There are no set guidelines for deciding what football team to support. It could be your local club or one close to your roots, your Dad’s team, the team your favourite player turned out for, or you could even wind up supporting Accrington because your dog’s called Stanley. Whatever the reason, it’s good to know how much your support is going to cost you. And given that the people behind B – Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank – have their roots in Scotland and England respectively, here’s a breakdown of the costs of being a top-level fan in both countries.*
The latest kit
Buy your team’s new top and you’ll pay:
- SPL: £44.27 on average
- EPL: £49.68 on average
Heading to every home match will set you back:
- SPL: £351.71 on average
- EPL: £699.60 on average
Which teams’ fans have to make the longest journey?
- SPL: Ross County and Kilmarnock
204 miles between the two.
- EPL: Sunderland and Bournemouth
354 miles between the two.
In the stadium
Pick up a pie and a programme and you’ll have to spend:
- SPL: £4.96 on average
- EPL: £6.77 on average
On the telly
How many games will you be able to watch this season?
- SPL: 70 games
30 on Sky and 40 on BT.
- EPL: 168 games
126 on Sky and 42 on BT.
With the brand new and much-talked about TV deal for the 2016/17 season, each team in the English Premier League is set to rake in an extraordinary £120m a year, with the winners taking home an estimated £150m on top of that. Now, you might think that all the extra cash generated by such deals would mean that fans could save a few pennies. Sadly not, as matchday and merchandise costs are still gradually rising. So to help, The Team at B have put together some champion tips that could help you enjoy the world’s favourite game for less.
One thing’s for sure, football season and fashion season are two entirely different things. So there isn’t any real need to keep up with your team’s latest kit. Instead, try rediscovering those forgotten about strips from yesteryear. You know the ones at the back of your cupboard? That way, you can still sport your team’s colours without having to rush out for their brand new top on launch day. Sites like classicfootballshirts.co.uk (opens in a new window) have a range of vintage bargains on offer, plus there is always a good deal to be found on eBay (opens in a new window).
Failing that, why not do away with the top altogether and opt for the practicality of a cosy team hat or scarf? Or if you’re in the habit of getting your favourite player’s name printed on your top, then remember that even though you won’t change teams, players can. You could always get your own name on the back instead (and then pretend you’re their latest star signing).
Just the ticket
Unfortunately the price of tickets tends to be the price. However, if you’re clever, there are ways to save a penny or two here and there. If you plan on going to lots of games, the obvious solution is a season ticket. But this is a pretty big commitment, so if you’re prone to saying “I’ll give it a miss today” then perhaps go on a game-by-game basis. Alternatively, share the cost of your season ticket with a friend or family member and attend alternate games. Most clubs will offer half-season tickets around December time too, so another option would be to see how your team is doing before taking the plunge at the turn of the year. Or you could always put one on your Christmas wish-list.
Match pricing is often tiered depending on where you want to sit, but there are still great views to be had in lower price brackets. Sites like aviewfrommyseat.co.uk (opens in a new window) will help you see where you are buying. Look out for promotions too, such as kids-go-free offers, as clubs will often run these for lower profile games.
Following your team around the country can be an arduous task, and when you take into account petrol and parking, or the costs of train tickets, then it can be a pretty pricey one too. Sites like liftshare.com (opens in a new window) and blablacar.com (opens in a new window) allow you to hitch a ride to the game with fellow fans, or to fill the empty seats in your car and make a bit of money back. When heading to a different city, getting parked in a suitable spot can be tricky. In order to avoid expensive car parks and on-street parking you could always plan ahead and try your luck at renting a driveway near the stadium using sites like justpark.com (opens in a new window).
Make substitutions on matchdays
When it comes to food and drink, you’ll notice that prices around the grounds are almost always inflated. The best advice would be to try and sneak in your own juice and snacks instead – just like you do at the cinema (don’t try and deny it). Although, let’s be honest, if you’re sitting in the cold, wind and rain, often you just cannot beat a piping hot pie and a cuppa. In terms of other costs, if you’re someone who likes to buy a programme, then have a look on your club’s website first. Nowadays, some teams have digital programmes available for download which are cheaper than the printed copy, and then cheaper again if you were to subscribe for the full season.
Beat the TV companies
Those of you who prefer to take in the beautiful game from the beautiful surroundings of your living room will have noticed the ever rising price of TV sports subscriptions. After all, how else can these companies afford to pay the clubs so much? Statistics tell us that you armchair fans are likely to spend £1,088.88 a year (opens in a new window) to have access to every live game on Sky Sports and BT Sport. Chances are, your mates who follow the same team will be paying out too. Instead, you could all share the cost of these subscriptions and get together at weekends to watch the games – all you’d have to do is work out who’s willing to play host, but you can change it every season.
Failing that, hit the pub and enjoy the game with an atmosphere. Or, go old school and tune in to Match of the Day for all the free highlights – you’ll even get to see Gary Lineker in his underwear if he’s a man of his word.
This blog is a bit of fun and not intended to influence your decisions in any way. The content of the blog is reliable at the time of publishing, but we can’t guarantee that it is neither error nor omission free, beyond our knowledge. The links are there for you to explore if you wish, but we don’t have any connection with the third party sites, nor responsibility for them or their content.