Spiga

Inflation in Premier League

Over the years football has become more than a sport. It has become a business, a very profitable one. Being the most popular European domestic league, English Premier League is the most affected by inflation that has resulted from football becoming a business.The cost of watching a match has increased exponentially. The fans already troubled by increasing fuel costs and higher financial interest rates, now has to cope up with the soaring ticket prices as well. Clubs are holding fans to ransom so they can get richer, and the clubs in turn are made to play according to a fixture which is governed more by television telecast timings rather the convenience of the clubs.

Many of the clubs claim that the rice in season ticket prices is in line with inflation. But the arguement is not correct since clubs have raised the prices by percentages that are higher then the rate of inflation. Six clubs have raised the cost by more than 25% which will be a huge burden for the fans. Macclesfield, which plays in League2 increased the ticket price by 36.4%. They may have their own reasons and justifications but a 36.4% increase is certainly very harsh on the fans.

Thaksin Shinawatra, after sacking Eriksson made another unpopular decision by increasing the season ticket price by 19.7%. Arsenal are the most expensive side in England to follow, with the cheapest adult season ticket at the Emirates up 4.5% to 925pounds. Portsmouth increased the ticket price to 600pounds, an increase of 10%.. The teams which are promoted to Premier League - Stoke, West Brom and Hull City, also have increased their ticket prices by more than 12%. But in the case of these teams the price hike is understandable. Wigan, Fulham, Middlesborough and Chelsea have retained the last year's season ticket prices for this year as well while Bolton has decreased the price by 14%.

The trend continues in the lower divisions, with League One club Leeds United one of the worst sinners, charging fans a minimum of 440pounds next season, 25.7% increase. Clubs in the North East are the most greedy, charging a 7.6% increase on average, compared with a 3.6% average rise in London. The Football Supporters’ Federation have criticized the clubs for such unwarranted price hikes and according to them considering the revenues the leagues generate through television deals and merchandising, there is no need for such exorbitant prices.

If clubs continue this trend in the future it remains to be seen how fans will cope up with this. We may see a fall in the attendance in stadiums. The cost of football will drive many fans away and clubs will have to address this problem sooner than later. Or maybe the FA will have to do something about the escalating prices.

[I'm on holiday for a week and this is a scheduled post. So I may not reply to the comments and e-mails till I'm back]

6 comments:

  Chelsea FC-True Blue

17 July 2008 at 14:44

Its really bad on Arsenal's part that they are putting the full burden of paying of the new stadium totally on their fans. Nearly 1000 pounds for a season is simply too much.

  Nithin

17 July 2008 at 16:22

I live in India and it's very unlikely that I'll ever watch a match live. Inflation doesn't really affect those of us who follow football through TV, does it? :D

  Monica 08

19 July 2008 at 00:41

Nithin, that was funny.
I also watch the Premiership matches on TV and I'm in the US. I do feel for the fans in England and have to face the exorbitant prices to follow their favorite Premiership club.

  Aravind

23 July 2008 at 01:48

@Chelsea FC-True Blue: I agree with you totally..But then gooners deserve that.

  Aravind

23 July 2008 at 01:49

@Nithin:
I guess by 'live' you meant watching the match from the stadia.. rite?

  Aravind

23 July 2008 at 01:51

@Monica:

Like us, let them also watch the matches in TV, which in turn would bring the ticket prices down automatically. Then they'll be able to follow their favorite Premiership club without paying exorbitant prices
:D