BBC have revealed that Wigan Athletic have sold just two thirds of their ticket allocation for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final with Millwall. An indicator that modern day football is beyond the affordable for the average fan, perhaps, or maybe a result of the Lancashire club being predominantly a Rugby town. Still, with a population of just 80,000 in Wigan, you could argue that selling tickets to a quarter of the town is fairly impressive, particularly when you consider less than 20 years ago they were in the fourth tier of English football and averaged less than 2,000 a game. Either way, it was hardly surprising when the FA announced that they are planning to allocate the spare tickets to a ‘neutral zone’.
This has been an issue in the UK for a while now, with numerous campaigns and protests highlighting the need for lower prices. If we look back to Arsenal’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich in February, a ticket for the game would set you back up to £126. A bit of a shock for the fans of the Bavarian club considering the price for a season ticket at the Allianz-Arena starts at just £104.
A match day ticket for a Bayern Munich home game ranges from £13 to £60, whereas Gunners are expected to stump up £25.50 to £126.
With Champions League final tickets ranging from £60 (category 4) to £330 (category 1), it will be interesting to what sort of impact this will have on the attendance.
It is a stark contrast between clubs in England and the rest of Europe which is hard to put your finger on. Whether it is to do with the wealth of the leagues, the financial state of the country itself or just a supply-in-demand situation, it is causing unrest across the country.
Switching our focus to international football, and England’s friendly with the Republic of Ireland in particular, then you can argue that the cost of watching a meaningless national game is also ridiculously priced. To secure yourself a seat for the aforementioned England tie at Wembley Stadium in May, you are looking at coughing up a fee of up to £65.
While we’re on the price of international football tickets, if you were to be interested in tickets to the 2013 Confederations Cup then I hope you have been saving for a while. A single ticket to any single fixture will set you back hundreds of pounds, something which is utterly scandalous for 90 minutes of sport.
However, if people are paying the outrageous prices to enjoy what they love, then why should the governing bodies or the clubs’ bosses lower the prices of tickets?