Arsenal are probably the most expensive football club in the world to support – the ticket prices are understandably high, location, previous success and the quality of the stadium all mean that the tickets will certainly not be cheap. However, given the current economic climate, rising inflation (not reflected in paid wages) and the soaring costs of travel, a ticket price rise is far from welcome.
The thing is, people will pay that extra 6% for tickets, that isn’t a a problem for me personally, maybe it means I will just have one less beer in the pub before the game. Not such a big deal. After all, the club haven’t exactly put up prices every year and it has been some time since the prices were last altered.
You will have noticed that the club are releasing a new home kit for next season and yet another change of away kit – these will cost you in the region of £60 a go, once upon a time kits used to be redesigned every two years but not it is an almost annual event, again, just using the support as a cash cow.
The prices of beer and food in the stadium are obscene but if you are there and hungry, you can’t exactly pop out to the chip shop up the road at half time – fair play, people will pay the prices with gritted teeth but you still expect them to pay those prices after buying a new shirt, a higher price for their ticket and a higher price for their membership too?
Things are starting to get a little silly…
I logged onto my red membership renewal form online this morning and was a little surprised by the increase in price – just what do we get that is any different? It can’t be the new ‘Arsenal Player’ that is on offer because even the ‘lite’ version has shot up in price. Paying about 20% more for something I paid less for last season? Just what has warranted that price increase? If anyone at Arsenal is reading this, feel free to contact me and let me know because I really have no idea why the price of my Red membership should increase.
Silver members have had an even bigger increase in price. Is this to flush out the members who just hold onto the memberships in the hope of going to an Arsenal v Barcelona style glamour clash each season? If it is, it won’t work.
Quite frankly I am disgusted. There are fans out there who spend far more than me on the club – if I had the financial means and wasn’t still in further education I would probably fork out the cash because that is what blind faith does. It has got to the point where we are simply being used as cash cows to fill the coffers and make the balance sheet look even more tasty.
It is fully understood by me that the club is a business but it is starting to lose it’s roots – Arsenal Football Club is also an institution, the support is almost tribal but the working class fan base, and most loyal supporters – will one day get priced out. I think to an extent that has already started to happen.
The straw that broke the camels back for me was the fact there has been no explanation at all. If the club wants to put ticket prices up at least face the people who will have to fork out the cash and explain to them why they have to pay more to support their club at the ground every other week. Instead they just wait for everyone to see their renewal form and think again about signing it – after all, there is a waiting list, why should they care if 200 people can’t afford the price they set.. there are thousands on waiting lists.
As far as I am concerned we are paying the price for incompetence in negotiations for commercial deals – some of the deals the club is tied to are frankly disgraceful and as fans we shouldn’t be the ones the club turns to for that extra income. Go on a tour, that is fine, plug merchandise all you want – that is fine, hire the stadium out for glamour friendlies – that is fine. But push your own supporters away because that cannot afford to pay the price hikes? That is not fine.
Another thing worth bearing in mind is the rise in prices that took place in January. Yes, it was because of the VAT rate in the
UK changing but it still makes for yet another increase in a very short space of time. With the VAT and the interest on the credit cards UK account I needed to open to pay this new membership increase, it’s no wonder that fans get disillusioned and priced out.
I am one fan that will not be buying a new shirt this summer, I won’t buy anything inside the stadium, I won’t buy any extra merchandise, I won’t buy a programme (yes, the price of that has gone up too).
I will though pay my membership and the ticket prices. Others won’t, and there will be only one loser. That is you, Arsenal.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.