Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Pies of Football 2016

As the 2016 BBC Price of Football Survey launches, indicating that Premier League ticket prices have gone down but pie prices have increased above the rate of inflation, what does this mean for the average football fan? And what should we really be looking for when it comes to the pies of football?

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
When you think football, you think half time pie. What better during those cold, winter evenings to warm the heart, as well as the hands, during the half time interval as you watch your local team? But is that actually what people do? Or has the price of football pies put off the regular football fan? Do the caterers even have enough pies to go round? And if fans do buy a pie, is it piefection or are football fans being held to ransom?

Two years ago we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

We at will readily admit we are first and foremost a pie rating website, rather than specifically a football pie rating website, but we’re looking to delve further into the provision of football pies as we develop our Pieremiership of football’s best half time pies.

We've rated almost 600 pies, including a number of football pies

But while we realise we haven’t eaten anywhere near enough pies in different football grounds yet – despite having almost 600 pies rated in our Pie Rankings from many of the regular football pie manufacturers like Pukka Pies, Holland’s Pies and Peter’s Pies – we have always been a fan of eating a golden pastry product in the football stadiums we’ve visited. And in our minds what’s more important than simply the price of the pie is how the pie rates. Is it a soggy disappointment, overly dry or lacking in content or does it meet the 7 criteria we Pierateers look for in a pie?

Pierateer Analysis

One of the pielights of the #PriceOfFootball survey in the main article refers to pies going up in price, despite ticket prices going down! Why should fans have to pay so much for their pies - with many Premier League clubs charging over £4 for a pie - when clubs are on this new £8billion plus TV deal?! In our mind, football fans should never have to pay over the odds for food at a ground, especially their beloved pie! They've already paid for their ticket, so the pies on sale should be good quality and good value!

Interestingly the BBC choose to highlight the average price difference between English Premier League pies (£3.49) and Scottish Premiership pies (£2.18) but this is not really a fair comparison. The typical English pie is a steak pie, with full on chunks of meat, where as the typical Scottish football pie would be a Scotch pie, a much cheaper pie to make made of minced meat. In our view, the BBC should only compare like for like pies if they're going to compare at all, and get us to rate the quality - not just the cost!!!

Pie at the football!

In our view, it’s all about a great tasting pie – filling and pastry - which is value for money. You can find out more about what makes a great rated pie by reading about the 7 Cs of pie rating. However what makes a great football pie?

Here are a few specific pointers for making the perfect football pie:

Firstly, it’s got to be cooked properly. Sadly, in the rush to serve so many customers in such a short space of time, food at football grounds can be undercooked or left sat in a hot locker for far too long, making the pie taste bad or even be pretty much inedible. We have unfortunately fallen foul to a few pies being served to us either undercooked or over baked. Naturally, the rating of such pies is badly affected.

Secondly, the football pie has got to be something you can pick up in your hands and bite into, without it crumbling all over the place. Quite a few football pies can be too soft to pick up or crumble all over the place when bitten into, so a firm but crisp pastry casing is key.

Finally, the consistency of the pie filling has got to be just right. Naturally we want a meat pie to be filled to capacity with nice, tender meaty chunks, but we also expect the viscosity of the gravy or sauce to be well thought through so that it is flavoursome but not too runny, as the last thing you want is gravy down your football shirt!

As seen in the above video, one football ground has seemingly found the perfect reci-pie for the half time pastry snack, producing some of the highest rated pies on Pierate, let alone best football pies! The secret? Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC makes his pies on the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Top work Graham and the team!

In summary, we think there’s nothing better than a warm, hearty pie to get you through half time. But the key thing is that they have got to be top rated pies! Too often the pies are not only overly expensive but are just not up to scratch, either too dry or undercooked. So as well as checking out the price of pies this season, we’ll be making sure we rate as many as possible on our 7 Cs of pie rating so that you know what pies to purchase!


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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