In 1960 you could pay 12p on the gate to get in to Old Trafford and purchase a programme for 2p. Those were the days, the old fellas at the pub will tell you, when you could show up on the day and squeeze yourself in to one of the stands.
Things have changed considerably since then, obviously, with all-seater stadiums, foreign ownership, and football ‘brands’.
Had people told fans in 1960 that the ticket prices would be increasing massively up and down the country, that thousands of empty spaces would be seen around the grouds on a weekly basis, that clubs could force you in to buying tickets for all cup games, that large sections of the stadium would be filled with people spending £100s per head for their seats and fancy meal that came with it, that applications for away tickets would be denied unless every single ticket had been paid for, league, cups and all, those fans would have laughed. “They’ll never get away with that!”
But slowly, gradually, year by year, the clubs have eaten away at our expectations, forced us in to finding the money making element of football entirely acceptable, and now we’re in deeper than ever before. Someone has got to make a stand against this before the game becomes entirely unrecognisable. We support a team whose fans are prepared to make that stand, with MUST meeting the Office of Fair Trading today, following on from the complaint launched last month.
I have argued on here plenty of times before that all tickets prices are increasing in this league and that our increases aren’t as much as a lot of other teams.
Cheapest match day ticket: £33 (B), £38 (A) +£12
Most expensive match day ticket: £66 (B), £94 (A) +£50
Kids: £13.50 (B), £18.50 (A) +£8.50
Cheapest season ticket: £925 +£464
Most expensive season ticket: £1,825 +£913
Cheapest match day ticket: £45 +£19
Most expensive match day ticket: £65 +£17
Kids: £17.50-£22.50 (depending on location) +£12.50
Cheapest season ticket: £650 +£189
Most expensive season ticket: £1,150 +£238
Kids: £330-£430 (depending on location) +£240
Cheapest match day ticket: £28 (C), £33 (B), £43 (A) +£17
Most expensive match day ticket: £43 (C), £53 (B), £75 (A) +£27
Kids: £15-£25 +£15
Cheapest match day ticket: £35 (for a Category B match), £45 (Category A) +£19
Most expensive match day ticket: £51 (B), £63 (A) +£15
Kids: Up to £23 (B), up to £34.50 (A) +£24.50
Cheapest season ticket: £615 +£121
Most expensive season ticket: £885 -£27
Cheapest match day ticket: £32 (B), £34 (A) +£8
Most expensive match day ticket: £34 (B), £36 (A) -£12
Cheapest season ticket: £700 +£206
Most expensive season ticket: £750 -£162
Kids: £345 +£155
Cheapest match day ticket: £26
Most expensive match day ticket: £48
Cheapest season ticket: £494
Most expensive season ticket: £912
Cheapest match day ticket: £23 (B), £36 (A) +£10
Most expensive match day ticket: £30 (B), £44 (A) -£8
Kids: £10 £0
Cheapest season ticket: £461 -£33
Most expensive season ticket: £582 -£330
Kids: £95 -£95
Cheapest match day ticket: £26 £0
Most expensive match day ticket: £37 -£11
Kids: £17 +£7
Cheapest season ticket: £361 -£133
Most expensive season ticket: £509 -£403
Kids: £88 -£102
So, Premiership teams across the board rip off their fans because they know they can, they know that fans will keep paying to see their team because they live for Saturday at 3 o’clock (or Sunday 5.15pm). Does that mean that we should sit back and allow United to jump on this bandwagon? Should we fork out an arm and leg because that’s what supporting Premiership football entails?
I’ve quoted the ticket prices, which show City as charging £10 more than us for their cheapest ticket compared to our cheapest ticket and Liverpool’s coming at £8 more. These comparisons are good to see, considering these are both North West clubs, and despite being worse off on the field than us, charge more than us.
Chelsea’s cheapest ticket is almost £20 more than ours, highlighting Sir Alex Ferguson’s dismissive point, telling us to go and support them if we have a problem. But is that the solution? We should feel grateful we’re not being ripped off as much as others?
The ticket prices above show single tickets, but MUST are arguing the point that even though we have cheap tickets on offer, and even though our most expensive ticket is £50 cheaper than Arsenal’s most expensive, our average season ticket prices are rising massively, particularly since the Glazer takeover.
The chances of the OFT investigating this are apparently high, which is already something very positive, considering a lot of complaints are swept aside. Former OFT advisers and well respected government advisers helped MUST to put the complaint together, which has lead to OFT coming to a meeting MUST are having with MPs in Westminster. They have also asked specifically to meet with MUST and their lawyers, which is highly unusual.
Fingers crossed for today! Oh, and join MUST!