Football clubs: could Direct Debit increase your fanbase?

A few football clubs have started offering Direct Debit as a way for fans to spread their costs and make season tickets more affordable.


Most football clubs ask fans to pay for season tickets with an upfront lump sum. With Premier League season tickets ranging from £299 to £1995, this is a big ask for a lot of fans.

To make season tickets a more affordable purchase, clubs across the UK have started offering Direct Debit as a way for fans to spread their costs:

  • Everton fans can pay by Direct Debit in up to 10 monthly installments.

  • Manchester City fans can pay by Direct Debit in four equal installments in July, September, November and February.

  • Blackburn Rovers fans can pay by Direct Debit in 8 monthly installments.

Why would football clubs use Direct Debit?

1. Direct Debit makes season tickets affordable for more fans

Every club wants a stadium packed with loyal fans cheering their team on. However, with season ticket prices so high, they’re often just too expensive for the average fan, particularly those hoping to take their children to games.

As a result, not only is live attendance at many clubs declining (hurting the clubs financially) but, with a diminishing number of young people attending, future income will also be eroded.

What’s more - the situation has been worsening for some time:

  • Over the past 15 years, ticket prices in the UK have gone up by 716% while fans’ wages have only increased by an average of 186%.

  • In May 2013, one in every three Premier League fans was considering not renewing their season ticket because of the cost. This figure was broadly similar in the Championship and League One and even higher in League Two.

Direct Debit lets fans break payments down into more manageable payments spread across the year. This can help make a season ticket an affordable and attractive purchase for more fans.

Since offering monthly Direct Debit payments, the number of Everton fans buying a season ticket for the first time is 202% higher.

2. Direct Debit gives you predictable cashflow

As well as leaving you with lots of unhappy fans, unaffordable season tickets can leave your club with unexpected gaps in the stands and in your accounts. Letting fans spread their payments with an automatic payment method like Direct Debit not only means that more fans will be able to pay but also means that you'll know exactly what and when you'll be paid.

3. Direct Debit makes keeping your season ticket the easy choice

Direct Debit allows fans to automatically pay for and renew season tickets every season making it easy for them to keep their season tickets for longer and reducing admin time for both fans and the club.

GoCardless helps football clubs and rugby clubs of all sizes, including Hull FC, to collect season ticket payments by Direct Debit. To find out more about how using Direct Debit could help your club, check out our Greater Anglia customer story or our Memberships page.

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