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Out of pocket

Football Fans S'PORT

No surprise when latest intelligence suggests that it’s getting more expensive to watch and attend football matches. I read with interest the latest “Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Price Index” which has said that in the last 24 months prices have risen by more than 36 percent.

Just how much appreciation is there ‘club-wide’ on the state of the economy. Football is just one option as people have to make tough decisions on their discretionary, leisure spend – or not spend at all – as belts tighten and families feel the pain in their pockets. Contrary to fans’ wishes, the mortgage, food and fuel might be necessary priorities when selecting where that hard-earned cash goes.

More than one in four fans will cut back on the number of games they go to this season as the UK’s economic slowdown spreads to football. Promotional offers, loyalty schemes, discounts and tiered pricing will be evaluated and implemented for the ‘original’ fans. Yet the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ may buck the trend and prop up other revenue streams.

QPR has put up prices by 40 percent next season as they return to the top flight of English football. Manchester United’s top price season ticket has hit £950 for just 19 games and fans must pay extra for domestic cup and European competitions. Surely, there’s potential, especially lower down the leagues, for an innovative approach to ticket pricing and other match day purchasing? I’m available if anyone wants to talk.

FC United continues with its “name your price” strategy on season tickets: radical but with some success.

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