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Football fans face annual £1,570 bill as costs climb


  • Virgin Money Football Fans’ Inflation Index shows football prices rising faster than inflation in the rest of the economy
  • Virgin Money analysis shows the average cost per goal for home fans in the Premier League is £24.47
  • Manchester United offer the best value ‘cost per goal’ at £16.56 but Arsenal fans pay more than double at £36.46 for every home goal

Football fans need to find more than £1,570 to follow their team at home this season, as football inflation continues to beat inflation in the economy as a whole, according to new research from Virgin Money.

Its authoritative Football Fans Inflation Index, which has tracked prices since 2006, shows fans across all four English leagues will need to find an average £1,572 to watch all their team’s home games as costs increase. Virgin Money’s annual Football Fans Inflation Index shows prices have risen 3% compared with 2.8% for the Consumer Price Index.

The rise in football inflation has been driven by increased costs of replica shirts, which are 11% more expensive than a year ago at an average of £38.33 across all leagues. Season ticket costs are up by just 2% and the cost of annual TV subscriptions has increased 3%.

Premier League fans will need to find an average £1,833 each to go to all their team’s home games, Virgin Money’s analysis shows, with the price dropping to £1,634 in the Championship and £1,418 in League 1 and £1,407 in League 2. The average Premier League season ticket price is around £835 compared with £525 in the Championship; £342 in League 1; and £346 in League 2.

As the Premier League season kicks off this weekend, Virgin Money’s analysis shows reigning champions Manchester United offer the best value for money, with home fans paying an average of £16.56 per goal compared with Arsenal fans who pay more than double at £36.46 for each home goal. The average cost per Premier League home goal is £24.47.

Virgin Money has analysed average home goals per season for the past five seasons and compared with prices to produce the cost per goal for fans and it found the top four were Manchester United, Southampton, West Brom and Manchester City while the relegation contenders were West Ham, Tottenham and Arsenal. Cardiff – which sees an average 38.4 home goals per season – could not be included as it operates a game –by-game ticket pricing system.

Graeme Tones, spokesman for Virgin Money, said: “Fans tend to believe that anything is possible at the start of the new season, but one thing that always seems certain is that the cost of watching football goes up. Clubs have generally kept ticket prices under control but the cost of replica shirts has rocketed by 11% across all leagues and that is before personalised names and badges are included.

“Football does tend to operate in its own financial world as the transfer talk and inflated fees show. Clubs however have to bear in mind that costs are rising and fans need all the financial help they can get.”

ClubAverage home goals per season (5 Years)Average matchday ticket, 2013/14 seasonEstimated cost of a goal
Manchester United48.2£42£16.56
West Bromwich Albion31.4£29.50£17.85
Manchester City42.2£42£18.91
Crystal Palace30.4£35£21.88
Aston Villa25.0£32.50£24.70
Stoke City24.6£37.50£28.96
West Ham30.4£51.50£32.19
Tottenham Hotspur31.8£56.50£33.76

The annual Virgin Money Football Fans’ Inflation Index shows that the cost of being a fan for the 2013/14 season has increased by 3% since the start of the 2012/13 season.

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 rise and fall in the costs of supporting their team. The company identified the match day essentials fans buy and keeps tabs on increases and decreases.

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For further information

Kevan Reilly/Chris Jarvis/Chris Wilson – Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 1096/1088/1087

Virgin Money Press Office
Tel: 0191 279 4676

About Virgin Money

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