Best and worst value football tickets

Manchester City celebrateDave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The vast majority of the new Premier League season ticket prices have been announced. For some there is excellent news. Wigan Athletic fans have the most to cheer - with both the cheapest tickets in the Premiership, and the biggest cut in prices. Tickets will be cut by at least 13%, and start at just £255.

But who is seeing the biggest rises, and does a strong performance on the pitch translate into higher prices?

Price rises

Some clubs have published some astonishing price rises, revealed by the Daily Mail. The biggest overall is Aston Villa, which has pushed the price of the cheapest season tickets up an eye-watering 18% - although more expensive tickets have seen prices frozen.

Meanwhile, Manchester City has increased the cost of its most expensive tickets 17.3%, and cheaper tickets by 4.5%.
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In some instances, the change in price reflects the changes fortunes of the clubs involved. Manchester City's stunning win of the Premiership can be used as justification for these higher prices - as paying for the cream of footballing talent is going to take its toll.

ING Direct runs a Football Value League, weighing up the cost of supporting versus success on the pitch, and placed Manchester City at the top of the league for last year.

Reading, meanwhile, reflects its promotion to the premiership with increases of around 33% in all its season tickets. However, fans who have been with the club for years did have a chance to renew their season ticket at an Early Bird rate matching last season's prices - so loyal fans are being rewarded.

West Ham similarly celebrates joining the Premiership with a 14.2% rise for its cheapest tickets and 13.3% rise for the more expensive tickets.

Justified?

In other cases, rises come despite a difficult season last year. Aston Villa, for example, has introduced its 18% rise despite a tough season involving the loss of its manager and a close call with relegation. It's worth noting, however, that this is a rise from a very low base, and even after the increase it is still the second cheapest season ticket in the Premiership.

The most expensive season ticket in the Premiership still belongs to Arsenal at £1,954 - despite having frozen the cost from last year. This is followed by Tottenham at £1,845, which is up 2.5% from last year. The rest of the top seven most expensive season tickets are made up of Chelsea, Manchester United, QPR, Newcastle and Fulham.

The cheapest, meanwhile are Wigan, Aston Villa, West Bromwich and the cheap seats at Newcastle. Wigan and West Bromwich also make it to the top three in ING's value league.

The bottom of the bank's league is QPR, after struggling to maintain its place in the Premiership, and yet still charging the 4th highest price for its most expensive season tickets.

Vote with your feet

There's a risk that fans could vote with their feet. Less than half of season ticket holders felt they received good value for money last season (49%) and as a result nearly one in three (29%) are seriously thinking about whether or not to renew their season ticket next season.

Blackburn has the most disgruntled fans, with more than half of season ticket holders (56%) saying they won't renew. Aston Villa followers are also voicing their concern, with a third of fans (31%) saying they plan to cancel their season tickets. A 18% price rise from Aston Villa isn't really going to help on this front.

Southampton, also promoted last season, has yet to announce its ticket prices.

ING Direct CEO Richard Doe commented: "Football fans face the same economic difficulties as everyone else and supporting their team can be a costly outgoing, so it's not surprising that many fans are questioning the value for money they're getting from their club."

"However, come the excitement that the start of the new season brings, it will also be interesting to see how many fans put the love of their club ahead of other financial priorities."

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The most expensive football tickets
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Best and worst value football tickets

Price - £100

The Gunners officially charged the most for tickets to their matches. These prices were only for a top band of seats, and they do have seats at a much more reasonably priced £35. 

Price - £87

Roberto Di Matteo's team demand the next highest ticket price for their performances, but also have lower band ticket prices staring from £23.50

Price - £80

Spurs are up next, and not only are their tickets pricey, the cost of a match day here (cheapest ticket, programme, pie and a tea) is one of the most expensive too. 

Price - £60

The south west London club have the fourth highest ticket prices despite being middle of the table performers, with many of their better performing counterparts offering cheaper seats. They do however also have lower priced tickets starting from £20. 

Price - £55

Fighting for the top spot in the table, United have a reasonable ticket price relative to their performance, though still charge more than their local rivals. 

Price - £48

Despite offering more reasonably priced tickets than many of the other top clubs, the cost of a match day here is the most expensive of any of them. 

Price - £47

Although they languish far from the top of the table, Villa are in seventh place, though their cheaper seats start from £21. 

Price - £45

A tie sees these two clubs, who have just a point between them in the Premier League, in eighth place. It's Stoke who has the cheaper overall match day though. 

Price - £42

It might come as a surprise to find City this far down the list. The club - who have had their fair share of controversy in the past few weeks - have relatively cheap tickets compared to their performances this year.

Price - £40

It's also somewhat surprising to find bottom of the table Wolves making it into the top ten with these prices which certainly don't match up to their lacklustre performances. 

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