The Price of Football reports from the BBC found that many football fans find football ticket prices extremely high. No surprise there then. But an MP has now gone out to claim that football fans should ignore the lure of Premier League clubs to give those non-league teams in their vicinity a chance to thrive.
The Premier League clubs he highlighted for criticism as to the price of their cheapest match day tickets included Chelsea and West Ham, the ticket price of which was £41 and £36 respectively. Why exactly MP Tim Farron of Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria felt the need to criticise London clubs is a confusing element to this case as he went on to cite his local clubs Kendal Town and AFC Barrow as alternative options.
Workington are also a club in the region who didn’t get a mention and there are sights to see at those clubs.
Barrow have several former pros among their ranks with Gavin Skelton, Richie Baker and Sean Hessey at the club under the tutelage of former Rochdale and Luton defender David Bayliss. In 2010 they also won the FA Trophy by beating current football league outfit Stevenage Borough at Wembley.
Kendal Town have former Hull City defender and current Antiguan international Marc Joseph as well as former Blackpool midfielder and England youth international Ciaran Donnelly.
Clapton F.C are also from the borough of Newham and were the first English side to play on the continent when they defeated a Belgian XI in Antwerp 7-0 in 1890. They ground share with London APSA F.C at the Old Spotted Dog Ground and both play in the Essex Senior League.
Near Chelsea there are also non-league teams you could go watch Putney Town or go further afield to some of the Isthmian League sides but in general there are not many non-league sides of high standing in the Fulham and Chelsea area.
The more ambiguous fans out there could go and see Brentford play at Griffin Park or West Ham fans could check out Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road but if not then the fans will not simply move on to sub-standard sides if they can afford to go and see their beloved Premier League operators.
The point is prices have to go down, but going to see non-league teams such as Kendal and Barrow would only have a negative effect perhaps on one teams gate receipts, Carlisle United; hardly a side that warrant a downturn in gate receipts.
While the sides still fill their stadiums this won’t happen and a few hundred boycotting for non-league sides will make no difference to that.
While the comments of MP Tim Farron were in good spirit, his words essentially have no resonance in the debate.
Would you go and see Kendal Town or Barrow over Chelsea or West Ham, or Clapton FC for example?