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Season tickets: a comparison of renewals

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal, as is well known, has a waiting list for season tickets and silver memberships.  It is hard to say exactly how long the season ticket waiting list is, but it is still quite a few years long.  The silver membership waiting list is so long that for many red members the chance of an upgrade to silver is probably so far away as to be beyond their likely lifetime.

We’ve had the regular AAA thing each year about how people are throwing away season tickets and not renewing, but the waiting list remains.  Indeed there has been, in my opinion, a considerable level of positivity in the ground, even with the poor run of results.

And certainly at Wembley, with the exception of the fat boy and his big dad sitting behind us, there was a lot of enthusiasm.  So come renewal date, there might be some willing to give up their tickets, but I suspect the number won’t be much different from normal.

Compare this with the problem at Rangers in Scotland.   They have taken on two massive loans in order to be able to pay their way through to the end of the season.  Those loans, which I have mentioned before, have to be repaid at this season and so, in order to do this, Rangers have brought forward the date of selling their season tickets.

And that gives the club a bit of a problem because apart from the fact that it is putting its season ticket prices up by between 15% and 25%, they have a renewal deadline of 6 May in order to be able to pay off the debts that are due soon after.

Some supporters  don’t want to renew, and so the various supporters groups have opened a trust fund to receive their money, without giving it to the club until they feel conditions are right.

And of course as always with such situations there are both directors and at least one former director (Dave King) vying for position.  They are arguing about who has done what when, who has broken a promise under a previous agreement, and all that stuff.

Although Rangers have done very well in the third division, they haven’t had it all their own way in the cups, which suggests new players are needed for the second division campaign – for anything other than a move straight from there to the first division in one year will be unacceptable.

So £1.5m from the season ticket fund is needed to pay the loans made earlier this season when the club ran out of cash.  And there is a need for further cost cutting.

Although there is no link between Rangers and Barcelona, it is interesting to note two giants of football losing their way somewhat – Barce with its current battle with Fifa, and its failure to pay salaries a couple of years back, Rangers totally out of money, and losing the good will of supporters.

Arsenal is different.  There is a huge amount of noise made by the anti-Wengerians, who follow the line laid down by the media.

These people follow the tradition at the club of criticising the team and the management, as if in some way that would help.  But history shows it never does.  The attacks on players at the very start of Arsenal’s career led to over 30 years without a trophy.  The attacks on the 1953 league winning team led to a major downturn that effectively lasted until Bertie Mee’s team at the start of the 1970s.

How those attacking the team and the management think that this time it will be better, avoiding another 20 or 30 years of mid-table mediocrity such as we had before, is hard to see.

But fortunately, as I say, it is not like this in the stadium, nor was it at Wembley.  The players’ gratitude to the fans has been overwhelming and much appreciated by all of us who were there.  (Apart from the fat boy and his dad).

16 comments to Season tickets: a comparison of renewals

  • Adam Duke

    I’ve been a red member since the last season at Highbury and I have been told it’s a virtual certainty that I’ll be a silver member for next season. I joined the season ticket waiting list with my wife about 5 years ago and at last count we were around 21000 on the list. However, I received a phone call a couple of weeks ago asking if I’d be prepared to take a season ticket in the summer if offered one and was then told I’m looking at a maximum of 3 seasons if I don’t get one this year. That seems quite a jump to me so I wonder how accurate the list is

  • Matt

    What absolute bullshit and lies. People were arguing and fighting in the Arsenal end just like ther have been at the Emirates most of the season and last season come to think of it.

    At the City game before the match there were hundreds of fans demonstrating outside the directors box entrance.

    Where is the proof that the season ticket list is as long as you say? I know people whe got a season ticket within 3 years. If as i have read on this site only 1500 hand back there ticket each year that’s about 4500 on the waiting list.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And where is your proof Matt?

  • Mick

    @Matt
    What are the lies Tony is telling according to you? And what do you mean by ‘Where is the proof that the season ticket list is as long as you say?’. Tony didn’t say how long the waiting list is he said ‘It is hard to say exactly how long the season ticket waiting list is, but it is still quite a few years long.’ That could mean 3 years, it could be 10 years, as Tony said, he doesn’t know. If you know how long the waiting list is then tell us but don’t rubbish Tony if you don’t know, that’s plain stupid.

  • Gord

    OT: Making the Arsenal, Gordon Nutt and Sheldon Town

    If you follow the references mentioned at Wikipedia, the first reference (neilbrown.newcastlefans) explains what happens. The source of information as to who Gordon Nutt played for, was Sheldon Town. It doesn’t say that he played for Sheldon Town.

    Sheldon is (I gather) an electoral ward in the West Midlands. A Sheldon FC exists, but is only 10 years or so old. The page that Coventry FC has which has a nice writeup on Gordon Nutt, later on mentions that a Vernon Griffiths played for Sheldon Town at one time. So, Sheldon Town was a football team, but Coventry doesn’t mention that Gordon Nutt ever played for them.

    http://www.ccfpa.co.uk/?page_id=91

  • omgarsenal

    Matt….if you have the stones to come back here and actually explain your bullshit and lies about UA, here are a few questions we have for you:

    1)How many people were ¨fighting and arguing¨? 5,10,20?

    2)Hundreds of fans demonstrating….out of how many in attendance….what% did the demonstrators represent?

    3)How long is the waiting list Mr.know-it-all?

    You are such a slithering coward, taking potshots based on spurious and egregiously faulty media-inspired and mindlessly regurgitated crap! Your anti-Arsenal hatred is worthy of a true sewer-rat from the AAA brigade!

  • That red member information is totally different from that which we have had from other quarters. Adam Duke can you please write in again in the summer if you do get a silver. I know a dozen red members who are going to be on the phone to Arsenal at once if it is true.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Adam,
    so you could get one but not two now? And to get two would take around 8 years then in total?
    that is if I understand you correct

  • Damilare

    Thanks Mr. Attwood for your article.

    Slightly OT: If I may ask, did some Arsenal fans leave Wembly before the penalty shoot outs?

    I asked because while the UA site was unavailable, I was forced to check other sites for report. I read of how fans left disappointed and angry at Arsenal’s performance. I only saw the penalty shoot out on tv and the fans I saw were not as described by ‘Failed Success’ article by Pedro of le grove. Shame.

    To what end are all the media and negative ‘supporters’ attack on Arsenal especially AW? I think most of the media and fans who claimed to support Arsenal are working for Usmanov who wants to take over the club at all cost. This is a bid to frustrate AW. Please correct me if I’m wrong and educate me further.

    COYG

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Damilare – What I saw on live tv was Arsenal fans cheering their team on and with beaming faces . I seriously doubt that any fan left the stadium till the end of the game – probably very long after that.
    Avoid the dumb media reports and the negative blogs .Very much saner thing to do.
    Cheers !

  • Menace

    I was at the game and was upset when the pen was given against us as the ball appeared to have been kicked by Per sideways. The Ref took a while before awarding the pen. From what I saw it didn’t look like a pen but some lads next to me said it was a clear pen as per TV. There were several ‘holdings’ in their box during corners and nothing was given so the PGMOL routine still lives.

    I didn’t see any problems but there was a ‘bundle’ at the back of where I was sitting before the equaliser. The atmosphere was electric and Fabianski did us proud in the pen shootout. The fans were singing all around and all the way down the stairs.

    Wenger knows why he substitutes players and as much as my opinion may differ, I always accept his.

    As long as Wenger is at Arsenal I will support him. I will always respect his legacy and his morality. He is and will be the greatest influence on the game being beautiful in my lifetime.

  • Rupert Cook

    And the fans turning on Billy Wright in 1966 led to him leaving and then came Mee so it seems that demonstrations against failing managers don’t always lead to years of failure. But of course that fact wouldn’t suit your stance.

    Also, believe it or not, plenty of fans don’t have to follow the media to have an opinion on Wenger, they can see what’s happening on the pitch. We’re not all sheep.

  • Mick

    @Rupert
    The analogy is not apt. Wenger is not a failing manager in the opinion of the vast majority of fans.

  • Asif

    And the likes of Dailymail have already started publishing names of probable players, we are most likely to buy…which will again lead to discontent among the “Rupert” class of supporters if they are not bought…

  • Notoverthehill

    Tony, you can update your season ticket facts, from Arsenal.com

    Mr Gazidis, – Arsenal have approximately 45,000 season ticket holders and 150,000 members –

    I would suggest that approx 45,000 have already renewed for season 2014/2015?

    75% season ticket holders seem too low, compared to ManU, Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers. IMVHO at least 48,000 season ticket “packages”, are sold per season. My target would be 50,000 season ticket sales per season.

    I am sure Mr Gazidis and Mr Fox are “behind the 8-ball”!

    Is Mr Gazidis a liar? It is your opinion against the spoken word.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick, I’m not sure about a vast majority. How exactly do you measure these things? I’d say if you read comments on the internet the overall feeling is thanks Wenger but your time is up. Then if you went to a game I reckon you’d get about 60% in favour of Wenger staying. It’s not an exact science. The fact is that fights are breaking out between supporters over a manager. In my day hooliganism was restricted to savaging the opposing fans.

    I put the club first and I think it’s time to move on from the Wenger era. You think otherwise which is fine. You may well be right. We could change managers and we could go into free fall. Or we might not. Nobody knows. If we stick with Wenger will we just have another season of scraping for fourth? Is that enough? Will we, now we have plenty of money, start spending it on super quality as was promised? And how can we, if what Tony says is true that when we bid for a player another team promises more? But only a few teams can really do that, City, Chelsea, Madrid, Monaco, PSG and maybe Bayern. Maybe that’s a few teams too many?

    Intriguing isn’t it?