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Arsenal ticket prices; a response from the fans

By Tony Attwood

As you may know I am a committee member of AISA – the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association.

AISA has put out the following statement about Arsenal’s announcement on ticket prices, which I would like to share with Untold readers who are not AISA members.

We are pleased that Arsenal have made an early announcement that ticket prices for all supporters will not increase for the 2013-14 season. This reflects what we said to the Club back in November, and we hope that progress is also made to other related and important issues discussed then and subsequently i.e.

* More support for season-ticket holders, including a staged-payment scheme

* Improvements in what is on offer for younger supporters at the Emirates Stadium

* Recognition of the commitment and dedication of supporters who follow Arsenal at away matches throughout the UK and beyond, week-in and week-out

* More cheaper tickets for home supporters at the Emirates Stadium

* A review of the club’s policy for senior citizens who take up cheaper season tickets but are forced to move to a different part of the stadium.

AWAY TICKET PRICES

Liverpool and Man City supporters have received publicity recently regarding their complaints about the £62 ticket price charged to them at Arsenal.  Away ticket pricing raises separate and discreet issues, contrary to the impression created by the headlines. Arsenal supporters have already had to pay similar ticket prices this season at Chelsea (£59), QPR (£55) and even Man City (£51). Arsenal supporters will also recall the £70 tickets at Villarreal a few years back in the Champions League.

AISA’s response to the noises coming from our friends at the Etihad and Anfield is to agree in general terms that ticket prices are too high. At our January meeting we debated whether there should be a standardisation of prices charged to away supporters, irrespective of the team supported. A new and reputedly massive tv contract for Premier League football is about to be signed and the FSF, the national supporters organisation, believes that some of the income from this contract should be used to reduce ticket prices for all away supporters.

Away fans are seen by most as amongst the most loyal, so is it right that supporters of category A teams routinely pay more to watch their team than supporters of category B and C teams? Why should Arsenal supporters travelling to, say, Wigan be charged more than QPR supporters pay to watch their team when both sets of supporters are doing exactly the same thing – loyally following their team to an away game, with the same travel costs. Is it time to introduce a greater degree of uniformity by way of a cap on away ticket pricing so that, irrespective of which team you support, there is a maximum price that can be charged to away supporters?

Those against such a move refer to current rules which state that away supporters must be charged the same price as home supporters in comparable seats, and there are home supporters who argue that, if there were a cap on away ticket prices, it would be wrong if it led to home supporters paying more than away supporters.

All supporters will have their views, and we would like to hear them. Your views will help formulate the AISA policy as regards away ticket pricing.  Please let us know whether you are in favour of a cap on away ticket prices, possibly equalisation, or have any views that you wish to express. Email us at ticketing@aisa.org

Aisa’s web site is www.aisa.org and from there there is a link to the membership page, in case you wish to join.

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The books…

The sites…

 

19 comments to Arsenal ticket prices; a response from the fans

  • Shard

    Is there a set limit/minimum number (or %) of seats that a club has to offer to the away fans?

    Because if not, and away tickets are capped, while home supporters pay more, clubs will simply reduce the away allocation.

  • ClockEndRider

    Of course if the newly rich clubs were simply forced to breakeven, the degree of wage inflation would be curbed and the driver for future price increases at the gate would be removed. I wait in hope.

    In regard to the recent press noise re Arsenal’s ticket prices, you rightly point out that we are charged heavily at away games. Further, travel away by train is more expensive for those journeying from/to London than from/to the provinces. Perhaps the press might look to campaign against this too. They have as little chance of this coming to anything as they do of changing ticket prices. Wigan charge less because nobody wants to watch them. Even their own fans. Arsenal charge heavily because, despite having a larger capacity than all bar United, they play, on the whole attractive football. And we are based in the economic heart of the country. Of course we could all ignore the invisible hand of free market economics and set some centralist dictat. But I believe that has been tried in other countries and failed. And the quality of tractor production was not particularly high…..

  • Steve

    I sent thins to the AISA in response earlier today

    I find some of the complaints from other teams fans about the cost of tickets for games at Arsenal a bit hypocritical when you look at their pricing structures and where they place away fans within their stadiums.

    Are Arsenal doing anything different to any other club in the PL, why do clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City charge such high prices when they are bank rolled by people who don’t seem to care how much they spend on the team. Every time Manchester United increase their capacity do they reduce the ticket prices inline to match the income and what would teams like Liverpool and Spurs do with ticket prices if they had to fund a new stadium.

    Will this drive for cheaper tickets work it’s way through the championship(£26 for a seat at Watford) down to division 2(£18 to stand at Barnet). How will these changes effect the incomes of clubs from Arsenal down to Watford where will the lost income be found.

    Yes ticket prices are high but so are those of concerts, theater tickets. Cinema etc a balance needs to be found between supply & demand and a fair price. What that is will be different for each club depending on income & outgoings so a flat £20 for away fans is not feasible. Perhaps a % saving on home ticket prices but then why should some home fans who travel just as far not be rewarded for their turning up at the stadium. Should an Arsenal fan who travels down from Peterborough pay more than a Chelsea fan from Fulham to visit The Emirates stadium?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Or why would I have to pay more than a visitor when I go to the Emirates? For me it is around 20hrs travel and I sit in the home supporters end of course.

  • Sammy The Snake

    The prices should stay the same when the quality of football, specially defending, is not rising.

    How many mistakes in conceding a single goal? A complete catalogue of errors. This is systematic failure at the roots which is not dealt with for so many years.

    Let’s just hope/pray for a better second half.

  • dan

    Really Really Really poor.

  • dan

    We love to throw away points.

  • dan

    Good come back, well done to the lads.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great second half, thank you boys. 4 points from Liverpool home & away isn’t bad, but it could have been…

    Let’s start a competition for a word that best describes Arsenal defending, here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:

    Comical
    Shambolic
    Suicidal
    Unlucky
    Unproffesional
    Unorganized

  • dan

    @Sammy

    The same could be said of our opponents tonight, they really didn’t like the pressure.

  • bob

    dan,
    are we really, right now, no better than ‘pool?

  • GoonerVance

    I think they need to start charging a fee if you don’t show up to the game and you have season tickets. So sick of the empty seats when there are plenty of die hard Gooners who would love to attend. If you don’t put your tickets up for sale at retail value at least a week before the game, you should be charged 50% of the value of the ticket. Arsenal should also get a cut of the resale of the ticket through the online broker. More revenue for Arsenal, more people at the games…win/win

  • Andrei

    @GoonerVance Even better idea – you are charged 50% of the ticket regardless if you show up or not. More revenue for Arsenal and I’m sure the number of season ticket holders will go up.

  • GoonerVance

    Are season ticket holders so lazy they can’t make 50% back on their tickets when they’re planning on not attending the games. You’re worried about season ticket holders going down because of an avoidable expense? Seen the waiting list lately?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Bob, no, we’re no better than Oldham.

  • Gooner S

    I agree ticket prices are too high but I would like the emphasis on all ticket prices for both home and away. Many home fans travel ‘away’ distances! We could also consider groups being able to buy a season ticket or even a half season and thereby reap the ecconomies of a season ticket (e.g no price banding fo A, B or C games). Would also like to see more done for concessions (OAPs, students etc). Lastly the total cost should be looked at including travel and the cost of food in the Emirates (which is frankly a rip off).

  • Adam

    @Sammy the snake, Bemusing, Baffling, confused, why, ?,

  • Rufusstan

    I am trying to get my head around the suggestions for season ticket holders. They have already paid for the seat, but they should be charged again because they cannot make the game?

    I hate gaps in the crowd as much as anyone, but predicted there would be plenty last night as it was:

    1). a midweek game so more ticket holders cannot make it, and fewer people can take up the slack

    2). the lowest profile category A game so seats on the exchange are expensive and so less attractive. It doesn’t solve the problem if a bunch of upper tier seats go on the exchange if people don’t want to pay the £70 odd quid they cost.

    There are 2 ways season ticket holders pass tickets on. Firstly the informal way, where the ticket gets handed to a mate for cash. Now I only have anecdotal evidence of this, but I hear of season ticket holders struggling to get anyone to take their seat, where a couple of years ago they’d get their hand snatched off.

    The other option is obviously the exchange. Ignoring the fact that a lot of season ticket holders still don’t seem to know about it, I have seen a big change in the last couple of years. It used to be that if I missed a ticket on release, I’d be hunting the exchange; hoping a seat would show up, and would have to take what I found. Now, there are always seats available and a decent choice at most times.

    What am I trying to say? I think we have to accept that the situation is too complex for an easy solution, but that overall demand for tickets has gone down. You can argue its down to lack of success or the financial situation, or whatever. What I don’t think you can do is blame/punish the season ticket holders– the people who already support the club to the tune of what? a grand+ a year downstairs; 2 grand upper tier?

  • Steve

    I have a long list of people who keep saying “if you get a spare ticket let me know I will have it” the problem comes when like the last 3 home games I have been working, so I call them up and ask if they want it and it will be £40. All have said no and the reason most have said no is “but the tickets already paid for as its your ST cant you do it any cheaper”. I have explained it to some but they then say “but your not going so the seat will be empty I will give you £20 for it”.

    I eventually gave them away to my nephew rather than people who think they can take me for a mug.

    It could be worse you could try and get a ticket from a tout outside Arsenal tube station. For a lower Tier ticket against Man city they were asking £180, a man of about 20 from the Far East I would guess asked for a ticket and said he had £70 to spend was told to f-off and laughed at by the tout. The police were standing just as close as me but did nothing.