Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Football: A Rich Man's Game

After reading the title of this post most people can assume I’m talking about the price of tickets in football. If I’m  honest I’m a little pissed off that because Liverpool have kicked up a fuss about paying over the odds on tickets that suddenly it's a huge issue...whereas for me it’s been a huge issue for years.

I haven’t been to a Sheffield Wednesday game in almost 6 years (last game was our 2-0 over Dagenham and Redbridge, the first game of the season back in 2010) and this is simply because the ticket prices are too high. Say this on any forum site and you will be shot down in a blaze of fire, being called an “armchair supporter” or not being “loyal” enough…

Sadly the stubborn people who say these things have a vague idea of a life outside of Wednesday and don’t get the premise that my minimum wage doesn’t cover things like bills, a social life, saving for a mortgage/holiday whilst trying to pay for a whole match day experience which some weeks can cost almost £50 (tickets, petrol and halftime pie included.)

I find it shocking that The Owls’ most expensive ticket is £52 whereas, Premier League table toppers, Leicester charge £50 at most for their big games. It would’ve been easy for Leicester to up tickets prices after their shock rise to fame but to them as they are (currently the cheapest in the league at £22 for Category C) is brilliant to see.

It was well talked about the other year that a season ticket for Bayern Munich was cheaper than a season ticket to watch Wigan Athletic and sadly that is still the same this season as it turns out both Munich and Barcelona’s season tickets are cheaper than every club in England and the SPL...even I was shocked at that fact.

But anyway enough about facts and figures I’m trying to get my true opinion across.

It’s truly disgusting that the fans are just treated like customers. As I stated earlier some people don’t have a life outside of their respective clubs so potentially pricing them out of their only joy in life is an awful thing to do to someone who has dedicated his time and effort to it.

I was talking to the warehouse manager at my work. He’s been a Leeds United fan for over 50 years but hasn’t been to a game in many years. He told me when he was my age tickets were about £3 for First Division football and that he stopped going once they reached £12 due to him being made redundant. By the time he wanted to go again Leeds were in the third division of English football and still charging Premier League prices which he wasn’t willing to pay...does this make him any less of a fan? Of course it doesn’t!

For me there should be a cap on ticket prices in each division respectively. It’s terrible that fans have to pay extortionate prices because of their club’s history. This goes for clubs such as Leeds and Liverpool. I honestly think the only reason Liverpool's prices have gone up this season is because the board are expecting a good season with Klopp at the helm…

That to me though is a form of gambling. We’re all expecting Klopp to do well once his own players are in but how can you guarantee it? We all expected Mourinho to do well this year, what if Chelsea’s ticket prices were raised for this season? We’re all expecting Pep Guardiola to do well at Man City, should they raise their ticket prices? No of course not because nothing is guaranteed in the Premier League.

All it would take is Klopp to flop and this gamble could all come crashing down. As it’s be stated before by countless people ‘football is nothing without the fans.’

With tickets at £77 and more games on television, this will drive fans to just watch the games from home or the pub. And if your child sees you doing that then they’re more likely to do that too when they’re older. In a couple of decades fans will be cheering on their beloved clubs on Sky Sports in the pub while the players play in front of almost empty stadiums. Bill Shankly would be turning in his grave if he could see how Liverpool is run now...

But that’s how football is going now. A money game, funded by the rich for the rich. Hopefully it changes but at the minute I, an armchair supporter on a shit wage, can’t see that happening. If you enjoyed this post please feel free to share it and also tell me how much you pay for your tickets or your reasons for not going to games.

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Cheers for reading.

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