TICKETS, SHIRTS – PRICES ARE STILL A JOKE
WOW, isn’t it great that so many clubs have frozen ticket prices this season? Erm, not really. It’s a bit like freezing the price of a Ferrari – you still can’t afford one.
Fans are still being shafted, yet the way the big boys are slapping themselves on the back, you’d think they’d solved third world poverty.
Don’t get me wrong – a freeze is better than a rise. And there are plenty of great initiatives out there, like Reading’s £135 season ticket for 18 to 24year-olds.
But let’s not pretend this is the second coming of Mother Theresa. Premier League clubs knew long ago that the new TV deal put them in line for a huge cash windfall from next season. Though far less substantial, Football League sides will also benefit in the form of solidarity payments.
If you’re getting extra cash through the tills and charging the same on the gate, you’re hardly doling out charity.
Truth is, though, adults have a choice. If you don’t like the cost, don’t buy a ticket. Take action, or don’t complain.
Far more insidious and cynical are the rip-off children’s replica shirts. A football kit is basically cheap tat, a gaudy sheet of polyester stitched together for pennies in a warehouse in Taiwan.
Yet the average price for a junior shirt is now a shade under £34. Kids don’t understand market forces. They can’t make an informed decision. They want a shirt more than anything in the universe and will shamelessly guilt-trip their hard-up parents into paying for one.
Clubs know this – it’s why they all have three kits and change at least one of them every year. It’s why they charge extra for numbers and names.
It’s exploitation, plain and simple. And if the Leagues won’t take action to prevent it – by, say, restricting sides to a new shirt every three years – the government should.