Value for Money at The Saxons? You Decide...
Few football fans could have failed to notice the recent BBC survey into prices at football clubs around the country.
With the resultant comparison showing that in the top four divisions of English football the price of the cheapest adult ticket has risen by on average 11.7%.
The survey looked at the cost of season tickets and match-day ticket prices, as well as the price of programme, pie and drink at stadiums throughout Great Britain, to calculate the cheapest day out at a football club in the country.
Only two clubs in the whole of the football league could offer a day out for less than £20.
Malcolm Clarke the chairman of the Football Supporters Federation feels that the pricing structure in football is threatening to drive more and more supporters away from the game;
“We want football to be available to all income levels. Certainly at some levels that is not the case. We are in the wrong ballpark for prices of tickets”
“I hear all the time of long-term supporters who have given up their season tickets because they resent paying the money they are asked to pay. There is a danger that supporters feel alienated”
“Fans are facing the same economic difficulty as everyone else”
By contrast however Stockport Sports are able to offer great value entertainment for all the family at the impressive Stockport Sports Village complex.
To attend a game at a local club in the Blue Square Premier it would cost £16 for the cheapest match-day ticket, which obviously would not provide the best view of the action, £3 for a programme, £2.90 for a pie and a further £1.80 for a cup of tea, so the cheapest possible day out would total £23.70.
The cheapest season tickets at Manchester United are £532, Manchester City £275, Hyde £199 and Stockport County £250. At Stockport Sports Village a season ticket that guarantees entry to every league game costs just £70 for an adult or £120 for a family. There are also a variety of discount packages available for OAP's and students.
At Stockport Sports Village it costs just £7 for an adult to see The Saxons in their quest at the top of the North West Counties League table. For £7 supporters can choose whether to stand close to the action around the stadium, or sit in either of the covered stands available. A copy of The Saxon, the official Stockport Sports match-day magazine costs just £2. At pitch side there is a snack bar serving food and drink at very reasonable prices.
Alternatively there are a variety of VIP packages available at Stockport Sports Village. For just £14.95 supporters can receive;
* Pre-match meal – for example
Chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce, with carrots, broccoli & roast potatoes
Chocolate fudge pudding with vanilla sauce
* Reserved seating in the main stand
* Reserved seating in the VIP area of The Saxon Suite (in full view of the pitch)
* Complimentary 'Match day Programme
* Meet 'Storm the Saxon' - Photo Opportunity
* Vote for 'Man of the Match, with presentation of Champagne to the chosen MOM in the Saxon Suite post-match
* Meet Aston Villa & England 'Legend' - Peter Withe, Manager of Stockport Sports FC
* An opportunity to meet with players and other club officials post-match
The Saxon Suite also has plasma televisions showing live Sky Sports, a fully licensed bar and serves a variety of meals and snacks making it the ideal place to enjoy your match-day experience.
On the playing side The Saxons are also in great form of late. Unbeaten in the league for six games and with the leagues top striker John Marsden in great form the team have been scoring goals at will. At the other end of the pitch Russell Saunders shows each week why supporters believe him to be one of the best goalkeepers outside the Football League, while Mike Tomlinson the clubs inspirational skipper is a great role model for younger fans. Crafty midfielder Liam Irwin is a Republic of Ireland youth international and his performances improve by the week, while the dazzling trickery of winger Matty Ward ties defenders in knots. The talent on display certainly makes a visit to Stockport Sports Village worthwhile.
The message is clear, while the BBC Price of Football survey suggests that there is less value in football, if supporters are willing to look around and attend football at a slightly lower level, then they are able to watch the game that they love for a reasonable price, be entertained and take the whole family for a fraction of the cost of a game in the Football League.