At a recent forum I attended on technology and football a point was raised that the League of Ireland (LOI) should not try to compete with the English Premier League (EPL) and that our domestic football model should be inspired by ones adopted in Scandanavian countries. This argument was made in the context of a discussion concerning LOI attendances.
Below is a price comparison of LOI season tickets prices to the Premier League and The Danish Superliga* for 2014/15. This may give us some insight to how similar the LOI model is to the Danish Superliga.
The average price for the Premier League season ticket is €657 while its €174 for the LOI and €171 for the Danish Superliga.
It should be noted that the Premier League season tickets are the cheapest that are available and that the data for the LOI is for standard unreserved season tickets. The Danish Superliga price discriminate in a similar fashion to EPL clubs so standard (non-premium) tickets were chosen. All season tickets are for adults.
Given the variation in the EPL prices, the comparison could be interpreted in many ways and really depends on ones outlook toward the LOI. It could be argued that adding €200 to the average LOI season ticket would gain you access to Premier League champions Manchester City (the cheapest) for a season. City would also play 3-4 more home games than the Airtricity or Superliga teams depending on the fixture allocation (as both Irish and Danish teams play 3 times).
On the other hand, buying one season ticket for Arsenal would equate to buying 6 season tickets for Cork City and double that for Bray Wanderers! Sounds reasonable. The most common LOI price is €200. At the Premier League prices this would equate to purchasing 6 LOI season tickets for an Arsenal one, 5 for a Tottenham, 4 for a Liverpool and 3 for a Chelsea or Manchester United. Readers can do the math for their own clubs below.
Of course, this is a crude analysis as I don't take into account the obvious demand side costs of substituting LOI consumption for EPL (e.g travel costs associated with attending Premier League games for Irish fans). Nor am I appreciating the supply side costs of hosting matches for clubs of different sizes and the capacity constraints that they face. Alledgedly Tottenham have over 15,000 fans on a waiting list for season tickets, one would expect this supply constraint to exert upward pressure on price.
One insight we do gain however is that given the twelve team league in Denmark, the comparable fixture structure and their season ticket pricing system, the Danish and LOI are already quite similar.
*Many thanks to SarahThatt-Foley for providing the Danish price data.