I have been thinking lately about the cost of football and when will the bubble burst?
What do I mean by the bubble bursting you may be asking?
Football pricing itself out of the reach of the loyal fan’s of the teams they worship and support and that they are emotionally involved with for life.
What prompted this article is that I recently saw a sign about the cost of football at a premier league football match. The match was between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium. Someone had taken a photograph of parking for the match and this is what shocked me. The price was £40… yes that is correct for a two hour game, just to park. I was stunned that can not be true! I have heard of supply and demand but really this is an extreme price to pay for sure. That led me to thinking, I wonder what the real cost is going to be for football in the future if it does not take action?
Are we as fan’s being well and truly priced out of the game?
Will the next few years see more and more empty seats like there was at the game at Wembley on that Monday night game?
What is football going to do about this problem? Will they eventually drive away their loyal fans and only be relying on television money and tourists with money to spend?
Will the television companies be happy to broadcast games with no fans inside the stadiums?
In the United Kingdom football is very fortunate to have fan’s who are loyal and support their teams at all levels throughout the leagues. They are riding the crest of a wave at the moment thanks to the full stadiums and the fantastic singing and atmosphere that those loyal fan’s generate. What football should be looking at is how much each of those fan’s have paid out to be at that game and not just keep pushing up the prices.
Time to wake up and smell the coffee football.
I think the powers that be should be looking at football and working on finding solutions sooner rather than later to bring the costs of everything to do with football down.
When one or two of those hard core loyal fan’s start to drift away due to not being able to afford it then the masses will follow and what will Football be left with?
Read any statistics and they tell us the cost of buying a football ticket have increased by 1000 percent over the last two decades. In 2018 the cheapest football ticket for a Premier league game is about £25 and this won’t be for one of the glamour ties in the league either. For that you are looking closer to £40 or even £50 pounds. Yes for one game. If a team plays 32 plus games a season and midweek cup games. You do the math it’s starting to add up already.
Is the answer buy a season ticket for your favourite club? This would guarantee you get a seat but again getting one at certain clubs is not easy, as normally there is a long waiting list. Arsenal and Chelsea are the most expensive at over £1000 pounds a season.
What if you decide to take the family or some of the family. Clubs do offer discounts for children but add that cost to onto your ticket.
Let’s say you decide to get a ticket and part with your hard-earned cash and get lucky and actually get one for the match you want . The excitement levels go up, dreaming about the atmosphere at the game seeing your team playing live. The big day arrives.
Get ready to open up your wallet. You have got your ticket and paid for that but now you need to be thinking about these costs too.
How are we going to get to a match?
Tremendous you have bought the tickets, next you need to think about how you are getting to the match.
Will it be train, car, bus or some other form of transport?
Take these costs into account depending on what means of travel you decide to use. Petrol costs, train ticket, bus or tram tickets. If you get in the car to drive, expect a parking cost anything from a £5 right up to yes you guessed it £40 for that one in London near Wembley that set this article going.
Good lets get going. Tickets for the match bought and a means of getting there sorted.
Again make sure you keep your wallet open because now once you have got to the match and the ground, the costs keep on coming at you.
What’s the next cost for you to look at?
Don’t forget the club shop
You are now at the ground and the excitement levels are in full swing, fan’s everywhere. You are buzzing and in front of you is the club shop.
You say to yourself as I don’t get here often or even if you go every week I will just have a quick look.
As soon as you walk through that club shop door it is highly unlikely you are going to walk out of there without buying at least one item. It’s all part of the match day experience remember. A club replica shirt is a minimum about £40 and a child one is about £35. Add name on the back and they charge you for each letter. Finally you get through the queue at the tills in the club shop and now we can do what we came for to see a football match.
Anyone for a programme? A little reminder of the match and day you experienced. Wish they were free but its football and that would be dreaming that’s another fiver you need to hand over.
Good, time to think about food or drinks before, during and after the game.
What about a bite to eat?
If it’s you and your friends or you and the family at some point, probably half time, you or the children are saying I’m hungry. Up you get out of your seat to buy a pie or something else. That’s another £3.50 for a pie, plus £2 for a cup of tea, times that by the number of people you are with. Oops that’s another £10 minimum spend.
So as you can see football cost are expensive and unfortunately only going up as football has become big business and the owners of clubs are seeing the profits roll in. Can any solutions be found to reduce the costs and help the fan’s out and keep them going to matches for years to come?
What can be done about this problem?
Why don’t they look for some solutions?
Here are some ideas I have come up with to reduce the costs:
1. Let all children under 12 receive a matchday ticket for free. They will then become loyal fan’s towards that club. If they start to go regularly, as they get older, then it could potentially generate a regular source of income for that club.
2. Have free giveaways at games with everyone getting a chance to win the prize. Something like a free home shirt.
3. Subsidise away fan’s or even give then free travel to away matches.
4. If you as an adult attend 5 home matches in a row get the 6th one for free.
5. Put a freeze on prices for a few years to keep the fans renewing their season tickets.
6. Don’t put 100% mark up on products in the club shop. We as fan’s will always buy club memorabilia so no need to rip us off, you as a club are still making loads of money.
7. Loyal fans who have a season ticket for 5 plus years should get their season ticket for half price for every year they renew it after that.
Are we as fan’s getting value for money?
You be the judge of that but in my humble opinion no.
Football has become big business at the top level and it has all become about the brand name and how much money they can make.
With no wage cap on players and television money rolling in why would they care about us?
This is where Football needs to be very wary. Your average fan only earns a certain amount of money per month. Yes they may love their club more than anything and be extremely loyal but in everyone’s life there comes a point where priorities take charge and decisions need to be made.
If prices keep rising as they are, then sooner rather than later fan’s will stay away and become arm chair fan’s.
What will football be left with then?
Empty stadiums and players on big wages kicking a ball in silence. That is not something I do not want to see do you?
Football clubs at the top-level don’t rely on the fan’s ticket money anymore to survive. Sponsors and television companies provide the huge profits they make. If the masses leave and stay away they may still be able to pay the enormous salaries to players, so do they really need to worry at the moment?
Probably not so they will carry on as they are.
The problem is bubbling under the surface as all clubs are chasing the dream of making it into the elite league and earning the money. Spending money on players wages they just can’t afford and running at a loss.
Financial fair play is supposed to stop these problems happening but it is just papering over the cracks. All the leagues lower down the football pyramid will start to feel the pinch. Either they chase the dream and get into more financial trouble or they fall behind. It’s a no win either way.
Lets hope more clubs don’t go into administration.
Don’t get me wrong this may not happen for many years to come but if and when it does the football bubble will have well and truly burst by then. Good luck trying to sort it out when the horse has already bolted.
Try watching a game with no fan’s in the ground it’s not the same. The fan’s add the vibe to the game they get emotionally involved in it and give it the passion and drive it needs to survive and thrive.
Wake up football don’t pay the ultimate price and lose the heart and soul of the game….US FANS.
These views and opinions and observations about football are my own and are not based on fact that this will definitely happen.
Thank you for reading this article about the cost of football and when will the bubble burst.
I look forward to your responses about this topic. Please leave me a comment below.