Burnley price fans out with £31 tickets

Adam Haworth Adam Haworth
Jamie Smith June 15, 2012
Personally, I think £31 for a ticket is a scandal. ... 3 years ago

Burnley’s matchday prices have been revealed and they’re shockingly high, reports Jamie Smith.

Yep, that figure in the headline is right. Burnley FC wants you to pay £31 to go to Turf Moor this season. To watch a side that won a handful of homes games last season in a sterile atmosphere, with goal music pumped into your face in the unlikely event of us managing to score a goal after flogging our best player for £7 million. Yep, £31.

I used to defend ticket prices at football, believing it to be reasonable value when compared to other entertainment options. But these prices take the piss. The cinema can cost you a tenner and it might be a rubbish film. A gig can be upwards of £50 these days and the band could finish early after a row. A round for you and three mates is pushing £20 in some bars.

I hate this expression with a passion – but we’re in a recession, you know. To ask £31 of Burnley fans, many of whom will be facing a choice of food or heating this winter, is simply outrageous.

But they know we’ll still pay it. That’s the upsetting fact of the matter. The bean-counters at Turf Moor have got out their abacus and decided £31 is the magical figure they can get away with charging people to see Burnley take on Blackburn Rovers next season.

I’ll probably pay it. What’s the option? Stay at home and miss us beating them for the first time in decades? No chance. But it smacks of taking advantage of the fans. You can use the supply and demand logic all you like, but football isn’t like other businesses. It’s taking advantage of fans who have no other option. It’s not like we’re going to stop going to Turf Moor and start supporting Accrington Stanley instead.

The £31 figure comes with a caveat or two. It will only be for a handful of matches – Rovers obviously the pick of them – and comes packaged with some nice PR spin by knocking a few quid off season ticket prices for a two-week window. £31 is just for the best seats in the house, in the heart of the Longside. If you’re prepared to put up with a crummy view and even worse atmosphere, you can get on the big games for £30 – saving you a whole shiny pound. Don’t spend it all at once, kids.

And if you become a member, at a cost of about £20, you won’t have to pay £31. It’ll be a mere £27 – still as high as matchday prices have ever been in this part of the world despite our mid-table finish and desperately poor home performances last season.

Membership is a scam. Clubs brought it in, seeing a new way of squeezing cash out of fans and we, as fans, seem to have meekly accepted it. It came in at Burnley for the Premier League season when tickets were in demand and you could kind of understand the need for it. Now, with crowds for non-premium matches likely to be scraping 10k, what is it for?

It’s there so Burnley FC can pick you up, turn you upside down and shake you until all of your pennies are in their grubby little hands.

And don’t think that hard-earned cash of yours is going to be spent on improving the team. Because it won’t. It’ll disappear into the famous black hole caused by a couple of years of terrible financial management by the board, along with the astronomical wages we’re forking out for some awfully average Championship players. They make mistakes, we pay for it.

Some will claim the money has to come from somewhere and as fans, it is our duty to do our bit. The price of our bit has been set at £31 this season for some games – is that really a fair and reasonable amount of money to expect Burnley folk to part with? I’m not even sure the Rovers match will sell out at those prices – especially if it’s on television – which would be embarrassing for the club.

This comes just days after the Premier League announced a record-breaking £3 billion television rights deal. The football bubble is showing no signs of bursting any time soon. It’s a dirty business now and they all have us by the short and curlies.

Enjoy the new season.

Will the matchday ticket costs price you out of attending this season or do you think it’s good value? Comment on the right.

  • David Whitney

    Have to say, I agree with this completely. I’m not on the breadline by any means, but I think £31 for a championship game is disgusting. I’m pretty sure tickets to all games were £22 in the season before PL football. So we’ve seen a 50% increase over three seasons. Not quite in line with inflation

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to David Whitney

      I make a reasonable salary and I’m priced out of all but a couple of games as a result of the £31 figure. When I factor in travel costs from Sunderland and spending money, I just won’t be able to justify making it to more than a handful of games. I’d rather go to away games – better atmosphere and I won’t feel as if BFC has robbed me.

  • Jonas

    Hard to argue with this. I can see no way in which BFC can justify prices at this level. One thing for sure, I’ll manage an a way game, maybe 2 but at this price I won’t be able to afford to go on the Turf

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Jonas

      Hi Jonas – we’ll be contacting the club and asking for a response, it will be interesting to see how they justify the £31 figure.

      • Michael Connellin reply to Jamie Smith

        Jamie, I guarantee the club’s response will be, “our ticket prices are very competitive when compared with other Championship clubs”. Which is true but it doesn’t make it right.

        Isn’t it £10 to watch Borussia Dortmund as a member on the terrace behind the goal? That’s for the German Champions! If ticket prices rise in Germany, fans boycott games or demonstrate. We just swallow the line about needing to compete with other clubs which just creates a continuous spiral of price inflation.

        We and the whole of the football community shouldn’t accept it. It’s a disgrace.

        • Sam Marsdenin reply to Michael Connell

          Would be interested to see it in comparison across the league, £31 would be near the top judging on last season’s away prices? If anyone can be arsed…

          • Jamie Smith
            Jamie Smithin reply to Sam Marsden

            Ticket prices are too high at all levels in this country now. Nobody is saying it’s just Burnley, but it’s time someone took a stand.

  • Michael Connell

    Thing is, if you were inclined to watch Accy instead, football runs a cartel – all clubs’ ticket prices are over priced.

    I move to Liverpool soon and I’m very tempted to watch Everton instead. Ticket prices are still high at £25-£40 but at least it’s Premier League football. Might even take in a couple of Europa League games at Anfield.

    Well done BFC.

  • Sam Marsden

    No season ticket this year and at those prices + travel from Manchester will have to pick my home games carefully. Something I’m reluctant to do as I’ve barely missed a home game. It certainly makes away games more appealing, at least you feel like you’ve had a day out.

  • Andy

    Just about to say send this to the club! It’s a joke. £50 for 1 adult and 1 child for less than 2 hours of football and crazy prices for refreshments. Atleast £1 for a bag of crisp, it’s embarrassing. Looks like I’m only going to the Blackburn game at home and maybe hudersfield and Bolton away if I can tickets even though ‘general public’ (or people that aren’t millionaires) arenow behind; shareholders, membership holders, season ticket holders and then the loyalty point system. JOKE.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Andy

      Exactly right Andy – I hadn’t even considered how expensive it will be for walk-ons to take their kids next season.

  • Michael Connell

    I’ve just looked on the Wigan website. I could go and watch them play attractive football (assuming Martinez stays) v Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, City etc for £28/£30 a time (Cat. A prices). No membership scheme. And do you know what? I am going to. I’m sick of my support and money being taken for granted. I like football the sport more than I like Burnley football club.

    • Andyin reply to Michael Connell

      You can watch them for free online in your house

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Michael Connell

      Pretty amazing that it costs more to watch Burnley v Rovers than Wigan v Man United next season.

  • Mark Bailey

    WWigan can afford cheap seats – they are subsidised by Sky. Our ticket prices ARE high but these days its wahat English football costs. To remain even vaguely competetive out prices have to increase. The 20 quid membership pays back in five games. If you go to Hal$ games its easily worth it. Or the solution is get a season ticket and use the finance option.

    Or stop going. Bottom line is if we keep charging 25 quid or whatever we’ll be in league one before you can blink.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Mark Bailey

      If we keep spaffing money up the wall on average players we’ll be in League One before we can blink.

      Club survived with £25 ticket prices before promotion. Suddenly now it can’t, despite all the PL money? Please.

  • Mike Mada

    I agree with Mark here.

    We could have been sponsored by Venkys and paid less, we are in football as it is and for the time being we will need to pay such prices to afford the wages of the players we all want.

    Otherwise, those regularly bleating that they want more investment/more spending on players need to add up their sums, because the reality is that football – on the back of the Premiership and the unsustainable money from Sky (on day, it will all collapse like ITV did) – is overpriced at the player salary and transfer fee end is precariously imbalanced.

    Comparing with the heavily subsidised Premiership matches seems logical, but in view of the £6.5M paid by TV per game this week should add perspective.

    No-one at the club is pocketing this except for the very players we have to pay the current going rate for if we want to be promoted.

    Funny, but sometimes I really wonder whether the Premiership is a good thing at all.

  • Warren Jones

    What a joke. We will be back to gates of 10,000. Burnley is a poor place, with a lot of poverty. The club have no consideration for its fans. First time I have not renewed in years. Before we went up to the PL, tickets were £20. Serious jump in 3 years.

  • Nathan McLean

    Personally, I think £31 for a ticket is a scandal. I also think that it is wrong for the club to charge me £20 to be a member.

    I appreciate that football is a business, but, in times of recession, people are having to make choices, and for many, keeping a roof over their head will take priority over watching a football match.

    I am fortunate because I can afford to buy a season ticket, but I don’t due to work commitments which mean I get only 1 Saturday off in every 3, so it is not financially viable to purchase one.

    As such, my next option is to pick my matches, which may only be 6 or 7 each season, but if I’m lucky enough to be available for a “bronze” match, on a cold, wet, dreary night in mid-December, I would hardly see this as a priority, so my £25 or whatever will remain firmly in my pocket.

    However, I could save money by becoming a member, but it will only save me £3 on each ticket – if I don’t get to 7 games, I have not saved any money.

    I am just like any other sensible consumer – I want as much as I can get for my money, and in today’s climate, based on my circumstances, football is not representing good value for money.

    Saying that, I can also understand things from the clubs point of view with players commanding high salaries, overheads, etc. However, they do need to be careful because if season ticket prices aren’t pitched right, they will sell fewer, meaning that they have less secure revenue for the season, meaning they will have to rely more on natch day ticket sales. however, withiout the season ticket money investment, the transfer kitty may not be as high, therefore fewer quality signings, and, unfortunately, if the team don’t perform, then fewer fans will be attracted to pay on the gate.

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