Money Matter$

Premier League clubs will struggle to fill their stadiums this season

Top flight grounds will soon be emptier than Kerry Katona’s head

Empty Seats

According to a poll in this morning’s Sun newspaper, an incredible 43 per cent of West Ham fans are planning to boycott their beloved club in 2008/09, with many arguing that they didn’t receive very good value for money last year. Upton Park has yet to sell out any of its three home games this season, and away tickets for this weekend are still available, something that would have been unheard of last season.

The reason for this lack of support isn’t so much a protest at the club (although in some cases it is), but a reflection of the hard times brought on by the credit crunch. According to a Virgin Money poll, the average cost of watching a game is now £106.21 when tickets, transport and food are taken into account. To put that in perspective for our American readers, that’s about $63,000, and for those in Middlesbrough, that’s a four bed semi.

On average, Premier League clubs have increased their prices by fourteen per cent this season, a necessary move when you consider Frank Lampard is paid approximately £1.04 per second (based on a 40 hour week). Such an increase means top clubs can continue to stay competitive, yet it also means the prawn sandwich brigade will have fewer lowly proles to look down on in the stands: nearly one in seven fans refused to renew their season tickets this year, and around 26 per cent of supporters will choose to spend Saturdays being dragged around crowded shopping centres instead of getting behind their team.

Clubs such as Bolton and Blackburn, on the other hand, have resisted the urge to increase prices massively above inflation, instead opting to reduce ticket prices and fill the seats that gathered dust last season.

Have you been priced out of the game? Let us know with a comment below.

5 responses so far
  • indieLimey // September 9, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Good stat about Frank Lampard, but weren’t Chelsea one of the only clubs not to increase prices this season, nor last?
    Admittedly, when a game costs £500 for a seat with restricted view, you don’t need to increase prices, but…

  • Upminster Iron // September 9, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I’m tempted to go West Brom this weekend but it’s ridiculous for a newly promoted club to charge £40. Then our next away league game is Fulham for a bargain £48. It means that although I would love to go to every away game I may have to just settle for the big games like Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Spurs.

  • Ste_B // September 9, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I’m guessing you’re not an FX trader or mathematician Ryan.

    £106.21 x 38 games = £4035.98. How exactly does this equate to $63,000?

    What a doyle

  • Bender B. Rodriguez // September 9, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Ste_B, I’m guessing you ARE an FX trader or a mathematician, as that is quite clearly a joke that went miles over your head.

  • Derby County refuse to accept inflated ticket pricing at QPR | The Spoiler // January 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    [...] firmly on the side of fans who are tired of being ripped off at stadia up and down the country, Derby County, have refused to accept a ticket price hike imposed [...]

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