Cost of football hits four-year low

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Virgin Money’s latest Football Fans’ Inflation Index, released today, shows that the cost of following football has fallen to a four-year low as clubs across the divisions cut ticket prices in a bid to keep fans onside.

In sharp contrast to rising prices in the wider economy, where the Consumer Price Index is 3.4 percent, inflation for football fans has fallen 5.2 percent in the past year with the cost of attending a game at its lowest level since May 2006. Virgin Money argue this is mainly attributable to football clubs across the Premier League, Championship and Leagues One and Two trimming ticket prices to ensure stadiums are still full.

The index measures costs from a “matchday basket” including a pint of lager, a match ticket, a replica shirt, and a match programme as well as some travel expenses. The latest figures show the average price of going to a live game is still a hefty £84.89 but down from an all time high in October 2008 of £106.21.

The last Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Inflation Index was released in March 2010 and showed up to one-in-four season ticket holders were considering not renewing in a bid to cut costs with four percent planning on giving up the game entirely and 21 percent looking to buy tickets when it suits.

“This reduction in the very high cost of watching football in this country is very welcome, particularly at a time when unemployment is rising,” says FSF chair Malcolm Clarke. “But we have to remember that these costs are still very high compared with many of our European counterparts and with other forms of entertainment.

“Football still has a very long way to go before it once again becomes accessible to all sections of the community - particularly at the top end of the game.”

THE RISE AND FALL OF FOOTBALL’S COSTS:

January 2006 - £77.95
May 2006 - £84.80
September 2006 - £90.29
January 2007 - £90.46
May 2007 - £90.87
September 2007 - £95.08
February 2008 - £85.19
July 2008 - £87.75
October 2008 - £106.21
January 2009 - £95.60
May 2009 - £89.53
August 2009 - £101.02
November 2009 - £102.53
February 2010 - £89.09
June  2010 - £84.89 

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