In a week where the expense of watching your football team has led to successful protests a new report shows the exorbitant prices are not solely hitting the Premier League. Loyalty costs.
If Chelsea fans want to watch their team go all out and win the Champions League, they had better have deep pockets. The Blues will walk into the Parc des Princes on Tuesday backed by 1,400 away fans, and those who have followed their team to every European away game this season will have already racked up a bill of at least £1,000.
The Champions League Price Index (http://news.bwin.com/en/price-index), an interactive guide for fans travelling across Europe to watch the continent’s elite, has revealed Chelsea fans will have forked out more than any other team in the UK so far this season.
Despite being just four away games into the competition, following Guus Hiddink’s men to European away games has cost an estimated minimum of £1044 (averaging at almost £260 per game) per fan, around £80 more than the average away game cost for an Arsenal fan in this season’s tournament.
The index, released by bwin, takes into account travel, accommodation, and ticket prices alongside food and drink, revealing the price fans pay to support their sides away in Europe.
The trip Chelsea fans make to Paris on Tuesday will set back fans an estimated £232 – £69 more than Arsenal’s trip to Barcelona. The priciest away day for Blues fan this campaign was the five-hour flight to Tel Aviv, priced at £456 all in. In fact, take into account the average UK wage of £26,500 (£21,200 post tax) and season ticket holders in the Shed End could have spent 10% of their annual income on Champions League football already this season, excluding other domestic competitions and away fixtures in the Premier League.
London itself is one of the costliest cities to watch the beautiful game, with PSG fans expecting to pay almost £300 for the return leg due to high hotel prices in the city. However, it’s English opponents that Chelsea fans will want should they be looking
Possible trips to Arsenal and Manchester City in the Quarter and Semi Final would be lightest on the coffer. And then there is the Final itself, which at its cheapest would set fans back around £490 – taking the running total to just over £2059 for the campaign as a whole.
Alternatively, the worst case scenario would involve trips to Rome and Wolfsburg before the Final in Milan, bumping that price up to £2709. So while the Champions League is the most lucrative football tournament for Chelsea, it’s certainly the priciest for fans.
A Spokesperson for the Football Supporters Federation, who run the Twenty’s Plenty campaign, said: “Figures like this are quite eye-watering and all too common, as those fans who regularly travel away to see their team will know.
“Away fans are at the sharp end being subjected to the highest match day prices and don’t have access to discounts that home fans benefit from. This is before the huge cost of travel and accommodation.
“However, it isn’t just fans of British clubs that face some ridiculous ticket pricing. Earlier this season Bayern Munich fans held protests at the Emirates after they were asked to fork out £64 to see their team at Arsenal.
“Those protesting Bayern Munich fans are calling for a discussion on ticket pricing in European club competition and want to see clubs arrange reciprocal pricing deals for their respective away fans.
“This is something we support. The practice has saved fans thousands of pounds in domestic competition in England – so we encourage all fans to lobby their clubs urging them to adopt it in European club competition as well.”
To view the interactive guide and compare costs for yourself, visit http://news.bwin.com/en/price-index