Over the years, we have banged on about ticket prices. Without blowing our own trumpet, I would say that out of the thousands of Arsenal blogs out their, we have been at the forefront of bringing the ticket price issues to public attention.
It might be down to many of the people involved in both the blog and Facebook page being regular football go’ers. Normal blokes, living in London, who travel home and away. Myself, I go home and away every game, One of the other admins on the Facebook page also has an away season ticket. Ticketing is a real issue to us.
So it is good news today that the Premier League have announced that for the next 3 seasons, ticket prices for away fans shall be capped at £30.
Now of course, it might not be as large a cut as we wanted – we are big supporters of the Football Supporters’ Federation Twenty’s Plenty campaign, but it is a step in the right direction.
Just over a month ago, we mentioned or dismay that Premier League chairman had voted against a price cap on away tickets. It is reported that Arsenal led the fight against the initiative. Despite Arsenal fans (amongst a couple of others) benefiting the most from price cap, Arsenal showed their greed by rejecting it.
I do now laugh to myself. Last week the footballing world was in uproar. Ivan Gazidis, alongside the chairman of Manchester United & City, Liverpool and Chelsea had a secret meeting. It was reported that this was to discuss a European Super League. It seems the papers misreported this, as less than a week later, the £30 ticketing initiative has been announced.
Putting 2 & 2 together, I would lay money on the fact they were meeting to decide how they would once more vote on this matter. And the result? A better deal for fans.
And what is good news is that Arsenal will benefit the most. Arsenal are ripped off over land and sea. We pay a premium price every ground we step into.
This season, a travelling Arsenal fan will pay around £300 MORE on away tickets than a Leicester fan. Clearly an issue. In fact, Arsenal charge away fans, over the course of a season, £200 LESS than what Arsenal fans are charged to visit away grounds.
My cost for all 19 away games this season is around £850. Next year, it will be £570. That is great news. More money for beer and Rainbows!
Of course, with one hand they give, one hand they take away. This agreement has meant the end of the Away Fans Initiative which was introduced in 2013 by the Premier League and saw clubs individually implement a range of measures, including travel subsidies, reciprocal pricing and reduced admissions as well as improved facilities.
What Arsenal did with the Away Fans Initiative was reduce prices for away fans. This year we have all benefited from a £4 deduction per game. If you went to all 19 games, this would save £76.
Despite this initiative being dropped by the Premier League, the club have perhaps learnt from PR errors of the recent past, and announced that they will continue to subsidise away tickets by the £4. Thus taking the cost to go to games to just £26. The cost to go to all games is now just £494 a season.
The battle is still not over. Ticket prices for home games is still too expensive. As is allocation of cup credits. And the way Silver Members get treated also needs to be addressed. But it is a step in the right direction.
It will lead to a few problems that we can foresee. More people will now buy tickets for away games and not go. It will give other fans less opportunities to go to games and build up their credits. You will now have more buying away tickets to sell on, knowing that the risk if they do not sell on is much lesser. But these are problems to be discussed for another day.
Today is a good day for an away fan. The saving is the equivalent of an extra holiday. An extra Euro away. A couple more dances in Rainbow.
I think every fans should be thanking the FSF and all supporters groups. Not just those of Arsenal, but those of Liverpool, of Everton, even of Spurs. There has really been a “we are all in this together” when it comes to ticket prices. And it is the pressure of all the groups that has led to this price cap.
Arsenal fans will pay the lowest for away tickets in the Premier League
Remember, without fans, football is nothing.