If We’re Angry About Ticket Prices, We Need To Stop Buying Them

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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5 Responses

  1. Chris Walker says:

    Agree with the sentiments here. How can it be that fans in Germany can organise themselves to protest against ticket prices and we can’t?

    The most obvious example is the Dortmund fans who boycotted the derby with Schalke when being asked to pay €20 to stand up (Kein Zwanni für nen Steher – clumsily translated as ‘No Twenty for a standing place’).

    However, on the example you mention of price variation between the Boleyn Ground and Old Trafford, in the FA Cup prices have to be agreed by both clubs, so one can only assume West Ham are complicit in the £45 price their fans will have to pay. Perhaps West Ham are taking the pragmatic approach to maximising their 45% share of the gate money?

  2. Jamie Smith says:

    I agree with the sentiment entirely and I do think there will come a point that fans say enough is enough and vote with their feet.

    The problem is, certainly in the top flight these days, television money dwarfs income from tickets so much that clubs are probably not going to be bothered if their stadiums are half-empty.

    There’s also the point that fans find it really hard to walk away from their clubs. Although we get treated like normal consumers by clubs these days, we don’t act like them. We don’t generally choose to go somewhere cheaper if we don’t feel we’re getting value for money.

    My own club Burnley wanted £31 for me, as a non-member, to watch the Blackburn Rovers game from the best seats at Turf Moor. I decided I couldn’t justify the spending, but would never have forgiven myself for missing it had we won the game.

  3. Row Z says:

    Ian, if you look at the long term stats for the whole of the post war period, and also at growth rates since the mid 1980s it does seem as if football attendances have been in a period of stagnation for much of the last decade.

    Part of this is due to the recession, though the trend pre-dates 2008. Part too is high prices, but in my view the biggest thing (which is connected to high prices) is a lack of capacity. The Premier league has a capacity utilisation of 93%, compared to 58% for the total football league. The simple economics is that with more demand than supply for many PL games clubs have been getting away with price increases.

    The stadium construction boom also seems to have come to an end after peaking in the late 1990s and clubs are very much taking the easier approach of focusing on growing their TV and commercial revenues rather than trying to meet demand by building huge stadia. It’s very much a short term approach, but one which seems unlikely to change particularly given the growing importance of broadcast and commercial revenue compared to matchday revenue.

    I’ve drawn a couple of graphs about it here: http://rowzfootball.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/the-end-of-growth-have-english-football-attendances-peaked-and-what-happens-next/

  4. kentrebel says:

    A major part of me turning my back on Charlton Athletic was ticket prices. Yes I could afford them but the pain of seeing £20+ being blown on an inept performance or defeat was too much; if Worthing lose yes it hurts, but £9 means that I don’t hate myself for wasting money

  5. Even more ambitiously but necessarily, such a boycott should really be accompanied by a refusal of all away fans to watch the game on television as well.

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