Rising costs hit away supporters hard

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Premier League football fans following their teams on their travels this season will clock up an astonishing average of 2,031 miles a-piece.

But many could be priced out of away travel altogether, according to new research from Virgin Money – because they’ll have to pay on average 26% more for their fuel during the current campaign.

The Virgin Money Football Fans’ Inflation Index shows how far fans go to follow their teams, and highlights the fact that, with petrol prices rising, they’ll need deeper pockets than ever this season.

During the past two years the cost of attending games has risen by 36.25% – and has shot up some 21% in the last three months alone.

The average cost of attending an away match day for an individual is now £106.21 – the first time the £100 barrier has been broken since the Index was launched in January 2006.

Back in 2006, a gallon of petrol cost just £4.06, meaning the average fan would have forked out around £192 at the pump over the course of a season following their team.

But with fuel price rises, that same fan can now expect to pay around £243 for the same journeys – and will have to find a further £50 to feed their football habit.

And, with one in ten Premiership fans currently travelling more than 5,000 miles each season following their teams, Virgin Money warns spiralling prices could result in some supporters starting to stay at home.

“The question is, with rising ticket prices, programme costs, food expenses, merchandising and now increased fuel bills, how much more can the average punter take? This could be the season when many fans stop following their teams away from home”, said Virgin Money’s Scott Mowbray.

“People often focus on rising ticket prices but there are plenty of other factors that affect football fans – not least the distance they travel supporting their teams. The average fan may travel over 2,000 miles in a season but there are thousands of fans going much further than that and the increased cost of petrol will take its toll this year”

“Some 26% of supporters surveyed say they will have to cut back the number of games they attend.”

Malcolm Clarke, Chair of the FSF, also warned that clubs need to bear in mind these factors when pricing tickets: “The price of watching football has risen way beyond the rate of inflation, add to that the huge increase in petrol and travel costs and the football industry needs to watch very carefully.”