Are League One Clubs Overcharging Fans?

Written by Connor Lawson

The cost of football, a topic which has sparked protests and disgruntlement from fans across the UK. The modern game has been tarnished somewhat by clubs outpacing the working class followers of the game.

I thought I would start with the average season ticket prices for each league from the Premier League to League Two

Premier League – £516.90

Championship – £374.46

League One – £301.10

League Two – £279.86

Arsenal are the club which charge the most for a season ticket in England. A season ticket at the Emirates will set you back £1,000. Clubs like West Ham have set a great example, having reduced their season ticket price by £300, although that is likely the cause of more season ticket’s being available at the London Stadium.

In terms of the Championship, Norwich are the club who charge the most for a season ticket at around £600, closely followed by Brighton and QPR. Huddersfield, however, charge under £200.

Astonishingly, eleven League Two clubs charge more for a season ticket than Man City, Stoke and West Ham. Those include Plymouth Argyle and Notts County, who charge £380 and £345 respectively. Leyton Orient are the cheapest at around £180.

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credit Danny Molyneux

Now for League One, this was the league I payed a bit more attention to as it is the league I follow more than any other. In terms of season tickets, Charlton and Bradford charge the least at £175 and £150, whilst Oldham, Port Vale and Southend all charge North of £350. I also decided to look at ticket prices for away fans in League One, as the graphs below show. It should be noted that I took the cheapest prices for teams who offered category systems for games.

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For an adult ticket, a trip to Millwall will cost an away faith most, at £26, with MK Dons and Bradford joint second at £25. The teams who charge the least include Bolton, Bristol Rovers and Gillingham. Bolton charge the least in the league at £15. Rovers and Gillingham each charge £16. The average price for an away ticket in League One is £21. So, is this too much? Obviously, an away day costs more than just a ticket, just as a season costs more than just your season ticket.

For an away day, you have to consider things like petrol money/coach travel, food & drink and perhaps a programme. These factors are pretty much guaranteed to increase the cost by at least £30.

I think clubs need to start thinking more about the fans, who probably spend hundreds of pounds on supporting their club every season through thick and thin. Premier League clubs have agreed to cap away tickets at £30 until 2019. The Championship has some work to do, with fans being frequently charged at least £35 for an adult ticket, although some Championship tickets are reasonably priced.

My club has played in both the Championship and League One, and I noticed a significant difference between away tickets in both leagues. I didn’t manage to get to away games like Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday due to their high ticket prices. However, I managed to go to many League One away games due to the fact the prices are a lot more generous.

The campaign “Twenty’s Plenty” is leading the way in terms of challenging leagues for lower prices, with the backing of vast amounts of supporters up and down the country. Indeed, twenty is plenty but, as we have seen, half of the teams in League One charge more than this.

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credit funky1opti

The problem of high ticket prices is widespread across the country. Astonishingly, you can get a season ticket at Bayern Munich and Barcelona for less than a season ticket at Boreham Wood and Eastleigh. This is a statistic I found utterly amazing. The cheapest match ticket at Bayern Munich is just £12, compared to the average for League One being £21.

There are many shocking statistics to highlight the problem that many fans of English football face compared to the giants of Europe who, arguably, can offer a higher standard of football compared to our Premier League.

So in response to the title question, yes, some League One clubs are overcharging away fans. However, the problem does not just exist in League One. Every English league has to address this obvious issue, to stop passionate fans missing out on seeing their beloved team.

Are your clubs prices too high? What is a fair price to see League One football? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image by Ungry Young Man