Lower Premier League ticket prices 'unlikely'

Ideas of lower ticket prices following the Premier League's record television rights deal are wide of the mark, claims a leading expert.

Following this week's announcement of the record £5.136 billion television rights deal between the Premier League, Sky Sports and BT Sport, there have been calls for some of the money to be ploughed back into the game at grassroots level.

Added to that, it has been suggested that the greater influx of television revenue should allow clubs to lower ticket prices, but Professor Stefan Szymanski, who wrote the book 'Soccernomics', does not see that situation arising.

He told Perform: "One of the things we've been hearing as a reaction to this deal is that, because the Premier League is getting all this money from broadcasting, it should take the opportunity to reduce ticket prices.

"I think that's extremely unlikely to happen.

"Firstly, these clubs are businesses and they sell tickets to make money. They sell broadcast rights to make money. The fact they are making more money in one area doesn't really suggest, logically, that they should be trying to make less money somewhere else.

"The other thing to say about this is it's not even clear that the fans would really benefit from lower ticket prices. Right now, the Premier League stadiums are almost completely sold out. They are operating at something like 95 per cent of capacity.

"That's at, what are, by European standards, very high ticket prices. If you cut these ticket prices by, say, 50 per cent all that would happen would be there would be large lines of people trying to get into the stadium given the scarcity of the tickets and that would lead to a black market, or some kind of re-selling which would push the prices back up to the levels that they are at now, or even higher.

"In that sense, it's unlikely that the fans could benefit from this. What is probably better for the fans in the long term is if the clubs receiving this money use some of it to invest in expanding their stadiums, and there are several clubs in the Premier League that could build substantially larger stadiums. That could have substantially more capacity and allow more people to watch football.

"And that, in the longer term, might lead to, at least if not lower prices, lower rates of price increase in the future."