With the price of football hogging the headlines recently and a large amount of fans feeling disillusioned with the cost of going to a game whatever the level, I thought I would have a look first hand at a game this weekend and assess whether it was good value for money. So, off I went to St Andrew's for Birmingham City vs Bolton Wanderers in the Championship.
Ticket: I sat behind the goal at the Tilton Road end about half way back. This cost me £20 which is a good price to go to a Championship game these days and, personally, I'm happy with that price.
Tea: £2.20 for a cup, which for an ex-student seemed a very high price to pay when you can get a pint of beer there for £2.50!
Pie: £2.90 for any pie. I went for Chicken Balti and it was nice enough. With Kidderminster’s being £4.50, the price of Birmingham’s is something you cannot complain with. It did the job.
Programme: this is where I was disappointed. It cost £3 which is the same as most football clubs these days, but the quality of what is written in it was very poor. Not much that really stands out or makes you want to read it, just full of advertisements and offers to beef it up.
So, was my St Andrew's day out good value for money? It was a very poor game overall with both sides failing to impress, despite Bolton winning 1-0.
The stadium was half empty, but with the current situation at St Andrews that's probably understandable. The main worry was that even the diehard fans had no passion to sing. There was just a small noise coming from the away supporters.
The price I paid for it did not make me feel like asking for my money back, as well as the food and drink it was not at a price which I would complain too much about.
After living in Norwich I have experienced a lot of Championship matches, so I was really looking forward to a feisty game with a great atmosphere, but there was nothing there, which made the day very disappointing and has put me off wanting to go back there. It showed me why people would rather save their money and watch games and highlights on TV, as you only get to see the better parts of the games (which at the moment must mean Birmingham’s highlights are incredibly short!).
From my experience on Saturday, I cannot see the price of football at Birmingham being a cause for concern as it was around the national average for nearly everything. The only area which needs to improve is on the pitch! The whole atmosphere was flat and the fans needed some excitement, which they didn't get.
By Matt Hill - Liverpool fan - @