Congratulations, West Ham, Your Beer Is Most Expensive in EPL

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2013

Congratulations, West Ham, Your Beer Is Most Expensive in EPL

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    In the wake of BBC Sport's investigation as to just how much a game of football costs the modern football fan, it's time to investigate the finest and most important of details on matchday.

    That, of course, being just how much your average patron is forced to fork out for a pint of amber nectar every time they go to a Premier League match.

    While not endorsing the consumption of alcohol in great quantity, beer has undoubtedly become a large part of the matchday experience for some and it's important to know just where in the English top flight one can find the best pint value.

Format

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    Before we begin our countdown, it's important to note exactly what criteria were used to determine each Premier League club's value when it comes to beer consumption.

    For starters, though not every club sells draught beer, values are determined by the pint, meaning that if a club only sells bottled brews, the necessary calculations have been made to determine price by the pint.

    Secondly, some clubs do entertain promotional deals during certain stages of a match event, but these prices pertain solely to the average pint sold at general stadium kiosks during playing time and not in hospitality booths.

    When two or more clubs sell their pint for the same price, the next criterion priority is a club's cheapest matchday ticket according to BBC Sport. Should two or more teams still draw on that front, they are then organised using most expensive matchday ticket.

    This is done due to the fact that, with the main interest being the cheapest outing possible, the most demanding teams find themselves slipping further down the rankings.

    Finally, numbers were obtained with help from official club figures and representatives when available, but some of those prices included are based on the word of those consuming, who may or may not have been intoxicated at the time of comment.

    Clubs don't necessarily control their prices and the figures are regularly enforced by alcohol companies, but that bears little significance to this rundown.

    Without further ado, let's delve into just who sells the priciest drop in the land.

20. Hull City: £3.50 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £22

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £35

    Beginning in reverse order, it's at the KC Stadium that one can find the cheapest suds, which is just as well given that the Premier League new boys need all the support they can get their claws on.

    Yorkshire is a lot more famous for its ale in terms of alcohol preference, so perhaps Hull City are simply trying to offload the sour taste of beer from their shelves as cheaply as possible.

19. West Brom: £3.50 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £25

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £39

    West Brom are clearly a club concerned about just how their fans look after their pennies given that they excel in just about every area of how cheaply their matchday experience is, from having a very agreeable ticketing scheme to one of the cheapest cuppas in the division.

    At £3.50, the Baggies have also managed to preserve one of the slightest beer costs in the Premier League, maintaining their reputations as a cost-efficient organisation.

    Who knows, a few pence extra and they may have been able to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the Hawthorns for another term this season. 

18. Swansea City: £3.50 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £35

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £45

    Given how shrewdly the club have gone about their transfer business in recent seasons, it's no surprise to hear that Swansea City have a smart strategy when it comes to cost-effective brewskies.

    At the Liberty Stadium, a pint of Carling will set the patron back £3.50, equal to the cheapest in the Premier League and a price that appears to be doing Huw Jenkins' side just fine in terms of bank balance.

    After all, this is the club that managed to sign Michu for little under £2 million, and he clearly loves the state of the Swans' beer setup.

17. Sunderland: £3.70 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £25

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £40

    The Black Cats may be languishing at the thought of how their 2013/14 Premier League campaign has opened, but there's nothing unlucky about their beer fees.

    A price of £3.70 is enough for a cold one at the Stadium of Light, where Fosters is the tipple of choice.

16. Newcastle United: £3.80 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £15

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £52

    Forever scrutinised for just how his club is run, Mike Ashley often pops up in the financial pages, whether it be for his involvement with the Magpies or his ventures with Sports Direct.

    The business mogul unfortunately loses the Tyne/Wear struggle for cheapest pint, but he can still hold his head high at offering one of the cheapest beers in the league.

    St. James' is also one of those stadiums using the hugely innovative Venue Menu app, making it easier than ever to get in the matchday lagers.

15. Cardiff City: £3.80 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £20

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £40

    In the hipster world, there's not many an owner more adored right now than Cardiff City's Vincent Tan, and by god can the man pull a pint at an affordable price.

    Of course, we're talking about very fine margins in this context, but the Malaysian mogul can nevertheless boast one of the savviest schemes when it comes to his brews.

    With both of the Premier League's Welsh representatives falling under the £4 mark for a pint, one's best plan of action is to travel southwest for their brew. That's if the petrol fare is enough to justify the trip.

14. Norwich City: £3.80 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £20

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £50

    And stick to beer instead.

    Norwich City offer the same £3.80 pint and £20 matchday ticket as Cardiff City, but a more sizable jump to their more expensive seats means a dip in the rankings for the Canaries.

    Carrow Road's Norfolk surroundings aren't particularly famous for their beer offerings, but the East Anglians have done well not to let their bump in transfer estimations translate over to their alcohol prices.

13. Manchester City: £3.80 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £20

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £58

    In the aftermath of recent discoveries, Manchester City are actually one of the clubs to have come out on the other end looking relatively rosy.

    As well as offering up a pint of Fosters for just £3.80, the Citizens have one of the cheapest matchday tickets in the Premier League setting.

    Let's be honest, with the vast backing of Sheikh Mansour behind them, it's perhaps unsurprising that the club aren't in a position where they're forced to push up such amenities, but let's just hope the beer is one of the last things to change at the Etihad.

12. Aston Villa: £3.80 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £23

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £42

    From one extreme to another, while Manchester City may have been competing for the Premier League title last term, Aston Villa's level terms in alcohol shows us one thing—beer is the greatest leveler of all.

    The Villa Park masses can perhaps take a certain amount of pride (and be equally disgusted) that they're paying the same price for a tall one as a club that just spent roughly £100 million in one transfer window.

    Sweet justice.

11. Crystal Palace: £4 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £25

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £45

    Shifting onto bigger but not necessarily better things, Crystal Palace are the only of all three promoted clubs to break the £4 barrier when it comes to their suds.

    The Eagles are soaring past Cloud Nine in terms of their status in English football, but it's just unfortunate that the price for a beer is going in tandem with it.

10. Arsenal: £4 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £26

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £126

    A lot of focus has been placed on Arsenal in recent weeks and the fact that the Gunners charge a massive £1955 for their most expensive season ticket.

    However, looking to the other end of the spectrum, things aren't quite as bad for the blue collar masses who wish to head to the Emirates, with a far more agreeable £26 matchday fee available and a £4 pint on offer for the halftime hankerings.

    While not quite the cheapest options, things could be worse given the microscope that the North Londoners have been placed under of late.

9. Southampton: £4 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £30

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £50

    Nicolas Cortese is another of the Premier League's leading club executives whose business stratagem has been closely examined in recent seasons.

    Despite only coming up from the Championship last summer, the Saints' beer fee is that of a mid-table side or higher.

    What's more, the most southern based club in the division show that perhaps the further down the Isle one travels for a tipple, the more one can expect to pay in order to wet their whistle.

8. Everton: £4 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £32

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £38

    Ever the club firmly focused on providing an affordable, yet high-quality service, Bill Kenwright's Everton offer a £4 pint courtesy of the side's long-term sponsors, Chang beer.

    One very amicable aspect of the Toffees' pay structure is the fact that only £6 separates the most expensive from the least.

    So, one can either save the pennies and opt for some savvier seating while enjoying a tipple or two or get that extra bit of matchday comfort and stay dry.

    Fine lines.

7. Tottenham: £4 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £32 

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £81

    The last of the £4 beer legion, Tottenham are unsurprisingly towards the more expensive end of the Beer-o-Meter, charging a fee of £32 for your cheapest White Hart Lane entry.

    The North Londoners reinvested just about every penny under their command in an attempt to emerge from this summer transfer window with one less Gareth Bale but all the better as a squad.

    Nevertheless, one would like to think that a side capable of debating over fees with the best—thanks to the graft of chairman Daniel Levy—might ease the pain on their own fans just a little bit.

6. Stoke City: £4.20 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £25

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £50

    One of two clubs to have finished in the bottom half last season but still manage to charge more than £4 for a pint, a £3.70 bottle of Carlsberg perhaps doesn't go as far—not literally—as one might hope.

    In recent years, the Potters have adopted a style under Tony Pulis described by many as defensive, defeatist and boring.

    Under Mark Hughes, there is the notion that will come to change, although the price of the beer on offer might be another aspect that some are hoping to see transform at the Britannia Stadium.

    Trivia: If you purchased one bottle of beer at the Britannia last season as a home support, you will have paid more than 10p for every goal the Potters scored across the entire campaign.

5. Fulham: £4.20 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £25

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £75

    One of the oldest and most iconic structures in the Premier League setting, Craven Cottage is presumably absorbing some of the beer prices charged within it for ongoing renovations.

    Fulham's £4.20 Carlsberg will have been a price established under the ownership of Mohamed Al-Fayed, although Cottagers might hope for a change of matters under Shahid Khan's rule.

    Fulham weren't exactly big spenders this summer when it comes to the transfer window, so it's anyone's guess as to what the patrons are actually putting their money towards.

4. Chelsea: £4.20 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £36

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £87

    Keeping things in the West London family, Chelsea also charge a staggering £4.20 for a pint of their finest Singha, but they're exceptionally harder to get to considering the increased gate prices at Stamford Bridge.

    With the champagne quality of football offered by the Blues, it might only be natural that the prices are of champagne standard too, regardless of the beverage.

3. Liverpool: £4.20 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £38

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £52

    One of several Premier League clubs not to offer a draught option, a £3.70 bottle of Carlsberg at Liverpool again works out as £4.20 to the pint.

    The quality of football at Anfield is undoubtedly improving little by little, but fans would certainly suggest that there's still some room to progress in terms of booze for your buck on Merseyside.

    Trivia: After ticket and travel costs, Reds fans are paying a £4.20 pint/goal ratio when watching Liverpool play.

2. Manchester United: £4.32 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £31

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £53

    One of the few clubs who might actually be able to justify charging a league-high sum for their brews, Manchester United will part with a bottle of Singha for a price of £3.80 (£4.32 at the pint).

    The Red Devils are at the head of a league which prides itself on being the most entertaining in the world, showing that perhaps incredibly high beer prices are the formula to Premier League success.

    Upon conducting further research into this theory, the results were inconclusive.

    Trivia: The reigning Premier League champions scored 45 goals at Old Trafford last season, which, if at the same price then, would have held decent value at a price of more than a goal per 10p of beer.

1. West Ham: £4.32 Per Pint

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    Cheapest Matchday Ticket: £37

    Most Expensive Matchday Ticket: £67

    Up there with likes of Manchester United in terms of beer costs but perhaps not in terms of football quality, West Ham claim the unenviable title of pouring the Premier League's most luxurious drop.

    A £3.80 bottle of Carlsberg is the priciest of its kind at Upton Park, again working out as £4.32 if charged proportionally by the pint.

    Having just about finished inside the division's Top 10 last season, the Hammers might be blowing bubbles, but not too many of those bubbles will be beer-tainted, or at least not by the grains sold within West Ham's grounds.

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