Premier League Club Affordability Study

We all know that Premier League football is not a cheap pursuit, if anything far from it. Much has been made of the fact that the game is no longer one that working class fans can call their own, now it is has become something that the more affluent football fan can enjoy a weekly basis.

With each of the 20 clubs being awash with television money they could actually let supporters watch the matches for free and it still would not have any real impact on their financial bottom line. Unfortunately as we all know, that is very much wishful thinking.

A season ticket is an item that ties you into a club for the space of nine months, a loyalty that simply is not shifted elsewhere and its almost where that loyalty costs fans the most. Clubs know that they have fans right where they want them and in turn can charge pretty much what they want in return for Premier League football.

Now obviously the teams at the sharper end of the table are going to charge more than that of those at the bottom, the simple reason being that they are the clubs that attract the greater demand and with only a finite number of seats in the stadium, then demand is always going to outstrip supply.

But what if we consider geographical factors as well, a club may charge an eye-watering figure in return for a season ticket, but how does that stock up when compared against the average wage for that area. Well thankfully this is something that the people at Adzuna have carried out on behalf of Real Football Data.

Their neat infograph looks at how much each of the 20 Premier League clubs charge in terms of their cheapest season ticket, the average annual salary for that town or city and then the percentage of season ticket cost over the monthly salary. (annual divided by 12)

For example:

Manchester City £310 a season/ £2797 monthly salary = 11.04% ratio

The next step is to put it in a league table, with the lowest percentage ratio at the top and the highest at the bottom.

From here we can see who would be crowned champions, who will have to make do with European football and just who the top three culprits are in terms of season ticket costs over average salary.

As you can see from the affordability graphic below, it is great news if you are a Manchester City fan as they top the table with a 11.04% season ticket to salary ratio, while Huddersfield can at least have something to shout about as they lie in second place at 12.04%

However it is not good news in terms of affordability if you live in London as Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal find themselves in the relegation zone. The Blues command nearly a third of your monthly salary, Spurs is over a third and the Gunners is nearly 40%

While one should not forget that this is looking at the cheapest season tickets, the affordability would be even less if you took either a mid or upper range sample.

Something that just goes to show that Premier League needs to have a good think when it comes to affordability, otherwise the next generation of fans will be priced out of the game, that is if they have not been already.




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