UK fans pay the most in Europe to follow the beautiful game according to research into the true cost of following football.

Despite the fact that most Premier League ticket prices came down in the 2017–18 season, football fans in the UK still spend more on football than any other fans in Europe, according to the new European Football Benchmark report launched by Statista today.




British football fans spend on average £712 each year on football through a combination of watching games on TV, travelling to matches and buying merchandise. The hardcore Premier League fan spends a whopping £1,118 — far outstripping previous annual fan expenditure estimates from The Post Office, which put annual spend per fan at £276.


The cost of football in the UK is high despite the fact that average season ticket prices across English football’s top flight are at their lowest levels since 2013. Moreover, the price of replica kits have stayed relatively stable — so the fact that fan spending continues to rise suggests that the insatiable demand for football in the UK is still growing.


By complete contrast, German fans are spending half as much as English fans on average (£353), helped in part thanks to considerably lower ticket prices. Spanish, French and Italian fans spend £706, £697 and £634 respectively.


Statista’s findings come from its European Football Benchmark report — one of the most in-depth reports ever compiled on the clubs, sponsors and fans across the biggest five football leagues in Europe. The report draws on the insights from 15,000 fans of major football clubs in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.


It assesses the reach and reputation of the world’s most popular sport, exploring how the different leagues stack up against each other in terms of fan engagement, sponsorship, merchandising, investment and attitudes of fans.


Alexander Kunst, senior research at Statista said: “While many people view the Premier League as the best league in the world, fans are definitely paying for the privilege — or are they paying for hype? When British fans see how much their European counterparts are paying for essentially the same experience, they’ll be right to ask the question: ‘why do we cough up more?’


“Even though spending on football in the UK is the highest in Europe, the average spend for fans across Europe is still £620, and there’s no sign that engagement is going to slow down. In fact, Statista is predicting that spend is going to continue to go up in the coming years.”


As well as fan expenditure, the European Football Benchmark report also unveils which clubs fans love the most in Europe, which players are fans’ favourites, what the different attitudes are towards the different European leagues and much more.


Image: PA Images