Fans turn back on poor quality, overpriced game

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The Independent Football

More than 200,000 football fans will not renew their season tickets this summer, according to a survey released yesterday.

The survey shows that 29 per cent of England's estimated 690,000 season ticket holders will not be renewing, with rising costs and poor quality football on offer the main reasons.

Nineteen per cent of Manchester United fans asked in the survey, which consulted nearly 3,000 fans, said they will not renew because of the cost, while 31 per cent of Aston Villa season ticket holderswill be absent next campaign because of the standard of football on display.

The survey, by Football Fans' Census on behalf of Virgin Money, estimates the total spent per season by fans in Britain at £8.8bn, with season ticket holders spending an average of £1,875. A total of 2,789 were interviewed online.

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: "We've been begging clubs to peg ticket price rises. It appears that if this research proves correct our worst fears will be proved correct."

Percentages of season ticket holders not intending to renew next season: Due to cost: Man Utd 19%, Birmingham 18%, West Brom 17%, Cardiff 16%, Portsmouth 14%. Due to standard of football: Aston Villa 31%, Millwall 29%, Wolves 28%, Southampton 27%, Sunderland 26%.