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24 September 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - Yorkshire & Lincolnshire: Friday February 2, 2007
Football scoreboard
Do we pay too much for our football?
Top class action - the football scoreboard at AS Monaco

Football rip Off

As Yorkshire's football fans pay more for their seats, Morland Sanders reveals that it's actually cheaper to fly abroad to watch a game.

We take a cheap flight to the French Riviera for a European footballing treat - at a fraction of the price in this country.

We also want to know if you'd be tempted to swap your Yorkshire football team for a European club?

And how much does it cost you to follow your favourite team?

The cost of football

Every week, whatever the weather, hundreds of thousands of us throw on the team colours and battle through the traffic to support our team.

Ticket office
Just the ticket or a big football rip off?

And we pay handsomely for the privilege of being a football supporter.

It's common for our supporters to pay two to three times more than other European clubs.

But while our ticket prices might be top of the league, in the value for money stakes we're languishing in the relegation zone

Inside Out travelled to Monte Carlo to try and give down-trodden fans an alternative - supporting AS Monaco.

Top European team

AS Monaco are Monte Carlo's top team, a club steeped in European tradition.

Two years ago they reached the Final of Europe's premier competition, the Champion's League.

We decided to try supporting the club for one week to see if it was cheaper than being a football fan in Yorkshire.

We bought along a man who's not used to Premiership football, Leeds United fan, Simon Jose.

Football crowd
Simon Jose swaps Leeds United for AS Monaco

He couldn't afford his season ticket this year, and is fed up with his home town club taking their loyal fans for granted.

He was impressed by what he witnessed in Monte Carlo.

The people of Monaco love their football so much that over a third of the population turns out to watch every home game.

They've got an impressive stadium and we visited on the night the club were playing a big game against top French side Sochaux.

Tickets for this top European football match cost just seven Euros, that's less than £5.

Back home in Yorkshire, Simon is used to paying six times that amount.

Best value tickets

It's not just Monaco that performs well in the value for money league - we've had our scouts scouring Europe for the best value tickets and we've found some startling differences.

They found that it's significantly cheaper to watch some of the best teams in the world than the likes of Grimsby, Doncaster and Scunthorpe.

Time your cheap flights right and you could watch the cream of Europe for little more than a premium ticket for Leeds United.

Back at the Monaco match, we were impressed by the quality of football.

And after some cheap half-time grub, we watched Monaco break away and score again to make it 3-0 at full time.

Inflated ticket prices

There's worrying evidence that inflated ticket prices mean that fans in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are being priced out of the game.

Leeds Utd and Barnsley have the worst attendance records in the Championship.

At Bradford City, two thirds of the stadium is empty for every home game.

Half empty stadium
Half empty stadiums are bad news for clubs and players

And one ex-pro thinks this is having a negative impact on the pitch.

Brian Deane played over 400 games for Leeds and Sheffield United - he's also got three England caps.

He believes falling attendances can mean poorer performances on the pitch.

At Leeds United, the cost of some tickets has increased by up to 25% and despite falling attendances, gate receipts last year we're up by £300,000.

Leeds have reduced prices for the next home game, but with no commitment to cut adult ticket prices for the rest of the season, Leeds fans might be returning to Europe sooner than you think...

Have your say?

We want your comments and views on football prices in Yorkshire and Humberside compared with Europe.

Email insideout@bbc.co.uk and we'll publish a selection of your thoughts following the programme.

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How the clubs compare...

Our survey shows the discrepancy in football match prices between English and European clubs.

Check how your team fares in the price league...

European Football Ticket Prices

League

Ticket price

England - League 2

Boston

£13

Grimsby

£17

Lincoln

£17

Mansfield

£16

Average

£16

England - League 1

Bradford

£20

Chesterfield

£17

Huddersfield

£18

Rotherham

£20

Doncaster

£18

Scunthorpe

£17

Average

£19

England - Championship

Barnsley

£20

Hull

£23

Leeds

£30

Sheffield Wednesday

£23

Average

£24

Italy Serie A

Inter Milan

€ 20

Fiorentina

€ 20

Atalanta

€ 15

Empoli

€ 15

Sampdoria

€ 23

Average

£12

Germany Bundesliga

Schalke

€ 20

Werder Bremen

€ 25

Stuttgart

€ 25

Bayern Munich

€ 12

Hertha Berlin

€ 21

Average

€ 21 or £13

French Premier Ligue

Lyon

€ 20

Monaco

€ 10

Nantes

€ 12

Lens

€ 12

Lille

€ 10

Average

€ 13 or £8.80

Spanish Premiera

Real Madrid

€ 25

Valencia

€ 20

Getafe

€ 30

Espanyol

€ 25

Celta Vigo

€ 20

Average

€ 24 or £16

 

Your Comments

The big question you have to ask yourself is why Chairman and club owners would want to see empty seats in their stadiums. I am a Hull City fan and our Chairman, Adam Pearson, has voiced the same concern and reduced prices for some games this season and pledged to reduce season ticket and game prices next season, but travelling to different grounds around the country and seeing empty stands you know that something is really wrong.

Wouldn't revenues be the same if prices were cheaper but the stadiums were full? Clubs would also make more money from food, drink etc.

Football is the people's game but the average person is been priced it out of enjoying it.

Great show and thank you.
Jamie Kelwick

(My son's first ever trip to see Leeds play...) I would also like to say I fully agree with the report - it cost us £41 to see that dire game - £26 for me and £15 for my son who is only 6 years old, plus two programmes at £3 each!!!!!

Value for money??? Don't make me laugh - worst of all, he wants to see them play Crystal Palace on the 10th of Feb too. More expense!
David Blakey

The price of tickets in Europe v England make depressing reading, far worse than I feared. Fans certainly are being ripped off from start to finish.

An average of £15 in the Premiership and £10 in the Championship would be fair and would certainly bring the fans back in their thousands.

Yet all we can do is complain amongst ourselves and develop a seething resentment against club directors, our players, the ridiculous money they earn and football in general. We no longer love football, just our club and a vague idea of what it used to stand for. Yet next year I suppose I'll be renewing my season ticket to see Leeds United in whatever division they find themselves. Why?

Because it's just what I have always done, no better reason than that. But for many others, continuing high prices will prove the final straw, never to return.
David Stead

If Bradford City can get 10,000 fans signatures by the end of February, season tickets for next year will be £138 - this works out at £6 per game.
Richard

The working-class man is being priced out of the game - it's all about making as much money as fast as you can. The high prices are killing off the game, the players get far too much money these days. It's only just over 40 years ago when Jimmy Greaves became the first £100 a week player.

If the average man in the street was to have their wages increased at the same rate as players, everyone would be happy. OK the game has changed a lot but the players today do not play as often as they did in the '70s what with team rotation etc and they have a 1000x better standard of living than average Jo public.

Let's get back to common sense and charge a fair price and you would get more bums on seats and pay a more realistic wage not over inflated wages.

But then we live in a land when the top flight players gets paid more each week than the price of some of our homes, and as for the third world countries would be able to wonders with just 2-3 of these wage packets.

But I guess the modern players need three or four cars, two to three homes and suits that cost the price of a small car? I agree the player's career is short but if the average man has to save for when they give up work, why cant the players who earn 100x+ more than them do the same?

The job/work opportunities are far better for employers than for JO public - I am sure they would not starve when the end of their playing days come round. What ever happened to the old adage of a fair days pay for a fair day's work?
Dave Gibbs

What a totally European biased presentation. The facts have been presented in such a light as to suit the the argument that we pay over the odds.

Firstly my team - Doncaster Rovers - we pay £15:00 not £18:00 as stated. Secondly the cheapest seats at Real Madrid and Barcelona are way up in the "gods" - it's like watching ants running around, unlike the majority of English clubs featured. Your programme would have carried for more weight if you had compared like for like.

One other point is that the foreign clubs you quoted are run and funded completely different to those in England. The level of debt incurred abroad would put most English clubs out of business. Rotherham are the latest club to suffer...
David Grain

Sorry to say Leeds will be playing Donny Rovers next year!
Though at the moment Rovers could go up and Leeds go down.

Still a few local derbies - cuts down on travelling!
SB

I have paid£270 for this year's season ticket - at the age of 17 this is a lot. However it is the same as a junior price which I cant complain about.

At Leeds I think the main reason for the drop in crowds etc is not just the ticket prices, but the fact the fans can't stand when it's clear they wish to, this being in the North Stand.

Families have been priced out of the area deemed, "The Family Stand", meaning they go into the North Stand which is traditionally known for creating the atmosphere.

Obliviously the team's plight into the championship relegation zone won't have helped attendances but the fact that in the 2004/2005 season we averaged around 34,000 a game and yet finished 14th shows that's not the main reason.
Steven


 



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