THE COST OF FOOTBALL – when will the bubble burst?

pay-here-parking sign


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?

Ticket prices








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.

Thank you

Best wishes


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16 thoughts on “THE COST OF FOOTBALL – when will the bubble burst?

  1. Matthew,

    Hi, Great article, interesting, and informative.  I live in the U.S. so I need a little help with some of the terms you used, “Let’s hope more clubs don’t go into administration.”  I’m not sure what this refers to.

    Your article made some very valid points in regards to the increasing prices of tickets, refreshments, parking, and logo clothing.  It appears they are pricing themselves out of the market.  The same thing is happening here in the U.S. We love to go to baseball games, but the only affordable seats are in the nosebleed section and facing the sun.  I live in Texas and you don’t want to be facing the sun when its 100 degrees or hotter.  

    I don’t know about England, but in the U.S. the only way prices will go down is when the fans stop going and I mean literally 3/4 of the fans would have to stay home all season, but so far that hasn’t happened, so the prices haven’t gone down. 

    My husband and I usually try to go once a season and when we go we have to figure our tickets $50-$75 apiece (that’s buying them at the discount website), $20 parking, and soda is about $5, and a hotdog about $10.  So you’re looking at about $100 per person minimum.

    I don’t think the owners or players of these franchises realize the support they receive from the audience until like you say, they aren’t there anymore, but then it will be too late.

    They are all caught up in huge profits and over-the-top salaries,  they have forgotten the fans.  They will wake up when the stands are empty, but I don’t think that will be anytime soon, at least not here.

    Your article is well written and easy to read, I can tell you are a great fan of football, and would love for it to be more affordable.  Hopefully more fans will read this and join together and quit buying the tickets.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Cora.  Thank you for taking the time out to leave me a comment I really do appreciate it.

       I forget sometimes that the football sayings we use in the UK are no the same as elsewhere. A Football club going into administration means they are not able to support themselves financially anymore and they have to find some help financially from an outside source, call in the liquidators or find themselves folding as a club and not existing anymore.

      This is very hard for the community they exist in. Most Football clubs in the UK are steeped in tradition within the community and it is a massive part of peoples daily lives.

      I am glad you enjoyed the article and found it interesting. I do hope someone within football is seriously looking and ways to bring down the cost of football prices.

      Football’s greatest fear should be letting people walk away from the game they care about so much but just can’t afford to go to watch it anymore. That would be a very sad day indeed.

      Fingers crossed it never comes to this.

      Best Wishes


    2. hi cora.
      Thank you for the fantastic comments. I agree with all the points you have made. I don’t see fans joining together and stopping buying the tickets anytime soon though, as we all love the game to much and what else would we have to talk about on a Monday morning. It’s a shame that they feel the need to rip us off though.

  2. I hope that your post will be well read so that the important points you have made won’t go unnoticed. While reading this post I was really thinking about the reality of the situation. These days our sons are interested in football for the business and not the love and I guess that because of the way it is marketed.

    You have suggested some awesome solutions to the problem. 

    Excellent post.

    1. Hi Brenda. Thank you for taking the time out to read my post and leave me a comment.

      Yes I agree with you I think more and more of us or looking at Football as a means of making vast amounts of money and not getting into the game for the love of it.  That seems sad but I suppose it’s the way of the world these days.

      Will people high up in Football look at ways of bringing down the costs of Football?  Who knows, but fingers crossed they are.

       Finding ways to drop some cost would keep us fans going to the Football games for many years to come.

      Best wishes


  3. Wow, I did not relize that there were so many costs involved in football.  I remember playing when I was younger.  There are so many costs to consider, getting to the game paying for the ticket to the game and then even more when paying at the club shop.  That doesn’t even include grabing a bite to eat.

    1. Hi.  Thank you for the comment. Like most sports these days it seems to be all about making money which is not all bad as playing sport for a living is a good thing.

       I just wish sometimes football would stop to think and care a bit more about us hard working fans, who have to pay for all the football stuff like boots and gloves etc.

      Best wishes


    2. hi shy. thank you for the comment. It is becoming more and more expensive to watch football these days and the cost of buying the merchandise for the club you support has gone up too. It is mind blowing when you start to add it all up. It is a game we all love so it is frustrating for us fans cause we have it in our blood and will probable never stop loving football

  4. Hello Matthew,

    This is so true about major sports in general all over the world! They just keep going up on the prices but what I see is that all the stadiums are full and there is not enough room to park your vehicles. 

    Not that familiar with the football leagues in Europe but have been looking for some games to take my son and daughter to where they can see some professional players play the game.

    Just now learning this sport because of my kids involvement and your article explains some of the responsibilities of the players and that is making more sense to me now that I have watched some of this.

    Thanks for sharing this information and your passion for the sport.  

    1. Hi Chad. Thank you for your comments and for reading my post.

      We all love to watch sport but sometimes these days I think the people in charge of Football clubs don’t seem to care about us fans anymore with the way they keep putting up the prices of everything.

      No one begrudges anyone making a living from doing something they love, especially playing Football, but if they want to keep doing it for many years to come then football will have to take a long hard look at how they are treating the loyal fans. They need to take a look at how they can bring the prices down.

      Take care

      Beast wishes


  5. This is a perfect example of greed with in the sports arena wether it is uk football or u.s. football,baseball even golf and polo have seen prices elevated over the past decade to the point they are already losing fans. My opinion it will continue until we as spectators go on strike. If we fans just went on strike to 1 or 2 games they will be playing to an empty arena then and only then perhaps the bubble will burst.

    1. Hi Cathy. I am in total agreement with you. 

      Football is just one example of greed in sports, but you are right you could name many different sports where they have the same problem.

      It is an entertainment industry so no one minds the stars earning the big money, but even the wages have become obscene amounts they earn.

       If and when the bubble ever bursts in Football, beware those in charge who will have to keep paying the money out to those stars. As by then us loyal fans would have gone away, taken our money, and be spending it somewhere else.

      Thank you for taking the time out to comment on my post.

      Best Wishes


  6. Wow, when you sit down and do the maths, you realise that it is quite expensive to be a football fan. Unfortunately, football is becoming more about the big bucks and less about the fans. Although there would not be so much money in it without the loyal fans. I don’t think big business will forego short-term profit unless they really cared about the fans and football. You have some really good ideas and I hope somebody is paying attention to the fans.

    1. Hi jenny.  You never know who may read a post you put out for everyone to see so yes hopefully someone pulling the purse strings of Football will notice what I have to say.

      It is true what you say, they have forgotten us fans or so it seems. It is a massive business now and while the money is rolling in they have no need to worry but what will happen.

       If people like you and me suddenly can’t afford it anymore and drift away from watching sport then who knows what will happen to the game. Who will they sell all there football boots and merchandise to?

      Thank you for commenting on my post.

      Best Wishes to you.


  7. Let me get this straight, you are saying that it costs 40 pounds for a two hour game just to park…. not even for the game it self, just to park? 1000 Pounds for a season? WOW. I mean, if you have that kind of indispensable income. But most people don’t. And when you broke it down; all the costs that are necessary just to get to the park, the costs of the high end “club shop”, the cost of the food! Everything is just going to burn a hole in your pocket. I agree with you, the the games should be more considerate to the people paying because it really is an arm and a leg just to have the whole game experience! That isn’t fair to do to fans at all.  What can be done about this?

    1. Hi Sophia.  Yes that was the cost of the parking £40 in London. I bet someone paid it too.  More the fool them.

      I have no idea what Football is going to do about trying to keep the costs down for fans, that is why I though I would highlight this problem in this post.

      I do hope someone in Football takes notice of this and is working to find some solutions. 

      The worst thing for Football would be for the masses of loyal of fans to drift away from watching the game, not because they don’t love the game but due to not being able to afford it. 

      Let’s hope it never comes to this.

      Thank you for taking time out to leave me a comment. I really do appreciate it.

      Best Wishes


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