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Fans share season tickets in bid to cut costs

  • One in eight Man Utd season ticket holders plan to share the cost of a season ticket
  • Blackpool fans are least willing to split the cost of season tickets

Up to one in 12 season ticket holders are sharing their tickets with other fans in order to keep down costs, with Manchester United season ticket holders the most likely in the Premiership to share their tickets with other supporters, according to Virgin Money’s authoritative Football Fans’ Index1.

Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Index shows one in eight (12%) Man Utd fans are sharing this season and the club has confirmed that the 54,000 target for season ticket sales for the 2010/11 season has been missed with around 51,800 sold.

With season tickets across the Premier League costing between £209 and £1,370 for the 2010/11 season, it is clear that fans are willing to split the cost of following their team with another supporter.

And with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham all pushing the upper boundaries of this price range, it is no surprise to see that one in eleven (9%) of their fans are claiming that they plan to share their tickets this season.

However, success also appears to play a part, with only 5% of fans of reigning Premier League champions Chelsea saying they’d be sharing despite prices of up to £1,210. With Chelsea dropping just five points at Stamford Bridge during the 2009/10 campaign, their fans may also feel more confident than most that they’ll be getting good value for money on their investment.

Meanwhile, fans of newly-promoted Blackpool appear determined to enjoy their first season in English football’s top tier, with only 2% of season ticket holders claiming they’d be willing to share their ticket with another fan.

Grant Bather, spokesman for Virgin Money, said: “Clubs may have frozen season ticket prices but some fans are starting to question whether they can afford to support their team week in, week out.

“The discontent amongst Manchester United fans has been well documented over the past few seasons and it’s no surprise to see a significant number of fans electing to share the cost of their season tickets with fellow fans in protest.”

Malcolm Clarke, Chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, commented: “We get more and more reports of supporters sharing season tickets. The main reason is cost. Far too many fans simply can’t afford the burden of paying for a ticket on their own these days.”

Shared Season Ticket League Table

Club

Min. season ticket price2

Max. season ticket price2

% of fans sharing their season ticket

Man Utd

£513

£931

12%

Arsenal

£893

£1,370

9%

Liverpool

£732

£785

9%

Tottenham

£650

£1,175

9%

Blackburn

£209

£369

8%

Newcastle

£365

£658

8%

Wolves

£522

£630

8%

Aston Villa

£350

£550

6%

Sunderland

£380

£495

6%

West Ham

£600

£830

6%

Birmingham

£396

£638

5%

Chelsea

£695

£1,210

5%

Man City

£420

£515

5%

Stoke City

£449

£609

5%

West Brom

£399

£499

5%

Wigan

£250

£295

5%

Bolton

£339

£475

4%

Fulham

£369

£899

4%

Everton

£528

£631

3%

Blackpool

£382

£440

2%


Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Index has tracked the cost of football since January 2006 and is aimed at helping supporters keep track of the rises and falls in the costs of supporting their team. The company identified the match day essentials fans buy and keeps tabs on increases and decreases.

At the launch of the index in January 2006, the match day basket of goods* cost £77.95. However the most recent analysis puts the cost at £97.50 – a rise of £19.55 or 25% per match day. Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Index runs every three months and the firm’s research team examines the cost of items such as a gallon of petrol, match tickets, food, alcohol, train tickets and replica shirts.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

1 Football Fans’ Census interviewed a representative sample of 3,992 football fans between 20 August and 3 September 2010. The basket of goods includes a gallon of petrol, a pint of lager, a bacon roll, a train fare, a match ticket, a replica shirt, pay-per-view cost and a match programme.

2 Season ticket prices taken from official club websites.

For further information

Grant Bather
Virgin Money
Tel: 07834 844 427

Kevan Reilly / Chris Jarvis
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 638 9571

About Virgin Money:

  • Virgin Money is Virgin’s financial services arm and was established in 1995 as a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Norwich Union.
  • In 1997, Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services Limited launched The Virgin One Account, a joint venture with The Royal Bank of Scotland that offered the UK’s first current account mortgage direct to the retail market. In 2001, RBS bought out the Virgin Group’s stake in the joint venture.
  • In April 2004 the Virgin Group took 100% ownership of Virgin Money.
  • Virgin Money currently has over 2.5 million customers and offers Payment Cards (Credit Cards & Prepaid Cards), Savings and Investment products (Stakeholder Pensions, Children’s Pensions, Employers Pensions, FTSE Tracker ISA, Bond & Gilt ISA, Climate Change ISA, Cash ISA, and Unit Trusts), General Insurance products (Motor, Home, Travel, and Pet) and Life Assurance products to the UK market.
  • Virgin Money’s brand ambition is to make “everyone better off” – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders.
  • Virgin has signed a five-year deal to be the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual fundraising event in the world. The inaugural Virgin London Marathon was on 25 April 2010. Virgin Money, the financial services division of the Virgin Group is leading the London Marathon sponsorship with the ambition to help runners raise £¼ billion over 5 years and will use its infrastructure, online capability and financial expertise to deliver that through Virgin Money Giving.
About The Football Fans’ Census:

The Football Fans Census is the leading football research expert providing a communication channel between the supporter and the football industry.

About the Football Supporters’ Federation

The FSF represents over 180,000 members supporting clubs and national teams at all levels throughout England & Wales.

www.fsf.org.uk