It seems Premier League clubs are increasingly losing touch with their fans as the prices of match day tickets continue to rise. It has to be noted that with the increasing power of players and their agents to get the very best deal for the long term, clubs have to compensate for that through the raising of tickets.
All of this doesn’t come as a surprise as the Premier League enjoys the greatest exposure of any of the other major Europe leagues around the world; the brand selling extremely well in parts of Africa and East Asia.
More so, the input of television and commercial deals – which are funded through the sale of its products to fans – are extremely high. The television revenue a team gets from performing in the Premier League alone is a stark contrast to that of La Liga, for example, where Barcelona and Real Madrid have monopolised the market to rake in maximum profit, easily setting them apart from the rest of Spain’s clubs.
Last season Arsenal announced that it would be introducing the first £100 ticket. This is not a ticket in the club level, or a ticket which provides added benefits on a match day; it’s simply the best seat in the house. It’s further made ridiculous by the fact Arsenal pride their stadium on not having a “bad” seat.
…begun the process of far outspending in terms of wages…
As has been made clear, clubs in England have begun the process of far outspending in terms of wages in comparison to their counterparts on the continent. It is also a concern that clubs across Europe need to break even to comply with the new Financial Fair Play ruling which comes into play following this season.
You only need to look to the German Bundesliga and see how cheap it is to get tickets to their games. Borussia Dortmund’s impressive 80,000 capacity Signal Iduna Park has a stand which holds 25,000 standing. For little over £10 those fans got to witness their team reclaim the Bundesliga title for the first time in almost a decade.
…fans are right to be aggrieved …
Comparatively, Manchester United charge £55 per match day. Now, it would be easy to dismiss those sort of prices when the club is regularly bringing in silverware. For clubs like Arsenal, who have introduced the first £100 ticket, fans are right to be aggrieved at the thought of their club looking to make a quick profit.
There’s always been a concern as of late for the “lack of atmosphere” at football grounds in England. We do compare shamefully again to those in mainland Europe, and the foundation for that has to be seen in the rise of ticket prices. It’s fair to analyse that the average crowd at a football match in London and Manchester now consists of mostly tourists and parents taking their children on a day out; and the worrying thing is that it seems clubs would prefer to go down this route.
…get maximum profit for that one match…
By raising ticket prices, clubs are not only ensuring they get maximum profit for that one match day, but are guaranteeing that future matches will also bring maximum profit through ticket and merchandise sales.
The phasing out of those less fortunate to pay the rising ticket prices is something which is unfortunately unlikely to change. But demand for football tickets will always be incredibly high, especially in the capital where clubs know there are tourists looking to take in a Premier League game.
Images courtesy of Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund