From the BBC
The Government is "really concerned" about the rising cost of tickets, and has asked for football clubs to review their pricing.
Minister for Sport Helen Grant told the BBC: "I feel clubs really must not take their fans for granted."
The average price of the cheapest tickets across English football has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011.
BBC Sport's Price of Football study analysed prices at 207 clubs. The average price of the cheapest match-day ticket from the Premier League to League Two in England is now £21.49.
The problem here is that football is basically an arms race, with the fans that pay the most (or the teams with the richest sugar daddy owners) getting the best players and winning the trophy. So, if fans pay a bit more at one club, the fans at the next club either have to pay more, or lose.
"I can see why fans are cross. I'm cross," said Grant. "Fans are the lifeblood of the game, without the fans we won't have football the way we know it. To take a family of four to a Premier League match now you're talking about £130, and that's before petrol, parking, a programme, hot dogs, burgers and a drink."
The game is surviving at those prices. If people stopped going because they were appalled at the price and only willing to pay £100, the prices would fall to £100. All the players would have to take a haircut on their salaries (so Wayne Rooney would get £250K/wk instead of £300k/wk) and at the top clubs, every seat is full.
Back in the early 80s, the best players were earning something like £100k/year. You had full grounds then, excellent players like Glenn Hoddle and Gary Lineker. And they probably still collected a lot of the clubs' money, it's just that the clubs didn't have so much.
Justin King, former chief executive of British supermarket Sainsbury's, feels clubs could fail if they do not meet the needs of supporters.
"Any business that thinks it can simply rely upon the loyalty of its customers, regardless of how they treat them, in the end will fail," King, a Manchester United supporter, told the BBC.
But football teams can. They aren't like Sainsbury's where your loyalty lasts a couple of weeks of not being able to get ciabatta or chicken breasts. Even movie and music fans will only give performers 2 or 3 duds before they stop buying from them. But football fans are often for life, will keep on paying to see "their team" even after it's been rubbish for years. That's why don't care about most disgruntled fans. They know they'll keep coming back for more.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
From the BBC