Accompanying your favorite Premier League club onto the pitch before a match is surely a dream for many children (and adults, for that matter), but how does an eager to please parent make that happen? In some cases by paying through the nose (a.k.a. the official payment method of the Premier League).
From the Guardian:
Eleven Premier League teams, most of whom have spent time in the Championship in the past 10 years, ask a fee for being a mascot on matchday. Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City both charge £450 plus VAT for their packages while West Ham’s prices range from £350-£600 depending on the fixture.
The packages vary between £250–400 at Tottenham, £300–400 at Leicester City, £150–425 at Crystal Palace and £330–390 at Stoke. Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and Hull City also charge, while Newcastle United’s corporate hospitality packages of £3,000–4,000 include mascot places.
The report notes that the likes of Spurs, Newcastle and QPR also offer free mascot spots through charities and competitions, but many of the clubs you might expect to charge for this honor — Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man City, Man United — actually don’t.
Holding the hand of a Premier League footballer isn’t all these children get, though. Many of the packages include matchday hospitality, tickets, autographed balls, and, of course, the kit they wear for the big moment. And that’s why Andy Carroll’s parents have been paying to let him do it for years now.