READING, England, June 14, 2011/PRNewswire/ --
- One in ten season ticket holders could walk at end of year due to ticket prices - Despite winning Premier League, Man Utd fans most disgruntled with costs - Scott Parker voted as best value player
The likes of Manchester Utd and Chelsea may sit at the top of the Premiership - but they're not leading the league when it comes to value for supporters.
The ING Direct Value League [http://www.ingdirect.co.uk/valueleague ], compiled each season by the bank, compares clubs' season ticket costs with their Premier League performance and entertainment value - and when it comes to getting the most points for your pound it's Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers who really delivered in 2010/11.
The teams whose performance didn't match their ticket prices are also highlighted in the research. Tottenham Hotspur - who enjoyed a successful year - still didn't do enough to counteract one of the most expensive season tickets on the market, and find themselves in the value 'relegation zone' alongside Wolves and West Ham.
And with the public struggling with a difficult economic climate, many fans are considering alternative ways to follow their team. Around one in 10 admit they may have to 'pick and choose' games rather than take out a season ticket next year, or watch games across the internet or in the pub. This is equivalent to nearly 50,000 season ticket holders.
This exodus will be more severe for clubs who choose to raise their prices. For most clubs this would spell a further loss of one in 20 season ticket holders (five per cent), who say they'll walk if prices rise. This could be bad news for Manchester United in particular (who announced a price rise earlier this month) as a quarter of their fans say they'll seriously consider not renewing because of this hike.
However, many clubs have recognised that fans are feeling the strain, with eight out of the 20 premiership clubs confirming price freezes. Conversely, 10 clubs have confirmed price hikes, with Arsenal and Liverpool making some of the largest increases of 6.5 per cent. West Ham and Blackburn are still to confirm 2011/12 pricing.
Yet while a great number of fans worry about the costs involved, there are a significant minority who state that money is no object. Around one in eight fans (12 per cent) say that they'll pay out whatever it takes to follow their side, with Liverpool, Stoke and Man City fans most willing to stretch their finances for their club.
Also revealed within the report are the Premiership's 'best value' players - as voted for by fans. West Ham stalwart Scott Parker topped the poll, despite his team's relegation, followed by Man Utd new boy Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) and Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshire.
ING Direct [http://www.ingdirect.co.uk ] CEO Richard Doe commented:
"We created the ING Direct Value League because many of our customers save for this large annual outlay, so we're aware of the increasing number of fans who are questioning the value they're getting from their club.
"The results show that with clubs raising prices, a number of disgruntled fans are saying 'enough is enough' and finding other ways to keep up with their club."
The ING Direct Value League is published at the end of every premiership season, with full results available to view at http://www.ingdirect.co.uk/valueleague.
ING Direct 'Value League' Man City Bolton Blackburn Rovers Stoke Wigan Athletic Man Utd West Brom Blackpool Sunderland Aston Villa Fulham Chelsea Birmingham Everton Arsenal Liverpool Newcastle Wolves Tottenham West Ham Best value players 1) Scott Parker (West Ham) Javier Hernandez (Man Utd) Jack Wilshire (Arsenal) Luca Modric (Tottenham) Youssouf Mulumbu (West Brom) Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan) Stuart Holden (Bolton) Leighton Baines (Everton) Robert Huth (Stoke) Vincent Kompany (Man City) Phil Bardsley (Sunderland) Roger Johnson (Birmingham) Lucas (Liverpool) Petr Cech (Chelsea) Paul Robinson (Blackburn) James Perch (Newcastle) Mark Albrighton (Aston Villa) Charlie Adam (Blackpool) Clint Dempsey (Fulham) Matt Jarvis (Wolves)
Breakdowns by Premiership team
Pay Won't Already Undecided whatever renew if decided on next it takes 2011/12 prices not to year's to ticket price go up renew ticket follow Team change (%) (%) (%) club (%) Arsenal Up 4 4 13 6 Aston Villa Up 5 4 18 12 Birmingham Up 4 2 24 10 Blackburn TBC 5 4 25 10 Blackpool Freeze 5 2 25 10 Bolton Freeze 2 2 15 9 Chelsea Up 1 3 11 7 Everton Freeze 4 3 22 7 Fulham Up 3 3 22 12 Liverpool Up 3 4 13 22 Man City Up 1 2 17 17 Man Utd Up 24 2 28 13 Newcastle Freeze 3 2 6 7 Stoke City Freeze 3 2 9 20 Sunderland Up 3 6 18 15 Tottenham Up 3 5 12 10 WBA Freeze 4 3 15 12 West Ham TBC 8 8 28 15 Wigan Freeze 5 4 26 15 Wolves Freeze 8 9 28 10
Notes to editors
Research was conducted by Football Fans Census and ING Direct in May 2011. Total sample size was 2,041 adult season ticket holders of Premiership clubs (approx. 100 per club).
1. The value league was compiled by comparing season ticket prices with points earned, with a bonus for goals scored (which affects fans' enjoyment of the game). This calculation was supported by Dr Steve Kelly from the University of Huddersfield, an expert in sports and society.
2. Of the 680,000 fans who attend premier league games every year (based on average attendance figures), around 73 per cent are season ticket holders = 496,400 (buzzle.com). 10 per cent of season ticket holders said they may 'pick and choose' games next season rather than take out a season ticket - by watching single games, watching in the pub, or watching over the internet = 49,640 approx 50,000 season ticket holders.
3. As of 23rd May 2011, eight of the 20 premiership clubs have frozen ticket prices for next year, the remaining clubs are either yet to announce (two) or have announced rises (10). While eight per cent of season ticket holders won't renew if ticket prices rise, this figure stands at 24 per cent for Manchester United fans.
4. 12 per cent of season ticket holders questioned said that they would "pay whatever it takes" to follow their club. When analysed by club, 22 per cent of Liverpool, 20 per cent of Stoke and 17 per cent of Man City fans made this statement.
5. Data taken from club announcements or by comparing average price paid in 2010/11 to published prices for 2011/12.
Source: ING Direct