Statement from MSF regarding Ticket Prices for 2023/24

A Statement from Middlesbrough Supporters Forum regarding the price increase of Season cards and walk-up tickets for the 2023/24 season.

We received acknowledgement from Middlesbrough Football Club of a potential price increase of 8% for the 2023/24 season. The Football club asked for our initial thoughts and views on this increase.

Middlesbrough Supporters Forum are aware of how expensive attending football matches has become and have made it clear to MFC that they are disappointed in any increases in ticket prices that prevents football being affordable for all.

Through the work Middlesbrough Supporters Forum does with MFC, local Foodbanks, MFC Foundation, Michael Carrick Foundation, and other local charities it is very much apparent how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting local people and that football is often the only escape people have from the challenges of everyday life.

The role of Middlesbrough Supporters Forum is not to run Middlesbrough Football Club or to make announcements on their behalf. The role of MSF is to represent the views of Boro supporters, to put arguments forward and influence the decisions of the football club.

Since first being consulted on potential price increases, members have held several in person conversations with Neil Bausor and Steve Gibson about this, with the last meeting taking place with the Chairman in his office before the QPR game to put points forward on behalf of Boro supporters.

MSF presented research and pricing comparisons to other clubs and had an open, honest, and frank discussion with the Chairman and his executive team about the impacts an increase would have.

The chairman also presented his own facts and figures and provided context as to why a minimum price increase of 8% was required. Although we are against the increase in price, we do now have a greater understanding of why prices are being raised and we have outlined some of those high-level reasons given to us below:

  1. Current rate of inflation is above 10%
  2. Operational running costs of the football club have increased by over £1m a year, which include utility bills, business rates and staff wages. (national minimum wage / cost of living increases)
  3. Gate receipts no longer cover the running costs of the stadium.
  4. The extra revenue generated by raising ticket prices for the 2023/24 season covers less than 50% of the growing operational costs.
  5. The club has made significant gains in increasing commercial revenue, all of which is used to ensure that ticket prices remain as low as financially possible whilst trying to plug the gap between operational costs and ticket revenue.
  6. Almost 50% of tickets sold fall into the concessions category – (not a full paying adult) which is a very high proportion compared to other clubs.
  7. The stadium (which is now over 25 years old), and training ground requires ongoing investment to maintain facilities and overall matchday experience.
  8. The football club wishes to remain financially stable and competitive whilst remaining within the financial fair play rules.
  9. The mean average per person per match going through the turnstile from season ticket sales is £12.50, net of VAT.

The chairman has committed to working with Middlesbrough Supporters Forum more closely going forward and consulting with us earlier in the process. We already have a date in the diary with him for further discussions around this topic for future seasons as well as memberships schemes.

Although price increases is something that nobody wanted, we appreciate Steve Gibson taking the time to meet with us and committing to more engagement going forward.

We will keep you updated. UTB

Middlesbrough Supporters Forum