Last updated : 17 August 2004 By editor
Martin Dillon

New research shows that supporters in this country pay four times as much as their European counterparts for the cheapest season ticket.

A survey by the Liberal Democrats examined the clubs who finished in the top two league places in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland and Portugal and what they charged for the cheapest season ticket.

Arsenal topped the study, charging £800 for their cheapest season ticket, while Chelsea want fans to cough up £520. Spain's Barcelona and Valencia charge £182 and £175 respectively, while in Germany Bayern Munich ask £174 and Werder Bremen £127.

In Italy, Roma want £158 and AC Milan demand £103 which is also what Dutch league winners Ajax charge. Portuguese champions Porto, who won the Champions League last season, are the cheapest at £67.

Don Foster, the Lib Dem spokesman on culture and sport, has called for an inquiry into the prices charged by the big clubs for season tickets.

He has written to the Independent Football Commission, an organisation that monitors commercial issues in the English leagues, urging them to investigate.

A Premier League spokesman said:
"A major difference between the Premier League and its rivals in Europe is that stadiums here are owned by the clubs and not subsidised by government. The average attendance in the Premier League is in excess of 35,000, which is above those in Italy and Spain."