The Ticket Scandal


Lower and lower attendances in recent years are not only down to some drab seasons but due in part to the hike in ticket prices at all Premier League clubs.

The average attendance at Villa Park this season so far is around 30,000 – a solid figure but well below capacity – and nothing on the 40,000 who turned up to see the Villans against Arsenal, which saw the attendance rise from 28,000 against Hull City. Many on social media sites have argued the 12, 000 additional people who attended the Arsenal match are fair weather fans. Well, I disagree. Fans are looking for value for money; they knew they were more likely to see a good game against Arsenal than they were against Newcastle United a few weeks previously.

Aston Villa is seen as a family club but the prices certainly do not reflect that. Booking seats in the Trinity Road stand for a family of  two parents, an under-21 and a child under the age of eight costs £118. The prices are ludicrous and the club is literally pricing fans out of the beautiful game. The club is not selling to the working class any more at these prices.

I had a season ticket until I got a weekend job. The price of it was not too bad but it was still extortionate compared to the prices of season tickets at Dortmund or Munich. I always said I would continue to go and watch Villa when I could – and I have done so. Once, I could get four tickets for forty pounds but those days are gone.

While season tickets should offer the best value for money, surely it makes more business sense to pack a stadium out by selling cheaper tickets than to leave the stadium 25% empty. If fans had more disposable income, merchandise and refreshment sales would rocket. Sadly, just buying the tickets wipes many fans out in modern day football. This is a problem for all fans, not just Villa fans.

Liverpool away tickets ranged from £45-50 each, which is a ridiculous amount when you take into account food, drink and travel. Only die-hard supporters can afford this, not a standard fan, who is perhaps earning the minimum wage, or a family group. This game was on Sky. Sky is not ruining the game, the clubs are. The clubs are ripping the soul out of football, pricing valuable supporters out of games. Why do they do it ? The Premier League has the biggest commercial revenue of any league in the world. Clubs do not need to drain the fans. Tickets for away fans heading to Stamford Bridge next weekend cost £50-55 while going to see Villa against Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road next month will cost another £40-45 per ticket for adults. Modern football has been destroyed by greed. Something needs to give some time soon. I call on all fans to revolt! Change is needed immediately. Football’s soul is tarnished. You could buy a car instead of attending every away game for Villa – or any other club – over the course of a season! When will football be returned to its rightful owners – the fans?

How much does it cost you to attend away games? I would love to know. Feel free to share your experiences by leaving a comment below.


  1. And yet other clubs have the same issues but do not see there crowds drop by 12k for lesser games?, in fact Villa’s prices are amongst the lower in the league.

  2. Away day, ticket transport and day out your looking easy 100-150, Home games for me looking £70-100 ticket, transport and day out. I do have a ST which helps a bit. I’m glad i have to work 1 weekend in 3

  3. Your right about ticket prices, but its not just those that are the problem.
    Most people look at going to the football as a day out with the kids, that means merchandise, food, drinks, programme etc – It adds up.
    We get the train to the game that has shot up an alarming amount considering the poor service we get.

    I bought a strip for Xmas last year for the lad at over £50 (cant remember exact details) then the week after it got a massive reduction in the sales.

  4. A good article Matt, well done.

    I fully agree with what you are saying and have been talking it for some time now.

    QPR isn’t just £40-£45 it’s also a Monday night in the capital.

    I’d expect to spend easily around the £150 mark with all costs included.

  5. I travel to around 16 away games with my 8 & 10 year old boys and have been doing so for the past 4 seasons. I would estimate the cost of this along with our season tickets is around £5,000.00 per season when fuel, food and other expenses are taken into consideration. I am a normal working dad earning a little above an average salary, we follow the Villa as we are passionate about our club and give up other things in life to be able to do this. I am now changing my outlook on football and we are now going to choose which matches we attend away. I am no longer prepared to pay ridiculous amounts of money to go to places such as Chelsea, Liverpool &, Arsenal. Away fans make the atmosphere at football grounds as most home fans are pretty quite nowadays. I can only see one outcome with the extortionate prices and that will be a season on season fall in attendances, once this happens I don’t believe this will be easily reversed as fans will find another sport/hobby to follow. All PL clubs need to wake up before it is to late and give football back to the working families of this country

  6. While I agree with your general principle, football is a business and the aim is to maximise income. If there is a sellout or near sellout at a game the price has been pitched just right. With Villas crowds being generally 20% down on capacity it’s clear the prices are too high, though with the prices being set at the start of the season it’s difficult to know how to redress the issue. I have to say though that Villa are far from the worst culprits.

    • Then how does the Premier League gain more revenue than any other league, yet the clubs still charge ridiculous prices? It is unnecessary. Selling 40,000 tickets at £10-20 a ticket gives you a better atmosphere, which can drive results, meaning bigger prize money.

  7. I have had to pay full price for a season ticket in the Doug Ellis Upper centre for my 7 year old grandaughter as there are no consessions where I sit unless you have had the seat for several years. I could move to an area where there are consessions but i love where I sit & have had this seat for over 10 years. It annoys me when I look across my row & all I see are empty seats.

  8. Sadly nothing will change. Clubs are happy to have 75% full stadiums and charge over the odds. Should be packed out venues full of people that support their TEAM!

  9. Know what your saying Jamie but its a bit naieve. A lot of fans would love to pack the stadium out and “support the team” but are simply priced out of it. Until we follow the German model of how to run our game properly you can get used to half empty stadiums in the premier league.

  10. this year is my first season ticket free season for a long time and this is for the very reasons mentioned above. I have my own business with Saturdays being my busiest day. However, I regularly shut up shop and go down the Villa indeed home and away.

    So lets take last weeks trip to Anfield: ticket £45, taxis £30 train £27, food £15, drink £60, that’s the best part of £180 not too mention the £50 worth of balloons that got confiscated for “health and safety” reasons and of course the £600 to £800 pound I lose not working. All this for 90 minutes of entertainment.

    Without the business loss which I accept is my choice the price of modern day football is offensive. The president of Bayern last season said he could quite easily put ticket prices up to raise an extra 2 million a match but then goes on to say 2 million is nothing to them and is about 2 minutes in a contract negotiation however that extra few quid has a massive impact on the individual fan.

    Clubs will continue to abuse fan loyalty until we as fans take a stand and I don’t mean marching in London I mean hit them where it hurts… a national non-attendance day.


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