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More so than almost any other figure at the Club, our Season Ticket prices come in for close scrutiny – checked and rechecked by us; poured over, analysed, and commented by the press.
And, like all prices, they only ever seem to head in one direction. There’s a commonly held view that football is getting less and less affordable. But is it true?
I knew our FA Cup pricing had been ‘keen’ this year, I knew we’d talked about the price of the matchday programme recently and I also remembered talking to our caterers about the price of a pint. So I asked one of the team to spend some time looking at all of our prices over recent seasons. Here’s what they came back with:
Ten years ago, for David Moyes’ first game in charge, a programme cost £2.50. A year later it went to £2.70 and in 2004, up to £3 where it has remained – no price rise for 8 years.
The Club’s official monthly magazine, Evertonian, has been £2.95 for a decade and the End of Season Review DVD sells for £15.99 – it was also £15.99 in 2001/02 when David first walked into Goodison Park.
Meanwhile, evertontv used to set subscribers back £4.99 per month but today it’s free-to-view for all supporters and, we feel, a better service than ever.
And this year’s home shirt when it launched last summer would have set you back £42, £3 less than the 2008/09 version and £8 less than eight seasons ago, when we paid £50 for the shirt with Keijan across our chests.
All these prices compare well with the rest of our household budget - the cost of fuel, Council tax bills and the cover price of the Liverpool Echo have all doubled over David’s time as Manager.
After much deliberation, adult Season Tickets will go up for the 2012/13 season but this season, a Main Stand early bird ticket was the same price as it was six years ago. Even better for the adult in the Family Enclosure bringing the kids, your price is £77 less than it was in that same season and it will be the same again next season.
With our new prices, the biggest beneficiaries are young Evertonians. The notion that football is getting harder and harder to afford isn’t true for our young fans and their parents.
If you were 10-years-old in 2005/06 and wanted to sit with your granddad in the Main Stand, you’d have paid almost £20 per game, or £349 for the season. Your younger sister, just going into her final year at Junior School next year, has the good fortune of enjoying a whole season for just £95.
Cup tickets have gone down in price too. In 2007/08, FA Cup third round tickets cost £18 for adults and £8 for juniors. This season, they were £16 and £5, respectively.
Three years ago when we last reached the quarter final stage of the competition the cheapest adult ticket for our game with Middlesbrough was £30 and the cheapest junior £15. For the game on Saturday week those prices have been reduced by £5 and £10 respectively.
A final example brings us right up to date with Dad taking his two children to the Spurs game this weekend. He buys his tickets in the Family Enclosure and picks up a couple of programmes.
At half-time, they all have a pie. He has a pint and the kids have a soft drink each. He goes home having spent £82, only £1.10 more than he would have parted with in 2007/08 which means ‘football’ inflation is running at just over 1% in total over 4 years.
From a fan’s point of view that can’t be bad. And definitely not true of our petrol, gas, food and tax bills.
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