Does The English Premier League Really Want Fans In The Stadium?

“Football with out fans just isn’thing,” goes the quote from the legendary Celtic manager Jock Stein. Few would argue with him. Anyone who had the misfortune to sit by way of England’s latest 0-0 draw with Croatia shall be acutely aware of this: the game was played behind closed doorways as a result of sanctions in opposition to Croatian fans and thus possessed an atmosphere more akin to a morgue than to a serious sporting event.

While the significance of football fans to the game is apparent, it won’t really be that relevant to the clubs themselves. Regardless of the platitudes handed out by managers, gamers and administrator, the financial impact of supporters passing via turnstiles, shopping for merchandise and meals and customarily being present at the event is ever-lowering as tv money turns into the driver behind income. It begs the question of whether or not fans are actually vital at all for clubs to make money. In response to the balance sheets of half the English Premier League (EPL), they aren’t at all.

The price of football, and the perceived rise in it, is a constant bugbear for fans. Ticket costs have grown exponentially for fans, and even factoring in various value freezes put in place across the leagues and caps on the price of away supporter tickets. MyVoucherCodes helpfully compiled the information on this compared season ticket costs and single ticket costs across Europe’s 5 greatest leagues, with the (admittedly fairly apparent) outcomes that the UK is by far the costliest place to observe football.

A median season ticket is £516 and an average single match £28.50, far outstripping say, the German Bundesliga, which averages £159 for a season and £13 per game. Bayern Munich, who regularly promote out their Allianz Enviornment stadium cost just £a hundred twenty five for a standing season ticket behind the goals. Famously, their club president Uli Hoeneß has stated that FC Bayern “don’t think the fans are like cows to be milked. Football has obtained to be for everybody. That’s the largest distinction between us and England.” This isn’t limited to the highest leagues, both: the most affordable common season ticket in the complete English league system, at Charlton Athletic, remains to be more costly than watching Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

The bigger question about who football is for has been finished to demise, and the answer that most have come to is that it isn’t for the working classes. Chelsea FC blogger Tim Rolls has extensively charted the rising prices at his club against the common weekly wage of someone in London, discovering that in 1960, tickets at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge cost 1% of the average weekly wage, which rose to almost 3% by 1990 and in 2010 stood at 10%.

While clubs have carried out a league-wide £30 value cap for away fans, there are not any limits to what they can cost their very own supporters.

“My dwelling season ticket costs £880 for 19 Premier League games,” says Tim of the prices right this moment at Chelsea. “I am additionally an away season-ticket holder and the 19 away tickets cost me £560 (the £30 worth cap is helpful here), plus Southampton give an additional £10 off as a part of their sponsorship deal with Virgin Media. So PL tickets value £1,440 a season.”

“I reckon my away journey in all probability prices around £900 p.a., which assumes no overnight stops. Chelsea do run sponsored £10 coaches to all away games outside London and £10 trains when there is no such thing as a suitable service train, although the provision of those depends upon the not-very-useful train companies. My journey to dwelling games is free as I’m over 60, in any other case it could probably value around £250.”

If the core constituency of the English game is not the working class, then it begs the question of who it’s for. The answer to that is, evidently, the TV audiences at dwelling, who fund the vast majority of the sport through Pay TV subscriptions and the advertising revenue derived from the ability to market directly to them. This is replicated in club finances across almost all levels: manchester united tickets for sale United derive 20% of their income from matchday revenue – a summation of ticket costs, hospitality and food/beverage – while round twice that comes from TV and but more from business deals.