Can you watch football for less?

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football fan

The football season has started again in earnest, with endless summer chatter about transfers giving way to the serious business of sport. But while the footballers can sit counting their multi-millions and laughing all the way to their new club, the fans are left footing the bill.

So can you watch football for less this season?


Tickets

In June we saw fans of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham take to the streets in protest, and march to the Premier League HQ to protest about the the price of season tickets. However, the cost remains astronomical and in many cases has continued to climb.

The BBC studied the cheapest possible season tickets for each club. The most expensive was at Arsenal, where fans have to pay at least £985 for their annual ticket. Tottenham was next at £730, followed by Liverpool at £725, Chelsea at £595 and QPR at £499.

It also assessed the most expensive season tickets for each club, and discovered you can pay up to £1,955 for your Arsenal ticket, followed by £1,845 at Tottenham, £1,250 at Chelsea, £959 at Fulham, and £950 at Manchester United.

Even if you just saw one match, the most expensive ticket would set you back £126 at Arsenal, £87 at Chelsea and £81 at Tottenham.

If you picked your team purely on cost, you would need to be a Wigan fan, where the cheapest season ticket is £255, or a Newcastle fan where the cheapest single match ticket is £15.

TV options

If the cost of the tickets - plus the exorbitant price of away matches - is too much for your pocket, you'll need to watch from home.

However, this isn't a bargain option either. Just choosing to have the basic Sky TV package and adding the Sky Sports Bundle would cost you £43.50 a month. That would give you 116 matches. If you wanted all the matches, you'd need to sign up to BT Sport too, for an extra £12 per month, with a £15 initial activation fee.

If you are a BT Broadband customer, you don't have to pay for BT Sports, but if you wanted the Sky games too, you would have to pay extra for those channels, adding £20 per month to your package.

Steve Rees, Managing Director of debt consultant Vincent Bond & Co says: "If you are on a tighter budget, do not want to have a monthly contract and can cope with watching any football that is on, then you can get a whole host of matches – including all the World Cup Games from Brazil in 2014, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and England Internationals - on Freeview which has no monthly subscription and you will pay as little as £20 for the box."

If you only want to watch a few key matches you can sign up to Now TV from Sky, where you get the box for a one-off fee of just under £10 - which lets you stream iPlayer to your TV too. Then you can pay for 24 hours of sport as-and-when you want it, for £9.99 for the day. It may seem a lot, but you can pack a handful of matches into the day, so if you choose your 24 hours carefully you can get plenty of bang for your buck.

Alternatively, if you are just after catching up with all the goals, The Sun has its Sun+ App which will stream footage of every Premier League goal to your Smartphone with a short time delay for £2 per week.

Rees adds: "If money is tight, you may have to go without. Or find some mates who enjoy the footie as much as you do, and either chip in so you can all watch the games at one house, or head down the local to get your footballing fix. But watch how much you are spending on the rounds."

The Football Rich List

The Football Rich List