Hearts beat rivals for cheapest food as cost of matchday experience is revealed

Hearts fans can enjoy the cheapest pie of the Lothian clubs
Hearts fans can enjoy the cheapest pie of the Lothian clubs
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IT’s a matchday tradition that every football fan in Scotland has tried – and when it comes to the battle of the pies there’s only one winner in the Capital.

New figures have revealed the cost of supporting teams across the country, with both city sides faring well against other top flight teams.

But while the Tynecastle and Easter Road sides were both found to offer good value when stacked up against their Scottish Premier League rivals, when it came to the cost of a pie, Hearts at £2 saw off competition from Hibs, who at £2.30 sell the most expensive of any Scots club.

Hearts also offered cheaper entry-level season tickets at £310, compared with £355 at their arch rivals.

However, Hibs were more affordable for the top end tickets and provide cheap early-bird deals, which the club said lowered its average to £236.

The annual BBC Price of Football survey also found that, despite sitting in the Scottish First Division, the cost of supporting Livingston FC placed it closer to SPL clubs.

This was largely due to higher than average ticket prices and relatively costly pies at £2.20 and tea at £2.10.

Hearts and Hibs have a top matchday ticket price of £28 for adults, but the cheapest ticket at Hibs is £22 while Hearts’ cheapest is £18.

Hibs was originally one of just two clubs in the UK to decline, with Hibs spokesman Andrew Sleight saying the club didn’t think the survey was accurately reflecting to the true price their fans pay per match.

They have, however, provided figures for the Evening News and claimed that 80 per cent of those attending matches benefit from discounts or added-value options like early bird specials.

Neil Patey, a partner at auditors Ernst & Young in Edinburgh, and a former advisor to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, said: “The cheapest day out at an SPL game is comparable with the English League One at between £20 to £30 which, on the face of it, represents good value.

“This contrasts with the English Premiership where the cheapest matchday experience generally costs between £30 and £45.

“Within the SPL, Hearts sits mid-table at a cost of some £25, while Hibernian comes close to the top at £29. The Hibernian pricing structure reflects a 
narrower range than some other SPL clubs with a more expensive starting ticket price, but cheaper top-end tickets.”

He added: “Livingston matchday costs are amongst the most expensive in Division One, and are closely matched to the cheaper options within the SPL.”

The BBC found the cost of the cheapest adult ticket in the top four divisions of English football has risen by 11.7 per cent in the last year, which is five times the rate of inflation.

The most expensive pie from the 166 UK clubs was Football Conference side Kidderminster Harriers, which charges £4.

The joint cheapest were Scottish Second Division sides Albion Rovers and Alloa at £1.