One In Four Consider Giving Up Season Tickets
Nearly one in four season ticket holders are considering cancelling their tickets and one in 10 are planning to share the cost with friends as recession fears bite football, according to new research from Virgin Money.
The Football Fans' Inflation Index, which has tracked match day costs since January 2006, shows excessive Premier League ticket prices may be putting fans off going to games as the credit crunch bites.
The survey found 24 per cent of season ticket holders are considering cancelling while almost one in 10 fans are considering sharing the cost of a season ticket with family and friends to save cash - a sure-fire way of causing arguments when that crucial game comes round!
Clubs most at risk include West Ham United, Blackburn and Newcastle United where as many as 37 per cent of season ticket holders are having second thoughts about renewing. Even fans of Premier League and European champions Manchester United are feeling the pinch with 36 per cent considering giving up season tickets.
However fans of Wigan are most likely to stay loyal - just 14 per cent are considering giving up their season tickets while 18 per cent of Stoke, Sunderland and West Brom fans are thinking of giving up season tickets.
Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: "Over the last 15 years ticket prices have consistently risen way above ordinary inflation and the industry may well now pay the price for its short-sightedness in allowing that to happen.
"The new TV deal means clubs receive an extra £900m between them, that's £30 for everyone attending a game. They could have afforded to let everybody in for free and still have the same income.
"Clubs will have to cut prices if they don't want to see banks of empty seats."
While this survey covers the English Premier League supporters in Scotland are experiencing similar issues and will be interested to read that MSP Frank McAveety is calling for SPL clubs to allocate free tickets for school kids. With 30,000 empty seats in the SPL every week the clubs certainly need to do something to draw in the next generation of supporter.
PERCENTAGE OF FANS CONSIDERING CANCELLING SEASON TICKETS:
West Ham - 37%
Blackburn - 37%
Newcastle - 37%
Man Utd - 36%
Tottenham - 34%
Portsmouth - 31%
Bolton - 31%
Man City - 31%
Everton - 27%
Aston Villa - 26%
Chelsea - 26%
Liverpool - 26%
Arsenal - 24%
Middlesbrough - 24%
Fulham - 22%
Hull - 20%
Stoke City - 18%
Sunderland - 18%
West Brom - 18%
Wigan - 14%