After the successful launch of our campaign, and our feature on the BBC Non League Show no less we are ploughing on with points 4 to 6 on our agenda for change. To review or comment on points 1 to 3 click here, otherwise forever hold your peace.
4. All clubs to offer free entry to under 16’s.
Let’s face it, children should not have to pay to watch football. In fact how many actually watch the whole game anyway? Earlier in March I took both of my young children to Chelmsford City. They were charged £3.50 each. £7 for two under ten’s who were then going to spend about the same on snacks, sweets and drinks. They saw no value in the £7. How is charging that amount encouraging parents to bring their children to the games.
Families are being priced out of the professional game. Even in League Two, a child of 7 years old can be charged at up to £10. In the Blue Square Bet Premier some clubs charge up to £7 for juniors which again is far too high.
My reasoning? The pocket money test. Apparently the average weekly pocket money for a ten year old in England is £4.92, well according to the Daily Mail so it’s not 100% correct. In the Fuller household it is £2.50, rising to £3.50 for chores. So according to Crawley Town, if a ten year old wanted to go to a game they will have to pay twice the weekly “salary” of my ten year old. To put that in an adult context, if they charged the same twice the weekly wage to get in then a ticket to watch a Blue Square Bet Premier league game would cost over £1,600!
At the start of this season I did some research on behalf of Lewes FC on ticket prices. The cheapest basic entry in the league was £9, the most expensive £11.50 (Chelmsford City again). But only two clubs offered free entry for the under 16’s – Lewes and Farnborough. Since then a number of clubs have brought in the scheme realising the value it has as a marketing tool. Continue reading