Soccer-English fans pay price as top flight clubs enjoy boom

Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:36pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Season tickets to watch champions Manchester City this season are the cheapest in the Premier League but the eye-watering cost of attending games in England continues to soar.

Despite the money from a record television deal pouring into the top flight of English soccer, fans are still paying through the nose to support their clubs with ticket prices easily outstripping the rise in the cost of living.

The BBC's Price of Football report, published on Wednesday, analyzed 207 clubs, from season ticket prices to the cost of a halftime meat pie, with the results leading to further calls for a fairer deal for supporters.

According to the report the average cost of the cheapest match-day ticket in the Premier League, the Championship, League One and League Two is now 21.49 pounds ($34.23) -- a rise of 13 percent since 2011 compared to a 6.8 percent rise in the cost of living.

While Man City fans, who can still buy a 299 pounds season ticket, might feel relatively well off, Arsenal's cheapest offering is a whopping 1,014 pounds, according to the report.

Tottenham Hotspur's cheapest season ticket is 765 pounds with Chelsea third on the list at 750 pounds. The average cost of the cheapest season ticket in the top flight is 508 pounds, an 8.7 percent rise since 2012.

Chelsea's 'bargain' match-day ticket will leave a 50 pounds dent in the bank account, although Newcastle cheapest match-day seat is only 15 pounds.

The cost of watching soccer in England's top four divisions is in stark contrast to Spain, Germany and France.


Chelsea's Nemanja Matic (L) challenges Arsenal's Danny Welbeck during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London October 5, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth