You’ve always needed to be stoic to support Plymouth Argyle. But now you need deep pockets too. According to a new annual study published by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) Plymouth Argyle fans will face the highest cost of any football fans when following their club away from home over the Christmas period.
They’ll be forking out a whopping £468 cheering their team on at MK Dons and Blackpool compared to an average across England’s four leagues of £170. These costs include the match-day tickets, travel and food and drink at the ground, but exclude additional items such as parking, programmes and other souvenirs.
Watching football over the Christmas and New Year period is a tradition for thousands of ardent fans but its clearly an expensive one – and a time consuming one too given how few trains will run over the period, leaving fans little choice but to drive or find other means of transport. At that point the alternative – watching the games on TV or in the pub – must look quite appealing. But it’s to the fans’ credit that many persevere. Stoicism is clearly not restricted to Plymouth supporters.
The Chief Executive of the FSF, Kevin Miles, has used the report’s launch to call on the clubs to take action against what he sees as increasingly prohibitive costs. He was quoted as saying “Away fans are a huge part of our match-going tradition and that shouldn’t be taken for granted, so clubs and sponsors can and should do more in making football as affordable as possible.”
Well good luck with that idea. The Pilgrims, as the Plymouth team are called, may only be playing in League One but their highest paid player, Matt Macey, is still reportedly on a salary of £450,000 per year.
Some Premier league players, of course, earn that kind of money in just two weeks but if it’s any consolation to the fans their obscene salaries come at a price. Manchester United’s coach, Jose Mourinho, has just ordered the team to turn up for training on Christmas Day this year at 4.00pm. Just when their fans will be tucking into the turkey.