A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a comment on the BBC football page in which it was pointed out that a train trip from Manchester to London, to watch the Arsenal vs. Man City game would cost 50 pounds, plus 62 pounds for the ticket and 20 pounds for food, for a total of 132 pounds. On Wednesday, 87,000 spectators watched the England vs. Brazil game at Wembley. Every week the Premier League stadiums are filled to the brim with crowds ranging from about 30,000 to 80,000, depending on the size of the stadium. In addition, when television cameras focus on the crowds, they seem pretty much middle-class to me.
The obvious question then is where do they find the money to pack out these stadiums week after week, considering all the associated costs? I would think a large chunk of these people receive child allowances. Could it be that if the government were to drop the child allowance, except for those with income of less than a very low threshold, that these stadiums would be more sparsely populated? In other words, is there some relationship between child allowances and football attendance?
In addition, consider that packed out stadiums make the televising of these games a profitable venture. Without the packed stadiums, fewer games would be televised and less money from the television companies would flow into the coffers of the football club owners, and ultimately the football players who seem to collect anything from 25,000 to 250,000 pounds per week in compensation. All this to say that the government’s child allowance could be benefiting the football industry disproportionately, essentially resulting in a wealth transfer from the general population to the millionaires that own and play for the clubs, as well as the likes of Rupert Murdoch.