Back in 2000, then Manchester United captain Roy Keane complained about too many football stadiums being full of what he described as the “prawn sandwich” brigade, who care more for the corporate hospitality than the game, and now new research suggests he was onto something.
Shopping experts Cardyltics investigation suggests today’s average British football fan could not be more different than the hooligan image of the 1970s and 80s. It found fans would much rather sit down with a nice bottle of claret and a steak before a game than queue for a bag of chips.
Cardyltics analysed the spending data of up to half a million credit cards and found football fans were twice as likely to go to high-end restaurants than the average shopper.
It’s perhaps not too surprising considering the average seat a Premier League game now costs around £35. Wine brands like Concha y Toro and Santa Rita Estates have been quick to pick on the huge global appeal that football now has to not just influence British football fans but the millions watching around the world.