Skip to main content

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


Popular posts from this blog

Post-UNOSDP - Is the IOC fool's gold?

This is a longer version of an article published on
With the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace closed down by the global body, there is undoubtedly a void in this space in which many of us here work.
But, for all the high profile oomph the UNOSDP added to the world of sport for good, it’s passing need not be seen as devastating.
For one, the work the UNOSDP has already done in its 16 years of life has laid a platform for the development of sport for social justice. While many of us knew for years that sport had a wider purpose beyond mere business or entertainment, the UNOSDP has provided a base of credibility that may have otherwise taken much longer to establish.
While much of the work is, in many ways, still to be done, the UNOSDP has left a positive legacy on which we can all build.
More problematic is the shifting of the UNOSDP’s brief to the IOC.
Obliging the IOC to administer to the peace and development facets of modern sport raises three qu…

Statement on Funding for the Rohingya Football Club

We are very pleased to announce that The Kick Project has received a $AUD16,500 donation from the Australian Government to fund a pilot soccer program with Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. The funds, coming through the Australian High Commission in Malaysia, will allow the charity to support the Rohingya Football Club which has become a vital part of the exiled Rohingya community in Kuala Lumpur. The program entails kitting out the team, providing transport to games and establishing a sports and community hub where Rohingya people can access sporting equipment and coaching. Young people, and girls in particular, are the long term focus of the initiative. The Kick Project founder James Rose says the Rohingya are in dire need of assistance. "The UN has called the Rohingya arguably the most persecuted group in the world. They've been forced to flee their homelands in Myanmar, where they have been made stateless by government decree, and many have lost their lives as a result." As r…

Playing for Positives: How Pro Sport and Good Causes Can Work Together

Interesting read from The New Yorker on the authority and power invested in professional athletes, in relation to influencing the progress of social justice.

The focus here is on American sports, but the theme can be easily extended to other sports, worldwide.

It's perhaps no surprise perhaps that the rise of pro sports as a massive industry in its own right, with the parallel gains for individuals in money and celebrity terms, that more athletes don't speak out about important issues. There's clearly a lot at stake, and a lot to lose for those who step off the tightly managed corporate line running through most large sports organisations and clubs.

But, the fact that a large percentage of today's professional athletes come from simple backgrounds, if not from situations of outright poverty and/or abuse, begs the question of why don't more speak up about the circumstances that they escaped from and in which some of their peers in youth remain ensconced?

The Kick P…