Young struggling with match-going costs - BBC survey

Wolves fans at the match 4724569

The BBC's annual look at the cost of going to the match has shown that ticket prices are still putting off young people.

More than 80% of young fans polled by the BBC, as part of their Price of Football survey, say that the cost of tickets is one of the main obstacles to attending live football.

Although the survey shows that ticket prices have largely plateaued, with two-thirds of all ticket prices across the country staying the same or being reduced, 56% of young supporters told the BBC they were going to fewer games because of the expense.

Of the 190 clubs the BBC collected data from in England, Scotland and Wales, 134 reduce their prices for teenagers and young adults - separate from any student concessions - with average savings on season tickets in the English Premier League and Football League at £147.88.

FSF chair Malcolm Clarke said: “The FSF has long argued that 'young adults' feel priced out with those in the 18-23 range disproportionately in lower paid employment or education - yet they are often expected to pay full price.

"These are formative years and we want football clubs to do everything they can to retain supporters of that age - a relatively small ticket subsidy now could secure the club a match-going fan for life."

Concerns around young adult price have been growing in recent seasons - this time last year Justin Madders MP brought a Private Members’ Bill to the House of Commons calling on clubs to do more to get young people through the turnstiles.

Madders’ bill came after the Premier League released data showing the average age of a Premier League supporter had now reached 41.

“It is a demographic time-bomb,” Madders told Parliament. “We need to reverse that trend and make provision for younger supporters or we risk empty stadiums in 20 or 30 years’ time because the fans of the future have been driven away by sky high prices.”

The BBC’s research shows that 80% of ticket prices in the Premier League have been reduced this season compared to the 2016-17 season. The average cost of the cheapest season tickets available has decreased from £472.75 to £464.

Meanwhile, the EFL Championship remains the most expensive division in the country for away fans with the average most expensive away ticket coming in at £31.69. In the top flight it’s £29.50.

More than two-thirds of Championship clubs reduced or froze their match day ticket prices – the average match day ticket price fell from £22.11 to £20.58. On average, Championship season tickets crept up: the average cheapest rising from £335.15 to £337.02 and average most expensive going from £568.15 to £573.50.

Thanks to Action Images for the picture used in this story.