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FootballNewsFans of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham ‘most likely to share season tickets because of cost’

Fans of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham ‘most likely to share season tickets because of cost’

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By Nick Harris

23 September 2010

A new poll of almost 4,000 football fans has found that up to one in 12 season ticket holders are sharing their tickets with other fans to keep costs down, and within the Premier League it is Manchester United fans who are most likely to be sharing (12 per cent), followed by fans of Arsenal (9 per cent), Liverpool (9 per cent) and Tottenham (9 per cent).

Cost appears to be only one factor in the decision-making process: Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham all have more expensive “entry level” season tickets than United, for example, and yet fewer fans share tickets at those clubs. The cheapest season tickets are at Blackburn and Wigan, and yet eight per cent of Rovers fans share, but only five per cent at Wigan. Blackpool fans are least likely to share (two per cent), perhaps because the rare opportunity to taste Premier League football is in such demand at a club with the smallest capacity in Premier League history.

The survey was conducted by the Football Fans Census on behalf of Virgin Money, which says in a press release: “With season tickets across the Premier League costing between £209 and £1,370 for the 2010-11 season, it is clear that fans are willing to split the cost of following their team with another supporter.

“And with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham all pushing the upper boundaries of this price range, it is no surprise to see that one in eleven (9 per cent) of their fans are claiming that they plan to share their tickets this season.

“However, success also appears to play a part, with only 5 per cent of fans of reigning Premier League champions Chelsea saying they’d be sharing despite prices of up to £1,210. With Chelsea dropping just five points at Stamford Bridge during the 2009-10 campaign, their fans may also feel more confident than most that they’ll be getting good value for money on their investment.”

Grant Bather, a spokesman for Virgin Money, said: “Clubs may have frozen season ticket prices but some fans are starting to question whether they can afford to support their team week in, week out.

“The discontent amongst Manchester United fans has been well documented over the past few seasons and it’s no surprise to see a significant number of fans electing to share the cost of their season tickets with fellow fans in protest.”

Malcolm Clarke, Chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, commented: “We get more and more reports of supporters sharing season tickets. The main reason is cost. Far too many fans simply can’t afford the burden of paying for a ticket on their own these days.”

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Shared season ticket league table

Club  –   Min. season ticket price Max. season ticket price per cent of fans sharing their season ticket *
Man Utd – £513 – £931 -12%
Arsenal – £893 – £1,370 – 9%
Liverpool – £732 – £785 – 9%
Tottenham – £650 – £1,175 – 9%
Blackburn – £209 – £369 – 8%
Newcastle – £365 – £658 – 8%
Wolves – £522 – £630 – 8%
Aston Villa – £350 – £550 – 6%
Sunderland – £380 – £495 – 6%
West Ham – £600 – £830 – 6%
Birmingham – £396 – £638 – 5%
Chelsea – £695 – £1,210 – 5%
Man City – £420 – £515 – 5%
Stoke City – £449 – £609 – 5%
West Brom – £399 – £499 – 5%
Wigan – £250 – £295 – 5%
Bolton – £339 – £475 – 4%
Fulham – £369 – £899 – 4%
Everton – £528 – £631 – 3%
Blackpool – £382 – £440 – 2%

*figures from club websites as researched by Virgin.

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