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Fans share season tickets in bid to cut costs

Thu 23rd Sep 2010 | Marketing & PR

Up to one in 12 season ticket holders are sharing their tickets with other fans in order to keep down costs, with Manchester United season ticket holders the most likely in the Premiership to share their tickets with other supporters, according to Virgin Money’s authoritative Football Fans’ Index1.

Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Index (based on research from Football Fans Census) shows one in eight (12%) Man Utd fans are sharing this season and the club has confirmed that the 54,000 target for season ticket sales for the 2010/11 season has been missed with around 51,800 sold.

  • One in eight Man Utd season ticket holders plan to share the cost of a season ticket 
  • Blackpool fans are least willing to split the cost of season tickets

With season tickets across the Premier League costing between £209 and £1,370 for the 2010/11 season, it is clear that fans are willing to split the cost of following their team with another supporter.

And with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham all pushing the upper boundaries of this price range, it is no surprise to see that one in eleven (9%) of their fans are claiming that they plan to share their tickets this season.

However, success also appears to play a part, with only 5% of fans of reigning Premier League champions Chelsea saying they’d be sharing despite prices of up to £1,210. With Chelsea dropping just five points at Stamford Bridge during the 2009/10 campaign, their fans may also feel more confident than most that they’ll be getting good value for money on their investment.

Meanwhile, fans of newly-promoted Blackpool appear determined to enjoy their first season in English football’s top tier, with only 2% of season ticket holders claiming they’d be willing to share their ticket with another fan.

Grant Bather, spokesman for Virgin Money, said: “Clubs may have frozen season ticket prices but some fans are starting to question whether they can afford to support their team week in, week out.

“The discontent amongst Manchester United fans has been well documented over the past few seasons and it’s no surprise to see a significant number of fans electing to share the cost of their season tickets with fellow fans in protest.”

Malcolm Clarke, Chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, commented: “We get more and more reports of supporters sharing season tickets. The main reason is cost. Far too many fans simply can’t afford the burden of paying for a ticket on their own these days.”

Shared Season Ticket League Table

Club                        Min. season ticket price2       Max. season ticket price2       % of fans sharing ticket
Man Utd            £513                                 £931                                         12%    
Arsenal             £893                                 £1,370                                      9%     
Liverpool           £732                                 £785                                         9%     
Tottenham        £650                                 £1,175                                      9%     
Blackburn          £209                                 £369                                         8%     
Newcastle          £365                                 £658                                         8%     
Wolves             £522                                 £630                                         8%     
Aston Villa        £350                                  £550                                         6%     
Sunderland       £380                                 £495                                         6%     
West Ham        £600                                 £830                                         6%     
Birmingham      £396                                 £638                                         5%     
Chelsea           £695                                 £1,210                                      5%     
Man City          £420                                 £515                                         5%     
Stoke City        £449                                 £609                                         5%     
West Brom       £399                                 £499                                         5%     
Wigan              £250                                £295                                         5%     
Bolton              £339                                £475                                         4%     
Fulham            £369                                 £899                                         4%     
Everton            £528                                 £631                                         3%     
Blackpool         £382                                 £440                                         2%     

Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Index has tracked the cost of football since January 2006 and is aimed at helping supporters keep track of the rises and falls in the costs of supporting their team. The company identified the match day essentials fans buy and keeps tabs on increases and decreases.

At the launch of the index in January 2006, the match day basket of goods* cost £77.95.  However the most recent analysis puts the cost at £97.50 – a rise of £19.55 or 25% per match day. Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Index runs every three months and the firm’s research team examines the cost of items such as a gallon of petrol, match tickets, food, alcohol, train tickets and replica shirts.



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




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