So, there is a cheaper way to get your footy fix
- Credit: PA
A few years ago now my Sky TV subscription was cut back to the quick.
A 24/7 lifestyle of football, football and a bit more football was tapered down to some news channels, a few documentaries, and Del Boy Trotter falling through a bar every other week.
There was a near psychological reasoning behind the change. Aside from the fact it saved me an awful lot of money, it also helped reignite a passion for football that was in serious danger of crashing over a cliff, never to return.
Instead of heading for either Carrow Road or a local match on a Saturday, I was content to watch the lunchtime match on the box in the corner, then hang around for the late kick-off. In between I'd watch the scores go by. Not once did I consider that it was costing me a small fortune as well as expanding a waistline that really didn't need any help. At the back of my mind I figured that the cost of petrol, a pie and entry to a game was pretty much the same as my TV subscriptions.
And I doubt very much that I was alone.
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Curious isn't it, that football clubs which benefit from TV companies' munificence do so, in part, by people like me staying away. Not that it does the accountants at Dereham and Wroxham (in my case) any good. Every few quid helps.
However, things may be about to change.
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According to research from Freesat, a subscription to both Sky Sports and BT Sport costs more than a season ticket at 19 of the Premier League's 20 clubs in the season just gone.
Only one season ticket in the top flight costs more – Arsenal's at £1,014.
The annual cost of watching all that lovely footy on the telly is more than three times as expensive as the most reasonably priced Premier League season ticket, which comes from West Ham at £289. Other cheaper options include Manchester City (£299) and Stoke (£294).
I have a mate who is a Stoke fan so, for the purposes of this column, he becomes the guinea pig: he would have paid £870 in TV subscriptions to watch his team on TV live just eight times last season – that's £109 per match. For the same £870, he could have bought a Stoke season ticket at £294. That would get him into all 19 Premier League home games at the Britannia Stadium ... and he'd still have £576 to spare.
That is a shedload of spare cash.
By the way, the monthly cost for a Sky Sports bundle is £49.50 – with all the bells and whistles of the basic Sky channels, while adding BT Sport costs an extra £23 a month - hence the £870 a year figure.
Now, here's the rub – these Freesat chaps reckon 24pc of people who pay for sports channels admit to watching just one hour or less of sports content a week. Not even a whole match!
The upshot is that now I have taken myself off the football drug, my need for a Saturday afternoon fix is the perfectly legitimate one that takes me to a ground, not the sofa. It means local clubs will feel the benefit of my fiver and, frankly, the very small change you need to shell out for a cup of tea at half-time. Local football is very worthwhile way to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you have the chance to go to Carrow Road then, again, it's a great way to satisfy the football urge.
TV football doesn't always sate the appetite.
But it does leave one question about all that money you can save: where does all those savings go?
BACK ON THE STREETS AGAIN!
Our latest Pink Un magazine is now out on the streets – forgive me if I say it is another cracker.
Reflecting the recent big changes at Carrow Road meant we made an 11th-hour decision to delay publication for a week while we waited for City to name their new coach.
Fortunately, they did it just in time so we were able to get some thoughts on Daniel Farke into this latest edition – as well as a very fetching picture on the front cover.
Chief City writer Paddy Davitt takes a look at the swathe of changes in recent months, there's an excellent read by Michael Bailey on the state of the financial nation at the club as well as a terrific interview by Stuart Hodge with Damien Comolli, a man who knows City's sporting director Stuart Webber better than most.
And loads more!
Keep your eyes peeled on the magazine shelves or order online at buyamag.co.uk/pink5