299.
  • Charlton's £150 season ticket is the cheapest in the top four divisions in England, with only Conference side Eastleigh (£105) cheaper.
  • Peterhead charge £90 for their cheapest season ticket – that’s cheaper than anywhere else in the top four divisions of Scottish football and cheaper than the top five divisions in England.
  • The Scottish League One side also charge the least for a match-day ticket, at £6.
  • The most expensive season ticket is sold by Celtic, at £600.


Replica shirts

  • In the Premier League, the two Manchester clubs - United and City - charge the most for an adult replica shirt - £55.
  • Hull have the cheapest shirt at £39.99.
  • Conference club Barnet charge £49.90 for an adult shirt – more expensive than the price charged by 11 Premier League clubs.
  • In Scotland, Celtic’s adult shirt is most expensive at £53. The cheapest is £30 at Brechin and Alloa.


  • Kidderminster Harriers have the most expensive pie among the clubs we covered. The Conference club charges £4.50 for their award-winning pie.
  • Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion are the next most expensive at £4.10.
  • In the Premier League, Crystal Palace, Man City and Southampton have the most expensive pie at £4.
  • In Scotland, at £1.20, the cheapest pies are at Forfar and Queen’s Park.
  • Scottish Championship side Livingston sell the most expensive pie, charging £2.50.


Cups of tea

  • Liverpool, Manchester United and Southampton have the most expensive cups of tea at £2.50.
  • The cheapest can be bought at Conference club Braintree and WSL 2 club Sunderland Ladies. Both charge 80p.
  • Burnley and Manchester City have the cheapest tea in the Premier League at £1.80.
  • In Scotland, League Two side Elgin City charge just 60p for a cup of tea, the cheapest of the clubs we contacted in the top four divisions of Scottish football.
  • The most expensive cup of tea in the top four divisions of Scottish football can be bought at Celtic, Dundee, Dundee United, Hibernian and Inverness at £2.20.


Image: Action Images / Carl Recine Livepic 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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