PRICEY PREM: £14.95 A GAME A "PUBLIC RELATION DISASTER"
Fair play to Leicester City, the only Premier League club out of all twenty to vote against the £14.95 fee to watch non-scheduled television matches.
Due to the coronavirus and fans still not being allowed into grounds by the government, the games that were not scheduled for television will instead be shown on Sky Sports and BT Sport Box Office for an additional fee. Sky Sports and BT Sport can already cost up to £70 a month and as a result the decision has unsurprisingly not been well received by pundits and fans. Especially those who may already be paying subscription fees to BT Sport and Sky Sports, as well as the price of their season tickets despite not being allowed into the stadiums.
The author of the book ‘Price Of Football’ Kieran Maguire, described the Premier League's pricing scheme as a "public relations disaster". A similar scheme has also been introduced for the EFL where games cost £10.
Maguire said, "The Premier League's argument, which is EFL clubs are charging £10, so we should be charging more because we have more cameras, is flawed.
"The cameras were already going to be there because the matches would have been shown on Match of the Day anyway, so the set-up costs would be minimal."
Maguire admitted the biggest problem with the new scheme is that it will “drive people towards piracy." Piracy is already a massive problem for the Premier League, with an estimated 20% of fans in the UK finding streams from other countries instead of paying to watch it legally.
It is really not surprising when you compare the prices in the UK to other countries. In fact for the price of one Premier League game, DAZN in Canada you can get all Premier League games amongst others for $12.50. It really is no wonder fans aren’t happy.
Perhaps another reason for the bad reaction to the news, is that it is not clear what the money will be used for. The extra money should be used to help out lower league clubs, but the fact that this has not been announced assumes that this isn’t the case and instead the money will just be kept by the premier league clubs who are involved in the matches.
Another problem with the pricing is that if people are prepared to pay the £14.95 fee, then it is more than likely they will invite their mates over to watch the game, rather than all paying the fee separately. This goes against the government’s advice of not mixing in households and having groups of more than six. Maybe if the prices were lower fans would understand why this has been introduced, but people simply haven’t got the money to spend £15 to watch one game of football. Furthermore, even if they have, are they really going to pay that amount when they could normally go to a stadium to watch the game live for a similar amount?
People also need to remember that streaming games illegally makes them just as bad as the people who introduced the pricing system. Fans need to make a statement and show they are not willing to pay that amount. Instead, consider going to watch your local side play for a much cheaper price. There, you can buy a pint and experience some live football and help keep the local sides to stay afloat, because they are a big part of local communities. Football is bigger than just a game and it is bigger than just the Premier League and the EFL.