How many will renew their season tickets?
Any survey of whether fans will renew their season tickets undertaken at this time of the year needs to come with a health warning. Many fans declare at this stage that they will not be renewing and then eventually do when the deadline approaches such is the emotional pull of the tie to their club. They are then set up for another year moaning about their team which serves as a distraction from other frustrations in their lives.
What is also often overlooked is the amount of churn in the average football crowd, even among season ticket holders. People give up for a variety of reasons including starting a family, a new job and moving house or even out of the country. All of these and other reasons have nothing to do with team performance or disgust with the manager.
A survey carried out by ING Direct Bank found that out of a sample of 2,000 fans, 9 per cent said they would not be renewing their season tickets regardless of price, 7 per cent were set to renew if the price did not increase and 13 per cent were yet to decide. In present circumstances the squeeze on incomes is certainly a factor.
Of Premier League clubs, 12 have frozen or lowered season ticket prices ahead of the new season while five have announced increases. Only four teams froze their prices last season which shows a recognition of the impact the economic downturn is having on supporters.
The Football Supporters' Federation find that ticket pricing is one of the most frequent topics they receive e-mails and calls about alongside the introduction of safe standing areas and individual complaints relating to policing or stewarding.