Over the years, Everton fans have developed a deep dislike of Chief Executive Robert Elstone based on mistrust of how he has handled the purse strings at the club. So it is not a surprise that when Everton's finances are under the spotlight, he piped up pretty quickly to discredit what otherwise looks like an excellent survey carried out by interviewing the real fans.
Let's start at the beginning. Every year, the BBC carries out a study called the 'Price of Football', in which it attempts to survey how much fans are really paying to watch their football teams at home. They also discovered that the average price of the cheapest match-day ticket has gone up about 4.4% from last year in the top divisions of English football, nearly twice the rate the cost of living has been increasing at.
The table shown below is sorted by the price of the 'Cheapest Day Out', which includes the cheapest match-day ticket, a programme, pie and a cup of tea. (All data courtesy of the BBC - link.)
While Everton are not the most expensive football experience in the Premier League, they are certainly not the cheapest either. Of the top seven or eight clubs, the Blues are curiously more expensive than two London sides - Tottenham and Arsenal. However, the prices of those teams' season tickets more than makes up for that anomaly. When you look at the tables for cheapest and most expensive season tickets, the Blues come in at much more modest level.
However, even this very transparent study seemed to invoke Elstone's ire. He went on to the Everton FC website to disclaim some of the numbers submitted by actual Toffees fans.
So, what are your thoughts about the BBC study and Elstone's comments?