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As Villa succeed less, fans continue to pay more

Aston Villa fans have seen an increase in price of season tickets even as the on-pitch product gets worse.

Ross Kinnaird

The Daily Mail have compiled a list of season ticket prices from around the Premier League, and not surprisingly, they are up this season. They use the odd metric of simply looking at the most expensive season tickets (rather than the average price), but the numbers are pretty stunning. Tottenham fans are paying the most in the league. £1,895 for an entire season, or £90.24 per match (they get two cup matches included). Oddly, that price is still the league's highest despite the fact that Spurs haven't increased their prices from last year.

Aston Villa fans, on the other hand, are seeing an increase in prices. They're still getting a relative bargain (we're not taking into account the level of football yet) by paying only £615 for the top-tier plan, but that number represents a 3% increase from last season. Now, within reason, that makes some sense. 3% probably falls right in line with inflation and isn't an absurd hike.

But consider for a moment what fans have had to watch in the past few season. For their season tickets, Villa fans were treated to a 6-3-10 record last season at Villa Park. In other words, the club took a mere 37% of the available points. And they did so in a dreadfully boring fashion, by only scoring 22 goals or 1.16 per match. Eight of those matches (42%) saw Villa kept completely goalless.

And now fans are being asked to pay more to see the same squad without significant investment in improvement. As we've said repeatedly, the signings of Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos, and Kieran Richardson are smart ones. But they're certainly not the type that inspire confidence and hope in fans.

So yes, in a purely economic sense, the 3% increase in season ticket prices is fair. But from a public relations angle - an angle that Villa under Randy Lerner have become increasingly bad at covering - it makes no sense. Is the extra few pounds the club will get really worth irritating fans more? Things are unstable this season and fans are, rightfully, unhappy. There is no need to drag every last coin from their pockets when you have done next to nothing to earn it.

It's just another example of the tone-deaf leadership at this club that cannot depart quickly enough.