The BBC Price of Football study revealed some interesting figures and facts. Birmingham City’s tickets are reasonably priced compared to other Championship clubs; only Blackpool and Charlton had cheaper season tickets. But Birmingham don’t look so good in the ‘Price of a goal’ table. Based on last season’s results and the cheapest season ticket price, a home goal cost about £11.50 at Birmingham in 2013-14, which was expensive for Championship goals but less than half the £27.36 per goal paid by Arsenal fans*. Premier League prices are outrageous.
FC United of Manchester, set up by disaffected and disenfranchised Manchester United supporters, do things differently. They play in the Northern Premier League so are obviously not going to charge Football League prices and they have a pay-what-you-can-afford scheme. Their Season Tickets page lists the minimum price of an adult season ticket as £100 but they ask for an average donation of £60 in addition to that. Under 18 season tickets cost £21.
Tickets are also cheaper in other European countries and this is attracting English fans. One of the BBC’s ‘Price of football’ articles is on why English fans go to watch Borussia Dortmund. The cheap tickets, cheap beer and atmosphere are attracting more than 1,000 English fans to every home match. The article quotes a Dortmund fan who no longer regards English football as what football is all about. Now, the English crowds are quiet. “If you price people out, you change the atmosphere. If you price people out, it isn’t the people’s game anymore.”
The attendance at Dortmund’s home games averages 80,291 in a stadium with a capacity of 80,645. The article recounts what happens after a game that Dortmund lost. None of the fans leave the ground and the manager and players go over to the south stand and stand for 5 minutes looking up at the Yellow Wall of shirts, scarves and flags. What a contrast to St Andrew’s where an increasing number of people are leaving before the final whistle.
*Use Price of Football calculator to get to table showing price per goal.