Football

Bradford City are ambitiously seeking a return to the Premier League.

Bradford City owner explains why they will charge £1 for tickets if they return to the Premier League

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The Premier League has long been accused of pricing the average football fan out of the game and the cost of watching English football's top flight is continuing on a steady upward trend.

Even the Championship is beginning to charge Premier League prices, which left Aston Villa fans angered upon their first season in the second division after facing £42 ticket costs for their season opener away to Sheffield Wednesday.

A season ticket in the Premier League can cost thousands, while supporters have to be prepared to cash out anything from £30 to £45 on average for a single match ticket. In reality, the sums are horrifying when considered how much clubs generate through TV revenue.

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And that is part of the reason why Bradford City co-owner Edin Rahic has made a bold promise to the club's supporters - should they achieve their ultimate goal of returning to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.

The club have been stranded in the lower divisions of English football for many years now, while their support hasn't wavered - boasting the biggest capacity to attendance ratio in League One, while averaging the second-highest gates in the division.

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Nearly 18,000 fans pack into Valley Parade to watch their team in their quest to, ultimately, return to the promised land, and those are attendance figures which for most of the 24 teams in the third tier of English football could only dream of.

Indeed, in partly helps that the club are in with a great chance of being promoted to the Championship this campaign, but Rahic is desperate to repay the club's loyal support by offering them something no other Premier League side would be willing to match.

Bantams' Premier League dream

"It's our dream, of course, to be in the Premier League and, if we get there, the tickets will be £1 per game," Rahic said, per The Times.

Naturally, it seems impossible that a club like Bradford could sustain themselves financially by virtually giving away their tickets - given the fact that Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and co. all command such high ticket prices.

Bradford City v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One

However, for the Premier League's smaller clubs it can have an even smaller impact on their revenue - given that clubs' matchday income rarely exceeds a third over their overall turnover.

And with the new multi-billion pound TV rights deal in place, Premier League clubs are generating £100m+ a season from such a deal, which 'could' allow them to subsidise ticket prices.

That, Rahic believes, can make football more affordable for Bantams fans who have supported their club in huge numbers - whether that has been away to Shrewsbury Town in the league or causing an FA Cup upset at Chelsea in recent years.

Rahic aims to repay fans

"You already get at least £100 million from the TV money. The income of the ticketing would be a small percentage compared to TV money." Rahic continued.

Bradford City v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One

"When you look at ticket prices in the Premier League, when even the bottom of the table gets £100 million in TV money, I think it's a shame to charge so much.

"So why would you not give something back to the fans? I want to have the best atmosphere in England."

Bradford are currently three points off an automatic promotion place in League One, but if they do secure Championship football for next season - whether that be automatically or via the play-offs - they will be one step closer to their dream of affordable Premier League football.

Bantams fans currently pay as little as £149 for their season tickets and the club's gates are benefiting as a reward. Owners of Premier League clubs could take a lot from Rahic's fan-first mentality.

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Topics:
England Football
Football
Bradford City
League One
Championship
League Two

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