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BBC’s Price of Football survey: ticket price increases outstrip cost of living

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The annual Price of Football survey by the BBC shows that the average price of tickets for English football clubs has risen at twice the rate of the consumer price index.

The average price of the cheapest match-day ticket (calculated for clubs from the English Premier League down to League Two) is now £21.49 – an increase of 13 per cent since 2011. In the same period, cost of living in the UK has gone up by 6.8 per cent.

Only five Premier League clubs have single match tickets available for less than £25 (Aston Villa, Hull, Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham), while fans of nine clubs will have to dish out at least £30 to see their team.

There are, however, regional differences.

The cheapest season tickets at North London-based Arsenal FC – a club that has only won one trophy in the past eight years – cost a whopping £1,014, while fans of defending champions Manchester City can buy a season ticket for £299. Arsenal also boasts the most expensive season tickets at £2,013.

To see the prices of tickets at each of the 176 football clubs covered by the BBC survey, click here.

Increases in ticket prices comes at a time when the money clubs receive from broadcasting rights is at an all-time high.

When the English Premier League negotiated the latest round of broadcasting rights (from 2013 to 2016), it secured a deal worth an estimated £5.6bn – compared to £3.18bn from the previous three-year cycle. The deal agreed in 2007 (2007-2010) was estimated at £2.7bn.

Clubs such as Arsenal – the club with the most expensive tickets in the UK – have come under fire from fans’ groups for increasing ticket prices at a time when they are securing improved deals from broadcasters.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said: "We want football to be affordable for all. At a time when there's more money in football than there ever has been before with the incredible television revenues coming in, it is ridiculous that fans are still being squeezed.

"Some of that money has to be made available to subsidise tickets rather than creating a climate where prices are constantly going up."

Premier league clubs have, however, defended themselves by pointing out that attendances at matches have not dropped – an indication that they have got the pricing right.

According to the recent Annual Review of Football Finance, by business analyst Deloitte, the combined total of English Premier League clubs' revenues broke the £3bn mark for the first time during the 2013-14 season.

• The Price of Football is in its fourth year and is the largest study of its kind in Britain, covering 176 clubs across 11 division in British football and 31 clubs from 10 different leagues in Europe.

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The annual Price of Football survey by the BBC shows that the average price of tickets for English football clubs has risen at twice the rate of the consumer price index.
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