You’re Supposed To Be At Home!

Posted: September 15, 2011 by chelseachadder in Champions' League, Chelsea, Money, Politics, Tales of the Chadder

There has been a lot of talk amongst Chelsea fans concerning the price of Champions League tickets. The current price to watch the blues at Stamford Bridge in Europe’s most prestigious tournament is £40 (plus a £1.50 booking fee). This is an increase of £10 when compared to last year. There has been talk of fans boycotting the home game vs Genk to show the club that they are not happy with the price.

Last season Chelsea played FC Copenhagen in the first knock out round. The blues had already won the first leg 2-0 against the less than glamorous side. The price of the ticket was around £50, which left lots of regular fans to decide whether to pay for a ticket or just watch the game at home for free. The issue was raised at the official Fan’s Forum and the results of a survey by the Chelsea Supporters’ Group showed that 69% of the 226 respondents weren’t going to the Copenhagen game. Of those, 96 weren’t going because of the price, but 87% would attend if the previous seasons prices had applied.

Many would argue that the club don’t care about the fans that regularly attend as there will always be other fans who would buy a ticket. This is a money making business and Chelsea is one of the hottest tickets in town. Now, if the Genk boycott does go ahead it will be interesting to see if it has any impact on the attendance. I am highlighting this point based on the crowd size of the Bayer Leverkusen game, which was 33,820.

For those of you unfamiliar with Chelsea’s average attendance, it is above 40,000. So how does last night’s attendance rank since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003? Well, the answer is that only 6 other home games have produced a lower turnout.  It is the lowest attendance for four years, since the blues hosted Rosenborg on the 18th September 2007 (24,973), or better known as Jose Mourinho’s last game in charge.

The only games that have had a lower attendance than the Bayer Leverkusen game have been in the Champions League.

The clever pricing of the League Cup games at £25 each has proven popular, and only 2 of the last 12 games have seen a crowd of less than 40,00 (vs QPR and Notts County). Even the FA Cup ticket prices of £30 have produced multiple sell outs. All 18 FA Cup games played at home since the 2004/05 have seen an attendance in excess of 40,000.

So, will the club panic after looking at the size of the crowd? Based on this evidence I very much doubt it. A game with 40,000 fans paying £30 a ticket brings in £1.2m. The Bayer Leverkusen game of 33,000 fans paying £40 brought in £1.32m. (This is an average price, which does not include concessions, but does also not factor in money spent in the bars/restaurant and club shops at the ground which brings in extra revenue).

So, is the difference income worth the bad name the club may get as well as alienating fans? The Genk game will be interesting to see if the boycott has any affect on future ticket pricing policies.

What do you think?

If you liked this article then follow me on Twitter: @ChelseaChadder

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Comments
  1. LD says:

    I think with FFP coming soon, the club has to generate more revenue, no?

  2. Fred Bloggs says:

    Why is the £25 League cup price clever? It was £20 last season. That’s a 25% increase.

    How do you know the £30 price of FA Cup games is popular? We haven’t had one at that price yet. It was £25 last season – a 20% increase.

    We know the £40 CL price isn’t popular due to this first game. It was £30 last season – a 33% increase.

    So we learn 20% increases are fine. 25% increases are fine. 33% increases are not fine.

    We also learn £25 prices (CC) are fine, £30 prices (FAC) are fine, £40 prices (CL) are not fine, but £47/50/51 are fine, £52/55/56 are fine & probably £56/59/64 (PL) are fine too.

    I would appreciate a proper analysis of what’s happening. The article above seems to have been phoned in during a lunch break and doesn’t take us anywhere. I could’ve guessed most of this without knowing anything.

    Poor

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