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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


What Should It Cost To Attend A Premier League Match Or Why Man Utd And Arsenal Fans Hold The High Ground

Written by on October 14, 2013 | 14 Comments »
Posted in Money Game

The price of watching the Premier League has escalated significantly since the formation of the tournament in the early nineties. A cost comparison with other leagues in Europe is an annual feature for most soccer publications and is normally followed by cries of “why can’t the Premier League offer fan-friendly pricing like the German Bundesliga.”

It is a PR battle that the Premier League cannot win unless the clubs move from a pricing model that is based on charging what… read more please click the link.

14 responses to “What Should It Cost To Attend A Premier League Match Or Why Man Utd And Arsenal Fans Hold The High Ground”

  1. Alberta Gooner says:

    Enjoyed the analysis, Bobby.

    I just got back from Europe, where I attended the Arsenal-Napoli Champions League match as well as the Napoli-Livorno match in Serie A. I actually wound up paying more for the Serie A ticket as I had to go through an online ticketing agency (Viagogo) as opposed to putting out the word among friends and getting a spare in the Clock End for 50 pounds, which is a pretty reasonable. If I had to go through an online agency I would have probably paid around 150 for the same ticket.

  2. Ed Gomes says:

    AG, I also find that interesting. The secondary market (StubHub) has really affected the NBA and MLB. I was wondering if that type of market has taken hold in Europe.
    The question I have is whether you could have purchased the Serie A ticket at the stadium box office for considerably less. Or was that not an option?

  3. Alberta Gooner says:


    I didn’t want to run the risk of not being able to buy it so I went through Viagogo (which was 27 euros but I wound up paying 75 euros with charges and delivery fees.

    For people who are interested in travelling and buying tickets, most Premier League clubs operate an official ticket exchange where season ticket holders can sell their tickets. Here is the link to Arsenal’s:

    The only issue is you will rarely find tickets for premium matches on sale there That’s because there are other agencies that buy tickets from holders that don’t use them or sell them for specific games to help subsidize the cost of their season ticket.

    One of those is and they are listing single tickets for the Arsenal-Dortmund match at between $300 and $450 US (or roughly 190 to 280 pounds). By contrast, you could probably pick up the same ticket for the match against Norwich for less than half of those prices.

    Hope this information is helpful to fans who are interested in travelling over to Europe to watch their club. I’ve been over several times and have wound up meeting and making several friends in that time.

  4. smiley says:

    Ed – It depends on the match. Similar to the US, european scalpers (both human and online sites) buy all available tickets for top matches, opening day, etc and sell the tickets at much higher prices.

    Several seasons ago, I had bought tickets to Chelsea Arsenal opening day through an online UK site for aroud 350 dollars each. At halftime, a Chelsea rep (who gave me his biz card which also stated he was an MBE) approached to inform us that the tickets we purchased were sold illegally by a 3rd party and we had to leave.

    The interesting thing was that upon my return to US, I called the online ticket vendor who returned the entire sales amount to my credit card. The English… go figure!

  5. Ed Gomes says:

    I’m fortunate that I get to travel to Europe, mostly Portugal, during the year. When I do, I always try to catch a match somewhere. Granted I’m spoiled, since I usually get somebody to get tickets. Lol.
    On a side note, I’m a huge Benfica fan and always catch a match, even away if possible. But I’ve actually gotten real joy when I’ve attended a smaller clubs match, that’s near where I stay in Lisbon. Belenenses (Belem) is back in the first division, and taking in one of those matches is much quainter.

    My next goal is seeing Roma play. And no, I’m not stupid enough to go the derby.

  6. Alberta Gooner says:

    Here’s an interesting story about Newcastle United agreeing to a reciprocal pricing agreement for away supporters with West Brom and Swansea City for their Premier League matches this season.

  7. Smiley says:

    I see no point in Wenger signing a 2 year extension if his “value buy” arrogance leaves Arsenal 4 points (or more) below title winners for the tenth year in a row… no matter how many FA or League Cups he wins alongside Swansea and Wigan.

    Any extension should be done at seasons end. Only a fool would reward Wenger for losing the league title or failing to reach the CL semis because of his stubbornness to add another world class CF, CB and DMC.

  8. Ed Gomes says:

    Arsenal will pay Wenger handsomely ASAP.
    The powers at be see what is happening at Man United, City, Chelsea and to a certain extent Spurs. Either a chosen manager is struggling or spending to turn over the club. Why wouldn’t the owners be afraid to kill the golden goose.
    Wenger has helped fill the coffers and in their minds a switch at the helm could actually cause a drop and the crazy spending that will be demanded.

    Futebol has become much more than Silverware. Yes the City owners want and need that so they can build the brand and actually expand globally. In Spain Real craves and needs it in order to remain the stars destination. But all that brings in money.
    Wenger, you can argue, that he has a shot at Silverware. I know that he argues that point. Why would the owners change that. They may actually feel this is the season they can take advantage of others adversity.

    A question;
    Would Arsenal fans feel different if they wouldn’t have lost that final verse Birmingham?

  9. smiley says:

    Ed – That’s like asking if the fans of Chelsea, Manyoo, Bayern, Juve, Barca, Madrid and a few other teams (in terns of wealth) would be satisfied with 1 meaningless trophy in 10 years. Perhaps the delusional ones with ADD.

  10. John Bladen says:

    Not all Arsenal fans feel that way, Ed. I wouldn’t personally feel any different if the result v Birmingham had been otherwise. Some might view “any” trophy as a cause for celebration… but for big clubs some are really more like consolation prizes.

  11. Ed Gomes says:

    JB, I agree. The “coffee cup” only becomes meaningful years from know when it gets lumped in with other Silverware for the count total.

    Moyes continues to pull of his magic.
    Wellbeck in to put game away? He falls asleep and almost allows equalizer.
    Smalling in for defensive purposes. Southampton gets equalizer.

    After Man United scored, they really came to life and could and should have scored another. To Southampton’s credit, they weather that storm and once again showed well. They moved the ball with purpose, even if the opportunities didn’t always come.
    Inexcusable draw for Man United. They are now 1-2-1 at home.

    It’s not getting better.

  12. Ed Gomes says:

    I know its a critical win, but another lackluster performance at home. An own goal nabs the three points.
    I’m beginning to think that Fergie picked Moyes in order to enhance his legacy further.

  13. Ed Gomes says:

    Since I’m beating the drum, I thought I would share the following I read, in regards to Man United. I happen to agree with them.

    “This year, United looks like a typical, conservative team. This approach made sense at Everton, where Moyes was on a limited budget. You know what costs a lot of money? Strikers, advanced creative playmakers, and incisive, deep-lying playmakers. Moyes minimized those roles, out of necessity. This is the wrong system for United.”


    I hope you don’t mind me posting the link, if so I apologize.
    After reading this on the train last evening, and watching today’s first half verse Stoke, I’m about done.
    If they go on to lose or draw, forget getting fired, Moyes should resign.

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