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.