World of Sport

Top flight seats rose nearly ten times faster than inflation

World of Sport

View gallery

.

Premier
League football clubs have come under fire for pricing fans out of the game by forcing up ticket
prices over the last 20 years at rates of nearly 10 times that of inflation.

A report by
David Conn in The Guardian claims that the cheapest seats available at each of
the six clubs that have remained in the top flight - Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton and Aston Villa - since 1989 have risen by an
average of 719 per cent. That compares to a general inflation rate in the UK of
77.1 per cent over the same period.

In the
1989-90 season, when the Taylor report into the Hillsborough disaster first
recommended all-seater stadiums, a ticket to watch Manchester United at Old
Trafford cost as little as £3.50.

If football
ticket prices had risen at the same pace, fans today would be able to buy a
ticket at Old Trafford for just £6.20. Instead, the cheapest seats in the 70,000-seater
stadium fetch £28.

United are
far from the worst offenders, however, with Liverpool and Arsenal's cheapest
seats both rising more than tenfold, from £4 and £5 to £45 and £51
respectively.

View gallery

.
2010 Old Trafford - 0
The
improvements to stadiums account for some of the increase, but one expert told The
Guardian that the huge rise in costs for ordinary fans has almost nothing to do
with those changes.

"The
grounds have improved out of all recognition, but the ticket price increases
have not mostly been necessary to pay for that - they are now going into the
arms race of escalating players' wages," said Rogan Taylor of Liverpool University's
football industries group.

Taylor
added that it is the youngest and oldest fans who are priced out of
watching live football.

"The two groups who were
clearly excluded when the prices went up were older people who had stuck with
the game through some terrible times, and young people," he said.

Malcolm Clarke of the Football Supporters' Federation echoed those sentiments, and warned that younger fans are already being forced out.

"Football, by tradition, was always accessible to almost everybody," he said. "Now, if they are interested, they are watching the game in the pub."

Premier
League spokesman Dan Johnson defended the increases, however.

"Twenty
years ago many people were excluded for different reasons: the atmosphere was
hostile and many grounds inadequate," he said.

"We
argue the experience has improved enormously, crowds have increased hugely and
a wider section of society feel comfortable coming to football."

Club Cheapest ticket in 1989-90 Cheapest ticket in 2011-12 Percentage increase

View gallery

.
£4 £45 1,025%
 

View gallery

.
£5 £51 920%

View gallery

.

£3.50 £28 700%

View gallery

.
£4.50 £36 700%

View gallery

.

£7 £47 571%

View gallery

.

£5 £25 400%
View Comments