Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion have been accused of ripping off fans by charging premium prices for stadium beer.

Villa and Albion are both charging more than 40p a pint over the average price for a pint, a survey has found.

The study, by the Liberal Democrats claimed top Premiership clubs were “ripping off fans”, after finding 19 out of 20 clubs charge inflated prices for lager.

They claimed West Brom could be making a whopping £117,000 each season with Villa making about £60,000 per season - just from the extra profits which come from the high cost of beer.

The figure is based on the difference between the price of a pint at the Villa ground and the national average for a pint of lager, which is £2.76. They say both clubs charge £3.20 for a pint.

Nationally, football fans are paying £1.7 million extra a season in a beer premium, according to the Lib Dems.

Don Foster, the party’s culture, media and sport spokesman, said: “Unfortunately, it comes as little surprise to me that Premier League football fans are, once again, being ripped off.

“As if extortionate ticket prices weren’t bad enough, top flight football clubs are charging over the odds for a basic pint. This blatant profiteering should not continue to go unnoticed.

“It’s outrageous that football fans should be charged so much more than rugby fans - 40p might not seem a lot, but over the course of a season it soon mounts up.

“When will Premier League football clubs learn to stop taking the loyalty of their fans for granted?”

Recently-promoted West Bromwich Albion defended the decision to charge premier prices. A spokesman said: “We continually benchmark our prices against a number of events stadia and we feel the price of our lager is competitive for a Premier League football club.

“Our lager price is considerably less than several Premier League clubs and only a penny above the average price charged by Premier League clubs.”

Aston Villa refused to comment on the issue, but city MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) came to the club’s defence.

He said: “If you look back to the early 80s, we had a real problem with violence and rowdy behaviour in football grounds - and a lot of it was fuelled by alcohol.

“If beer is cheap and freely available in a football stadium, it leads to trouble.

“The Liberal Democrats need to read their history books before they start attacking clubs like Aston Villa.”

• Tories have launched a “save our pubs” campaign, following the Government’s announcement that it is increasing alcohol duty by almost eight per cent. They claim pubs could be forced to close as soaring prices drive customers away.