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COUNTING THE COST OF LOYALTY – The financial burden of following your team. | El Centrocampista
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El Centrocampista

COUNTING THE COST OF LOYALTY – The financial burden of following your team.

By Heath Chesters

With the new season now under way, most fans at clubs throughout Spain will have already bought their season ticket or “abono”.

Also known as a “carnet” due to its similarity in appearance to a credit card, which incidentally, you may need to take a big chunk out of to buy some of the pricier ones, they differ slightly from the season tickets found at Barclays Premier League clubs.

In the case of clubs such as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, an additional club membership is required to apply for and purchase the season ticket, this can increase the overall cost significantly.

The lowest prices to be found are most commonly areas behind the goals, whilst the highest are usually situated within the central areas of what are considered the main stands, or covered seating.

The prices at Spanish football clubs however still compare favourably to prices in England, where the average cost of a season ticket rises year upon year.

The following table lists the current prices at top flight La Liga clubs and are based on published standard season ticked prices for adults for 19x league matches.

It does not include executive/VIP options, boxes, concessions for children/juniors/OAP’s or disability access areas. “Executive” and box options can vary wildly from club to club, whilst most clubs also offer disability access areas at much reduced prices.

Prices are also based on “new” season ticket applications, as some clubs offer discounts for existing season ticket holders.

Club

Lowest

Highest

Athletic Bilbao € 421 € 1,157
Atlético Madrid € 310 € 1,160
FC Barcelona          € 92 € 764
Real Betis € 288 € 868
Espanyol € 250 € 760
Getafe            € 360 € 580
Granada CF € 340 € 975
Levante € 220 € 600
Málaga CF € 288 € 1,412
Mallorca € 240 € 690
Osasuna € 373 € 1,010
Racing Santander € 195 € 745
Rayo Vallecano € 280 € 750
Real Madrid € 213 € 1,757
Real Sociedad € 222 € 562
Sevilla            € 410 € 1,260
Sporting Gijon € 355 € 745
Valencia € 231 € 1,416
Villareal € 310 € 1,125
Real Zaragoza         € 298 € 943
Average € 284.80 € 963.95

The cheapest season ticket anywhere in Spain, is with the reigning domestic and European champions, Barcelona. Important to note though, that these seats are in the very highest part of the stadium and binoculars are not included!

Many clubs include entry to all Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) matches for the price of a season ticket. Notable exclusions to this are Real Madrid, who offer a EuroAbono option, which includes entry to Copa del Rey and Champions League group matches. Athletic Bilbao do include earlier rounds of the Copa del Rey, but exclude the quarter-finals and semi-finals, should they reach that stage of the competition.

Due to the economic climate, many clubs have either frozen prices, or reduced them. This doesn’t apply to the newly promoted clubs though, where prices have risen between a third and double the costs for the Segunda.

This differs greatly from the situation in England, where a recent survey revealed almost 15% of season ticket holders at Barclays Premier League clubs were not renewing their tickets for the 2011/12 season.

The survey by the Virgin Money Football Fans’ inflation index claims average prices have risen 18% from the previous season, with the financial burden having a significant impact on supporters.

Among specific clubs, Manchester United’s non-renewals stand at 28%, Aston Villa’s at 27% and Arsenal’s at 22%.

Loyalty seems strongest amongst Liverpool fans, however, with just 4% of the Kop faithful claiming they will not renew their season tickets.

Contrary to expectations, given the high levels of unemployment throughout Spain, early indications suggest that season ticket sales are on the increase in La Liga.

Season tickets obviously work out to be a cheaper option than paying individually for match tickets for every game, but most clubs are also offering finance and flexible payment options, so fans don’t need to pay one lump sum – something that is proving extremely attractive.

Based on the average prices shown for La Liga, over the course of the season the cheapest prices work out at around € 15 per match, whilst the highest works out at around € 50 per match. Overall, not bad value for one of the most popular leagues in the world.

Compare this figure to the average of cost of watching a match in the Barclays Premier League, claimed to be £101.04 by the Virgin Money survey, and it soon becomes clear that watching football in Spain can be a lot less financially draining than watching the English equivalent.

It appears the style of football is not the only thing that separates football in England and Spain.




2 Comments

  1. leeroden

    12 September, 2011 at 10:56

    I believe Barça are also launching a scheme where members who want to relocate to a new area (basically, they’re trying to create an atmosphere, so they want an area of the stadium where fans are always singing) will receive a discount. Not sure if it has been launched yet.

  2. leeroden

    12 September, 2011 at 10:58

    Great article by the way.

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