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Football fans warned on season ticket loan rates

Cherry Reynard
Written By:
Cherry Reynard

Up to a third of football fans rely on loans to buy season tickets, but rates vary from 0% to 36.3%, depending on the club you support, finds new research.

Heavy admin fees of up to £40 are also commonplace. Credit report provider Noddle.co.uk  analysed the charges on season ticket loans for the 2018/19 season across the top four tiers in English football. The average Premier League clubs was 12.71%. Some of the largest and wealthiest clubs – including Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United – charge the most in administration fees, ranging from £29 to £40.

Fulham charges the highest interest in the Premier League, with fans paying 21.5% including a £30 admin fee to pay-off their season ticket over nine months. However, the highest charges came outside the premiership: Preston North End tops this particular table, charging 36.30%. Bradford City were top of League One when it comes to high APR, at 28.50%. Mansfield Town (22.70% APR), Newport County (22.70% APR) and Notts County (22.70% APR) are joint top (for interest charges) in League Two.

Increasingly, supporters say they are feeling disillusioned with the cost of football. Noddle’s research found that 52% of supporters say they’ve been priced out of attending football matches. Three-quarters (74%) believe the cost of a season ticket is ridiculous and half (50%) believe these loans should be banned all together.

Jacqueline Dewey, managing director at Noddle.co.uk, said:“It’s clear – fans should shop around before taking the offer from their club’s finance provider as the rates vary so widely. Using a loan eligibility checker will quickly tell you whether the rate on your season ticket loan is right for you, or not.”

Noddle’s top tips for being a financially-savvy football supporter: 

  1. Budget – when it comes to good financial management, nothing beats a budget. If you are someone that can’t miss your favourite team play on the weekend, start putting money aside today, for next season. Not only will you be in a good position to jump on any early-bird season ticket offers (with the money saved), it will also reduce your chances of needing to rely on credit when the time comes to it
  2. Payment Options – it’s important to weigh up your options when looking to make a big purchase on a season ticket. The best and most cost-effective way is buying the ticket outright (e.g. not relying on credit). But if this is a stretch, and you really want to watch your team play live, make sure you shop around before taking out a loan
  3. Credit Eligibility – remember not all credit is created equally. Some lenders offer better rates than others. And as a rule of thumb, having a good credit score will give you access to better rates on the market.
  4. Check your credit report – before taking out any type of credit, whether that’s a mortgage, mobile phone contract or season ticket loan, it’s important that you check your credit report. By checking your credit report, you can make sure that all the information on your file is correct. Any incorrect information may affect your ability to be accepted for credit.