How much is it costing you to watch the beautiful game?

30th August 2013

Steve Rees, Managing Director of debt consultant Vincent Bond & Co, discusses the costs of watching Premiership football either in person, TV and even mobile devices.

It’s back! Yes, the football season has started again in earnest, with questions about where Wayne Rooney will be playing football in future and talk of record transfer offers for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.

But if you don’t want to be paying over the odds to watch your Saturday afternoon heroes, how can you make sure you are getting to watch without spending close to a Premier League player’s weekly salary?

Football fans have already marched to the Premier League HQ in London in protest at the cost of ticket prices, which despite a new £5.5 billion TV deal have continued to rise.

The cost of away tickets has become a main bone of contention, with one fan back in January unfurling a banner at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium to protest at being charged £62 to watch Manchester City play. At the time, this was nearly double the £35 he would have had to pay to watch Man City play at Southampton, according to reports in The Guardian.

As wage bills rise, so have many season ticket prices, although not across the board. Manchester City happens to have the cheapest season ticket available for fans, at £299, while Arsenal fans face a whopping £985 to watch their team play every match at the Emirates, again according to The Guardian.

For many die-hard fans, this is a price worth paying, but if you prefer to enjoy your football for less and without running the gauntlet of the dodgy half-time meat pie, what can you do?

Well, this year BT Sport has got in on the act, and will be screening 38 Premier League games, with the rights to the remaining 116 staying with Sky Sports.

Just choosing to have the basic Sky TV package and adding the Sky Sports Bundle would cost you £43.50 a month, and at the time of writing you would receive an £75 M&S voucher for signing up. Adding in BT Sport would cost you an extra £12 per month, with a £15 initial activation fee.

Now, if you are a BT Broadband customer, you don’t have to pay a penny extra for BT Sports, which is great news. But if you wanted to have all the Sky games too, you would have to pay extra for those channels, adding £20 per month to your package.

If you are on a tighter budget, do not want to have a monthly contract and can cope with watching any football that is on, then you can get a whole host of matches – including all the World Cup Games from Brazil in 2014, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and England Internationals – on Freeview which has no monthly subscription and you will pay as little as £20 for the box.

Alternatively, if you are just after catching up with all the goals from Premier League games, The Sun has its Sun+ App which will stream footage of every Premier League goal to your Smartphone with a short time delay for £2 per week – and you can access a range of additional discounts too.

No matter how much you love the Beautiful Game, it is important to keep your financial affairs in check. So if money is tight, you may have to go without. Or find some mates who enjoy the footie as much as you do, and either chip in so you can all watch the games at one house, or head down the local to get your footballing fix. But watch how much you are spending on the rounds.

A former teacher, Steve Rees is now Managing Director of debt consultant Vincent Bond & Co, whose firm deals with over 10,000 credit agreements per month.

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