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Fans 'Face Rising Monetary Strain To Support The Beautiful Game'

Mar 9, 2008
Football fans are coming under increase financial pressure, new research shows.

A study conducted by Virgin Money, as part of its Football Fans Inflation Index, reveals that over the course of last year the average supporter shelled out a total of 1,080 pounds on getting behind their team. Such a figure was revealed to account for about five per cent of the typical Briton's annual income. Areas of such spending were revealed to include the cost of match tickets, programmes, food, travel expenses and merchandise.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who are fans of Premiership sides were indicated as having their finances come under more strain. The typical top-flight fan is revealed to spend 614 pounds on entrance into games, compared to a national average of 474 pounds. Meanwhile, travel costs are some 50 pounds more expensive in the top division. Overall, those getting behind the elite 20 clubs in the English game will spend an estimated 1,331 pounds. Out of such consumers, some 12 per cent have paid up to 3,000 pounds solely for entrance into games, with seven per cent shelling out between 300 pounds and 500 pounds on merchandise such as replica shirts and posters. An estimated five per cent of Premier League supporters were shown to splash over 1,000 pounds on travel to and from games.

Following on from the monetary pressures of getting behind their team, it may be possible that many sport-loving consumers develop problems in meeting other areas of financial demand such as personal loans, credit cards and household bills.

The surge in increasing expenses was attributed to the cost of basic goods such as petrol, food and energy. In addition, the wider difficulties experienced in the financial market were indicated as placing more monetary strain on fans. And as consumers may find that their level of disposable income falls, the financial service provider suggested that many people could be discouraged from going to live games and purchasing merchandise.

John Franklin, spokesperson for Virgin Money, said: "2008 will be a real struggle for football fans, regardless of the team they support. While it's true that some clubs have made efforts to reduce ticket prices in an effort to attract more people to match days, the majority of regular football fans will be hard hit by the cost of going to games. And while 2007 saw some tough financial conditions, the outlook for 2008 is potentially even worse, meaning people's expenditure on football will eat into their disposable income even further. Football is a passion and regular fans will not sacrifice their love of the game, even in a tough financial climate."

For those people who are worried about their finances but still want to get behind their team every weekend, taking out a cheap personal loan could be advisable. By applying for a loan, borrowers may be able to pay for season tickets, the latest replica kit and other expenses effectively, leaving them with affordable monthly repayments. This may be of particular assistance to soccer fans, after a recent Callcredit study revealed that rugby supporters may have a better grip on their spending. Pointing to research by Mintel, the credit reference company urged all sport fans to "consider the financial implications" of supporting their heroes.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for the Loan Arrangers. Where visitors can compare loans online, and apply for the best secured loans rate available to them. To read more articles from Mark go to http://news.loan-arrangers.co.uk
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