Last season Bayern Munich took Europe by storm, winning an unprecedented treble under coach Jupp Heynckes.
Amazingly, fans of Bayern could pay as little as £104 to attend all of the Bavarians' home matches. On the other hand, the cheapest season ticket available in the Premier League last season was priced at £255 to see Wigan Athletic.
Something is clearly wrong when fans of a relatively small club relegated from the Premier League are paying more than double that of fans of the Champions League winners for a season ticket.
Considering the utter dominance of Bayern Munich last season, it may come as a surprise to some that their fans paid so little to follow their team.
Club President Uli Hoeness has said: “We could charge more than £104. Let's say we charged £300. We'd get £2m more in income but what's £2m to us? In a transfer discussion you argue about that sum for five minutes. But the difference between £104 and £300 is huge for the fan.”
Hoeness demonstrates a consideration for fans rarely seen in the Premier League. He added: “We do not think the fans are like cows, who you milk. Football has got to be for everybody. That's the biggest difference between us and England.”
Those defending the ticketing policy of English clubs may argue that the high prices are necessary to help fund the development of the playing squad. However, the success of Bayern and German rivals Borussia Dortmund last season seems to suggest that high ticket prices are not essential to success on the pitch.
For example, Bayern knocked out Arsenal from last year’s Champions League despite the Gunners pricing their cheapest season ticket at a staggering £985, at least treble the price of an equivalent ticket at every single Bundesliga club.
This is not to single out Arsenal, across England fans are being asked to pay huge amounts of money to follow their team. In the Premier League especially, teams are receiving an extraordinarily large amount of income from television rights and advertising.
Indeed, fans have recently protested in London, claiming that the £5.5bn television deal recently agreed by the Premier League would be enough to knock £600 off every season ticket in the league.
There have been some positive signs, with Stoke City recently announcing that they will be providing free transport for all of their fans travelling to away matches this season.
Considering the wealth enjoyed by teams in the top flight, is it not time more teams followed Stoke in making things easier for their fans?
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