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Lies, damn lies and the Guardian’s analysis of ticket prices

By Tony Attwood

I have never quite figured out what it is that the Guardian newspaper has against Arsenal.  The Guardian is a liberal left wing paper which produces quality journalism.  Sometimes it is insightful, sometimes amusing, generally highly informative and mostly accurate in its news reporting.

And yet when they come to the Arsenal, somehow a mist falls over what is normally (as far as I am concerned) the best of British journalism.

Thus I suppose it should really come as little surprise that they have published a set of data concerning the cost of season tickets and individual match tickets which is  just so skewed as to be meaningless, (or alternatively is anti-Arsenal inspired propaganda).

The simple point about comparing anything with anything, as the Guardian writers and editors well know, but like to forget, is that you have to compare like with like.  Thus it would be pointless to compare the price of tickets at Torquay United (a team for whom I have great affection) with Tottenham Hotspur (for whom I don’t).  Much as I regret the fact Torquay are a Football League 2 club, and Tottenham are not.

Now the Guardian don’t go as far as to compare Torquay with Tottenham, but they certainly don’t compare like with like in at least two regards.  First, the stadia of each club is different.  At some grounds which were grounds with standing facilities that were then converted during the Thatcher imposed changes to football, they have ended up with seating accommodation which fits poorly into the ground, and from which the view of the pitch is partially obscured.  I am told Tottenham has such positions, and that the seat price is duly reduced for these areas.

Other grounds which are more recently built since the all-seater rule came in, have perfect sight lines throughout.

So as not to point fingers at other clubs (whose grounds I have only witnessed from the away end) and thus get some people a little hot under the collar, I’ll spend a moment on Highbury, a ground converted from a standing + seating stadium, and with the main stands built 80 years ago.

Highbury had as I know to my costs, all sorts of seats that did not provide the best of views.  There were pillars supporting the stands, side walls, and all sorts of other issues.  From some places you couldn’t see the big screen – and the screens themselves were hardly state of the art.

Furthermore if you ever were a guest of Arsenal in terms of their special arrangements involving having a meal beforehand, entertainment in the restaurant, a seat in a box, and drinks afterwards, you will recall that it was a hotch potch affair, involving in part walking around the ground to and from the box via the away supporters end and seeing perhaps some visitors a little the worse for wear.  (For a game v Newcastle I recall the dignitaries having to pick their way through gentlemen who had become a little tired and emotional.)

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Indeed the drinks at the end were themselves a bit of a crushed affair as part of the room was cordoned off and used as a players’ post-match lounge.

Compare all of that with anything at the Emirates, and there is well, no comparison.

So comparing the price of the cheapest and most expensive seats at a newly built ground with a converted ground is a highly dubious affair, for Arsenal have not built any bits of the ground that are seriously ill-designed for football in an all seater ground.  Quite the reverse.

But that’s not all.  There is also the issue of what the ticket buys.  If I remember correctly my season ticket buys me not only all the 19 home league games, it also buys me seven cup games excluding the league cup.  Most clubs don’t do this.  Indeed I recall Man U having a rule that made season ticket holders buy their own seats for league cup games at full price, whether they went to the game or no.

Now in recent years I have used my ticket to watch Arsenal against Barcelona (twice), Bayern, and AC Milan – all paid for on my season ticket.

I must admit that because of the distance I live from the ground I have often not take up the option to pay £10 or £20 for a ticket for a league cup tie very often – although I did when we played Tottenham, and for the semi-final against Ipswich.  I thought those prices were rather good – but they of course have not been taken into the calculations.

But that’s not all – because now we have the fuss about away ticket prices.  It seems, according to one piece, that Manchester United and Liverpool supporters did not take up their full allocation of tickets for matches at the Ems last season.   There are murky mentions of the price of those tickets and absolutely no mention of two other relevant facts.

First the price asked of Manchester U and Liverpool supporters was exactly the same as Arsenal fans pay in similar parts of the ground.  Second, the moment that it becomes clear that a visiting club can’t sell its allocation of tickets those tickets go on sale to Red Members, and they snap them up.  Indeed that corner of the ground – the south west area – always sells out when tickets are returned.  Wigan, as well as Man U and Liverpool used to hand some of their allocation back, I recall.

So there is a case of supply and demand – and the demand for Arsenal tickets is seemingly endless – which it is not at other grounds, where a season ticket waiting list is merely something to be dreamed of.  That does not mean that the club should exploit its supporters – I am not going to write in favour of myself being exploited.  But it is a factor.

However we must acknowledge that the club needs an income.  It has provided us with what is, in all honesty, the best stadium I have ever watched a game in.  I have a perfect view, and I enjoy the occasion.  If the club said it was going to cut the ticket prices in half, then fine …. except that I guess the thoughts of buying some top talent this summer would be out the window.  If we want the players we have to pay for them.

Man U pays for top players through its world-wide marketing programme established some 30 years ago, and they have to be credited with that achievement.  Chelsea are funded by a Russian billionaire who one day will wander off into the distance.  Manchester City are funded by an Arab oil billionaire.  Tottenham are funded by a recluse who lives in a tax haven.  Arsenal are funded by the income they generate from ticket sales, player development, TV rights and its growing world-wide marketing.  You may want it to be different, and that’s fair enough, but that is how it is.

A final thought.  My ticket for Arsenal v Barcelona each year cost me something like £48 (the cost of my season ticket divided by 26).  On the way into the ground for the second of those two games I was offered £450 for the ticket – and that was the starting price.  It’s a thought.

The Guardian piece that started my little rant is at…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2013/jun/19/premier-league-ticket-prices-club-charge-the-most

 

21 June Anniversaries

The books…

The sites from the same team…

 

59 comments to Lies, damn lies and the Guardian’s analysis of ticket prices

  • jod

    Spurs aren’t funded by anybody, they have to live off their income just like Arsenal. As the income is lower they have a much lower wage bill to compensate.

  • Harry

    I think you need to stop the moaning!!! Arsenal are a business not a football club and this year – Finishing 6!!

  • Woodsy

    This is a bit hit and miss. Supply and demand is the key point, not how nice the stadium is. As you say, Arsenal have a high demand, as do Spurs, which is why we charge such high prices. It really is as simple as that.

    The Grundian have it in for high price tickets because they represent champaign socialism at it’s finest. Could you really see them supporting successful businesses, maximising income from customers? It doesn’t sit right with the idea that you can magic money from nowhere (or a oil baron from across the seas)…

    And finally you let yourself down in the final paragraph. Spurs are not and have never been funded by Joe Lewis. We operate with the money generated by the club, as are Arsenal. It’s embarrassing to suggest otherwise.

    We both have to put up with clueless comments about where our money comes from and how to spend it. Let’s not jump on the bandwagon just because of the rivalry between the club. That sort of hatred should be left for the Chavs.

  • bobby davro

    Spurs are not funded by a billionaire.
    Lewis spends nothing.
    Net spend on transfers is 1 million each year over the
    last 5 years.
    Get your facts right or are you looking for a
    job at the Guardian.

    Panto will be at Skegness this Christmas.

  • EssexYid

    “So there is a case of supply and demand – and the demand for Arsenal tickets is seemingly endless – which it is not at other grounds, where a season ticket waiting list is merely something to be dreamed of”

    Spurs currently have over 42,000 fans on their paid for season ticket waiting list so you got that wrong for starters.

    “Tottenham are funded by a recluse who lives in a tax haven”

    Wrong again Spurs are not bankrolled by Joe Lewis as you suggest, hence the fact that Spurs have posted after tax profits in 6 out of the last 8 years, try doing a little research before you post in future it often helps.

  • Dominic

    With regard to the campaign for cheaper tickets there was an interesting article in When Saturday Comes a couple of issues ago. In the article it stated that West Ham United charged Manchester United fans £20 for a ticket for their cup match. For the replay at Old Trafford West Ham fans had to pay £40 a ticket.
    Either WSC is telling lies or some reporters are being selective in reporting the costs of tickets for fans.

  • Zé Günner

    Your points are moot..COC Games are not included ine cost of a season ticket, and neither should they be bearing in mind our kids run out more often than not…

    Away fans prices should be distinct from home fans prices as there are completely different factors when fans decide whether to attend the game relative to home season ticket considerations…

    And using the black market to make your point? That’s as close to relevent as you’ve been in days! 😉

    However, one point you do make is spot on and the ony true measure of value – what your ST buys you. Compare ours to Spurs / Chelsea and we certainly come out as of equal or greater value per game.

  • Ben

    Totally agree with everything you said. Furthermore, I would like to add that we should only look at the London clubs, as London is ALOT more expensive than manchester or liverpool (and definitely more than say oldham).

    i took my wife to see man city at the emirates – £23 each if i remember. Travel card in london is about a tenner. coffee in london is about 4 quid. bloody cinema in london is easily 10-15 pounds, and thats without food/drink, which would probably double the price!

    Perspective is key here. A day / night out in london would cost most people 40 – 50 pounds each EASILY. How is 20 – 40 quid for MOST tickets a lot (keeping in perspective of other given examples), considering you are watching a live game, with real superstars etc…? Going the the theatre is around the same price, and i have never heard of most of the actors in them!

    When england play at wembley, the prices are about what i have payed at Arsenal – its called a market. I think tickets everywhere are over priced. I think london is over priced (average £1000 per month rent – average £350,000 property price) – I think going to the cinema to watch a pre-recorded film, eat some crappy pop-corn and half-ice coke for £20 is overpriced….i think it is slightly cynical for a football club to be singled out – especially when our most expensive season ticket is £100 MORE than spurs’, and it is clearly a superior team, stadium, atmosphere, location etc….

    I am proud that our club can compete with the billionaires of oil and crime-syndicates, by spending and investing wisely.

    I am sure that when we built the stadium we renovated most the the area around us, helping local people – how many other clubs have done that?

  • Essex Y** – my understanding on the issue of Tottenham’s waiting list for season tickets is that people who are on the Tottenham equivalent of Arsenal’s Silver Membership list are also put on the season ticket waiting list – hence the seemingly high number. I don’t ever claim to be an expert on Tottenham affairs, and am always very willing to be corrected, although the statement of a “little research” is rather, well, you know…

  • Richard

    Spurs fan in peace.

    There are a lot of valid points here, but one thing to pick up on – Spurs aren’t funded by Joe Lewis – he owns the club through a corporate structure that does not act as a sugar daddy – Spurs are self funding; just like Arsenal – something both our clubs can be proud of.

    Spurs do have restricted view seats, but I don’t think there are any season tickets there.

    The point that the Guardian article spectacularly misses is that Arsenal are based in one of London’s most expensive areas and have huge numbers of wealthy fans who can pay high ticket prices. It’s not a great surprise that they charge more than Wigan…

  • chris malone

    There is a cheaper membership tier at Spurs below that which puts you on the season ticket waiting list. So the fact that the members have opted for the higher tier would rather indicate that they are doing it in order to obtain a season ticket. Maybe you should have done a little more research…..

  • ClockEndRider

    Regarding the media high horseing about Arsenal’s apparently high ticket prices; they neglect to mention that Arsenal fans were charged £55 for a ticket to Manchester City. Hardly a quantum leap from £62 is it?
    Further, a return train fare from/to the provinces is almost always considerably cheaper than the equivalent to/from the provinces meaning that the overall costs balance would have been in the favour of the provincials.
    Still, we can always rely on talentless, indolent journalists not to let the facts get in the way of their printing inaccurate rubbish and hence enabling them to get to the pub early.

  • elkieno

    My spurs mate cried for yeas that Roman Abr didn’t buy their club and start the spending instead did it at Chelsea. Now he bags Cfc out cos they have a rich guy, but they are funded by a rich guy just like Chelsea, only thing is Roman is richer!
    Man I just love Arsenal!

  • Shevo

    Fuck me where the fuck did all these spuds come from FFS.
    Anyway Tony/Ben- some very good points and I have to agree that comparing A Giant like Arsenal with little clubs like Torquay, Palace Hull and Spurs or “Money Laundering” clubs in manchester or the Chavs is never going to work. Our season tickets represents great value when compared to other entertain pricing offered in and arond London as pointed out by Ben.
    The fact the grundian fails to state what’s included in the price of other clubs ticket prices just masks the fact their tickets are every bit as expensive if not more so than ours. And represent much less value for money…so if we want an accurate picture lets as you quite rightly point out, compare apples with apples and not apples and pears or Arsenal and little Totteringham

  • Richard – I take your point, but I think Arsenal’s location in Islington was only a help in the selling of Highbury as apartments. As I believe is the case with Tottenham a lot of supporters do travel from some distance away. Although brought up as a child in Tottenham, I now live in Northants, and when I travel in to games by train, the trains from the East Midlands are full of Arsenal supporters. If Chelsea are at home on the same day, there’s a lot of blue and white too.

    The quality of the Club Level accommodation is obviously an attraction to the wealthy, and is used by London based firms as a jolly day out, that is certainly true.

  • Devonshirespur

    “Lies, Damn Lies…” just about describes the content of your article.

    The bitterness and inaccuracies totally undermine any point you are seriously trying to make.

    The bigger point is that Arsenal’s ST might be the most expensive but it includes 19 League games and 7 Cup (26 in total) so if comparing to the likes of Spurs, whose cheapest ticket (which i have)is £730, includes just 2 cup games (21 in total).

    Even when averaging that out Arsenals cheapest at £985 = £38/game and Spurs = £35, so you could say that that extra £3 per game over Spurs is worth paying given the facilities at the Emirates (BTW, whoever above claimed that The Emirates has, inter alia, superior atmosphere needs to have their head read).

    The question of whether Arsenal should only offer these 26 match STs and not just league ones (19 matches) is another discussion for another day. And when you factor in that Arsenal will often sell minor cup games for £10-£20 on the gate then the average £ of the other games does go up.

    It would be interesting to see if Arsenal failed to reach the CL whether the STs would be sold on the same 26 match basis despite being in a lower grade Euro competition.

    Your rant totally missed the point and failed to make any intelligent reasoned comment or reach any reasonable conclusion….yet your happy to publish this garbage to the whole world.

  • elkieno

    Sorry Spuds, it Seems i was wrong but I blame Tony (lol).

  • EssexYid

    “Essex Y** – my understanding on the issue of Tottenham’s waiting list for season tickets is that people who are on the Tottenham equivalent of Arsenal’s Silver Membership list are also put on the season ticket waiting list – hence the seemingly high number. I don’t ever claim to be an expert on Tottenham affairs, and am always very willing to be corrected, although the statement of a “little research” is rather, well, you know…”

    Your original point was “So there is a case of supply and demand – and the demand for Arsenal tickets is seemingly endless – which it is not at other grounds, where a season ticket waiting list is merely something to be dreamed of”

    I proved you wrong because Spurs clearly have a long standing and lengthy waiting list, yet rather than just accepting that fact you churlishly changed the argument as to how valid Spurs waiting list actually is, well I can assure you that ENIC wouldn’t be investing nearly £500m if there wasn’t the demand in place for an increased capacity stadium.

    Spurs have a Lilywhite membership and a Bronze membership, paying extra for Bronze membership places fans on the season ticket waiting list Bronze members are also given a number that shows where they sit on that list.

  • GoonerDave

    Look at all the little spuddies feeding their inferiority complex here today!
    Post tax profits 6 of the last 8 years? Don’t make me laugh – your accounts say very differently. Not that it matters anyway.

  • jc@jc.jc

    Some ludicrous statements here. First up, spurs fans are here cos it mentions spurs enough times to come up in all the news aggregators. In terms of comparison, surely Arsenal and spurs are the best two teams in the league to compare? same team quality (ish), virtually the same location, both sell out every game etc. The two points raised which I think are valid are: the sight lines at whl mean that our cheapest w ill always be cheaper than the Emirates. Also it’s difficult to measure the value of the possible CL matches this year: get knocked out in the group stages and your price per ticket starts to climb (and the inverse). I really don’tthink anyone goes to see arsenal because they have a nice stadium, or at least not many, and I can’t imagine there’s many spurs fans who love the team but find whl just that bit too scummy… The point about any member being on the waiting lists at spurs is correct, although conversely, I am not a member, but would buy a session ticket, there’s just no point me passing to add myself to a list each year.

  • Mohamed

    I live in West Africa and don’t have a first hand experience of the issue in question. But a friend of mine won a prize that afforded him a visit to Old Trafford to watch the last home game of Man U in this past season. While he was admiring O T, his guide told him that it was not the best stadium in England and that the Emirate stadium was the best. Simple economics teaches us that you pay more for a higher value. No body would complain when asked to pay more for a 6 cylinder ford car than the 4 cylinder brand. If that is simple economics, then why the complain about the ticket price of probably the best football stadium in the world?

  • chris malone

    Sure Mohamed…..LOL, Not even an original design – just a rip of from Benfica.

  • EssexYid

    GoonerDave

    Look at all the little spuddies feeding their inferiority complex here today!
    Post tax profits 6 of the last 8 years? Don’t make me laugh – your accounts say very differently. Not that it matters anyway.

    What’s the point in telling idiotic lies, you clearly have no knowledge regarding Spurs finances, it is a fact that Spurs have posted after tax profits in 6 out of the last 8 years, try looking on Spurs official site.

    You wont do that though will you because it is easier for you to just lie and act like an immature numpty.

  • Devonshirespur

    Mohamed

    You seem to be confusing watching football with renting a hotel room…its the football you are paying for, the facilities are a bonus.

  • americangooner

    I am quite concern that the rich folks treat the emirates like a cinema. Just sitting there and enjoying the spectable below without participating in it. Its ok if those folks can add to the noise but a nonchalant viewing does undermine the environment in the emirates. I also read in one of End of season Financial report, Gazidis added super-corporate boxes in order to accommodate the well off. Yes, its quite understandable that Arsenal get 40% of salary from gate receipts and ST, hence the corporate boxes. Even the AST were recommending something with regards to real occupancy inside the stadium as corporate and the well-off ST holders tend to be absent on many occasions since even the expensive ST ticket is a mere pittance to them. There must be some kind of rule, for example revoke ST succeeding year if the ST holder’s seat is not occupied for more than 80% matches.
    the journos make a mistake of comparing apples with oranges. Obviously comparing the likes of wigan and arsenal does not make any sense: quality, fans, stadium , location,etc. A better comparison, though, would involve massive amount of resources and time, which, unfortunately, the lazy journos aren’t willing to commit. Parameters like Income of ST holders, general consumer spending patterns, player-wage inflation, economic analysis of supply and demand, magnitude of waiting lists, etc. could have been used but its too much hard work. The article says ‘research shows’ but even a high-schooler can do the sort of research done on the article.
    The article fails to take into account so many parameters while comparing. Its sad that a newspaper which leaked NSA and PRISM comes with a cheap shot. Maybe they aren’t into sports research at all.
    Unless a comprehensive and independent investigations into Ticket prices isn’t carried out its baseless to come to a definitive conclusion.

  • Mick

    @Devonshirespur
    ‘its the football you are paying for, the facilities are a bonus.’
    Lets hope you do not sell Bale then or you will have to at least halve your ticket prices!

  • Terry

    You all make me laugh, After all havnt you poor goons protested yourselves about the prices you pay?

  • ian

    Tony’s point regarding AFC season tickets is correct. The price includes 7 cup games (exc COC). So assuming we get through our CL qualifier that delivers 4 Champs league games as a min.

    Therefore a further 3 cup matches are included, this of course could be FA Cup but that is decided by whether we are drawn home or away and how far we progress. The fact is that the ST could include the Semi Final of the CL.

    We do reduce our prices for the COC, unless asked to increase them as we have been in the past, this has only ever happened on one occasion for a Semi Final! No prizes for which Club insisted that our prices were increased, clearly the extra revenue this would generate was much needed.

    Also as a member and having 2 sons as Junior Gunners, it is possible to buy tickets for the three of us in the Family enclosure for £40 (Sunderland, Wigan, Reading, Swansea, Villa are included). That is less than my brother in law is charged to take his 2 children to Peterborough vs Wolves (£45).

    Only point to make on Cup games for Manure, they are not covered by the Season Ticket however are charged automatically to a valid debit / credit card unless you opt out by I think 3 – 4 weeks before the date of the fixture. I have a friend who has a season ticket at OT and has in the past forgotten to opt out and has been charged for games he did not want or plan to attend. His beef is that you have to take the lead and opt out, there is no prompt or reminder from the Club.

  • insideright

    The demand for seats at Spurs is highlighted by the crowd numbers when they are playing home games in the Europa Cup. Without pre-selling these games on the season ticket Spurs have much diminished attendance even with a capacity of only 36000.
    It may also be relevant to point out that Arsenal have been at the Emirates for eight years, began building a couple of years before that and first started to raise finance even earlier. They planned all that on the basis of a known level of demand which has successfully sold out the new stadium every year since the move despite the ‘trophy drought’ and ‘extortionate prices’. If Spurs have similar confidence in the demand to watch them play what’s taken them so long to turn it into concrete? Could it be that their owner sees it as too much of a risk because he knows what the truth is?
    ps Access to Arsenal Player, which used to cost £48 per season, is now included in the season ticket. Allowing for inflation I’m now paying less than I did at Highbury for the equivalent seat.

  • JT

    Arsenal fans should stop getting so defensive about this. It’s been proven you are currently the most expensive club to follow, and you’ll just have to accept that fact, for now. Granted, you are only marginally more expensive than Spurs, and this is purely down to the fact you have nicer facilities and are in a more affluent area of London. Once Spurs have built their new stadium, I fully expect our prices to be equal to, or even greater than, Arsenal’s. Both sets of fans must accept that our clubs can, and therefore do, charge more than other Premier League clubs.

  • No Terry I have never protested about the prices at Arsenal.

  • ian

    @ JT

    Its not being defensive its pointing out the facts. The article above refers directly to the poor journalism from The Guardian.

    Fact is its cheaper for me to take my children to some PL games and all COC (unless our opponents insist we increase the prices) than it is to take them to watch Coventry City, Leicester City, and Peterborough United.

    £20 for me, £10 each for the kids against Sunderland last season.

  • Stuart

    Terry,
    I’ve never protested.
    Would I like to pay less – yes, but that also goes for everything else I spend my money on. Arsenal tickets are about the same cost as anything else I might choose to do for the day in London so what’s the issue?

  • ryan

    When arsenal actually start winning things, maybe then we can justify extortionate ticket prices. I don’t give a damn how tasty the seat is and awesome the view is if I’m watching us get spanked by Man U or dropping silly points vs weak teams.

    We can make excuses all we like to justify the expense but the fact of the matter is the vast majority of football fans are exactly that, football fans and shouldn’t be pretending the arsenal tickets aren’t out of line with the quality of our club.

    Of course we know why they’re so, because they can be, there are rich tosses abound happy to buy them and rarely even show up. But the fact is the prices are toxic to the average football fan like myself who is completely priced out of having an opportunity to see arsenal regularly, least of all get a season ticket.

    As for the high prices funding our transfers, of please. Maybe this summer will be the exception, but we all know if previous summers its been star sales which have funded that. Lets not pretend otherwise. If we hadn’t sold our stars every summer we’d have spent bugger all

  • Dan Mac

    As a Spurs fan I agree with the sentiment of the article… I will pre-warn you about the amount of abuse you will get from Spurs fans for saying you lot generate your own money and we are funded by a billionaire… he owns us but doesn’t put his own money in, we make our money in the same way you do and I’m very proud of that fact. Not being touchy about it just pointing out that you’re not some holier than thou club operating on some moral high ground compared to everyone else.

  • LRV

    Good Lord, Spurs fans cannot stay away from Untold ARSENAL. Must we share North London and share Blog-site as well? I suppose UA should be flattered; even if quite a lot of them only come to wage war.

    To all of the Spurs fans who come with valid intelligent dialogue; Thank You!

  • LRV

    Good Lord, Spurs fans cannot stay away from Untold ARSENAL. Must we share North London and share Blog-site as well? I suppose UA should be flattered; even if quite a lot of them only come to wage war.

    To all of the Spurs fans who come with valid intelligent dialogue; Thank You!

  • OK – I am sure Tottenham fans are right – both Tottenham and Arsenal have billionaire owners who don’t put money into the club to fund it in the way that happens at Chelsea. Apologies to everyone, my mistake.

  • Adam

    I see the ENIC fan base are contributing today. What they fail to see is the company was originally set up to invest in players and clubs as a business plan based around player registration acquisition and image rights. They hoped to take advantage of the rules around player trading (some would say trafficking). Only when UEFA/FIFA stepped in to stop ENIC from having Conflicting interests in holding shares in other competing European clubs did ENIC change tactics and purchase the controlling shares in Tottenham Hotspur, a north London club owned by a company registered in the Bahamas.

    So a company originally set up to exploit the financial resources of professional footballers is now the controlling owner of Tottenham. Must feel wonderful for Spurs fans knowing that these shareholders were originally interested in player trading only, TPPO’s for those in the know, and they had a trade route purchased as shares from other European clubs.

    If anyone asks “I’ve gone fishing”.

  • Adam

    I see the ENIC fan base are contributing today. What they fail to see is the company was originally set up to invest in players and clubs as a business plan based around player registration acquisition and image rights. They hoped to take advantage of the rules around player trading (some would say trafficking). Only when UEFA/FIFA stepped in to stop ENIC from having Conflicting interests in holding shares in other competing European clubs did ENIC change tactics and purchase the controlling shares in Tottenham Hotspur, a north London club owned by a company registered in the Bahamas.

    So a company originally set up to exploit the financial resources of professional footballers is now the controlling owner of Tottenham. Must feel wonderful for Spurs fans knowing that these shareholders were originally interested in player trading only, TPPO’s for those in the know, and they had a trade route purchased as shares from other European clubs.

    If anyone asks “I’ve gone fishing”.

  • Mick

    Well done for acknowledging your mistake Tony, maybe the Spurs fans who frequent Untold will acknowledge their mistake now and start supporting Arsenal.

  • Rupert Cook

    Can’t say I’ve protested but I don’t go simply because the price is too high.

    I’ll go to several Oxford matches a season instead. The standard of football is pretty awful but the atmosphere is excellent and you can see the players without using opera glasses.

    Occasionally you get to see old EPL stars playing out their last days. Oxford had Duberry playing for them last season when he wasn’t injured. I expect to see Squillaci in an Oxford shirt soon.

  • ian

    @ Rupert

    Good luck with Squillaci!

    We played at Oxford in the 1980s and I had the pleasure of being there, although I think we lost?

  • Stuart

    Is the EN from ENIC supposed to represent a Hertfordshire postcode?

  • Bootoomee

    Ryan,

    The Guardian article is aimed at your type: you know those who only follow football for trophies. That’s the whole point of the article. To get your type sad because you pay so much but haven’t had the opportunity to gloat in your little circle about the team that you support winning something. For the upteemth time: life must be really dull and personal achievements must be really dire in order for you to be so fixated on the success that you cannot even lay claim to other than the short euphoria and the slightly longer bragging rights.

    Come on, get over it.

    On a positive note, I am glad that those ‘rich tosses’ have priced you out of being able to attend matches at the Emirates. The team is definitely blessed with your absence!

  • Woodsy

    @Adam – We’re under no illusion, of course ENIC bought the club with the intention of selling and making a profit. The majority are happy with the situation because ENIC are committed to improving their asset before selling.

    This has meant investing money in players, training facilities and ultimately building a new stadium. ENIC (Levy) has also proven adept at maximising marketing/sponsorship revenue. We’ve been the highest rated non-CL club in the world for some time.

    Now of course this is all boring business talk and has little to do with football but the point is Levy is improving the club on the field to maximise ENIC’s return off of it.

    Arsenal are at the end of a similar journey, masterfully marshalled by Wenger. If you think swapping Kroenke for Usmanov is a good idea, after you’ve done all the hard work, I’m talking to a brick wall.

  • Adam

    Woodsy.

    That is not the original intentions of ENIC, but agree, I think Spurs will be a challenging club in the future and look forward to it.

    The model they wanted to follow was similar to Benfica star fund and Porto’s model even Peter Kenyon and Chelsea wanted something similar but not to the extent of purchasing shares in clubs to place players who they had invested in, also their timid links to a betting company also highlighted something fishy, but the Tavistock group owns many companies.

    I have often wondered about Arsenal’s links to African football, but have been hesitant in researching that in case I find something I really don’t like.

    Anyway thanks for the reply.

  • Adam

    Woodsy, just so you know, I’m not a fan of Usmanov and I think the regulars on here would attest to that.

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/21797

  • Clarky

    Good to see the authors retraction. We cleat both have billionaire owners who run their clubs as a business. We have both been applauded for our economic savvy in these days of oil barons and oligarchs who buy a club as a plaything. Whilst on partisan terms I hate Arsenal, I have a degree of respect for the sensible way they run the club, although I’m sure your fans are as frustrated as ours that we consistently lose top players and miss out on top targets because the Manchester, Chelsea and Spanish mafia throw money at them until some sticks. Yes, we may lose Bale like you lost Van Persie and that will be a shame but I’d rather that than become another Leeds, Blackburn or Portsmouth who destroyed their own clubs through mismanagement.

    How’s that for a fair balanced comment from a Spurs fan? Oh and to the guy that wondered why so many Yiddos are turning up here, blame newsnow for spotting the keyword Tottenham in the article 😉

  • LRV – as some Tottenham supporters have noted – this article turned up on News Now because it mentioned Tottenham within it. And I would add that the banner headline of Untold does say “Football news from an Arsenal perspective”. Many supporters of other clubs do write in from time to time to say something along the lines of, “why don’t you just focus on Arsenal?” The point is, I believe that there are a lot of supporters who not only love their club, but also have a broader interest in football. That’s what Untold is all about – and indeed has been from the down it was founded five seasons ago.

  • finsbury

    “The Manchester Grunt (The Guardian) is a liberal left wing paper”

    Mr. Assange might have something to say about that!
    : )

  • Marc

    What wasn’t mentioned during the away ticket stories was 1) under PL rules clubs have to charge the same to away supporters as the home fans pay for similar seats. 2) The big fuss was from Man City fans who only sold 900 odd tickets, with complaints that the £63 (I can’t remember the exact cost of the tickets but it there or there abouts) was disgusting. No one mentioned that Man City charged Arsenal fans over £55 for tickets at the return fixture. If £5 – £8 makes that much of a difference you can’t afford to go in the first place.

  • Guido

    Can’t believe everyone (Spurs and Arsenal) are happy at the highest prices in the WORLD! You can get a season ticket for Dortmund less than it costs one game at either Spurs or Arsenal. What is fucking wrong with you all? Don’t let your club allegiances get in the way of the fact that “we” (the English supporters) are getting fucked in the arse by our clubs. It doesn’t has to be this way, but from reading this garbage everyone appears to be happy about it and even defending it by suggesting market forces, and who’s got the most comfortable seats and the best toilets!

    Tony, when you can’t be bothered to watch a League Cup game do you give your ticket to someone who a) can’t afford to watch the game b) Just don’t turn up and contribute to the 15k empty seats and subsequent shitty atmosphere that this sort or behaviour contributes to?

  • Rufusstan

    Guido:
    1). League cup games are not on the season ticket; thats why we can sell them for a tenner. Funnily enough, if you’ve been to any of the league cup games we get 55K+. lots of kids and a great atmosphere

    2). The £100 season tickets they like to harp on about in Germany are for safe standing tickets, which we don’t have because the authorities won’t let us.

    3). Seated season tickets at Dortmund are in the £400-600 range, and that gives you less games than over here. You can get season tickets for most PL clubs in that price band over here.

    Marc. I tend to have some sympathy for the City fans. in 10-11 they were Cat B, so the City fans were paying about £35. In 11-12 After West Ham got relegated we moved them up to Cat A so they paid about £52?. Last year they got caught in the crossfire when they changed the Cat A prices– it was designed to soak our supporters who cherry-pick the big games, but hammered the Cat A away fans — so had the infamous £62.

    If in 3 years I’d seen prices go up £35-£52-£62, I’d be pissed off as well.

  • Stuart

    Guido,
    IMO, the league cup games are the best ones to go for because
    you get to see the emerging talent, they play with more passion and fire in their belly and many of the fans don’t regularly go to games (no season ticket) so the atmosphere is really passionate.

    Obviously, most people would disagree with me but this is my stance.

  • Marc

    Rufusstan – I’m not saying the tickets aren’t expensive and yes they got caught in the change of categories but they still charged Arsenal fans £55 plus for the return fixture, so not a huge amount of difference and they are more than welcome to go back to being a cat B fixture if they want to lose their sugar daddy and have a team and squad the club can afford from their own income.

  • Rufusstan

    Marc, no disagreements there. I just think that the City fans are still mentally stuck between their old and new status, so you get a bit of them reacting as ‘plucky underdogs’ while demanding to be treated as the big boys. The ticket thing was a bit of the former.

  • Jhgooner

    I think Tony is spot on. Unfortunately thats the world we live in.. if you want the best of anything you gotta pay the biggest price. As arsenal fans are constantly reminded by others regarding the transfer market. Be it a car, house, clothes, holiday or a ticket to watch a cat a game in the best stadium in europe, and in the so called best league in the world.. oh and just a reminder to city fans, our ticket prices are high because unlike them we were not GIVEN our stadium and because of the ridiculous anti ffp money they have thrown into football, without raising revenue we could no longer compete.. Some people have short memories, only 10 years ago they were getting pissed on at Shrewsbury and the likes.. now they are complaining about tickets prices!!! You wanna be in the big boys league? Or without money back where they were…?

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Tony,
    The Guardian is, as you said, a “liberal’ paper, but it is not at all a progressive paper. As to left-wing aspirations, you must be joking.
    Arsenal Football is worth watching, and the prices are definitely high, but how many clubs offer so much drama? I reckon Man U, Man City, and Chelsea finished ahead of us in the Prem this season, but there was no drama about them.
    So, in a way, we are paying to watch Football PLUS Drama.