Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Season ticket prices increased by three times rate of inflation

So after weeks of secrecy and a 'wait and see' approach, Tottenham have now announced the season ticket prices for the 2008-09 season. And boy is it a surprise they were kept a secret until the last possible moment?

On average prices have risen 9.2% compared to last year, or £76 per person. The following table shows a simple comparison:

These price increases translate to the equivalent of £3.63 per match extra on average compared to 2007-08. With annual inflation currently running at 3%, £1.19 of the increase can be blamed on the general economy - but the rest represents a real terms increase.

So is it worth it? Well the benefits that a season ticket holder are entitled to are no different to last time around, so the question needs to apply to what we see on the pitch.

Firstly the personnel. We may have signed Modric but he is yet to prove himself. In my opinion if we're not going to get to watch Berba week in and week out then I'm not convinced such a hefty rise is good value for supporters.

From a goals point of view I wouldn't expect Spurs to score as many goals next season as we've managed this time. In the 21 matches that season ticket holders were eligible for, we scored 54 goals or 2.6 goals per game (including eight matches where we managed four or more goals).

In terms of results I think there is room for improvement. We notched up ten wins and five draws in our 21 matches compared to 14 wins and three draws in the previous season. Without having a spectacular season in 2008-09 I still hope we can improve our home form.

Finally let's look at performances. We have endured a whole string of lethargic and uninspiring performances, especially since our Wembley win, so yes I'm definitely hopeful of better next season. However, since so many games were so dire I actually think fans should be in credit and therefore the price hikes aren't fair. We need to be 'paid back' for this season's lost performances!

In summary then I'm saying that on three out of four counts the magnitude of the price increases don't represent good value to supporters

What irked me more was the announcement from the club that, "In order to progress both on and off the pitch, we need to be able to continue to raise our level of investment in the squad and all areas of the club's operations and facilities. The 2008-09 season will, therefore, see an average price increase of £3 per match." This doesn't convince me.

I expect that the price increases, although fairly hefty for individuals, will not have a massive impact on the club's turnover. The average increase of £76 per person multiplied by approximately 21,000 season ticket holders, will only generate an extra £1.6 million - maybe one new signing's wages for a year (if that). It is also cheeky of the club to claim it's a £3 per match increase when it is in fact closer to £4.

Anyway, we all know that I, like thousands of others, are devoted to Spurs and it is therefore inconceivable that I won't renew my ticket. Fortunately I can afford to, whereas I imagine a number of people (including some of the supporters who sit near me) won't be able to. So my verdict on (a) the manner in which the club have handled the communications, and (b) the actual magnitude of the price rises, both get the thumbs down.


Tom Osborne said...

I think you're spot on. This is about preparing to break our infamous salary cap so that we can attract bigger-name (not necessarily better, mind) players. Disgraceful exploitation by the club. Just because Joe Lewis tipped £500m down a black hole (failed investment bank) doesn't mean that we should all foot the bill when performances have gotten worse, not better!

Anonymous said...

Don't get sucked in with the line of inflation only being 3%. Check your fuel bill, petrol price or food prices. Not saying it excuses price rises but it does make your headline a bit sensational.

The issue here is our small stadium. Our prices are high because demand for tickets is high and suply of seats is low. People not being able to get tickets means they want season tickets, which drives up the prices. I don't really see it as evil from the club. It's not good for the average fan, but it is understandable.

p.s. what is the inflation rate for player wages and transfer fees?!?!

Anonymous said...

Ubfortunately I am in West Lower - 15% increase ! £6 per game.