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The costly game

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13/09/2006

Football fans will spend nearly £100,000 over a lifetime of following their team – nearly enough to pay off the average mortgage, according to Virgin Money.

Its Football Fans Inflation Index set out to track the rises and falls in the cost of being a football supporter. And it shows supporters who buy season tickets and follow their clubs into Europe will spend an average £97,500 over the course of a lifetime, based on today’s prices.

The hardcore fan with a season ticket who travels overseas, will over a lifetime spend almost £20,000 on season tickets, plus a further £11,600 on tickets for away games and cup matches. And their lifetime travel needs will be close to £40,000 in total. Other costs include club merchandise, match programmes and matchday food and drink costs.

It all mounts up to a massive £1,875 bill for every season and helps explain why more and more fans are choosing to cut their costs by not going to as many matches.

Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said: “This research backs up what we’ve been saying for ages. Fans are being priced out of the game. The live match-going fan is fooball’s lifeblood. Without them the millions from broadcasters and sponsors simply won’t materialise. We need a new deal for the match-going supporter.”

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