More than half the Premier League clubs have been accused of “excluding families from poorer backgrounds” after a Guardian study found that a few of them are charging as much as $704 for children to be mascots, with West Ham United’s the most expensive package at $940.
The average price of a replica kit for a junior fan costs $100, according to the study.
11 Premier League teams, most of whom have spent time in the Championship in the past 10 years, ask a fee for being a mascot on matchday. Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City both charge £450 plus VAT for their packages while West Ham’s prices range from £350-£600 depending on the fixture.
The packages vary between £250-400 at Tottenham, £300-400 at Leicester City, £150-425 at Crystal Palace and £330-390 at Stoke. Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and Hull City also charge, while Newcastle United’s corporate hospitality packages of £3,000-4,000 include mascot places.
Some clubs, including Spurs, QPR and Newcastle, do, however, offer a number of free mascot places through competitions and charities. Others do not charge at all: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Southampton and Sunderland.
The majority of the mascot packages include hospitality places at the designated match, a free kit, signed footballs, photos of the day, match tickets, and other benefits. Some clubs, including Swansea and Stoke, describe the deals as “great value for money” and say that there are long waiting lists, yet supporters have questioned the need for Premier League clubs, many with super-rich owners, to charge such prices.