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One In Four Consider Giving Up Season Tickets

Nearly one in four season ticket holders are considering cancelling their tickets and one in 10 are planning to share the cost with friends as recession fears bite football, according to new research from Virgin Money.

The Football Fans' Inflation Index, which has tracked match day costs since January 2006, shows excessive Premier League ticket prices may be putting fans off going to games as the credit crunch bites.

The survey found 24 per cent of season ticket holders are considering cancelling while almost one in 10 fans are considering sharing the cost of a season ticket with family and friends to save cash - a sure-fire way of causing arguments when that crucial game comes round!

Clubs most at risk include West Ham United, Blackburn and Newcastle United where as many as 37 per cent of season ticket holders are having second thoughts about renewing. Even fans of Premier League and European champions Manchester United are feeling the pinch with 36 per cent considering giving up season tickets.

However fans of Wigan are most likely to stay loyal - just 14 per cent are considering giving up their season tickets while 18 per cent of Stoke, Sunderland and West Brom fans are thinking of giving up season tickets.

Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: "Over the last 15 years ticket prices have consistently risen way above ordinary inflation and the industry may well now pay the price for its short-sightedness in allowing that to happen.

"The new TV deal means clubs receive an extra 900m between them, that's 30 for everyone attending a game. They could have afforded to let everybody in for free and still have the same income.

"Clubs will have to cut prices if they don't want to see banks of empty seats."

While this survey covers the English Premier League supporters in Scotland are experiencing similar issues and will be interested to read that MSP Frank McAveety is calling for SPL clubs to allocate free tickets for school kids. With 30,000 empty seats in the SPL every week the clubs certainly need to do something to draw in the next generation of supporter.

PERCENTAGE OF FANS CONSIDERING CANCELLING SEASON TICKETS:

West Ham - 37%
Blackburn - 37%
Newcastle - 37%
Man Utd - 36%
Tottenham - 34%
Portsmouth - 31%
Bolton - 31%
Man City - 31%
Everton - 27%
Aston Villa - 26%
Chelsea - 26%
Liverpool - 26%
Arsenal - 24%
Middlesbrough - 24%
Fulham - 22%
Hull - 20%
Stoke City - 18%
Sunderland - 18%
West Brom - 18%
Wigan - 14%




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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 19 2009

Time: 11:25AM

Your Comments

Encouraging to see that Arsenal have a generally lower level of dissatisfaction amongst their supporters.
Amos.
The club will HAVE to take notice of this, they surely cannot contemplate putting it up again. One of the main reason for my ST is the away credits, i get a general feeling over the grove that it's fashionable to say you have an Arsenal season ticket. This is reinforced by people leaving with 10minutes to go when there's only one goal in it and booing our own (hardly 'support').
shewore
The same survey last year showed 21% considering cancelling last season which didn't prevent them increasing prices for the current season. The atmosphere would seem to make it unlikely that they would go for an increase next season but I wouldn't expect a decrease either.
Amos.
Well... you say that Amos, now i know your fiscally minded (not a dig) and would welcome your thoughts/knowledge. Didn't the board make some murmurs last year through justifying the increase down to inflation? Now we're experiencing and on our way to a fully blown depression which will inevitably have deflation in it's make up - why can't they decrease the prices?
shewore
Because *insert random made up reason*, you see!!! On a positive note - Spurs, 34%!! Still gunna build that new stadium fellers? Lol
Rocky7
The club did justify the last increase on the back of rising costs. Those costs probably won't reduce significantly next season. They could decrease prices but provided they can continue to fill the stadium at current levels that would just reduce revenues. It doesn't make much business sense. It isn't yet clear that we will experience deflation. At the moment we still have inflation just at a declining rate. The likelyhood is that the club will leave prices where they are and just offer more lower price seats on match by match basis if they are struggling to fill the stadium.
Amos.
I know and completely agree re the likelyhood. Just wanted to bring up the inflation excuse. And there's no 2 ways about it in my mind that the club will struggle to fill the stadium going forward, there's inexcusable evidence of it this year already, wait til we finish outside the CL places.
shewore
Average attendances so far this season are 60,001 (99.2%) whereas last season for the whole year they were 60,070 (99.4%). As yet there is no real evidence of a decline of any significance. That may come of course as employment increases and depending on performances but it may not hit us quite as hard as it may some others.
Amos.
I think that while we have 47000 people on the waiting list for a season ticket the prospect of price reductions is far off, regardless of the recession. What many season ticket holders don't seem to appreciate is that not being able to afford a season ticket is not a new thing and there will be many people grateful for this oppurtunity to get hold of a ST. (Not me, I'm in the can't afford it bracket, but then again I was before the recession!). Interestingly though, Amos highlighted that last year 21% of people considered cancelling, I wonder how many actually did. Not many I guess as it's a long way to the back of the queue.
wondrinfree
You're sounding a bit negative at the mo ribbons. I thought we played more convincingly this WE than Man U, Chelsea or Villa, although we all got the same result points wise. Regardless of what the morons in the press would have people believe, I think are star is rising whilst Villa (and dare I say Chelsea) are starting to look increasingly vulnerable. The fat lady hasn't even learned her lines yet!
wondrinfree
Yeah maybe mate and if i had to bet it'd be on us finishing above Villa (when will their luck run out!?). Amos, with regards to your stat about attendance, that is fundamentally flawed through 'bums on seats' but not through revenue, as there are more n more empties at every game.
shewore
The attendances are based on tickets sold which is what matters most in financial terms to the club. Whether there are more failing to take up the seats they have paid for this season than last is hard to say but either way the basis for measuring attendance is the same. Overall attendances in the PL are down slightly (2%) on last season's average. So far ours have held up pretty well considering our indifferent form. I am not ruling it out but there isn't any evidence at all so far that we are about to see our gates slump.
Amos.
A lot of the money the club makes on matchdays is through the hotdogs etc that cost about a score, and spending money in the AFC shop, they must be noticing the pinch. There is no 2 ways about it, the club can announce towards the end of the game that c60k people are there, and you can look around and see the sea of empties. They should base the numbers on the amount of times the turnstile clicks.
shewore
Any profits from the catering goes to the Delaware Company. They bought a 20 year concession from the club so the club gets a fixed fee irrespective of sales. Any drop in food/drink sales only impacts on the concessionaire. The club only announces the number of tickets sold. Thats what drives the price of tickets. Programmes and merchandising aren't a big factor in the revenues though any decline would be unwelcome I guess. I guess they could anounce the numbers through the gate but this only gives the impression that tickets are available when they aren't and doesn't really serve any purpose.
Amos.
can they not lower ticket prices?
Tom14
One minor correction, the club have changed the way they count their attendances this season, though they haven't made this widely known. It's no longer the amount of tickets sold, they actually count every single person who goes through the turnstile and into the stadium- including stewards, officials and even the players! My impression is that there have been far more empty seasts this season than last.
Little Dutch
Totally agree LD, It's almost a standing joke now when they call out the attendance at the end (a few chuckles). It's obvious we haven't 60,000 there each week even though it's a sell out. It's a shame because I know people want the tickets. Some ST holders need to use the clubs exchange system (even if they do pocket some of the money).
navydave
I have heard that story of counting those through the turnstiles which I understand the club do for their own private records but the official attendance figures are those of tickets sold which is standard practice for all clubs selling on a ticket only basis. It would be silly to claim a match is sold out which is the case in virtually all PL games at the Emirates this season if it isn't. They would just be cutting their nose off to spite their face apart from making their VAT returns very complicated. The tickets available for the next home against West Ham are only available via the exchange scheme. I think the number of empty seats are unused/unsold season ticket holders and in many cases corporate seats. I know of one major sponsor who still had unused tickets available 24 hours before a match and didn't fill them all.
Amos.
I never like saying things like this because on an internet forum it leaves you open to ridicule, but I am claiming inside knowledge on this one. The attendance given at any one game includes every single person who is inside the stadium- players included. That was changed at the beginning of the season. An example I would use here is our last home game v Bolton, tickets were still being advertised as on sale up until 48 hours before the game, when it was then advertised as a sell out (i.e. when they knew that no more tickets were going to be sold). Yet at the game, I could see down in the West Lower (can't be doing with all this quadrant business) blocks of empty seats- 10-15 seats next to/ behind one another clearly empty. It would have to be an almighty coincidence for these clearly visible 3 vats of seats to be absent ticket holders. Those were seats that were clearly unsold, but the publicity of not being sold out would be very negative for the club. A converse example I can remember of this was when we beat Inter 5-1 in the San Siro, an 80,000 capacity stadium that had no more than 5,000 empty seats on the night, it was full. Yet the tannoy announcer gave the attendance as 41,000.
Little Dutch
It seems then that the club aren't being honest. At the last AGM on October 23rd, 2 months after the season started, Hill-Wood answered a direct question on this and said that they count official attendance figures on numbers of tickets sold. This report (admittedly it is the Daily Mail) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1083630/The-truth-modern-day-attendances-How-clubs-count-missing-fans.html seems to support that. It would seem strange to me, and potentially problematic, to claim one set of official figures publicy and another figure altogether on the clubs VAT return. I guess we'll have to wait until the year end (on interim figures at least) to see if there is any real decline in gate revenue. I am not saying they are but those blocks of seats could be corporates. As I said I know of at least one international company that has not succesfully utilised it's block of corporate seats in recent games.
Amos.
Ha LD that's ridiculous but doesn't surprise me, hilarious! Just imagining Arsene going through the turnstiles in the old East Stand...
shewore
Either way the club would be being dishonest anyway. If every game is really a sell out as advertised, the attendance would be given at the ground's full capacity for every single match.
Little Dutch
Wouldn't the final figure be dependent in part on whether the away side takes its full allocation? It's unlikely to be a round number every time.
Amos.
When the away side don't take their full alocation, we sell the tickets ourselves (hence the movable barriers in the South Stand lower tier). Besides, most clubs take 1,400 allocation and the 500 or so empty seats the tannoy announcer would have you believe that are not taken would be very easy to spot amongst that number. I can't remember too many occasions where the visiting allocation has had gaps that large, even Bolton managed to sell all of their 1,400 tickets.
Little Dutch
According to the records the maximum capacity is 60,355 but the largest attendance we have had at the Emirates to date is 60,161 against ManU so we never ever 'sell out' in that sense. I wonder why the difference? Security allocation maybe? But with 'attendances' or more accurately 'tickets sold' usually above 60,000 the variation between the effective maximum gate of 60,161 and this seasons reported average of 60,001 (tickets sold) is only 160.
Amos.
I wonder if this is a connected point, but we "lost" some 122 seats over the summer. When the stadium opened the maximum capacity was given as 60,477, in the summer it mysteriously fell to 60,355. I hope the IRS aren't reading at this point :-)
Little Dutch
I think whatever the percentage is, the top clubs will ALWAYS fill seats on a regular basis. When you're part of a winning club, its easy to get fans to the stadium.
ForeverUnited
It's understandable that so many are thinking of giving up their season tickets when alot face an uncertain future regarding their jobs.
hackneyval
Good to see that there are more Spuds wanting to give up their season tickets than Arsenal fans.
hackneyval
"wait til we finish outside the CL places". - shewore Optimistic as always mate? lol We can still finish top 3 or even 2 imho.
LondonGooner
 

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