The credit crunch. It’ll stop you spending on luxuries. But not football, surely. After all, as Bill Shankly said, “Someone said ‘football is more important than life and death to you’ and I said ‘Listen, it’s more important than that’." But a new survey reveals that fans are snubbing the pub to save cash.
BT – which, let’s get it out there, allows fans to watch games on TV thanks to its BT Vision service – says cash-conscious fans are ditching “expensive pub trips” in favour of watching matches on the couch.
“With the credit crunch hitting leisure spending, 34 per cent of fans intend to spend less time watching the game at the pub this season than they did three years ago,” said a BT Vision spokesman.
“It’s not just pubs that are suffering, as BT Vision’s survey also found that exactly 50 per cent of fans surveyed won’t be attending their team’s matches at any point throughout the course of the season.”
The news is bleakest for publicans in the three areas most afflicted by stay-at-home syndrome: Blackburn (65 per cent); Manchester (63 per cent); and Birmingham (61 per cent).
The BT survey found that fans spend on average £51 per month supporting their teams, with some spending up to £112.
“With fans now grappling with the credit crunch, it makes sense for them to watch the game at home,” said Steve Norris, BT Vision’s head of sport.
“BT Vision’s Value Packages start at a credit crunch busting £6.85 per month for the first three months – now even better value since BT passes on the VAT reduction.”