Exorbitant Premier League ticket prices have made the headlines once again this week, and Arsenal are the club coming under fire.
Manchester City have returned 912 allocated tickets for Sunday's clash at the Emirates after supporters refused to pay the hefty £62 price (via ESPN).
Arsenal will have little trouble shifting the £56,544 worth of tickets among their own supporters, but the Citizens' refusal to stump up for a seat at the Premier League's most expensive stadium suggests the Premier League is getting out of touch with the people it needs the most: the fans.
At a minimum of £985 (and a maximum of £1,195) for a season ticket in 2012/13, Arsenal fans pay the most to watch their team. A few miles down the road, Tottenham fans have the second-most expensive seats in the land at a minimum of £730.
Conversely, a season of tickets at Wigan's DW Stadium costs as little as £300, while a seat in the house for all of Aston Villa's home games starts at just £325.
We all know how much season tickets at Premier League stadiums cost, but do those paying more for their tickets get better value for their money? Do the cheapest seats belong to the worst-performing sides?
Intrigued by how much "bang for the buck" each regular home supporter gets in the Premier League, I worked out the cost per league point and the cost per goal so far this season.
Here are the results:
Arsenal may have the most expensive season tickets, but the most expensive ticket in the country in terms of league points earned can be found a few miles away at QPR.
The Hoops' seven home points mean the cheapest season ticket has cost a whopping £71.29 per point so far in this campaign!
The best value in terms of points gained at home, meanwhile, can be found at The Hawthorns. West Brom's seven wins and single draw mean fans with the cheapest season tickets have paid just £15.86 per point.
Here is the table ranked by cost per home points earned:
Of course, most of us watch the beautiful game to see goals, so a "cost per home goal" figure may be more useful in this analysis.
Once again, the worst offender is Queens Park Rangers. Their eight goals at Loftus Road mean the faithful fans in the cheapest seats have paid £62.35 for every goal this season.
The best value, meanwhile, can be found at Eastlands. Manchester City have scored 25 league goals at home so far this season, which means the regulars have paid just £17 per strike in their 10 home games.
Offering similar good value are Manchester United, whose regular home fans have seen the most goals in the Premier League this season (28). Each one will have cost just £19 from the cheapest seats at Old Trafford.
For the sake of clarity, here's the table re-ranked by cost per home goal:
In fairness, the numbers are a little skewed as some teams have played more home games at this stage—Arsenal have had nine games at home while West Brom have had 11—but the general pattern is clear.
Also, since we are at the halfway stage of the season, one can expect all of these figures to drop by around 50 percent by May.
The conclusion, it seems, is that QPR fans are getting the worst deal right now, as they see the least points and goals for their money.
Perhaps the best all-around club in terms of value and cost, though, is West Brom. They have the third-cheapest tickets in the league (based on lowest season ticket price), the best value in terms of points per pound and the third-best value in terms of goals scored at home.
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