Article published 11 Mar 2012 

With UEFA keen to ensure clubs' expenditure matches their income, we have carried out some high-level analysis of the subsidy levels that fans currently enjoy.   Looking at two clubs currently in the media spotlight (Man City and Portsmouth), we have calculated how much extra the average fan would have to fork-out if they were to pay the market rate for their ticket (based on the club operating on a break even basis).  

The results are fairly staggering. Man City fans would have to pay an extra £3,053 a season for their season ticket (or £161 per game) if the owner were to ask the fans to make up the current operating loss through increased ticket prices.  It is easy to see why fans do not question or challenge the operating model of the club - the entertainment on offer would be considerably reduced if the club were to pay wages based solely on their operating income.   At City, the owner has injected equity into the club to cover the ongoing losses.  However, this has not been the situation at Pompey, where the club ran up debt of around £180m over their two recent Administration events. 

Pompey fans have enjoyed two Cup finals and 7 years in the top flight on gates of around 18,000.  However this has come at a considerable cost and over the last 8 years the club has lost around £1m for each home league game.  If fans had had to put their hands in their pockets to pay the full rate for the talent on offer, their season tickets would have been around £1,250 more expensive.   Clearly fans would not buy tickets at the 'unsubsidised' rate - for those clubs competing with the high-spenders and operating on a break-even basis, Financial Fair Play cannot come soon enough.

Man City
Loss per seasonAve Crowd
Average over 3 season£136,666,66744,764
Home games per season19
Loss per game£7,192,982
Subsidy for each ticket£161
Subsidy for season for 1 supporter£3,053
LossAve crowd
Loss over 8 years£180,000,00018,000
Average no. Home games per season21
Loss per game£1,071,428
Subsidy for each ticket£60
Subsidy for season for 1 supporter