Price of Football
The BBC’s annual ‘Price of Football’ report was published this week allowing supporters to get an estimate of the seasonal cost of following their football team.
While it doesn’t include factors such as the cost of travel and beer, it does provided a rough basis to compare and contrast the cost of following their team compared to other clubs.
One of the supporter costs that the BBC’s report looks at is the price of a club’s replica shirt.
Once upon a time, a replica shirt was an occasional purchase, since clubs didn’t change their shirts every season.
The last time Villa won the league in the top tier in 1981, it was the fifth season they had worn that shirt.
During the rest of the decade they wore the same Le Coq Sportif shirt (albeit with badge position changes and additional sponsor) for three seasons, which then transitioned to keeping shirt designs for two seasons – including two-year shirts by Le Coq Sportif, Henson, Hummel and Umbro – before shirt designs became a one-season wonder.
With the growth of consumerism and the power of marketing, many fans became conditioned to buy their club’s new shirt every season to the point now it’s considered a habit or tradition.
So how does the cost of Villa’s new Under Armour shirt compare to the others in the Championship?
With the Villa shirt being priced at £55, it’s certainly on the pricey side and relative to other Championship teams, an adult Villa shirt is £8.46 more expensive than the league average.
In terms of Villa’s West Midland’s rivals, both Wolves and Birmingham City’s adult shirt prices are £45, which is £1.54 BELOW the league average and obviously a tenner less than Villa’s.
Even West Brom in the Premier League have a better priced shirt than Villa, at £50, which in the context of the Premier League is 90p less than the average.
Villa Fan Opinion
As the new season kicked off, MOMS did a comprehensive survey which 400 Villa supporters took the time to fill out, sharing their opinion on the price of Villa’s new Under Armour shirt.
Out of a possible score of 10, the Villa home shirt scored an average score of 6.58, although 46% of fans voted either voted 7/10 or 8/10.
The away design was looked upon more favourably by supporters posting a 7.08 average, with almost 40% of supporters scoring it an 8/10 or 9/10.
In terms of the cost of the new Villa shirt, supporter opinion was not favourable at all when it came to the price tag.
Only 0.6% thought the price was ‘absolutely fine’ with another 2.3% considering the price ‘OK’.
Close to 50% of fans considered the price to be outright too expensive for what it was, while a combined 97.2% saw the shirts as at least being a bit pricey or worse.
The fact the shirt price was £8.46 over the league average goes a long way to explaining supporter dissatisfaction.
How much do you think a replica shirt should cost?
Is going over the £50 mark a price point too far?