Aston Villa Season Ticket Price Rise for 2023/24
The Aston Villa Fan Advisory Board meeting earlier this week confirmed that Aston Villa season ticket holders face a 15% increase for the 2023/24 season, meaning many will be paying around another £100 each a season. This comes after fans suffered an increase of between 10% to 50% last season.
Villa’s commercial department is increasingly data-driven, which can sometimes blind them to the economic reality of their supporters and the social context. That’s a conversation for another time, but there is something rather cynical about the timing of this announcement.
In February, many other Premier League clubs chose to increase their prices, likely due to inflation. Manchester United raised their prices by 5%, the first increase in 11 seasons, while Arsenal also increased theirs by 5%. Brighton apologized for increasing their prices by 4% in the current economic climate when they announced the news in February.
Meanwhile, clubs like Brentford and Spurs, who were enjoying good seasons in February, announced price freezes. Fulham also froze the price of renewals, despite being almost guaranteed to be a Premier League team next season with a few months left to play.
All in the Timing
So, why did Villa wait until the end of April to announce their season ticket price increases?
Well, Villa were 11th in the league at the time for a period of around two months, which is kind of where their current season ticket prices sat in comparison to the rest of the Premier League. They were hoping for further improvement under Unai Emery to justify a larger potential increase.
The optics would look terrible if they were a mid-table team and suddenly had the 7th most expensive season tickets, where these latest price increases have Villa benchmarked in the Premier League.
As soon, as the final whistle went on the 3-0 win against Newcastle, it was a sure bet that finally next season’s ticket prices would be announced, and they would be more than most expected.
Now, there is plenty of context to go along with these price rises, which we’ll go into detail elsewhere – from the macro economic influence on the cost of the game that Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar ownership is having, to justifying Villa’s owners own £400m cash injection into the club.
Ultimately, Villa needs to finish the season in 7th place or higher to justify the club’s calculation, from their point of view anyway. Then, if they want to compete at the top table, as a club they will need to run effectively as a business, and expenses will understandably increase for supporters.
The issue here, though, is the back-to-back substantial and sharp season ticket price increases that are above and beyond what was expected, are because the club was where it should be for a matter of weeks after over a decade of chronic underachievement.
It’s not good optics and seems opportunist to say the least.
Let’s just hope the club finish the season, where they currently lie in the Premier League.