Football fans hit as match day costs soar


Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Virgin Money's latest Football Fans' Inflation Index reveals the cost of being a football fan is now three and a half times the rate of inflation.

The figures, which take into account ticket prices, replica shirts, match programmes, a gallon of petrol, rail fares, a pint of lager and a bacon roll, put the average cost of a match day at over £112.
The average match day cost - £112.87 - has risen almost 45 per cent since 2006 when it would set fans back £77.95.

What is pushing up the price?

While this increase has been driven in part by the rising cost of petrol, train travel and food prices, there are other factors which the clubs can control.

The average cost of a ticket across all English professional leagues is up from £24.86 a year ago, to £25.09. Replica shirts are now priced on average £29.81 compared with £25.81 last year - an increase of more than 15 per cent.

This combination of factors has pushed the cost of a matchday basket of goods up £11.83 since the end of the 2010/11 season alone. It represents an increase of 11.7 per cent - three and a half times the current 3.4 per cent rate of inflation for the wider economy.

Scott Mowbray from Virgin Money said: 'When prices are rising generally in the economy they are going to rise in football as well. However, while inflation has fallen below 3.5 per cent across the economy as a whole, inflation for football fans is running over three times higher than that.

'This is another squeeze on people's pockets and while some clubs are taking steps to help their fans, others need to think carefully about what else they can do to help.'

The most expensive football tickets

The most expensive football tickets

Fans still loyal

Despite the rising prices, it seems dedicated fans are still prepared to foot the bill to watch their team. Premier League clubs like Norwich, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Fulham reporting near sell-outs and average attendance across the Premier League is 90 per cent of capacity.

In fact Barclays, the official sponsor of the Premier League, say that so far this season almost 11.5 million fans have attended matches.

The good news

Somewhat surprisingly, the cost of attending a game has actually fallen since the beginning of the year when it stood at a whopping £116.

Several clubs have introduced season ticket deals including Newcastle United, for whom Virgin Money have just become a shirt sponsor. The Premier League club have promised fans a season ticket price freeze for the next nine years.

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