I constantly hear people complaining about our high ticket prices, something they have used to bash the club, or in a wider perspective, protests taking place all over the country as people feel as if they are paying over the odds. However, there is an alternative, if you don’t like the prices, don’t pay.
Now I get that this is done in emotion. People care about football and they don’t want to stop going. I understand that. However, football is not a necessity, it is a luxury that every individual must assess whether or not they can afford to pay. Now before you get angry and start hurling abuse at me saying I must be well off, able to comfortably afford to go to games etc, nothing could be further from the truth.
I used to go to every home game, and a few away here and there. However there came a point where based on my financial circumstances, I could no longer afford to go to games. I still get to a handful of games per season, but only 4-6 games in all competitions on average, over the last five years or so. Does that upset me? Yes of course, I love going to games & I’d much rather be there than at home watching on TV.
However, the attitude I possess is this. I love our club, I want them to be well off & in a good shape financially & I know that for that to happen, its better thatyI cannot afford to go. I accept that. The truth is football is a business. There is no escaping that. Basic laws of economics state that with a limited supply (60,000 seats per game) and exponentially more demand, they can charge what they want. In fact there is apparently 80,000 people on the waiting list for a season ticket. That means every single season ticket holder would have to give up their season ticket TWO YEARS IN A ROW, for Arsenal to have nobody waiting to pay for season tickets. That excludes countless silver & red members who also don’t get to games before they get sold out.
There are three main ways clubs can generate revenue, firstly TV rights, which are spread fairly equally so its very difficult to gain an advantage from the other top sides in this area. Secondly commercial deals. This is an area the club have improved drastically in over the last few years. However again, it is difficult to gain any more than a few million per year on your nearest rivals. Thirdly match day revenue & merchandise. This is where Arsenal can gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. Having sacrificed to build one of the biggest state of the art stadiums, it would be foolish, given the demand, for Arsenal not to ramp home their advantage in this area. Well what harm can £10 per ticket do I hear you say? Well reducing the ticket prices £10 per ticket, for 60,000 fans, for 25 home games a season in the league, FA Cup & Champions league, would lead to the club losing out on £15m per season (about 5% of their current turnover which was slightly over £300m for last season.) More over Arsenal announced only a £4.7m profit before tax for the last figures announced for a whole season. Meaning, quite simply, for Arsenal to have reduced the ticket prices by £10 per ticket, they would’ve been announcing a £10.3m loss. This is for home games only.
Now as I said earlier, I am upset & disappointing that I cannot get to more games due to my financial situation but I understand that Arsenal are far better off charging those prices and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As I said, football is not a necessity, its a luxury. I’ll leave you with a quote a friend recently posted on twitter “Its not like you ride the Arsenal to get to work, or have to eat it for dinner.”