The Premier League.…20 years on

March 06, 2012, 11:18 AM GMT+0

56% fans of English game say standard has improved; 85% say ticket prices are poor value

Over half of fans of English football believe that the standard of the Premier League has improved since it began in 1992, while a majority of fans also say that it’s become more exciting to watch, our poll shows. However, many feel that the behaviour of top-flight footballers has worsened during this period.

Similarly, a large proportion thinks that ticket prices have become too expensive, leading to many true fans being priced out of watching their teams play, while over three quarters believe that a Premier League side is likely to go into administration in the next two years.

  • 56% say the standard of the Premier League has improved since 1992
  • 40% say the top division of football has become more exciting since the introduction of the Premier League; 25% say less exciting
  • 73% feel top-flight footballers’ behaviour has got worse in the past 20 years since the Premier League started (with 43% saying that it has got 'much' worse)
  • Only 10% believe behaviour has improved
  • 93% feel true fans have been priced out of attending Premier League football matches due to the high cost of tickets
  • 85% say ticket prices do not represent a fair value for money relative to the entertainment of Premier League football
  • 77% think that a Premier League side is likely to go into administration within the next two years

Tickets too expensive?

Founded in 1992, the Premier League – known initially as the Premiership ‒ was formed by 22 English clubs as a new way of injecting more money into national football, allowing for pan-European matches and the improvement of grounds and facilities.

Since the early nineties, ticket prices have risen rapidly, particularly among the most successful clubs; in part following Lord Justice Taylor‘s 1990 report on the Hillsborough disaster, which recommended that all Premier League stadiums become all-seated venues.

This rise in cost has had, some suggest, the effect of pricing out certain people from attending live games. Malcolm Clarke, the chair of the Football Supporters’ Federation, has commented that, ‘the prices at top clubs, and particularly London clubs, are mostly outrageous. They are beyond the reach of many younger people who used to have access to football, and now, if they are interested, they [have to] watch the game in the pub’.

Will another Premier League club go into administration?

Despite having a reputation for wealth, not all clubs have been immune to the worsening economic crisis. Portsmouth and Rangers football clubs are two of the high-profile names to have entered into administration in recent weeks; Portsmouth for the second time in two years – the first time, in 2009, was also the first time any Premier League club had gone into administration at all. However, since then, a growing number of British clubs have been forced to take this action, with other affected clubs including Crystal Palace, Southampton and Leeds United.

It seems that many fans of English football feel that large Premier League clubs are not impervious to this, with three quarters saying that it is likely that a Premier League club will go into administration because of debts within the next two years.

See the full results and details here