Misinformation about Arsenal in BBC Sport Price of Football


A little lunchtime rant here.

We all know football is too expensive. We all know Arsenal is up their amongst the most expensive. Our Category A most expensive ticket is ludicrous and prices out many fans, and season tickets starting at £1014 hits the pocket hard.

Every year the BBC do their Price of Football. I actually think it is brilliant to see exactly what all clubs are charging, from match tickets to a cup of tea. But then I get annoyed. Annoyed at the misreporting of the Arsenal season ticket.

It should be common knowledge by now that Arsenal fans get 26 games for their season ticket. 19 home games, 7 cup games. So for our £1014, we get 26 games.

To put this in comparison, Arsenal pay an average of £39 per game. Chelsea’s cheapest season ticket is £750. This works out to £39.47 per game. Only pennies in it, but Arsenal’s is cheaper.

What this leads to is misinformed tables like this on the BBC:


So even though the BBC know that Arsenal fans get 26 games (it is in the small print at the end of the article) they still create a data table without taking this into account. This then leads to others using the data

So What has happened here is they have taken Arsenal’s season ticket cost – £1014 – and dividend it by how many Premier League home games there are – 19. This completely ignores the fact that Arsenal get an additional 7 home games.

Once you add on the goals scored in the first 4 Champions League fixtures (7) and first 3 FA Cup home games (6) you end up with Arsenal fans paying £23.04 per goal. Still expensive, but now only 3rd most expensive.

And when did pounds per goal become a thing? It seems to me to be a statistic for statistics case. For all intents and purposes, you can win the league scoring 26 goals; 26 1-0 wins & 12 0-0 draws. At that point the goals per game would be nearly £30. But you end up with the league title. It really is a pointless table.

One last thought, maybe Arsenal should become better at manipulating the statistics like Manchester United and Manchester City.

Manchester City always have one of the lowest ‘cheapest’ season ticket prices – currently £299. But what they do not declare is how many of these are available (very few) and that this price does not guarantee you the same seat every game. So they have around 100 tickets available each year for low prices where one day you cloud be down by the North-East corner flag, the next game up in the Gods completely opposite.

Unlike Arsenal, Manchester United do not get cup games included in the cost of their season ticket price. Instead, they have to set up a direct debit with the club which automatically takes money out for any home FA Cup or Champions League tie. If for whatever reason, the club are unable to take the direct debit (such as lack of funds) the club are entitled to suspend the home season ticket holder for one league home game. So Man U season ticket holders could be forced to buy an extra 10 tickets (if they made the FA Cup QF & Champions League SF). An additional cost of £280.

I do not mind people bashing Arsenal for ticket prices. It is right and fair. But the way the media continually make it appear that Arsenal are the Bad Guys of Football Tickets with misleading information and articles with more pictures of Arsenal fans then any other – a recent article I read on ticket prices had 4 pictures, all of Arsenal fans – is lazy journalism and frankly wrong.

Let’s start reporting the facts properly.




6 thoughts on “Misinformation about Arsenal in BBC Sport Price of Football

  1. eduardo792

    well this article also distorts or misrepresents the facts. Take the line
    “Our Category A most expensive ticket is ludicrous and prices out many fans”
    this implies that fans are being priced out of going to Arsenal games and the only way to get an Arsenal ticket is to buy a season ticket, and not only that, but our most expensive season ticket. Arsenal rarely sell out Cat B or Cat C games, and also rarely sell out our junior enclosure – a £10 ticket. Where are all these fans who have been priced out of going to AFC games due to the season ticket price, are they not willing to go to the lesser games, the pricing out thing is a great soundbite, but merely ignores the fact that there are thousands of tickets available for the Cat C games – our cheapest games – and these pried out fans choose not to avail of them.


  2. herbie

    As an ex season ticket holder (1980’s) and expatriate (Australia) until a year ago, I have a few grumbles. I am a red member and I would go to every game, home and away if I could get hold of a ticket. Trouble is, like most people who work for a living, I am not able to access a computer when red members tickets go on sale (on a weekday, when I am at work).

    I can get a cat B or C ticket if I am lucky and they haven’t all been snapped up before I get home from work. Cat A, not a hope in hell.

    What I can get, without any issue, is a ticket from one of the re-selling sites like 1st4footballtickets.com. It costs me around 5 times face value once you factor in handling, booking and carriage charges.

    I paid 400 quid for two tickets to WBA away last season when the face value was 39 quid. I hated doing it, it went against the grain and cost me a fortune but I wanted to be there (then Santi went and slipped on his arse and blasted a penalty over the bar!!!)

    Who made the big profit from this sale? The re-selling site would have taken a good chunk, but who sold them the tickets in the first place?

    I flogged a couple of tickets to the sell out last home game in 1991 when we beat Coventry and got presented with the league trophy. I flogged them to mates for face value only.

    The whole ticket thing has become a fiasco. 40 quid a year for the right to be able to try and buy a ticket when you are at work and can’t buy a ticket? Meanwhile, ticket re-sellers buy red and silver memberships and buy as many match tickets as they can sell on for five times face value.

    Clubs could put a stop to this with a photo ID membership card (like the England Travel Club Card or the Glastonbury ticket scheme) but they choose not to?

    Why is this?



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