Football Ticket Prices: Fans Speak Out
With Sky and BT Sport having paid a record of £5.136bn for live Premier League TV rights for three seasons from 2016-17, several football teams decided to lower their ticket prices. The deal was a 70% increase on Sky and BT’s current £3bn deal. The new contract showcases 168 live games, at an average cost to the broadcasters of £10.2m per match. The deal brings in more revenue for the Premier League, so some teams such as West Ham (Hammers) and Sunderland’s Black Cats lowered their ticket prices. West Ham’s cheapest adult season ticket will cost £289, down from between £620 and £940 for the 2014-15 campaign. West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady stated, “It was a chance to increase revenue, invest in the team and improve our performance on the pitch, but without putting an extra financial burden on the supporters who already come to watch every home match.”
However, several football clubs concluded to raise their ticket prices and fans were not happy. For instance, Liverpool had controversial plans to raise their match-day ticket to price £77, and in turn fans decided to protest. To show their dismay with the ticket increase, thousands of fans left 77 minutes into 7 February’s draw with Sunderland at Anfield. Liverpool received the fans’ message loud and clear, and decided to drop the ticket price down to £59, and froze the highest season-ticket price. Man Utd fans are also planning to protest their team’s ticket rise as Manchester United are planning to charge £71 for their Europe League game at Midtjylland on 18 February. One fan even has a banner that states ‘Welcome to Scamdinavia.’
Sadly, this is not the first time football tickets have risen over the years. In fact, BBC’s Price of Football Survey showed that the average price of cheapest tickets in England has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011. The average price of the cheapest match-day ticket from the Premier League to League Two was £21.49 in 2014. This represented a 13% since 2011, meanwhile there was only a 6.8% rise in the cost of living. So football ticket prices are increasing more than the cost of living, and some Premier League teams still want to charge more quid for their tickets, which is absolutely insane. Fans should not have to pay an arm and leg just to see their favorite club and root them on, football should be a fun leisure sport that many fans can attend, not just a elite few.