Being a season ticket holder is sometimes held as a symbol of a fans commitment to a club. When you are prepared to invest so much money, upfront, it is an act of faith in the club. It says you care.
The clubs have always been quick to tell us that they want everyone to get their season tickets as soon as the old season ends so that they have money to use in the transfer market. They expect fans to cough up again, usually without actually giving the fans any reason to do so, apart from that tug on their heart strings, that loyalty test.
If your club is mostly packed out most of the time, the only chance of seeing a game is to get your season ticket. But that doesn’t apply to most clubs. Indeed, as the season progresses, and as crowds dwindle in parallel to the dwindling quality of football on show, at some clubs, pricing initiatives are often brought in, making it cheaper to just turn up on the day, especially when you account for the fact that many season ticket holders can’t go to every home game due to some other commitments or because they have to do shift work. So that money is often effectively lost.
It’s never been less true that Premiership clubs need season ticket money to put transfer money into their coffers when they are stoned immaculate on the heavy dope of TV money.
And if you support the 30% of Premiership clubs who no one wants to watch very often such as Blackburn, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Fulham, Manchester City or Bolton, almost no game will be a sell out in the coming season, so you can pretty much pick up a ticket for any game that takes your fancy. And all other clubs apart from the top four will have tickets available for many games simply because not every home game sells out.
In order to further bully fans and punish non season ticket holders, a lot of schemes exist to give priority to season ticket holders for cup games and finals etc. This is presented as a reward to the loyal fans but more cynically is also a way to force the hand of the fan at the start of the season into parting with a lot of money for a product of unknown and almost certainly variable quality.