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Big Time Football Draws Further Away from Grassroots Supporters

Pic: pearsonblog
The BBC have released the results of a study into just how much it costs to be a fan of a major football team these days.

The headline figures are telling and say a lot about modern football's shift away from its grass-roots, street level base.

It emerges that the average cost of the cheapest seat in the EPL now sits at 30 Pounds. Note this is for the cheapest seats. While few seats in today's super stadiums are like the old nose bleeds - behind a wall and facing at an angle - these spots are well away from the field.

The minimum wage in Britain in 2015 is 6.70 Pounds/hour. So that means, the man/woman on the street working in the lowest formal jobs in the country (and we all know lower rates are paid in the informal or underground economy) would need to work for almost 5 hours to watch a 90 minute game of football.

Chelsea FC is owned by a Russian whom some consider a modern day Robber Baron - in Russia at least - with an estimated net worth of over US$ 9 billion. He, and his staff, including the players of course, appear unable to spread the wealth and open the doors for the many Chelsea fans who can't afford to attend games at the Bridge.

The club holds the dubious record of charging the highest for the cheapest available tickets. The worst tickets at Stamford Bridge will set one back 52 Pounds, or - give or take - a full day's work for those on a minimum wage. A family of 4? That's over 200 Pounds.

This fee is for tickets bought in advance, say, over the internet (where they will presumably also attract a further transaction fee).

Chelsea FC reportedly pulled in 99 million Pounds for winning the crown last season.

Match day tickets are also out of reach for most. Arsenal FC has the most expensive match day ticket at 97 Pounds (or 15 hours labour on a minimum wage), while Leicester City FC (a club we have praised here before) has the cheapest at 22 Pounds.

This is of course official tickets. Touts outside the ground will charge in the hundreds for tickets on match day.

All this is despite a price freeze at many English clubs last season.

And that's before you even think about having something to eat or drink.. Three Pound pies anyone?

Or buying a replica kit. For a parent on a minimum wage, wanting to buy their son or daughter a Man Utd kit for instance (the most expensive), they will need to put in almost half a working week (about 15 hours) to be able to afford it.

No wonder counterfeit kit is rife.

It seems sad to us at The Kick Project that the wealth the EPL and other leagues have been able to generate seems to have gone solely, disproportionately, to players, managers and club owners.

This all seems greedy and unnecessary. We can only hope these escalating costs peak soon and that the world's best clubs don't forget who put them there



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