Is Supporting Your Team a Luxury in the Post-Credit Crunch World?

Sing ChenCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2008

If I hear the phrase 'Credit Crunch' one more time in any news medium I will build a really long ladder all the way to Jupiter and hide. That said, the current economic climate is a reality, and one that will not be shifting any time soon.

We are all genuinely worried about filling up our cars and how much it will cost next week. Can I really get an extra 50 miles out of each tank if I sit and watch my green economy light on the dash everywhere I drive?

What about utility bills - how crazy are those getting? The world is going mad. Maybe I should put a few more layers on in the coming winter months than turn my central heating up those extra notches. These are the concerns of you, me and most people in the world. Prices rising, costs rising, interest rates rising, blood pressure rising. Anyway, I'm not here to solve the economic problems of the world. We are where we are.

Against this backdrop, how would you rate the commitment and devotion to your team or your favourite sport? Since the turn of the year I no longer have my subscription to Sky's sports package. Replica kits are now not getting replaced as often as they used to. Even small things like Season Review DVDs are a thing of the past.

There is the cost of travel to and from an event or match, the cost of the ticket/season ticket itself.

Also, what about being an armchair fan - there isn't exactly a gluttony of sport of BBC and ITV. Even Platini has called into question whether every single Euro 2008 match should have been a 'protected event'. If you want to watch live football, it's either Sky or Setanta. Formula 1 is going back to the BBC - great for fans of Motor Sport.

There is always the radio of course. Football is great to listen to on the radio, but tennis a little less so.

Will the day come when watching a Wimbledon final like we had between Federer and Nadal this year cost us a satellite subscription?

Replica kits are still 30-40 quid a pop. If you want names and squad numbers as well as the full bhoona of shorts, socks etc, you can probably double that.

Watching a particular sporting event may even inspire some of us to want to participate. So, you can now factor in the cost equipment and club memberships.

Despite all this, would you be prepared to sacrifice that moment when your team wins the title, or when your favourite player lifts the trophy? I'm not sure I could have taken the same enjoyment of the end of the Premiership season if I was left with a radio to tune into the final weekend matches.

If we are really getting priced out of the mainstream sports, perhaps the less publicised sports might get a look-in. You never know, we could have 10 million viewers watching the Netball Champions League final in a few years time on BBC Three.