Jordan Nobbs of Arsenal Women meets fans. Arsenal Women v West Ham United Women, WSL football match, Meadow Park Stadium, Borehamwood, UK - 08 Sep 2019 Photo: Kunjan Malde for The FA

The great season ticket debate – FAWSL clubs ticket deals reviewed

With the season well underway and fans turning up in record numbers, I wondered which teams’ fans get the best deal when it comes to a season ticket.

This is not a simple question as the definition of the season changes with each club and some offer benefits beyond tickets.

I have hunted around online and where I couldn’t find the information I have contacted the clubs, some have got back to me, some haven’t. The information included in this article is therefore as accurate as I can make it but may not be complete. Everton had the lowest attendance last season and maybe the 28-day enquiry response time from their ticket office is something to do with this.

West Ham United have widely been advertising the cheapest season ticket in the league and even without a club membership it is priced at £25. Just what does that get you?

There isn’t a lot of information available on The Hammers’ club website so we presume all home league games but when we say home it only seems to include Rush Green not the one-off game at the London Stadium for which season ticket holders are believed to have had to pay additionally.

For a real bargain, you can get a £15 season ticket if you are member but that will cost you £40, though it does bring benefits associated with the men’s team too.

The most expensive season ticket is Arsenal at £70 though this is marketed as a membership and comes with other benefits such as a membership pack, access to exclusive events and prize draws. All domestic competitions are included in the season ticket but not the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

The only team that does include the UEFA Women’s Champions League, as well as all domestic competitions, is Manchester City. They have two pricing bands and a ‘Category B’ ticket will set
you back £55 and give you all the matches, access to exclusive prize draws and incudes ticket priority for the men’s team too.

For the teams only involved in domestic competitions, the best value season tickets are at Liverpool and Reading where £35 gets you in to all their home games. There do not appear to be any other benefits to go with the match tickets but at that price you can’t complain. Reading also offer a family ticket at £70.

If you are a Birmingham City fan, however, you may well feel a little aggrieved at the £60 cost and the most expensive concessions price at £40. That gets you all league games and all FA Women’s Continental League Cup games but no Women’s FA Cup matches. There are no extras supplied either which could sweeten the deal. If you are looking for a family ticket, Birmingham suddenly lead the pack at £42.50.

Tottenham Hotspur fans too may feel they have got a raw deal at £55 with all league games and FA Women’s Continental League Cup games up to the quarter-finals only, you also get a one off 10% discount in the club store online, a season ticket card holder and access to exclusive
competitions. Spurs family tickets by contrast are an expensive £150.

For those looking for kids tickets, Chelsea offer the best value at £5 with Brighton & Hove Albion and Bristol City close behind at £10.

Only time will tell who ultimately gets the best deal when all the games have been played. For now I think Manchester City and Reading fans may well be the happiest. Does all this have an impact on attendances though? This is surely a consideration for clubs when setting their season ticket prices and packages. The answer would appear to be not really, comparing the placing of clubs by season ticket price. In-fact the teams with the cheapest tickets often appear to have lower attendances.

Where the placings do seem to correlate is in performance. When you compare league position last year to attendance you see those who finished higher had higher attendances. The newcomers Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur add a different dimension to this with Spurs charging a high price for their season tickets but having a relatively low average attendance last year and Manchester United having placed their season ticket in the middle of the price range and their sales this year have outstripped the average attendance of all teams last season. The trend is bucked by West Ham who punch above their weight. When performances and attendances are compared and they have the cheapest tickets.

Whilst Manchester United and West Ham United prove performance isn’t everything, it does seem the best way to bring in the fans. This season has already seen numerous attendance records broken and the performances too are improving. This is a critical time for the women’s game and it is important that clubs play their hand wisely to ensure that the huge figures achieved already can lead to higher average attendances and make the growth sustainable.

Price Home League Games Home Cup games Champions League Extras Average attendance 2018/19*
Arsenal £70/35 All All  No Membership pack, access and discounts to events, prize draw 1318
Birmingham £60/40 All All conti cup N/A None 763
Brighton £30/10 All None N/A None 553
Bristol £50/10 All Conti Cup group games N/A None 527
Chelsea £49/5 All Conti and FA Cups to ¼ finals N/A None 1806
Everton No information available 207
Liverpool £35/25 All All N/A None 451
Manchester City £65A/55B

/27

All All All Prize draws 1434
Manchester United £39/20 All None N/A 10% store discount, email newsletter, competitions
Reading £35/20 All All N/A 565
Tottenham £55/27.50 All Conti Cup to ¼ final N/A 10% store discount, season ticket holder, competitions
West Ham £25/15 non member

£15/5 members

All except those at the London Stadium N/A 988

*Figures published in December 2018 based on a four game average

By Sian Wallis

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