Tag Archives: Season ticket

Arsenal taking supporters for mugs with 3% ticket rise

As I’m sure you’re aware, Arsenal have just announced that from next season, tickets will be 3% more expensive. This has angered many people, including me, but what has angered me more is the people seemingly justifying the hike.

I really feel like some people miss the point with this price increase. On my twitter feed, I saw various defences for Arsenal’s decision to up prices (above inflation), the most ridiculous being the argument that an extra £30 for a season ticket holder is equivalent to just two meals at Nandos. Now I feel there are two points to be made from this; firstly, trivialising a £30 increase doesn’t justify the lengths that some people go to in order to go see The Arsenal each year.

Many are already on the brink, and another £30 may cause some to a) be financially unable to continue paying for their season ticket and b) feel disillusioned with a club that they have loyally shelled out for year in year out, only to be rewarded with no trophies and another price increase. Some people may be privileged enough to ensure any increase in the cost of season tickets not make a dent in their wallet, but working class people who spend a large percentage of their cash on tickets may not laugh off £30 the same way.

And if we are going to dismiss this year’s hike, then where do we draw the line in the sand? If £30 is fine, then why not £50? Do we go up by £75 the year after, and then hit three figures next time round? The relative expense of paying to see Arsenal is always subjective and dependent on the individual, but it’s the principle that stands. Off the back of a lucrative TV deal, not to mention a new contract with Fly Emirates and an agreement with Puma, it seems particularly bullish to make people pay even more, especially in the face of a trophy-less era stretching what is now close to a decade.

I hear so often that football is now a business well enough, and I also get that Arsenal is based in one of the most affluent parts of the country. But to me, if you view Arsenal no differently to Tesco or Argos, you’re seeing football in a weird way. Arsenal should not be solely about money, it should be about entertaining its fans, serving its local community and looking after its own.

Arsenal do not deserve full criticism, as schemes such as £10 Junior tickets prove. But it doesn’t deter from the fact that many supporters are being taken for mugs. We’re top of the league and through to the knockouts in Europe but heavy handed stewarding and this 3% increase are taking the buzz away from the place. No doubt the majority will continue to pay up and support the team as they have done through thick and thin, and although 3% is nothing to some, the sheer cheek of Arsenal to up the prices shows the troubled way football is heading. Fans shouldn’t take this lightly.


Arsenal could charge as little as £21.25 to ALL fans

In a follow up to the last couple of articles about ticket prices, I got to thinking (I know, it’s dangerous).

One of the interesting parts of my article yesterday was that if Arsenal offered all fans – both home and away- tickets for £20, they would have a deficit of arround £60,000,000 in gate receipts over the season. A big number. A number enough for the club to be greedy and boycott the Newcastle offer. What got me thinking though was ‘what would Arsenal have to charge to break even in terms of turnover, taking into account the new TV deal hitting the clubs this year.’

The magic number we are looking for is £100m, which was approximately Arsenal’s most recent published match day income. To try and achieve this, we need to break down (using approximations from when the stadium was 1st built as the club does not release full breakdown’s) the stadium, to ensure we do not include those club level/box seats.

Club Level generates around £18.5m per season
Box Seats generates £13.8m per season
Diamond Level generates £1m

So ‘non ordinary’ seats generates £33.3m a season (I am going to round it down to £33m). That leaves £67,000,000 in revenue to find from both the new TV deal, and the 53,000 ‘ordinary’ seats.

This year the Premier League Champions will likely get £40,000,000 more in TV money then Manchester United got last year. The increased difference between 1st and 20th is around £1.5m per place. Therefore, if Arsenal finish 4th, they will receive around £35.5m more then they did last season. Remember, we are attempting to find £67m. We have already found £35.5m in increased gate receipts. That leaves us with just £31.5m for Arsenal to match their most recent turnover with the TV deal taken into account.

So using similar maths that I used yesterday, that Arsenal will play 28 home games, how much would a ticket cost for Arsenal to match the previous turnover? Well the equation is simple.

£31,500,00 is what we are trying to find. Divide this by the total seats available – 53,000 – we get £595. Based on the 28 expected home games, Arsenal would need to charge every man, woman and child £21.25 per game to match the total turnover. Nearly Twenty’s Plenty hey!

To ensure I have got it right, lets work backwards. £21.25 times the 28 games is £595. Over the 53,000 ordinary seats we get £31.5m (and change).

Ordinary gate receipts + increase in TV money + executive seats = ?
£31.5m + £35.5m + £33.5m = £100.5m

In summary, the new TV deal should be making things cheaper for football fans. With all things taken into account, Arsenal could reduce match day tickets to a standard £21.25 per game throughout the ordinary seats, and still turnover the same amount as they did in 2012.  Sadly, when the new cash from the TV comes in, the leaches will come out and the money will go into the pockets of players, agents, and hangers on.

Writing this has made me feel a little sick. Tickets could be nearly halved and revenue remain the same. But greed will take over. My only hope is my maths is wrong, but I feel it is not. If it is wrong, I will apologise.

The Twenty’s Plenty is something I back. Not just for away fans, but for all fans. And my basic workings out shows that Arsenal’s revenue would remain the same, even with a reduction to £21.25. I imagine across the Premier League, all clubs could charge a similar amount, and revenues remain high.

Greed is killing our game. More fans get priced out every year. We can all dream. My dream is that next summer, with the money from the new TV deal coming in, Arsenal will announce season ticket prices of £550 and single match day tickets across the board of £21.25. A man has to have a dream.


The Arsenal and Me – Dave’s Story

I’m a northerner and have lived in Doncaster since 1975,why Arsenal you may ask? My grandad though from Mansfield lived in Finchley during the war and he passed his love of Arsenal on to my old man who thankfully passed it on to me.

My early games were away at Sheff Utd/Leeds and even an FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough before my dad took me to Highbury for a 1-1 draw in the opening home game of the 80/81 season.

I’ve so much to be grateful to him for, leaving the family on Boxing Day to take me and New Years Day too at the time I took it for granted. A family railcard was £10 for him and £1 for me and my mates (who I still go with to this day).

When I was 15 five of us used to travel to games alone with the help of Mars bar wrappers (free national express coach travel) and of course, on occasion, to northern aways, with a platform ticket and travel for 2p.

Hardly anyone wore colours and I wish it was still like that. It was 83/84 season and I loved the casual clothing and still do (wish I’d kept some originals as it’s worth a fortune). There was a time I couldn’t imagine missing a game and if I did I had to listen of midweek sports special, hardly any football was on TV so it was the only way of knowing the score.

From 1988 I had a season ticket in either the east lower or Clockend. What I do miss is the sheer uncertainty of getting off a train at an away and having to have your wits firmly about you at times it was “kill or be killed” and it was an exciting and at times frightening times.

Many friends back then I still have now and I wouldn’t swap Paris/Benfica/spurs cup semi’s/Anfield / league cup 87 final for anything. I can still recall starting 11’s from say 1988 but would have no idea about the 1st game of this season.

I adored Highbury and a major regret is my kids will never go there. I gave up my season ticket after a couple of seasons at the bowl and have no intention of going back particularly under this regime. Stan , Ivan , Arsene et al aren’t for me but I’ll forever cherish the friends I have made and I will always support the Arsenal and will always care but for me it’s just not the same anymore.


If you would like to tell your Arsenal story, click here