Why aren’t people going to football anymore?
Even future lord of football Vincent Kompany has called it out so we asked the team what stops them going to see their team.
“You can’t beat the TV experience”
Jack Kennedy, neutral
With ticket prices at an all-time high, pints and food setting you back a fair bit and a pretty hefty TV subscription wasting away at home, as a neutral why go to a football match?
Although I don’t have that tribal following of a team, I’m still a huge fan of the game and like nothing more than watching a match on the weekend – but for me, and this could be unpopular, you can’t beat the TV experience.
Let’s start with the positives; a comfy seat to sit and watch the game in, no-one who thinks they’re the next Jose Mourinho screaming tactics at the players from 100 yards away, the warmth of the fire in your local and a direct route to beer before, during and after.
Better yet, the TV coverage is so strong and comprehensive that watching the game on the box is a completely different prospect to being in the stands.
You get unrivalled expert analysis to enhance to your viewing, access to brilliant stats from their boffins and some good banter from the pundits – everything that will make you look like a genius next time you’re having a debate in the pub.
Yes you miss out on the singing and the ‘atmosphere’ but I’d take a comfy chair with a cold one over freezing my b*****s off at Spotland any day of the week.
“Nothing will stop me going every week”
Sean Cook, Spurs fan
This season has been my first as a season ticket holder and unlike fans of other clubs, my seat hasn’t been in my home stadium.
This was always on the cards, and like most I’ve embraced it.
What Wembley has enabled me to do, is to see my team every week. Tickets for White Hart Lane were like gold dust, with a random ballot system and a healthy loyalty point total your only chance of entry.
It had even got the stage whereby if you’d offered me a seat at £100+ to see West Brom at home last season, I probably would have bitten your hand off.
I would happily choose to see Spurs in the flesh over watching them on TV. I’m currently able to watch the best striker in the world score goals in the Champions League surrounded by his mates. But this is of course a very privileged position to be in.
The new stadium prices are making me think twice about renewing my ticket, don’t get me wrong, but deep down I know nothing will stop me going every week.
Fortunately for fans unable to go to games frequently, Spurs are on TV quite a bit. But for me it still doesn’t come close to the real thing.
Sure, watching on your sofa in the warm is no bad thing, but there truly is no feeling quite like being amongst the smells, sounds and sights of your fellow fans on match-day.
Then we turn to our resident Leeds fan who unfortunately (or fortunately, dependent on form) lives 200 miles from where his team plays.
“When you live in London football isn’t the be all and end all”
Nick Elliott, Leeds fan
Why don’t I go to more games?
For a start, I’m a Leeds fan living in London. The extra travel time means going to a game is considerably more time-consuming than jumping on a bus to Selhurst Park or hopping on the tube Stamford Bridge. It’s not an afternoon, it’s an all-dayer at the very least.
Then there’s the cost, not just of the train but the tickets. £40 to watch Leeds in the Championship this season. And given our form over the last few months, that’s near-on daylight robbery.
As a football journalist (and I use that term in the loosest way possible) I have to work most weekends and so that means half-watching Leeds on a dodgy stream at my desk in London Bridge rather than trying to mask my southern accent in the Revie Stand at Elland Road.
I’d love to go to more games; a rousing chorus of ‘Marching on Together’ still gives me goosebumps if I’ve foolishly allowed myself to believe a comeback is possible.
However, if I supported a team in London, I doubt I’d buy a season-ticket. London offers the alternative of spending that money one weekend at a time in search of other pursuits.
I’m off to Elland Road in April though, having strategically selected the Sunderland fixture for my next trip north. We’ll beat them at least, won’t we?
Some people just love the game and no matter the cost will trudge out to see 22 men kick a ball round a pitch every week, let’s hear why from our lower league man.
“I spend most of my money going to football”
Andrew Butler, Leyton Orient fan
I basically spend most of my money on going to football matches, which doesn’t leave me with much left when I have to tentatively open the banking app on my phone.
So I can totally understand it when football fans decide they want to stay at home and watch it on TV from the comfort of their own sofa, beer in hand and not risking the threat of death from exposure.
While I personally think the live experience is unmatched by TV, you can’t argue when someone says they can’t be bothered with the hassle of going to a match which involves either parking 20 minutes away or getting overcrowded public transport, cramming into a queue to get in, drinking a warm pint that cost £6 in five seconds flat prior to kick-off, potentially watching your team lose before having to make your way home through matchday traffic.
The cost? Anywhere up to about £100 in some cases, and your precious day off. Top use of time.
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