Price of Football 2016: Bumper TV deal to 'accelerate' reduction in ticket prices

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How the Premier League is cutting the cost of football

Fans can expect a faster reduction in Premier League ticket prices from next year, when the full financial benefits of a bumper TV deal come into effect, a football finance expert has predicted.

The BBC Price of Football study found the cheapest adult match-day ticket has reduced by £1.90 to £29.05 this season.

A new TV deal means top-flight clubs will share £8.3bn from 2016-19.

"It will only be at the end of the year when clubs get the TV payments," said Professor Rob Wilson.

"Clubs have either frozen or marginally reduced ticket prices this year, but then we should see savings accelerate as the TV deal comes on more fully."

The annual Price of Football study, the biggest of its kind in Europe, looked at prices at 223 clubs.

More than two-thirds of ticket prices across the UK have been either cut or frozen for the 2016-17 season.

However, an away ticket in the Championship can now be more expensive than for a Premier League match, because top-flight clubs have capped prices for visiting fans at £30.

Former England defender Danny Mills believes all prices should be capped, not just those for away tickets.

"The Premier League are doing what they can at the moment but of course we would all like to see everybody do a bit more," he said.

"It would be great if there was a maximum figure for all - if there was some sort of agreement across the Premier League and the Football League that would make it accessible for all."

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Price of Football: Dan Johnson and Malcolm Clarke discuss premier league prices

Should the players do more to bring prices down?

Premier League footballers' wages have increased considerably in recent seasons.

In 2014-15, top-flight clubs spent £2.67bn on wages compared with £1.7bn in 2011-12 - the first season of the Price of Football study.

With the arrival of the TV deal, wage expenditure is set to be significantly higher from this season. Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney already earns £300,000 a week, while the Red Devils are reportedly paying £89m summer signing Paul Pogba a weekly wage of £290,000.

The amount a Premier League player earns - described as "obscene" by Manchester United's Juan Mata in April - has led to some critics and supporters groups to suggest players should do more to help subsidise ticket costs.

"As a football fan that is what you would hope players would do," added Sheffield Hallam University's Wilson.

"The counter side of that argument is that it is the players that make the Premier League attractive and it is the attractiveness of the Premier League that has driven the TV broadcast deal so all they are really doing is taking the money out they are helping to generate."

Mills believes it would be unfair to expect players to help subsidise ticket prices through reduced wages.

"It is a very dangerous situation when you ask players to effectively donate part of their wages to supplement ticket sales," he added. "It is not realistic. It would not happen in any other walk of life - we wouldn't ask actors to be paid less.

"It is purely down to the clubs, I don't think players have a responsibility to do that."

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