The common man who works 40 hours per week heading into Saturdays is being priced out of live professional sporting events held all over the world. Things are no different in England. English Premier League and Football League tickets are, according to a BBC Price of Football report that was released in October 2014, rising at three times the rate of inflation.
It’s not surprising that some Premier League clubs do better than others in lessening the financial burden on those who want to watch matches live and in-person. What is somewhat unexpected is that the teams featured in this piece are not all minnows of English football. One of the clubs earned European football last season.
These are the 10 least expensive Premier League match-day tickets for 2014-15.
10. Hull City: £50 ($80.65 USD)
Hull have been good value for supporters who choose to attend home matches each season. The club has enjoyed multiple stints in the Premier League over the past several years. Hull returned to the top-flight in the spring of 2012, and they could be set for a lengthy stay this time around.
While Hull finished only two spots ahead of the relegation zone a season ago, it was their FA Cup run that stood out. Hull made it through to the Final, and that trip earned them a Europa League berth. They made their European debut earlier this year, but Hull failed to qualify for the Europa League group stages.
9. Leicester City: £50 ($80.65 USD)
Leicester are a bit higher on this list than one may have imagined. They were in the Championship a season ago when they earned the right to join the top-flight after winning that league. Leicester finished atop the Championship table on 102 points, nine points ahead of second-place Burnley.
It was the second time the club had moved up a division in five years.
Odds are that Leicester will struggle to remain a Premier League side for any real length of time. They haven’t had a substantial Premier League run in over a decade, and Leicester are in the bottom-fourth of the table as of the middle of October.
8. Stoke City: £50 ($80.65 USD)
It was under manager Tony Pulis that Stoke became modern Premier League mainstays. Pulis was the first manager in the history of the club to lead Stoke to an FA Cup Final. He also guided the team through a Europa League journey. Stoke’s progression under Pulis ended there, however, and Pulis left the club after the 2012-13 season.
Life has been good at Stoke under current boss Mark Hughes, who replaced Pulis before last season began. Stoke had its best ever Premier League finish – ninth in the table – under Hughes. Stoke defeated defending league champions Manchester City on August 30 of this year.
7. Everton: £47 ($75.81 USD)
Everton take care of their fans as it pertains to ticket prices and positive results. Five of the teams that finished in the top-six of the Premier League table last season are responsible for the top-seven most expensive league matchday tickets in 2014. The most expensive Everton matchday ticket cost half as much as the most expensive Chelsea matchday ticket.
The Toffees will be facing a difficult challenge over the next several months. Manager Roberto Martinez has to deal with managing squads for Europa League contests and also domestic competitions. Martinez has had a rough go of things early on, as Everton are in the bottom half of the Premier League table as of October 20.
6. Aston Villa: £45 ($72.58)
Ticket prices over at Villa could soon change. Whether or not they will rise or fall has yet to be determined.
Randy Lerner has been a busy businessman over the past several years regarding his sports interests. Lerner agreed to sell National Football League franchise the Cleveland Browns to Jimmy Haslam, who had a minority share of the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 2012. Villa supporters were hoping that at least some of what was reported to be $1 billion earned from the sale of the Browns would be invested in the club.
Lerner could instead be looking to sell Villa. Rumors emerged earlier this year that he could obtain £340 million ($548.39 million USD) on such a deal. It has recently been reported that Lerner’s asking price has dipped to £100m ($161.29 million USD).
5. Swansea City: £45 ($72.58 USD)
That’s a fair price for what should be a great seat to watch Swansea. They have been in the Premier League since the 2011-12 season. Swans won the League Cup in February 2013 when they crushed Bradford City 5-0 in the Final. That achievement earned the club a spot in the 2013-14 Europa League.
Manager Garry Monk has been tasked with making Swansea something other than a middle-of-the-road club that merely hangs in the Premier League. Monk has Swans in the top half of the league table eight games into the current campaign. Swansea finished twelfth for the 2013-14 season.
4. Burnley: £42 ($67.74 USD)
The ups-and-downs of English football are real. Burnley were flying high on the final day of the 2013-14 Championship season. They had finished second in the league table, a run good enough to guarantee a spot in the Premier League for 2014-15.
Most are expecting Burnley won’t be around the top-flight for long.
Burnley do not, on paper, have the goods to finish above the final fourth of the league table. It is widely believed that they will be relegated before Survival Sunday. The club is earning half of a point per league contest as of October 20.
3. Crystal Palace: £40 ($64.52 USD)
Everything seemed to be going so well for Palace after a dream end to last season. Tony Pulis took over as manager at the club that seemed destined for relegation in November 2013. Pulis not only saved Palace from a fall into the second division. He guided the club to an admirable eleventh-place finish.
Then, out of nowhere, the man who won Manager of the Year last season was gone.
It was announced two days before the start of the current campaign that Pulis had left Palace by mutual consent. Pulis later admitted that his job at the club nearly cost him his marriage. Neil Warnock is serving as Pulis’s replacement, and Palace are early favorites to be in danger next spring.
2. Sunderland: £40 ($64.52 USD)
Sunderland fans certainly deserve a break. They have found themselves on an emotional roller coaster as of late.
Manager Paolo Di Canio, who played the role of Sunderland savior in the spring of 2013, predictably turned the Black Cats into a disaster. The club signed 14 players during the summer, and Sunderland earned a single point in its first five games at the start of the 2013-14 campaign.
That run of form cost Di Canio his job.
Gus Poyet replaced Di Canio, and Poyet kept Sunderland in the Premier League. He could be in for another tough season, however, as the Black Cats have gotten off to another slow start this fall.
1. West Bromwich Albion: £39 ($62.90 USD)
West Brom had a rough 2013-14 season. They found themselves in a relegation fight through the spring months. The Baggies were but four points from being in the drop zone at the end of the campaign, and they finished 17th in the Premier League table.
All of that said, West Brom having such cheap ticket prices is great value for fans.
The club has been a Premier League side for the majority of the past 12 years. They may not contend for a title, but West Brom also shouldn’t be relegation candidates on the final Sunday of the campaign. West Brom could easily justify having more expensive ticket prices.