The finances of football are never far from the news, with player wages, transfer fees and ticket prices common topics of discussion, yet the pandemic has placed the entire industry under severe pressure. A new data study on this topic, The 2022 Football Price Index, analyses ticket prices, players’ market values and the overall value fans in different countries receive to identify where it’s priciest to watch football, and where fans get the best value for money.
Pandemic-related stadium closures and interruptions to league schedules have seen clubs suffer large financial losses; despite winning the Champions League Chelsea reported losses of €174.4m after tax for the latest financial year, while Bayern Munich were the only champions from Europe's top eight leagues to make a profit in 2020/21. With TV rights deals already locked in for the foreseeable future, clubs are likely to see ticket price increases as the best way to recoup their losses, putting the price of watching football and its value firmly into focus.
BudgetAir began the study by analysing ticket prices in the domestic leagues of the world’s best and most historic footballing countries. To do this, we identified the cost of watching a regular match and a premium match in each league, taking ticket price samples for seats in two areas of the stadium: behind the goal and along the touchline. We then used this data to calculate an average price deviation from the dataset median to enable a straightforward comparison of ticket prices from league to league.
Following this, they set out to quantify the entertainment value that fans receive in each country. Firstly, we calculated the overall market value of the players in each league to reveal where the highest value players are on show. They then created a score to show the relationship between the average ticket price and the quality of each league, which we based on its teams’ recent performances in continental competitions and the value of its players.
Next, they analyzed historical match results to identify the average number of goals scored per game in each league. Using this data alongside the average ticket prices, we were able to see where fans pay the most, and least, per goal scored. The resulting index provides a comprehensive analysis of what it costs to watch football around the world in 2021/22, and where football fans get the best value for money.