Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Is football still a game the working class can still enjoy ?

A interesting survey is out today from the BBC. Investigating the prices of football and going to a match in this day and age.

Only 11 out of the 104 clubs in England and Scotland will offer adults the chance to enjoy a day at the football for less than £20 during the new season.

A survey by the BBC Sport website of every club in the four English divisions and Scottish Premier League showed that fans in the north west have some of the cheapest deals available for matchday tickets.

THE highlightsContinue reading the main story Eight clubs offer tickets for a tenner: Blackburn, Watford, Rochdale, Preston, MK Dons, Rotherham, Torquay, Plymouth
Arsenal's pie is the country's most expensive at £4
Leeds have the most expensive programme at £4, St Johnstone have the cheapest at £1
The cheapest cup of tea in the country is at Crawley 50p. Hereford is 80p
Pies in the south west are generally more expensive (Cheltenham £3.50, Bristol City £3.40, Plymouth £2.90, Bristol Rovers £2.85, Yeovil £3)
Inverness Caledonian Thistle offer the cheapest day out in the SPL - £21.90
Clubs were asked for their cheapest and most expensive possible matchday adult tickets, as well as the prices for a cup of tea, a programme, and a pie in order to work out the price of enjoying a day at the football for fans without season tickets.

In the Premier League Blackburn Rovers offered the best deal at £17.50, while Watford's £17.30 represented the best deal in the Championship. Rochdale and Preston in League One and Rotherham and Torquay in League Two also came in cheapest in their divisions, while Inverness are the best value for money in the Scottish Premier League.

This weekend sees the start of the Football League season in England - a competition which attracted more than 16m fans across its three divisions last season.

John Nagle, head of communications at the Football League, said: "Football League clubs are working extremely hard to attract the next generation of fans through a variety of innovative marketing initiatives. As a result, crowds in recent seasons have been at their highest levels for 50 years."

"Much of the focus is on improving the matchday experience for supporters, particularly families. This has seen the League introduce a programme of 'mystery shopper' visits to matches in order to assess the experience and the introduction of the Family Excellence Award, to reward those clubs that are offering a particularly outstanding day out."

Despite the high attendance figures - an average of 352,260 fans attended Football League fixtures each weekend last season - the chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation Malcolm Clarke says clubs must work harder to ensure football does not become too expensive for ordinary fans.

"This is an industry that has more money going into it at the top of the game through media rights than it's ever had before," said Clarke.

"It's important that football continues to be attractive to the whole cross-section of society, so it doesn't just become something only middle-class and upper-class families can afford."

But despite the prices demand remains strong. Arsenal have the most expensive ticket in domestic football at £100 for one of five category A games for the new season - representing just 1% of tickets available. More than 60,000 fans turned out to watch them draw 2-2 with Boca Juniors in a friendly at the Emirates Stadium last weekend.

And a spokesman for the Premier League pointed out that fans are not being turned off by the expense.

HOW FOOTBALL COMPARES - CHEAPEST DAYS AT LIVE EVENTSContinue reading the main story Iron Maiden at the MEN Arena: £43.10
Hull FC Super League match: £27
England v India at Trent Bridge: £41.10
Nottinghamshire CCC: £21.60
Mamma Mia, Prince of Wales Theatre: £29
"With Premier League grounds over 92% full on average in each of the last three seasons, fans are clearly enjoying the football, and the overall matchday experiences, that are on offer," said a Premier League statement.

"It is also worth taking into account that fans want to watch games featuring top talent in safe stadia; our clubs have invested more than £2bn in facilities and continue to invest heavily in developing and acquiring the best possible players to make the whole fan experience as good as possible."

So is the game still accessible for the working class's. I would suggest yes to a degree but many are finding it harder to get to as many games. Certainly more are taking to support a lower league side and going less often. When the rise of living costs rising all the time people are having to be more selective if and when they go.

Football fans are being treated more and more as customers and clients that need selling to.

This was not the original idea of fans who would traditionally support their local club and at the end of a long hard working week in teh factories could enjoy a time at the football.

It is getting increasingly more expensive and as said in the article it will in future probably only be something which the upper class's (bourgeoisie ) this is a great shame and i feel the game is dying out sadly.

I would recommend any football fan to have a read of this great pamphlett by John Reid a QPR fan who is a socialist party member who has wrote a reclaim the game pamphlett. it is well worth a read to any football fan who cares about the great game.


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