If you listen to the Severn Sport show (every Saturday 12-2 on Severn FM), then you will know that I am a keen advocate of non-league football. The reason for this: it’s affordable.
Recently the BBC have introduced a yearly ‘Price of Football Survey’, whereby they look at the prices of certain things at all the Premier League, Football League and National League grounds. They include: admission price, cost of a season ticket, cost of a programme, cost of a pie and cost of a cup of tea, amongst other things.
The general consensus when the results of this survey are released every year is that football, particularly the higher up you go in the league pyramid, is far too expensive. For example, should you wish to take in a game at Arsenal, you will already be shelling out £27 for their cheapest ticket.
Should you wish to buy a season ticket for the Gunners, guess how much that’ll cost you? £400? £500? £600?! Oh no, much more than that. At a minimum, you’ll have to fork out £1014 for their cheapest package. That, is not affordable football.
Now imagine, my eyes lighting up when I see the news that the Premier League have taken measures to reduce the cost for travelling supporters by capping away admission prices at £30 a ticket. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
However, Tottenham Hotspur have taken it one step further ahead of their Champions League game with Monaco at Wembley next week after they announced that admission for this game would be just £20. That is ludicrously good for that standard of football.
Imagine then, my absolute horror when I browse Twitter and see people slating Tottenham for this. Why? “Spurs have only sold out because their tickets are £20.” So what?
In the current age of Sky Sports and needing to take out a second mortgage just to be able to afford a season ticket, shouldn’t we be praising Tottenham for taking this measure to make football – and not just any football, the pinnacle of European domestic football, a lot more affordable for their fans?
I get that football rivalries exist and obviously most of the tweets I read were from Arsenal and Chelsea fans, but surely it can’t be too difficult to take a step back and say “actually, fair play to Spurs for doing that”, can it? Maybe I’m just living in a different world.
To me it just seems like Arsenal fans being Arsenal fans: obsessed with what other clubs are doing so they can desperately distract themselves from the shortcomings of their side over the past ten years or so.
I guess that’s football fans for you. I just don’t understand why you would want to berate a club for making a solid attempt at making football more affordable to everyone – after all it was founded on the premise of it being the game for the working man, wasn’t it?