Arsenal have announced that the price of Club Level season tickets will rise by 6.5% for 2011/12.
7,000 fans will have to pay a minimum of £160 more than they have paid this season, with the Arsenal Supporters Trust worried that this could lead to increases in prices throughout the stadium. A decision will be made early next month to decide if the rest of the Emirates season ticket holders will face similar price rises.
A club statement aimed to assure us that the the rise is only 4%, but this is further inflated by a rise in VAT. However, the Supporters Trust has criticised the timing of the price increases and suggested that the club is simply trying to maximise commercial revenues.
“We are very concerned at the impact this will have on the fans at a time when bills are increasing, wages aren’t and some people are losing their jobs… Some members have come to us already expressing their concern. They are worried that they won’t be able to afford to come to games. This is stretching some fans’ loyalty to the limit.”
Despite having just over 60,000 seats, tickets at the Emirates are a rare commodity. There are currently over 40,000 fans on the waiting list for season tickets and Arsenal will have no problem replacing those fans who cannot afford to or choose not to renew their tickets. Fellow Arsenal blogger Le Grove was quick to give his opinion saying “…it’s an absolute disgrace and about time Arsenal fans voiced their discontent about the way things are going online and in the ground.”
It would seem that many fans are unhappy at the way that the club is currently being run, and I have two questions that I wish to raise:
1) Do Arsenal fans get value for their money?
Most fans go to the Emirates to watch the team play beautiful football, dominate games and outplay opponents, but the fact remains that we are without a trophy for 6 years. The good thing is that the club offer 7 tickets for cup games on top of 19 Premier League matches, something that I don’t think many other clubs currently offer. However, increasing ticket prices despite record pre-tax profits of £56 million seems unnecessary. If Wenger was spending large sums of money and the club needed to raise funds then I might be able to understand the logic behind this proposal.
2) Does the club justify having the most expensive season ticket in the League?
An Arsenal season ticket is currently 74% more expensive than a season ticket for Manchester United, who are the most successful team in English football. United have won countless trophies during our barren spell and remain in three of the four competitions this season. Liverpool have the second most expensive season tickets in the Premier League, but even the cheapest season ticket at the Emirates is £200 more expensive than one at Anfield.