The rising cost of being a football fan was highlighted yesterday by news that some match tickets at Stamford Bridge will cost £87 next season. A new category is being introduced for the highest-profile league games. Meanwhile, prices were announced for this year's FA Cup final; the most expensive ticket has risen to £115, an increase of nearly 22 per cent.
The price rise at Chelsea applies to a newly created AA category of home Premier League games. This category, which supersedes the current top category of A, includes the games against Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United and Manchester City. Currently, a non-Chelsea member hoping to attend one of these matches in the upper tier of the West Stand would have to pay £75; from next season the same ticket would cost £87.
Season tickets will also be more expensive: those in the upper tier of the West Stand will pay £1,250, an increase of £40. While single ticket prices for band A and B games are unchanged, FA Cup tickets will increase from £25.50 to £30, subject to the consent of the visiting club.
After the price rise for this year's FA Cup final the most expensive Wembley tickets will cost £115, an increase from the £95 at which they had been set since the final returned to Wembley in 2007. The remaining tickets will be priced at £85, £65 and £45. The cheapest seats have risen, having been £40 last season. Each club will receive an allocation of 25,000 seats.
They are cheaper, however, than those for the Champions League final, which will also be at Wembley, two weeks after the FA Cup final. For that tie, between either Manchester United or Schalke and Real Madrid or Barcelona, the cheapest tickets are £80 and the most expensive £300.