Sportsdesk Comment: Enough is enough - clubs HAVE to lower ticket prices

The fact that lowly Burnley are now a richer club than Dutch giants Ajax highlights the huge amounts of money being pumped into the Premier League.

By Daniel Gregory
Thursday, 12th February 2015, 1:00 pm
Incredibly, Burnley are now a richer club than Dutch giants Ajax

This week’s sporting headlines have been dominated by the new TV rights deal for 2016-19, with Sky and BT forking out an enormous £5.176bn to show top-flight action over a three-year period.

How a club like Burnley can now be wealthier than four-times champions of Europe Ajax just shows the staggering numbers involved and you don’t need to be a genius to work out where that extra money is going to be heading.

Don’t forget it’s us, the Sky and BT subscribers who are paying for these companies to shell out an eye-watering £10.19m per game over the three-year contract signed this week.

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And would you be surprised to see your Sky bill rise even higher as a result? I wouldn’t (as if they don’t already charge astronomical amounts per month).

Will these clubs give something back to the fans and lower their ticket prices accordingly? No chance is the simple answer.

The average price of the cheapest tickets across English football has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011, this is a total disgrace.

So to summarise, instead of ticket prices falling, fans will be asked to pay more for their TV packages (inevitably) and ticket prices will continue to soar.

All the while, football clubs up and down the country (with exception to a few who are run in a fit and proper manner) will splash this extra cash on big-money signings and putting them on big, fat contracts.

So the rich get richer and the loyal fans continue to lose in this equation.

But there has to be a breaking point and it has to be just around the corner.

Surely there will come a time when fans will vote with their feet and choose one or the other.

They’ll either join the huge numbers of armchair fans and stop buying tickets, or stop forking out the big bucks for their Sky or BT package.

One of those will have to happen at some point and it will have a domino effect.

Why would Sky pay £10.19m per game when the stadiums are half full?

The Premier League is a great advert for our country and brings a lot of money into our economy, but it is high time its clubs started to put fans first and their bank accounts second.

So Premier League chief Richard Scudamore can dress up the ‘good will schemes’ they will be investing in, but it is a poxy gesture and small change in comparison to the numbers involved. Surely it’s time to see real change?