Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cut prices just the ticket for fans

Arsenal's matchday tickets are the most expensive
Arsenal's matchday tickets are the most expensive

Sports minister Hugh Robertson has welcomed the findings of a survey which revealed average ticket prices across the top four divisions of English football have fallen by up to 2.4 per cent.

The annual BBC survey, which analyses costs across 166 clubs in the top 10 divisions in Britain, reported the price drop which is in stark contrast to last year, when the price of the average cheapest ticket rose by 11 per cent, or almost four times the rate of inflation.

Robertson told the BBC: "It is good news for fans but it does come after a long period of incremental rises year on year.

"The key thing is that it is replicated in years to come. I think clubs are beginning to understand what fans are going through and to adjust their prices accordingly.

"It's not for the Government to tell individual clubs where to price their tickets but I just hope clubs across the board seek to do all they can to make football an affordable pursuit for individuals and for families."

The survey covered five leagues in England, four leagues in Scotland and the Women's Super League and showed the average prices for the cheapest and most expensive match-day and season tickets were all down on last year.

The price drop appears to be linked to falling attendances, with clubs in the Football League facing an average drop of five per cent of fans going through the turnstiles, from 9,949 per match in 2011-12 to 9,481 in 2012-13.

Despite the overall picture, the Barclays Premier League saw a 4.3 per cent rise in the average price of the cheapest season tickets.

Arsenal still boast the most expensive matchday ticket across English football, where an adult can pay up to £126 for a category A game, however their cheapest ticket is £26. Arsenal also have the most expensive adult season ticket at £1,955, while the cheapest in the Premier League can be found at Manchester City for £299.

Meanwhile, Manchester United charge the most for a cup of tea on a matchday at £2.50.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan knows the challenges football fans face in the current economic environment.

He told BBC Sport: "Money is so tight and our area is running at eight to nine per cent unemployed and it's impossible to ask anyone to pay any more to watch football."

Press Association

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