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.