FOOTBALL fans face forking out more than £2,000 to cheer on their club during the new season.
Britain’s one million season -ticket holders have a big bill ahead as they return en masse for the first time in over a year and pre-season friendlies begin next month.
Premier League fixtures starting in August were announced this week, while the Football League schedule will be unveiled on Thursday.
Supporters are likely to shell out around £1.5billion following the footie next season, according to data trends in a study by investment firm eToro and accountants KPMG.
Premier League fans face paying up to £3,000 for tickets, travel, merchandise, food, drink and TV subscriptions.
The average annual costs for the Football League are less — around £2,000 — and some lower league fans will have an even smaller bill.
A spokesman for eToro said: “There are hard costs in being a loyal football fan. We need to bridge the gap between investment and value.”
Amid fears of supporters being priced out, here is how to save on the sport we love.
Premier League games average around £40 per adult ticket, with the Championship costing around £30, League One £25 and League Two £20.
If you cannot afford your team’s tickets but still want to watch football, pick a lower-league club and watch them.
SAVE: £10 per game
Replica shirts average more than £50 in the Premier League, and only slightly less in lower divisions. Add shorts and socks, and a parent and two children won’t get much change from £200.
Skip a shirt now and again.
SAVE: £50 per season
Programmes, food and drink
In-stadium buys add up. Match-day programmes average £3, a pint £4, cup of tea £2, pie £3 and burger £5. A pub visit for beers and grub will add more. Swapping a pie and a pint for a half-time packed lunch and flask of tea might take a while to get used to, but your wallet will thank you.
SAVE: £10 per game
Car, coach and rail tickets more than double the cost of watching long-distance away games. But car-sharing and booking rail tickets up to 12 weeks in advance slashes costs.
SAVE: £30 per away game
Sky Sports and BT Sport can cost £600 a year, but Match Of The Day Premier League highlights are free on BBC TV, as is local radio commentary. Meanwhile, iFollow radio coverage is £45 for the season.
SAVE: £555 per season
'I'd rather watch youth teams than footie on Sky'
MEGAFAN Tim Hillyer can watch his beloved AFC Wimbledon’s home matches for half the price of games at Chelsea.
The finance director, 62, will pay £21 per game at the League One Dons’ new Plough Lane home, just three miles from Stamford Bridge.
He also travels to away games – and has hardly missed a match for 30 years.
Tim from Wimbledon Park, South London, saves cash on his awayday trips by booking bargain train tickets in advance.
And he forks out on buying a few items from the club shop every season – but does not pay for TV sport.
The Dons Trust board member said: “The pleasure I get from being part of our club’s community means the money I spend is great value.
“I buy cheap train tickets in advance – and would rather watch our youth or women’s teams than football on Sky.”
Tickets: £1,100 (for 46 games)
Programmes, food & drink: £1,000
'I spend a lot but it's good value as I enjoy it so much'
DAN SILVER has Chelsea in his blood and says the £4,380-a-year he spends supporting his club is worth every penny.
The sales manager has been a season ticket holder for 38 years – after taking over the annual ticket from his grandad, who first saw the team play in 1921.
Dan, 47, pays £50 for each home game and spends around £70 on food and drinks before and after matches with a group of 20 friends. He lives in North London so travels to Stamford Bridge on bargain Tube fares. At the moment, he does not buy replica shirts – but does splash out for Sky Sports and BT Sport to watch footie.
Dan, communications officer for Chelsea Supporters Trust, said: “It is a lot, but is good value as I enjoy it so much.
“Seeing all the familiar faces in the pub made me realise how much I’d missed watching Chelsea during lockdown.”
Tickets: £940 (for 19 games)
Programmes, food & drink: £1,330
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