Just under one million Australians make the 9,000-mile trip to the UK each year. That, coupled with the fact that 125,000 Aussies live in the UK (the majority in London), means you’ll likely run into a few ex-pats and fellow Australian tourists on your trip. While, weather permitting, there is no end of things to do in the UK, there is something to be said to catching a Premier League game. Beamed into 212 territories across the globe, the English Premier League has been cited as the UK’s finest modern export. Going to a game is a very different experience than watching it at home on the TV, but it can be a much more rewarding experience. So, take a look at this guide to getting the most out of an English Premier League (EPL) match!
SHOP AROUND FOR TICKETS
As you might expect, it’s more expensive to see a match in London than the rest of the UK, but London clubs can have varied price themselves. Arsenal, for example, can charge up to £92.50 ($160) for a single ticket, whereas Crystal Palace has a maximum cap of £50 ($88).
BE WARY OF THE FOOD
There is a traditional image of the Englishman eating the humble pie at a soccer match. While it is possible to find good food at pubs and restaurants outside the stadiums, inside it is usually mass-produced junk food that is also incredibly over priced!
HAVE A BEER WITH THE ‘REAL’ FANS
There is nothing wrong with soccer as a globalised sport, but you won’t find the local Manchester United fans inside the Old Trafford Megastore. Most of these soccer clubs grew out of working-class areas and are still at the heart of the community. You’ll find lots of non-descript pubs within walking distance of the grounds, full of local fans. Judging by the decor, it may feel like you have walked into the wrong decade, but the atmosphere is guaranteed to be electric!
ENJOY THE GAME
One of the criticisms locals aim at tourists attending soccer matches is that they spend too much time on the ‘extras’, such as buying merchandise and taking official tours, and they do not live in the moment. You can buy the latest soccer jersey at any time in your life, but this may be your only chance to see some of the world’s best players do what they do best!
HAVE A PUNT
Sports betting in Australia is quite similar to the UK. You’ll find lots of bookies’ shops in and around the stadium. Don’t get carried away though, as you may think it’s a good idea to back Liverpool at 5/1 (Ladbrokes) to win the EPL this season, but remember you’ll have to make a long trip back to collect your winnings next May. Better to bet on the match you are watching, so you can collect any winnings straight after so you can spend them on your holiday!
DON’T FEAR THE ‘HOOLIGANS’
English soccer fans have got a bit of a reputation for violence down the years. However, this has by and large disappeared and is almost never seen at the stadiums. Going to an Premier League game today is exceptionally safe, including for kids.