Are We Being Priced Out Of Football?
Other clubs in a similar position in their respective leagues will be planning ahead depending on their current financial position. Others are heading downwards and likewise will be trying to plan ahead.
Even without us being in the middle of a serious financial recession, many of us fans will find it nigh on impossible to afford the extra monies needed whether your club be successful or not.
With many businesses going under and unemployment rising many more people will be feeling the pinch and are likely to stop going to games.
Whilst some Premier clubs may say that gate income is but a very small part of their overall income, other smaller clubs will suffer as their crowds diminish.
They don't have the luxury of large gains from the tv companies and enhanced opportunities for advertising income. The Premier League clubs have ensured that the vast majority of money goes to them at the smaller clubs' cost.
The smaller clubs and their are many, have to live almost exclusively on the meager attendances that they can muster. If they are doing well they may get a game or two on the box but generally have to struggle with limited resources, boosted by the pittance that they are allowed by the fat cats.
It used to be said that football was a game for the working class but how many lower paid can afford over £100 per week just to enjoy watching their favorite club. Many used to take their kids to games but the expense is spiraling out of their reach.
With prices climbing all of the time only a few clubs are surviving within their means. Several live from hand to mouth on a weekly(fortnightly) basis. More clubs face going to the wall. Some only survive because they sell any quality that they are able to unearth to the wealthier clubs.
Clubs play more games now than they did generations past and have to pay their players accordingly. Fans with low incomes find it harder year by year to afford the luxury of football, and very often pick and choose the games that they will pay to watch.
Remember this is a game which when we were kids, we played for hours on the nearest patch of green that we could find. Nowadays thousands of kids will stay indoors and play on their computerized games playing equipment, especially when we have poor weather.
Many adults who used to be regular match goers now watch football on Sky and other media broadcasts. This does not mean that they care less for their clubs but at the same time it does mean less income going through the turnstiles.
Sky has benefited a few by the sheer weight of money that it chucks at the best clubs. Many other clubs in trying to reach them have spent fortunes which they then struggle to fund. The poorer amongst us then see ticket prices rise to accommodate the extra expense.
It is a vicious circle that has gotten out of hand, and one for which there is no easy remedy. Meanwhile the less fortunate of us have to go without our weekly fix. With so much at stake financially now is it any wonder that we see great numbers of empty seats at the majority of our grounds.
So the question remains. With prices all around us rising and with many now either unemployed or earning less, are we being priced out of watching the game that we all love?
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