Arsenal season ticket announcement: The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent

Yesterday the club announced some season ticket changes that will be implemented from the 2023/24 season.

As always was these sort of things, they give with one hand, take with the other. A bit like when a Government announcing a new budget. So what has been announced?

The Good

For next season, a General Admission season ticket will include all 19 Premier League and three European group-stage matches, subject to qualification. Previously, the 26-match season ticket covered all home Premier League matches, five European matches and two home Emirates FA Cup fixtures. 

Since their formation, Arsenal fans group the Black Scarf Movement have been calling for a “season ticket lite”. After over a decade of campaigning on this, the club seem to have finally agreed with them.

For as long as I can remember, an Arsenal season ticket was always your 19 league games, plus the first 7 FA Cup or European games. 26 in total.

It was why thise “cost of a season ticket” comparisons the media do yearly could be ignored. They were comparing our 26 games to another teams 19. It was like comparing apples to bananas.

Dropping from 26 to 22 games is a 15% decrease. Although the club have not yet announced how they will spread their category costing over that 22 games, so we may well not see the full 15% deducted from what we need to pay.

This will not only help fans when it comes to paying for their tickets, but will also reduce some of the clubs administrative burden.

If we played less than 7 cup games, the club had to refund fans at the end of the season; most of the time this was in the form of a reduction to the same value off their new season ticket.

Now, we will only be paying upfront for the games we are gauranteed to play (19 Premier League, 3 European group stages), and the rest will be bought as individual tickets.

There is talk that the club will allow fans to set up a direct debit, allowing them to automatically buy their seat when they come on sale. And there will also be the option to opt out of this and buy on a game by game basis – a bit like the League Cup.

Season ticket holders will hold “Priority 1” booking status meaning they will be able to book their own seat prior to tickets going on sale to Silver Members.

The other good news is the club did not decide to go down the route that Manchester United and Spurs go down.

Those clubs only have the direct debit option, and force season ticket holders to buy the additional cup tickets for every round regardless of if you can or can not go.

Finally, there will also be a hope that this will lead to less empty seats, and more tickets available for other members.

The club predict that this could “make up to 150,000 additional match tickets available for members to purchase next season“. Whilst this is a mistruth, it is still good news.

The 150,000 figure comes from the total number of season ticket holders across the 4 games. “150,000 additional match tickets available for members” would require every single season holder to not purchase a ticket for any game. The majority will.

Whilst the club will argue that “150,000 tickets are now available on sale”, it is misleading as the majority will be snapped up by those fans with season tickets. So there is not really 150k additional tickets available to all members.

Still though, I expect plenty more cup tickets to be available next season to other members beyond season ticket holders. Will be interesting to see if the club are transparent in 12 months time and let us know how many additional cup tickets were bought by non-gold members.

It will also be interesting to see if the priority for cup tickets is then linked to how many of the rounds you went to, rather than based on away credits.

The announcement of the new reduced season ticket is not the full “lite” version the BSM wanted – they wanted an “only Premier League” option. But it is a step in the right direction.

The Ugly

We will be implementing an average 5 per cent increase on General Admission season tickets for next season. Prices in the lower tier will go up by 6 per cent and 4 per cent in the upper tier.

We are in a cost of living crisis, everything is going up. Whether it is your electricity, your petrol, your food or your kebab, so it is no real surprise that the club are raising ticket prices. But that does not mean we have to like it.

Firstly, those that say “can not believe the club are rising prices during a cost of living crisis” clearly show a lack of understanding on how businesses work. Have they said similar about their favourite hotel? Their favourite car manufacturer? Their favourite takeaway?

People are very selective on what they accept going up, pay and get on with, and what they say “why is that going up during the cost of living crisis”.

All these companies would have seen their outgoings dramatically increased over the last 18 months, so prices have to go up to compensate this.

We also can not demand the club “keeps spending money” and then not accept that they might come to us to pay a little bit more to help fund it.

You have the contracts of Bukayo Saka and William Saliba to pay for. £100m on a new defensive midfielder to buy in the summer. All staff getting the London Living Wage. The club subsidising pre and post match beers.

The money for all of this increase in spending has to come from somewhere, and around £6million of it will come from us fans.

It is a bit like when people demand that the Government or Local Authority “reduce tax and increase public spending”. You can not demand your roads be as smooth as bowling greens and then complain when your Council Tax goes up to pay for it!

This news has also been misreported by the media, with many running with “Arsenal increase prices of season tickets even though fans will get to see FEWER games”. This just is not true.

What they have done is combine the two statements.

Yes, we are increasing the base cost of the season ticket, and we are reducing the games. But we are not going to be paying more overall for less games.

What the media are insinuating is that the 5% average increase goes on the end cost of the season ticket. So if you ticket is currently £1,000, it will increase to £1,050. This is not true.

The club are increasing what they charge per game which is then mutipled by the games to get the season ticket cost.

Using some crude maths, if you paid £1,000 for your ST, that was an average of £38.46 a game (£1,000/26). The average cost of a ticket is going up 5% to £40.38 a ticket. And then we get 22 games.

So now we do 22 x £40.38 which comes out to £888.46. We are “not paying more for less”, we are paying lessfor less.

The journalists that write these sort of articles know they are misrepresenting the truth. But we now live in a world where it is about hits and clicks rather than journalistic integrity. Better to get 1m hits and be wrong than 1k hits and be right.

These are the same journalists who continually put out the tripe of Arsenal being the most expensive season tickets, whilst never mentioning that we got 26 games.

Our lowest price per game will now be around the £40 mark. This is not too disimlar to what Chelsea and Tottenham pay for their cheapest normal tickets.

This year will see the second consecutive increase.

In 2022/23 we saw the first increase in 7 years. The worry is we might now see a 5% increase every single year. And that will soon get out of control.

You do also have to wonder whether the club really need that extra £6million.

We have the Adidas deal going up by £10million, we have the return of Champions League football. That is worth around £60million. And we have the increase in other commercial deals that our return as a top team will generate.

Our 2023/24 revenue could be £100m higher than 2022/23 even without that ticket price increase.

Anytime a price goes up it is hard to swallow. My kebab has gone up from £13.50 in 2020 to £19.87 last night. I struggle to get my head round it but still buy it.

The indifferent

The 25 per cent discount on season tickets and match-by-match tickets purchased outside the Family Enclosure, currently provided to Young Adult Members up to the age of 21, is being extended to the age of 24.

I am not really sure how a 24-year-old is any different to a 30-year-old?

Maybe it just shows I am getting old, but that 24-year-old could have been in full time work for 8 years. Could have been in the army for 8 years. And so on.

I do not get the “good to see we are helping Uni students” that some have put out.

If you are 24 and still at Uni in the UK, then you should have a word with yourself. If you have decided to “remain in education” rather than get into the real world and work, then you have no real right to demand a reduction in things like football tickets.

It seems odd that I am saying this as a reduction in ticket prices should be a positive. But I would prefer that reduction went to an OAP season ticket for those over 67.

You work 50 years of your life, and then retirement age comes and you are on a state pension. You can no longer afford to go down The Arsenal, which you have been doing for most of your life.

These are often the vunerable of our society. Those that 3pm on a Saturday is the most important day. And as retirement lingers, they become lonely, isolated. Football might become their only outlet. If they can no longer afford to go to games, then they ,might have very little else to live for.

I think the club should have looked to do more to help these guys, rather than the spoilt generation of 21-24 year olds who think the world owe them a living despite them not yet contributing anything. Those that still live at home rent free and will continue to do so until their 30s.

Those that have no desire to push themselves in the work place to earn more, but still demand to be paid more. Those that leave Uni having taken a pointless degree, then complain that they are being rejected for graduate jobs and having to work their way up the ladder. Those that think they should be on £50k a week in their first job with no experience.

Also, the match-by-match ticket discounts for younger fans will continue to be capped at 1,000 per match. So all all they have done is increase the demand for the same amount of tickets.

This means that those aged 18-21 now have less of a chance of getting cheaper tickets!

It does not really make sense to me.

So we have all this news flying about over the season tickets.

You will get some online showing faux outrage, fueled by the poor media reporting. Hopefully we have explained to you exactly what has happened and given a reasonable viewpoint.

Remember you can join the discussion on our Facebook page – nearly 60k Arsenal who just enjoy talking about the club. None of that transfer speculation BS. No OTT reactions. Just common folk, many who go week in week out, having a chat.



4 thoughts on “Arsenal season ticket announcement: The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent

  1. Johnno

    Something has gone seriously wrong in this country when a 24 year old man gets access to discounted football tickets because of his age. No wonder this country is up shit creek. Unbelievable.


  2. HonestLibertarianFan69420

    You’re spot on about the students. But why should those work-shy pensioners get any discounts either? Get off your lazy arses and go back to the mines, too much entitlement in that generation, not enough hard work and graft. If you didn’t make enough money before 65 that’s all your fault, take some responsibility and fix it.



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