Cost of football tickets soar

Premier League fans face a 7.2% rise in the price of season tickets for next year – an increase that is more than double the rate of inflation.

Despite money engulfing the English game and Premier League clubs enjoying ever increasing revenues from television and sponsorship deals, many of them are riddled with debt. And fans look set to once again bear the brunt as clubs look to recoup some of that money.

Research from the BBC looked at prices for season tickets in middle priced stands for the season just passed and the season coming.

It showed a marked difference within the League average, with FA Cup winner Portsmouth leading the way - hiking prices by 17.5%. This is in stark contrast to Premier League and Champions League runner-up Chelsea, which is imposing no increase for the second consecutive season.

Among the biggest risers were Blackburn (up 12.9%), Sunderland (12%), Tottenham (10.7%) and Wigan (10%), with varying justification for the prices. Carling Cup winner Tottenham said in a statement that it needed extra cash so it could “progress both on and off the pitch”, while Sunderland pointed to the fact prices hadn’t increased in previous seasons.

At the other end of the scale, Tottenham’s north London rival Arsenal raised its prices by a mere 2.6% - despite securing Champions League football yet again and having repayments for a new stadium to make. Another club to introduce a small rise was Manchester City (up 3.5%) and West Ham United (3.8%).

Fans have become increasingly vocal in their angst at soaring ticket prices, with Manchester United fans last November demanding government intervention – an appeal that received backing from sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

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