Local News & Archive, Local Sport, Point FM Sport — November 17, 2016 at 8:00 am — Updated: November 17, 2016 at 1:44 am

The price of being a Lillywhite…one year on

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For the second year running, Rhyl and the rest of the Welsh Premier League have been featured in the annual Price of Football Survey. Point FM’s sports editor Gareth Joy takes a look the findings.

The most fundamental shift in thinking at Belle Vue over the past twelve months has been the club’s stated desire to hand over the ownership to its fans. There was also a close shave with relegation from the Welsh top flight, averted only by the politics of domestic licences.

One year since the BBC first surveyed the Welsh Premier as part of its Price of Football investigation, there’s been relatively little movement in the price of the matchday experience for Lillywhites. A ticket still costs £8, along with £2 for a pie and £1 for a cup of tea. The programme is now a little cheaper, down 50p to £2.

The biggest change in pricing has come from season tickets – last season, a diehard supporter could have expected to pay anywhere between £60 and £140 – the most expensive fee in the league. Now, the cheapest possible debenture is at least £95 but the club only charges a fiver more for the dearest option. Noticeably, it’s still one of the more expensive options in the WPL – The New Saints charge as much as £110 while it’s as little as £50 at Newtown.

Wearing the club’s colours still costs £28 for a junior shirt, while an adult shirt is up to £40 (up from £37 last year) – the second highest in the league.

Overall, the price of a matchday ticket at Belle Vue comes as standard at TNS and Llandudno with Aberystwyth, Bala and Cardiff Met offering £6 tickets – the cheapest in the league.

If you’re a visiting fan, you can pay as little as £3 to watch your team at the Deeside Stadium (Gap Connah’s Quay) but it’s fixed prices for everyone at all but one other club (tickets as little as £4 at Llandudno). Programmes range from £1 for the students in the Welsh capital to £3 for the league champions.

At the refreshments stand, all twelve clubs agree on charging a quid for a cuppa – but the pies set you back as little as £1.50 at Carmarthen, Cefn Druids and Gap Connah’s Quay and as much as £2.50 at Aberystwyth and Bangor City.

As for the wardrobe, the cheapest shirts are available at Newtown (£27 adults, £22 junior). The dearest adult shirts – at Aberystwyth – cost even more than at Bournemouth or Burnley.

All told, there’s little difference in a £13 matchday experience at Belle Vue than there was from last year. It still forms part of the most affordable of figurehead leagues in the UK – with average matchday entry prices down just slightly – and notably more uniform prices for season tickets.

It remains to be seen whether the Lillywhites press forward with giving the club back to the community – and what affect it has on what the fan pays for their football. Just like this stage last season, whether they survive another WPL season may prove imperative.

Join Gareth Joy for the North Wales Coast’s sports programme, MatchPoint Live, every Saturday from 2-6pm on Point FM 103.1.

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