Arsenal Rise Prices & Hand Kroenke His First PR Disaster

As was widely expected, Arsenal have confirmed that ticket prices next season will rise by 6.5%. The timing was unsurprising coming on the back of the win over Manchester United at the weekend although it is debatable whether the club could have left the announcement any later.

The price rise is Stan Kroenke’s first interaction with supporters since his takeover and it could not be much worse. Frankly, it is a PR disaster that could so easily have been avoided.

The AISA put together a proposition which would negate some of the impact. On the whole it was a positive document, like many things we can all find issues with it but overall, the ideas were constructive rather than being pie in the sky. Arsenal chose to put some into action now, electing to put the rest under consideration during next year. A sop.

On the face of it, the rise is not unreasonable; inflations is at 4%, VAT has increased by 2.5% on last year. The logic is seemingly undeniable. Until, that is, you start to peel away the statements in search of the truth.

Ivan Gazidis commented,

We thought about this increase, the first in three seasons, very carefully

Not carefully enough, Mr Gazidis, for this is not the first ticket price increase in three years.

On December 16 2010, Arsenal announced that as a result of the increase in the rate of VAT, matchday ticket prices would rise by 2.5%. They may like to argue that the rise was out of their hands but the fact is that prices rose and that is all that supporters see.

As is noted in that article, it is effectively a 2.13% price increase. Taken into consideration with the newly announced rises, the VAT increased rate is costing supporters 4.63%. For a 2.5% rise.

The timing of this increase is as bad as it is baffling. Surely someone in the club reflected upon the manner in which the season has finished, the failure and the negative impact that it has had on the support? If not, then serious questions have to be asked of the leadership within.

For many months, a direct correlation has been made between ticket prices and the amount of spending that the club makes in the transfer market. The two are entirely separate issues but when the ticket prices are amongst the most expensive in the world for football matches, it is easy to link the two simply by suggestion.

Arsenal have exacerbated the problem. Fail to sign any one of substance this summer and the criticism will increase. Failure to win a trophy this season has brought disgruntlement very vocally to the surface. Fail to win a trophy next season and the cacophony will be unbearable. It is a problem of their own making and one that requires a quick solution. That, though, is not entirely in their own hands.

Arsenal 0 Moan United 1.

The feeling is that this rise and others which will no doubt be effective next season, e.g programme price or general retail prices, are false economies. A decision has already been taken that we will take our children less next season as a result of the ticket price increases.

When you add in the rise in rail fares and ancillary spend, simply put we will spend less money at the stadium. One programme, no fast food in the ground, etc. With this decision Arsenal will lose revenue from us. On its own, such actions have no impact. When others make similar choices, this mounts up.

Arsenal will not care though. Broadcast revenues are robust and those in charge care more about them than supporters.

That prices need to rise is the price of short-termism when building The Emirates. Deals were signed in haste and Arsenal will not renege on them, it is not the Arsenal Way. The club can buy their way out of some of these contracts; others have done so. The club choose not to. We pay the price with inflated ticket costs.

This is not all about revenue though. Savings to the bottom line will generate profits for the new owner. Every organisation has wastage, Arsenal will be no exceptions.

The wage bill at Arsenal will no doubt increase this year and next. In an economy which is stagnating at best, that is ludicrous especially when the sums involved are rumoured to be around 8%, twice the rate of inflation. That suggests a loss of control over the cost. Some will argue that it is all budgeted for. Indeed it is, funded in part by an increase in tickets.

This is not an issue in isolation. With a commemorative strip next season replaced in 2012-13 by a new home kit, the club’s greed for exploiting the support is rapacious. The attitude of the club in this area is set out clearly in Paragraph 7 of the Club Charter:

When a new home kit is released in the same year as a change kit, the change kit will have a lifespan of one season only.

We cannot complain really. The Charter is supposed to be a commitment to the support that the club will adhere to certain standards. They have lived up to that by forewarning us of their absolute disregard for everyone.

Frequently the old owners claimed that they were custodians of the club on behalf of the supporters. The new owner recently claimed the same. Their words are increasingly hollow.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 4, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 203 Comments.

  1. Bloody hell YW, early start?

  2. Not sure – that or a late finish!

  3. It seems odd the Gazidis would screw up that little fact about this being the first ticket raise in 3 years.

  4. William

    I suspect that they don’t consider it a rise – it was as a result of the VAT rise, not their own corporate aims. Same end product, dearer tickets.

    YW

  5. I’m sorry, Yogi, do you blame Arsenal if the price of the petrol you buy to go to the games goes up? Tell me that the level of the VAT is a discretionary matter for teams to impose, rather than the decision of the government, or Inland Revenue. I love your blog but have never heard anything sillier than the claim that an increase in a government tax on a sale item and the resulting increase in the cost of the ticket is the fault ogf the club. Why stop there? Why not ask club to swallow the entire cost of the VAT, not just the increase?

  6. It’s bad timing after a disastrous past 6 weeks on the pitch but it’s not the outrage suggested here. Costs are going up and eventually ticket prices needed to keep track with inflation. Setting your prices according to recent results on the pitch would be no way to run a business

  7. Stan Kroenke is American and a successful American. The first, and only objective of a successful American is `sales`. Kroneke knows that once people are addicted to anything they`ll pay the asking price. `The Beautiful Game` is only a side show to fuelling the addiction and the business of making money.

  8. Sorry Yogi I think that it is your post that is a disastrous PR.
    In the real world we living VAT increase are seldom absorbed by businesses.
    Regarding the price increase itself, as people have to decide now whether they will renew or not letting them know in advance of any price increase does make sense.
    Would you rather be told in advance or discover a price increase by your renewal letter?

  9. Valentin

    They have known about the price increase for months, why wait until now to announce it? Why announce it this season, particularly when there is a new kit for one season only. Why announce it in the same week that a new kit is put on display. The cumulative effect is a continuous demand for money. Not good PR at all since it enables the two to be linked by suggestion.

    YW

  10. Yogi, it is rare when I disagree with you, but I must say I don’t think this post today reflects your usual level headiness. Across the world, let alone in PL games, costs are rising for a multitude of goods/services and for a multitude of reasons. I suspect that AFC are dealing with the same pricing pressures as many other companies across the world. That aside, your post today appears to suggest that trophies & transfers should (at least somewhat) dictate price increases. By that standard, the Sp*rs should be paying people to attend their games. 🙂 Its fair to not like an increase in prices, but to link it to performance (or lack of) on the pitch is a slippery slope IMO.

  11. mrlee

    No, I don’t suggest that trophies and transfers should be linked, simply that the link has been made, as this season’s complainers have noted,

    “The two are entirely separate issues but when the ticket prices are amongst the most expensive in the world for football matches, it is easy to link the two simply by suggestion.”

    YW

  12. the bigger fear is when kroneke needs a new quater back for the rams does he sell jack to pay the players huge wages we will see where his loyaltis lie

  13. Continue support the club but stop spending towards the club if money not spend to challange for the title. There is only 2 ways:
    1) buy ticket & stop buying merchandise/etc
    2) if you didn’t purchase the ticket then stop the spending
    GIVE this ULTIMATUM TO THE CLUB

    there didn’t think ONE BIT about the supporters, there even there to give false statement as a reason/excuse for the ticket hikes – this is not the FIRST TIME in 3 years !!! they just don’t bother.

  14. Hang on. This is the first rise in 3 and a half years and inflation is at 4% per year so your average item has increased by 14% in price over that time (assuming no change to inflation). Then you add the increase in VAT and you have an increase of 16.5% so we are actually seeing an overall reduction of ticket prices in real terms by exactly 10% (assuming steady inflation at 4%). You should be thanking them for their generosity.

  15. Morning all,

    Happy with the price rise? Consider this. Arsenal’s costs are not rising by 4%. Indeed, like every other business they are controlling their costs and looking to squeeze suppliers down to the last penny. The only cost they are not controlling is salaries.

    As for swallowing the VAT rise, you miss the point. They already incorporated that increase in ticket prices. To claim that prices will be 2.5% higher this year because of the VAT 20% instead of 17.5% is disingenuous and hides the fact that for matchdays, they have increased the price by 6.5%.

    YW

  16. And here is a point of principle to consider:

    Swindon Town had an interesting approach to encouraging families to attend. My father renewed his season ticket for about £180. For £30 each, he was able to buy both his grandchildren a season ticket (1/6th the price) knowing that he has not wasted the money because they will go around 3 or 4 times a year, maybe more depending on the coincidence of the fixture list to our visits.

    Have Arsenal made a forward thinking step in ticket pricing in a recession?

    YW

  17. I don’t object to the price rise automatically, if the money is used within the club. What I will object to is contributing towards dividends paid to the new owner. I had already decided that as soon as dividends start being declared, I will spend nothing at the club other than paying for tickets. I can do without a programme, I don’t need a drink before or during the match and I’ll buy unofficial copy shirts. I want to support the club, vocally and financially, but I have no interest in supporting Mr. Kroenke or the other shareholders, financially.

  18. Bernard

    You can continue to spend apparently. Kroenke has given assurances that dividends will not be declared. Quite why so many are hung up on this issue, I know not. It is an easy way to see how much money the shareholders en masse get from a company but KSE are more likely to take money through manageent charges.

    YW

  19. YW. In that case, if the management charges look unreasonable, I’ll stop the spending on club merchandise and let the club know why.

    On the issue of extra tickets allocated to Red Members, presumably this will mean that they reduce the ticket allocation to Silver Members. Apparently, Junior Gunners are allowed to graduate to become Silver Members, so that an increasing Silver Membership will have access to a decreasing number of tickets.
    Gone are the days when your Dad said, on a Saturday morning, “shall we go to the football today” and you went to the match with a 3.00 pm kick off.

  20. We may not like it but prices are going up everywhere. Ultimately we have a choice. If we don’t think we’re getting value for money, we can stop spending here and spend elsewhere.

  21. Perhaps, YW, some transparency to the cause of the rise might be beneficial. It does not sit well with me that Arsenal, for the first time in its history, has lost it’s ownership plurality and within a month, announces a ticket rise. It is not difficult to draw a link between the two events.
    I do wonder what match day tickets cover in terms of budget. As suggested, is it simply player wages, or does it include administrative costs and beyond? If it was stated that the rise in income for Arsenal employees is being absorbed by a rise in ticket prices, this may sit better? Although, then, of course, you would have to question why incomes are increasing so drastically in one year.
    A number of American sports offer alternative packages that do not require season long commitment. Such options would surely make games more accessible to families? Something for the club to consider, for fear of restricting game days to either single young adults or settled middle aged fans.
    It is a perplexing rise, but I fear ticket prices will continue to rise until the waiting list is no more, and we reach some sort of supply and demand equilibrium point at a ludicrous price.

  22. I totally agree with what you are saying. The club do not care about the fans and many as a result of this increase will be priced out of attending. This price increase really does hurt especially when a new sponrship deal will be announced with Indesit shortly. Secondly its interesting to note the club announced an extra 2000 red member tickets will be available next season for every game. Where have these 2000 tickets come from? I expect some are season tickets not being renewed already due to price increases. Personally I will buy my ticket for next season but it maybe my last at these prices. I do think we should boycott buying the club merchandise as again we have not been listened to and 2 new kits is a lot of money for fans to fork out.

  23. JB

    Revenue from matchdays was 42% of the total football operations for the year ended 31st May 2010.

    Passenal

    Disconcertingly, Arsenal have found it harder to get renewals at the premium levels this year already. The suggestion is that around 15% of the more expensive season tickets won’t be renewed. Some might argue that is no loss.

    The movement up Season Ticket waiting lists will be the best indicator but there were plenty of empty seats at the United match and Ticket Exchange had a ready supply of tickets for that and the Villa match as well. Pricing will exacerbate the problem.

    YW

  24. Mathematics at this time of the morning?

  25. My only concern is the win over Manchester United will give Wenger all sort of excuses not to buy players in summer. We will hear overused words like the team is growing, we have closed the gap with Man U yet Man U squad is just an average team and next year they are going to buy to overtake us, we are only 23 years old yet we collapse under pressure and we need 3 experienced players and one of them should be a striker who can score more goals like Facao.

  26. Stupid fans again and again support the club for not winning anything(For not trying to win anything)

    Fans are paying lot of money to make big profit for the club.

    Fans are paying lot of money for nothing.
    Fans are paying for getting big frustration.
    Fans are paying for getting unsatisfaction.

    What the club gives…….. What they are trying…. Just PROFIT as a good business………

  27. @Charlie: so I guess you must be a lucky guy who got a raise of salary equivalent to inflation vat rise in the last 3 years of recession. Did you hear about Goldman Sachs by the way?

  28. I think our main target should be a decent striker, when RvP is out (which he is for a good bit of every season) there is no one who is dangerous enough to take his place. I think we need two more decent strikers really, one to partner RvP up front and one who can replace either of those when needed to mix it up a bit or due to injuries. Bendtner (although sometimes shows that he is capable) is simply not good enough/consistant enough and his first touch is awful. Chamakh is a decent 4th striker but I don’t think he is going to have the qualities to be an Arsenal player (in my opinion anyway). Vela (if he comes back) has got something but I think we bought the wrong Mexican, although I would love him to prove me wrong.

  29. Just as an aside, My wife and I watched Arsenal virtually tie up the 1947/8 title, in two front seats in the Highbury East Stand … @ 52p per seat. How things have changed!

  30. New multi million pound sponsor partnership announced
    Ticket price hike announced.
    New home shirt (3rd one in 3 seasons) released.
    New away shirt again to be announced soon.

    All the above are monies in. We had better see some cost cutting regarding the wage bill by shifting those players not up to scratch (both from first team squad and also from the hoards we have out on loan)

    Then we had better see that money reinvested in the only thing the fans really come to see ie: the players.

  31. Nicky

    Allowing for RPI and decimalisation, that’s £15.10 in today’s money.

    YW

  32. Greetings ACLFers.
    Keep the faith. Personally, I do not think Arsenal players choked or are in chokers on the run-in. I think Arsene was correct to take responsibility. I think he feels he may have made a couple of key tactical and/or selection errors (perhaps in not adopting a more cautious and defensive minded midfield approach over this period), and I think he might be right. I am not perturbed.
    Arsenal is in fine fettle. Fools think otherwise.

  33. I am a season ticket holder and have been for many years. I mailed Arsenal and told them of my disgust at the rising prices in this climate, especially when it is announced on the same day the Club made a multi-million pound deal with Indesit to further boost the Clubs finances. I also made it clear there are far too many fans who come to watch Arsenal as it’s fashionable to do so, they clap occasionally, and cheer when we score but offer no other support at all, and it’s when the team isn’t doing well they need the crowd on their side. More real fans are being priced out and replaced with “fans” like these, and they wonder why the atmosphere is dying in the ground. Lastly I pointed out I will simply boycot buying a replica shirt, programme, or consuming any drinks inside the stadium on match days to off-set the increase. I urge all other season ticket holders and members to mail the club and let our feelings be known.

  34. Very disappointing news, and I agree the timing is appalling.

    Interesting point about the season ticket waiting list though YW, My Brother was approx. 12K on the list at the beginning of last season, and is currently sat at 4800, I wonder if he will be offered a ticket this year?

    Although on a positive, maybe the price increase will persuade the doomer’s to no longer attend home games, to be replaced by more enthusiastic supporters, thus generating a more positive atmosphere for the team.

  35. 1 loose cannon

    ZimPaul- Wenger takes the blame to protect the players and that is honourable of him. He cannot be fully responsible for Almunia’s decision against west Brom, the mix up between Chesney and Kos in C.Cup , Eboue’s unnecessary barge on Lucas against Liverpool or the indiscipline of Diaby at Newcastle. These are small details that needs eradicating. It is comes down to nervousness and inexperience not to tactics. We should’ve won this title by a minimum of 4 points if those errrors were not made. The positive is this team has come a long way and they are learning if this seaon they have made 20 mistakes next season it will be 10 and that will make a huge difference to winning a trophy.

  36. Northbank1969

    Football is now a business, at the end of the day, when you buy a product you have to make a decision if that product is worth the money being demanded. If petrol station A is charging £1.80 for a ltr of petrol and petrol staton B is charging £1.60 for a ltr, what petrol station do you buy your petrol? A ticket rise that just reflects inflation and VAT appears to be reasonable to me! It shoudn’t be linked to whether the club have won tropheys or not (as many supporters are suggesting). When I was a ticket tout on Avenal Road, my prices were 50/70% higher than standard rate… I never had a shortage of customers! In fact, I used to sell every ticket and then pay a £1 to the geezer on the turnstile and find an empty seat on the East Stand… Luvely Jubbly, long live business!

  37. I understand that any price increases hurts your pocket, but going to a football match is not a necessity, it’s a luxury. You have a choice, no one is forcing you to buy tickets.

    The increase on a season’s ticket is about £50, there are many things that you can do to afford £50 a year, including not buying a new shirt. As someone posted on twitter if you can’t afford £1400 then you shouldn’t afford £1350

    Finally, do we really believe that those increases are a result of Kroenke? It would have happened regardless.

  38. 1 loose cannon

    The price increase is not down to Kroenke at all, he still doesn’t own the club. I guess it was in the business plan for a long time. When it comes to business usually things have been thought of for a long time. So to jump on Kroenke is rather silly. Arsenal are in a position to increase the tickets, there are 40.000 on the waiting list.

  39. Wengerball

    Re Kroenke: It’s his first interaction with supporters as the owner – not exactly positive is it? He could – and should – have intervened, putting a block on the rise for the coming season whilst exploring his options. It is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the club’s interaction with supporters groups to ignore the issues raised.

    Re Prices: Let’s look at the ancillary costs. Travel, etc. have all gone up. My point is that they are pricing families out of the game. My kids won’t be going as often because the rises mulitply with the number of tickets you buy. So, for example, three season tickets will be would be £4,200 instead of £4k using your example. Well done if £200 is not important.

    Be careful what you wish for:

    I understand that any price increases hurts your pocket, but going to a football match is not a necessity, it’s a luxury. You have a choice, no one is forcing you to buy tickets.

    The stadium is a mix of supporters and those who go because it is the ‘done’ thing. If that mix gets more lopsided away from supporters, the atmosphere will get worse.

    YW

  40. 1LC

    Kroenke owns the controlling interest in Arsenal – he might not own the club outright but he does own Arsenal.

    How many of those 40k will buy a ticket if offered. Even the club don’t expect everyone to take up the offer.

    YW

  41. Alex Ice Cream

    The price rise has already generated more problems than it will revenue. It will bring in an extra 4.5m a year. This could be saved by getting rid of some of the dead wood in the squad instead of fleecing supporters. The wage bill at Arsenal – at over 100m is too much and is partly due to the number of players who are not good enough but are still on the payroll. Negotiating better commercial deals would also help. As Yogi says people will react by spending less at the stadium in terms of food, merchandise and programmes. It might even cost Arsenal money when these factors are considered.

    I gave up going to games on a regular basis a while ago . I don’t like the “Emirates Experience” at all. Highbury, North Bank or Clock End and preferably standing sh1ts all over the Emirates in terms of the “Emirates Experience”. We are being fleeced and have been for many years.

  42. @yogi

    The stadium is a mix of supporters and those who go because it is the ‘done’ thing. If that mix gets more lopsided away from supporters, the atmosphere will get worse.

    Do you think the people on the waiting list are not “supporters”, I am not a season ticket holder myself so when my wait ends and I do get hold of a season ticket will I not be a supporter.

    Fact is until attendances started dropping off prices will go up, some people will be priced out but you cannot say that those who can afford won’t give the same level of support or atmosphere

  43. I believe the financial support we each give to the club should be totally linked to the EFFORTS the club makes to achieve success. My problem is that the club is not doing all it can TO IMPROVE OUR CHANCES of winning trophies. At some point towards the beginning of the season, I received a marketing email from Arsenal to personalise my seat, to have my name inscribed on it. Angry that Mr Wenger had only made inadequate token-gesture purchases on the transfer market during the summer, I wrote to the club to tell them I had no intention of spending even more money on my seat when the club wasn’t even investing the money it ALREADY had on better players. I have in addition also stopped buying the programme, beer, burgers, replica shirt etc on match days. When I see Mr Wenger living up to his part of the deal, which is to maximise the chances of us winning a trophy by sorting out , once and for all , the same maddening and repeating inadequacies of the last 4 seasons, I will , once again, give more financial support to the club. But there’s no way that any more of my money than absolutely necessary (i.e. the increased price of a season ticket ) is going into the pockets of players who either aren’t good enough, or don’t care enough, or who aren’t driven enough. If we all withdraw our spending on the merchandising stuff, it will at least send a co-ordinated message that fans expect their hard earned financial support to be invested in better players and more effective defensive coaching. This surely is a reasonable deal between fan and club. WE INVEST IF THE CLUB INVESTS.

  44. As Yogi says people will react by spending less at the stadium in terms of food, merchandise and programmes. It might even cost Arsenal money when these factors are considered

    Seriously?

    Theoretically we can say, spend less on food and merchandise to offset the increase. However in reality once you’ve purchased the ticket that £50 or £60 won’t be noticed. It will be then back to business as usual Shirts, beer, food, we would have completely forgotten about that price rise.

  45. Speaking personally the only contribution I make is my £3.99 a month to ATVO and the excitement and entertainment the club have given me this season is more than value for money. Obviously only one team can win the prem and we have no divine right to; I’m disappointed we didn’t but delighted we challenged and played such amazing football.

  46. A 6.5% ticket rise and TWO new kits.Yes YW a terrible PR disaster

  47. Wengerball,

    I don’t think it will. For example, this season when the kids came I bought them each a programme & something in the ground to eat. That won’t happen next season, it will be 1 programme between three of us and no food in the ground – we’ll take something to eat on the train on the way in.

    As I mentioned on Twitter, I won’t buy myself or the kids 3 home shirts in 3 seasons which is the run we are currently in. If they want one, it will be a birthday or christmas present and knowing those two little horrors, they will not want to forgo their DS or Xbox games to have a home shirt.

    This has a real danger of being a false economy for the club.

    YW

  48. Steww, appreciate the positive take on your support of the club. I wish I could feel the same way. There is no doubting the excitement and entertainment Arsenal provide BUT IT IS NOT ENOUGH, not now, not after 4 years when for the want of sorting out defensive weaknesses, that entertainment could have delivered silverware. We play in competitions to win them . If we just want to entertain, we should withdraw from competitive football, adopt the business model of the Harlem Globetrotters and dazzle the world with our skills and passing. Sorry, I see Barcelona and I do not see whay Arsenal cannot achieve everything they do.

  49. 1 loose cannon

    YW- There is no right or wrong time for a price increase I don’t agree with it and it should not happen, exploring other ways of bringing in money should be the first thing, hitting supporters in their pockets should be the last resort, having said that the club feel they can increase the prices becuase of the demands, it is all about supply and demand. Most certainly they will alienate the real fans who are on lower wages and will be replaced buy the prawn sandwich brigade who can afford it.

  50. steww

    Fair play to you – that is one good thing to come out of yesterday that ATVO will be free for all members from next season. Didn’t mention what the price increase will be but presumably 6.5% higher…

    YW

  51. goonerwinsoon

    Super article dude. It’ll be interesting to see shirts sales figures next season. Both the cost and the frequency in which they change will certainly have adverse effects. Unless we go down the ‘super signing’ route i cant really imagine people will be clamoring for named shirts either. People will be less inclined to get ‘Fabregas’ in case he goes, those that want ‘Van Persie’ will probably already have one, Arshavin will be less popular due to his iffy form and after that we lack the kind of star attraction that will appeal (except mebbe Nasri and Jack). No doubt theyre hoping that by releasing a ‘wacky’ away shirt like that blue thing they’ll be able to make up for a lack of home shirt sales.

    Also-since its an anniversary shirt, does that mean there’ll have to be another one next year?

  52. @yogi
    Re: food and programmes yes the danger of a false economy is there, but as with all business risk is evaluated and I’m sure these problems have been considered.

    I understand the cost when the kids come a long, but how often do they go?

    We’re mostly talking about season tickets like I said once the initial hit has been absorbed by the consumer then spending returns to normal.

    On the issue of shirts, would you have bought another shirt if the designs had not changed? I doubt.

    In that case it’s just a matter of selling stock. More people will buy a new shirt than those who would buy a second “old” shirt. So no danger of money lost there.

    It’s up to you to decide if you want a new one and it’s more likely that you will than if the shirt stayed the same.

  53. Alex Ice Cream

    I think that there is a psychological element to this as well. Many people are frustrated at the lack of success and what they perceive as the lack of investment in the squad and this coupled with the economic downturn has made this price increase even harder to bear. Many people are angry about an increase in price as a concept bearing in mind the circumstances, perhaps even more than the actual rise in price.

  54. Sacre bleu! Il est un cause de moaning des proportions catastrophiques.
    Très grave. Vraiment, le singe est sur la branch. Est le souris? Le souris est sous la table, certainement je pense.

  55. @goonerwinsoon

    Unless I’m missing something I don’t see how a new shirt can have an adverse effect on sales.

    Yes sales might be down on last season, due to affordability or apathy, but sales would be even lower by not having a new shirt. Besides the retail price of the old shirt would have to be lowered if it’s used a second season.

  56. why are people defending the price rise as acceptable? what part of arsenal already making huge profits and not investing them into the team whilst pricing fans out of the stadium sounds acceptable? i dont give a fuck that its standard proceedure in normal business, if arsenal give a shit about the fans they will take the hit for the fans, they wont because they dont. if we were some average team spending a lot of money and unable to make a prorit it would make complete sense. it doesnt because we are the most ezpensive team to watch in world football despite not winning a thing and making huge profits every year. if arsenal took the hit for the fans it would only mean they make 6% less of a MASSIVE PROFIT off us. how can people defend their club doing this????

    arsenal dont need this increase- they •want• this increase. simple as

  57. ..oh et Pearce est une grosse bite

  58. also dont but the new shirt. i havent bought a new shirt in years, i still wear my invincibles yellow away shirt mostly. if people dont want toget screwed by the club make a statement to them by not buying a new shirt every time one is out. i was thinking about getting a name on the back of my shirt and looked at the current squad. now im thinking ill go for kanu or edu instead of our current lot who arent good enough

  59. LimparAssist

    As someone who only gets to 10 – 12 games a season and only has myself to pay for I’m more exicted about the extra 2,000 seats available each home game for red members than I am disappointed about the prices going up.

    If I was paying for little uns to come with me though, I’d be pissed off. Well, in fact, I couldn’t afford it.

    I’ve never bought the fast food in the ground though. It looks like fake plastic food from a kids play shop. The StringRay Cafe is an Italian kitchen opposite the Highbury Barn Tavern that does big plates of pasta for about 6 quid. Or a whole pizza for the same price as a slice of deeppan rubbish in the ground. *This Tip was brought to you from Price Savers*

    steww, ATVO is becoming ArsenalPlayer next season. It will be free to all members (so that’s £3.99 a month we get back I suppose, YW!)

  60. Mange tout. Si le prix est trop élevé, ne vont pas. Simple. Grogne vous mènera nulle part. Regardez AIC. Il est amer et tordu d’une durée de vie des gémissements.

  61. Easy peasy. Ne pas acheter de nouveaux club shirts. Juste porter les très vieux. 1971 ou 79. Acheter des étals. Vous savez que c’est logique.

  62. Manger dans les cafés et de boissons dans les pubs ou l’acheter dans le supermarché. Shop sur les étals. Il est d’autant plus amusant que de manger et de boire dans le sol. Et qui la baise habitude d’aller à la boutique du club dans l’ancien temps. Nul. Les gens n’ont aucune imagination. Il ya tellement plus à jours de match que d’être servi des trucs chers du club.

  63. …ffs

  64. Alex Ice Cream

    Frank,

    The only thing that I am bitter about is watching the likes of ManU, Chelsea and Barscum walking away with all the silverware every season. What is twisted is that a number of players who are not fit to wear the shirt are getting paid millions a year for continual failure and its the people who go to games who subsidise them.

  65. Alex Ice Cream

    Frank,

    I have to agree with you about the shirts drink and food though!

  66. Look if people want a real matchday experience they just have to use a bit of imagination. Don’t buy new kit, buy red and white stuff from stalls. Even better dress up in stupid clothes. Eat and drink in caffs or pubs. Get some music and dancing going on the podium. Or just promenade. Walk to the game along the canal from Camden. Row to the game along the canal from Camden. Swim to the game along the canal from Camden. Get some five a side going in Highbury Fields before the game. Have an Italian meal. Have an Italian. Spook a police horse. If you have a season ticket, share it.

  67. In short re-take the stadium and its environs from the corporates. I don’t want a fucking O2 tent on the podium, I want a trad jazz band, ffs.

  68. I’m in favour of a rise. Get those nasty commoners who make all that noise out of the stadium so better class folks like myself can sit in peace and quiet, moaning when a pass goes astray.

    “I paid for perfection”, I’d call as I left the stadium ten minutes early.

  69. LA

    >If I was paying for little uns to come with me though, I’d be pissed off

    Exactly. Although you might like to put “severely” between “be” and “pissed”

    Yes, the ATVO is free to members – can’t remember what we paid this season but just read that next year it is £36 or £33 by Direct Debit.

    It’s swings and roundabouts as apparently the price of the matchday programme is going up!

    YW

  70. goonerwinsoon

    There is a new kit next year and one the year after.

    YW

  71. Wengerball

    Every time I go, I want to take the kids with me. It’s part of the Arsenal generation thing. I’m talking about prices in general not specifically season tickets.

    Shirts – I’d have probably bought the boys an away top this summer had they not changed either design. Since we’ve gone to The Emirates, I think the new kit will be the fourth in six seasons – it is, is not, taking the piss?

    YW

  72. Being a non-UK resident I don’t go to games myself, but I completely agree with those who think it is a bad idea.

    I wonder why AFC felt they needed to hike prices. Would the club have made a loss of the prices weren’t hiked? So why do it? We’ve been declaring profits for the past few years and our books are as balanced as it gets (with very sustainable debt levels). We are also planning foreign preseason trips that’ll bring in extra revenue and will be able to renegotiate some of our commercial deals in a few years. Why do they need a price increase now?

    Are running costs (wages, etc) expected to increase by so much as to wipe of recent profits? Are we about to go on some buying spree of expensive players? Can the 6.5% increase in ticket prices cover any of these possibilities? Surely there must be some other way to raise funds to match the increased revenue from the ticket hike like e.g. trimming number of playing staff etc?

    It seems to me they only reason that this hike makes sense is simply because they can. They know there are customers that will pay and are eager to take full advantage of it.
    I do wonder why though? Was is the point in trying so hard to keep profit levels so high if there will be no dividends as we are led to believe?
    If we are run sustainably according to Wenger’s vision (no crazy spending), shouldn’t that mean we should be a cheaper club to operate? Shouldn’t that in turn imply lower costs for the fans (compared to other club models )

  73. Alex Ice Cream

    Ryan

    “if arsenal give a shit about the fans”?

    They don’t.

  74. I understand the frustration, but it is simply supply and demand.

    Fans don’t want to pay more, and nobody wants to pay more in any form of business and in buying a product/service. However the majority of frustration around the ground stems from the team not winning a trophy. By keeping ticket prices the same and for the club to bear the costs of the VAT increases and inflation, that is not exactly giving the club more chances of investing in the playing side.

    Fans can’t moan about investment in the team and expect the club to wait around for the funds. The moaning has finally resulted in some action IMO.

  75. Maybe, just maybe… we are plotting a bid for Messi this summer 🙂

  76. Alex Ice Cream

    Hi Chris,

    I can’t see how an extra 4.5m is going to make much difference re transfers. It might pay for Messi’s wages though… for a day

  77. AIC

    It could contribute to a new player or players’ wages. The sounds are from Wenger that he will look to improve the squad like he always tries to, but within his budget. Maybe Kroenke enforced the increase to make things happen and give Wenger a bit more to play with on the wage bill. We all know our player wages are enormous, even in comparison to many of the top European clubs.

    Theres plenty of demand for tickets, so its simply capitalizing on that aspect. As cruel as it is for the loyal supporters who can afford to go to a hatful of games per season, the stadium will still be full without these fans who cannot afford a few games a year.

  78. I think the summer is the key to whether I completely agree with this rise as to me it has to correlate with an investment in a quality player/s so we at least are rewarded for digging deeper or scrimping on other aspects of our lives. At the same time I’m not up in arms about this as my ticket that costs £1250 will now be around £1330. I for example have been meaning to get rid of that sh*tty ESPN coverage that I’m paying a tenner a month for, which now I’ll do. Point is if you can spend a grand (or 4 with kids!) I bet there are other luxuries you currently enjoy that you can do without.

  79. Alex Ice Cream

    Chris,

    True but in the context of the modern game 4.5m is not that much. Getting rid of a player would achieve the same but I take your point.

    I agree that the club are increasing prices simply because they can.

  80. @YW

    Tickets – I can understand the squeeze, but like Chrissgoona said it’s supply and demand. Unfortunate as the timing/PR may be prices will go up as long as demand is being met.
    Nowadays the biggest losers(financially not loser as in failure) are the long standing customer, and non are more loyal than sports fans.

    Shirts – I don’t understand the problem (sorry I’m really not getting it). Isn’t it the same cost? Unless the trouble is not being to get a home and away because of the current 1 year cycle.

  81. Chris
    Supply and demand.Thats bollox.If you dont like Tesco you can go to Sainsburys down the road.Football is different.You cant change you club every season.Arsenal know they have a captive audience.If i give up my season ticket because i cant afford it this year do you think i will be able to buy it next year if the ecomomy improves.No chance i will go to the bottom of the waiting list.Two new shirts in one season and people are forgetting there will be another 2 next year as well.We the fans are being ripped off because we already pay the highest ticket prices already

  82. LimparAssist

    Or you could just hire it out, Kelvin. You might even make money, if you were so inclined. It’s yours forever if you want it. That’s why moving up the waiting list is such a clusterfuck in the first place.

  83. LimparAssist

    Walk along the canal to the game from Camden…. Plan! Excellent idea. Thanks, Frank. I’m doing that.

  84. As much as I understand the frustrations people are expressing, with inflation going up like it is the value of your money is going down all the time. That means that by increasing prices in line with inflation and the VAT increase they are in effect KEEPING PRICES THE SAME. I haven’t seen the proposed figures in detail so it might be that they are misleading everyone with their reasoning behind the change but if they’re correct then in real terms the pre-tax price is EXACTLY THE SAME as last year. What they have been doing is effectively lowering ticket prices for 3 years in a row and can’t do it any more – without most likely sacrificing on player funds (either abandoning planned transfer/wage activity or worse having to reduce transfer/wage spending by selling key personnel). If Tesco keep prices the same while costs increase then the service will decrease. If Arsenal reduce prices in real terms they will become a mid-table team or lower until we find a point where the fans are happy paying for the costs of the team.

  85. I think it is a valid argument for season ticket holders to argue this. Those of us who can only travel to games at certain times do treat it as a luxury but when your buying the season ticket this becomes a budget item like mortgage repayments and is treated as such even though it is a non essential. As for buying the new shirt , am not impressed anyway…I know the history of it but whats next, the cannon sprouting wings and sitting atop a harley davidson..less is more sil vous plait

  86. Steve of Chiang Mai

    I find it hilarious when Arsenal supporters bang on about how Tottenham has a crap ground, and a crap team and haven’t won the premiership in 50 years and then complain cause our tickets are dearer. I had the privilege of attending my one and only Arsenal game last year when I visited my son in UK. What a dream – we sat in a great stadium in a great spot – had a great view and loved the atmosphere. Cant comment on the atmosphere comparison as I have never been there, but I did hear the Blackpool supporters, who were getting a 0-6 thrashing singing “we dont want to go home” – maybe some home supporters could take a leaf out of their book and make a bit more noise…..they were significantly louder than the home support who were winning and outnumbered them probably 10-1!

    Thailand has the games on TV albeit in Thai (although that can be fun every time “Super save” emerges from the stream of Thai) but I guess there are stacks of Arsenal supporters who wish they had a season ticket especially those who struggle with dodgy streams week in week out. And regarding the shirts – do you have to buy one every year?

    The other question is do you really want to take little ones to the Emirates to hear them sing the Evra song?

  87. Wengerball

    Gonna have to go with Kelvin – perhaps not so vehemently – on the subject of supply and demand.

    YW

  88. Dan

    Except when average wage rises are not keeping up with inflation then the real term cost is that tickets become more expensive. If they can’t lower prices, something is wrong with the business model. They do next to nothing to encourage families in – the cost of junior tickets are dearer than a full paying adult in the majority of professional clubs in Europe – and this is a fundamental problem football faces.

    Arsenal are complacent. They believe the 40k waiting list gives them insurance against people not renewing but that is only for a limited time. There will be those on the waiting list who do not renew.

    As for transfer fees, it is at best a spurious argument. This price rise is going to give them £4.5m for the season. I know Wenger has signed gems on the cheap beforehand but to suggest that he’s going to make a significant investment for that money is to live in cuckooland.

    YW

  89. Kitchen Sink

    cream..

  90. Kitchen Sink

  91. Lord, some of you guys certainly know how to kill football

  92. Thanks, KS. Obviously AR’s game on Sunday wasn’t perfect technically, but there’s a lot to like about that tenacity. Will he start on Sunday though?

    TV will surely be back for that one.

  93. I can say also I won’t be getting the new shirt. I find the design silly and pointless. The Highbury shirt was a nice move, and I don’t regret for one second getting that shirt. I can see why many supporters get agitated on such moves by the club. The fact of the matter is, everyone has their budget so you can choose what to tick off your ‘must get’ list.

    Every season when there is a new shirt I evaluate whether I really want that shirt as half the time Nike screws us over. It all depends on funds at that moment in time too. To many fans Arsenal is just a luxury item. Arsenal are just cashing in without trying to screw all the fans over completely. It is a business at the end of the day. As much as we love our club, Kroenke will be looking out for it financially more than the success we see on the pitch. Any owner of any business needs to cover their costs 1st.

  94. Yogi:

    Horrible PR move from the club. Fans were promised that financing the new stadium would not affect our performance on the pitch. LOL. Fans were promised that the revenue generated from the new stadium would be invested in the club and we would compete with the biggest clubs in Europe to bring in players. Instead we end up increasing club revenue by making profits in the transfer market. Highest ticket prices in the world. The idea that all the fans who are frustrated with what APPEARS to be happening are bad fans does not hold water.

    “Fail to win a trophy next season and the cacophony will be unbearable. It is a problem of their own making and one that requires a quick solution. ”

    I agree with that statement. Not sure if this is is what you are implying, but while spending money for players is no guarantee, its mental to think that we could not at least improve our chances to win some silverware with investments in a 2 – 3 new players.

  95. Typical cry baby Arsenal fans who implore Arsene to spend money on certa
    in top players who they,the know all fans think, are suitable to play for the
    club,but whinge when season ticket prices are increased,so how does the club
    buy the players and pay the huge wages the players demand if ticket prices
    aren,t increased ,slightly?

  96. I did chuckle when I read the Barça players complaining that Real had left the grass dry and long, especially with the away trip we’ve got coming up. It makes you wonder about that whole Messi and a “cold night in Stoke” thing. I’d be interested to see how Barcelona would fare at the Britannia stadium.

    Stoke’s pitch is an absolute joke, both in terms of the length of the turf, and dimensions – it’s the smallest in the country so they can get the most out of long-balls and that rat-looking inbred’s freak throws. Try playing Mascherano as your CB there, or having Biscuits as your team’s hardman – see how far that gets you.

  97. Ugh, I can see both sides of this argument. It’s understandable that people are pissed about the rise in prices. It is also unfortunate the top flight football is not about the supporters anymore and hasn’t been for some time: it is a business, pure and simple. There isn’t a club at the top of the PL that can really claim the high ground on this issue. This is just the way the “modern” game has gone. Nothing short of open revolt or revolution seems capable of fixing this is my cynical take on it.
    Bill, I must agree to disagree with one statement you make above re: “fans were promised that financing the new stadium would not affect our performance on the pitch.” Yes, definitely laugh out loud at that but what sort of “fan” could possibly believe a statement like that from the club? Anyone who promises results doesn’t know what they are talking about and anyone who believes such a promise is deluding themselves. I’m not trying to single you out, unfortunately there seem to be quite a few people who expect results. I would argue that results should never be expected, that this is part and parcel of what makes football such a marvelous and frustrating sport, and that it is precisely the expectation of results that leads to moaning.

  98. The fundamental point about the 40k waiting list is that prices can be raised (and could be raised a lot more than they have currently done) and they could still sell every season ticket. This is not the same as being complacent. In order to maintain the waiting list and continue to increase support they could do one of two things.
    1) As you suggest, making junior tickets cheaper, therefore encouraging younger fans into the club.
    2) Be successful as success generates fans of all ages (look at United).
    I would happily accept the point they aren’t exactly doing either of these particularly well at the moment, but at least by increasing/maintaining ticket prices they look to be following the latter approach. I’d like your opinion on what the health of the club would be like if we were to keep ticket prices the same, risking a lack of success. Maybe the price rise is only £4.5 million, but how many times have we been less than £4.5 million away from the asking price of a player who might have made a real difference?

  99. YW i cant access the site on the google chrome browser which means i cant log in here often as i’d like. Is anyone else having the same issues?

  100. Alex Ice Cream

    Yogi,

    I totally agree. For the price to be the same as Dan says, it assumes that people’s wages have risen in line with inflation. Most people’s wages haven’t, some have had wage cuts and other may have lost their jobs. This does not take the 2.5% VAT increase into account. Many people have not had a wage rise of 6.5% so Dan’s argument is flawed.

    It is complacency as the board know that we have a huge waiting list. To put this extra buden on supporters at this time for £4.5m show the board up for the utter misers that they are.

  101. To be fair Big Al, I remember when Highbury was the smallest pitch in the league.

    I also remember going to Highbury every Saturday without a season ticket and always getting in.

    Times have changed. I agree with Frank this this is a boring subject.

    The last Arsenal shirt I bought was a 197o home job. I bought that in 1970.

    Good buy. I had long hair, was skinny and all my mates called me Charlie.

  102. Alex,

    Don’t say such things.
    For people who haven’t gotten the proper pay rises or none at all the last few years in this economy should just quit and go find a better job.
    Since it is as simple as that.
    Moaning about Arsenal is bad enough. Moaning about the economy is traitorous and leads to the fall of governments and society.

  103. It cannot be a good idea if the faithful are not able to afford whats going on.

    To equate football tickets to a simple supply and demand makes the team look terrible.
    So what CG is saying is that the board, etc are saying, “people will pay no matter what and if some cant afford it then people with more money will take their places”. In essence as has been said they dont care about the supporter but only about the amount of money they can get from them. I hope that is not true!

    I also dont agree with the notion that “it is a luxury, so dont pay”, because what you are doing is slapping the face of many people who have gone and supported throughout the years.

    I am not with this “we havent won things for years” though. That is not the point because people will still be priced out even if Arsenal win every year.

    The problem with big business is that if you dont make as much money as last year, you lost even if you made a huge profit still. Therefore someone will have to make it up if any short fall may happen and that is always the customer.

  104. I would like to bring back pissing in the pocket of the bloke in front of you on the terraces. Modern conveniences make me sick what with their orderly queues, flush toilets and, would you believe, wash basins. People clean ’em as well. Who would have thought it, hey? And really we don’t need them, you know.

  105. OneOfUs, I’d pay money to see Barca at Stoke. The confusion alone would be priceless.

    Wonder if teams in La Liga invite local farmers to ploughing contests on their pitch a few days before Braca are due, like half the teams in England do for us.

  106. AIC

    For every Arsenal fan that can’t afford the 6.5% increase there is another 2 or 3 willing to pay for that increased fee.

    That is the scenario the board and owner faces… With Inflation, a VAT increase, and how many years without a significant rise means this was overdue. The club must have known a large section of paying customers wouldn’t have agreed with it, I think they were willing to take the risk after seeing the kind of home support we received this season.

    The moans and groans demonstrate that fans want more. Now everyone must pay more. As frustrating as it may be for some, some may not go to a game again, some may not renew, and some may reduce the number of games they go to… the stadium will be full come august however.

  107. Firstlady

    I’ve just looked at the site via Chrome – loaded ok.

    Not sure why I answered that actually. If you can’t log in, you can’t see the answer…

    YW

  108. Kris

    £4.5m is not close to signing a player, for most it’s 50% or more away. That’s a bit like saying Cesc was close to signing for Barcelona because they were only £15m away from Arsenal’s valuation.

    Season Ticket Rise does not equate to new signings. Arsenal have made that clear. I thought I had as well. Obviously not.

    YW

  109. Paul N

    There is a balance that must be struck in every decision the club makes. Primarily a football club is a business, it is not funded by the supporters but a large part of the revenues come from the pockets of the supporters. Supporters are loyal customers who like to be treated accordingly. The problem we face is we want the club to go to new levels but we want them to continually cater to the local and loyal fans who make the club what it is. It is a seriously hard task to satisfy all in the speed in which we have moved over the last decade.

  110. CG, you believe there is a relationship to prices going up and the demand for silverware from the supporters or are you just using that as a justification?

  111. YW

    Earning an extra £4.5m over the course of a season will be a huge factor in being able to pay for a new signings wages.

    What is the average wage a player earns, 1st teamer?

  112. CG, I believe the team is good enough as we are but I leave it to Wenger to make that decision but if the ticket prices are already the highest in the country then what are we really saying?

    Do we need SK to inject some money so that prices dont continue to go up?

    I am on the side of the paying pubic and especially those who would love to go (with families also) but find it difficult to do so. Now I do understand that all cannot go but surely we cannot have only a certian sector of society being able to afford while others are out in the cold?

    Yes it is business and as I said, a loss is not making as many millions as you did last year not that you actually did lose.

  113. Don’t we want a club that is self sustaining? Isn’t that one of our claims to being better than the chavs and mancs?

  114. LimparAssist

    Excellent, KS. Vermaelen looks more than ready to me. Flying around like the good old days. There’s your new centreback. Let’s unleash him on Stoke. Kos can help him find his feet.

  115. Yep. I am looking forward to seeing TV again too.

  116. For real TV looked great in that vid, always composed.

    Arsenal will have the best defense next season.

  117. Gainsbourg69

    Alex Ice Cream: “The only thing that I am bitter about is watching the likes of ManU, Chelsea and Barscum walking away with all the silverware every season. What is twisted is that a number of players who are not fit to wear the shirt are getting paid millions a year for continual failure and its the people who go to games who subsidise them.”

    What a moaning little bitch you are. Did you watch Barscum diving around the Nou Camp yesterday? It’s quite telling that you envy those pricks. Chelsea and Manure have bought their titles for the past five or six seasons. Even if we had the big name players your ilk craves you’d still complain about subsidizing them if we didn’t win things.

  118. LimparAssist

    Hi Frank. Really looking forward to next Sunday now. Taking you up on that Regent’s canal route. Sunshine, riverbanks, Arsenal shirts (some old, some new, some borrowed…), red & white napsack full of sandwiches, plenty of cold ones… It’ll be like Wind in the Willows only with more to drink and bluer songs. Recommend us any pubs to stop at?
    Or secret underground free-jazz speakeasies for after?

  119. LimparAssist

    Or Jerome K Jerome… hold on, doesn’t he play for the Under-17s?

  120. I remember some dodgy underground places in Brixton…not jazz though.

  121. Gainsbourg69

    Bill: ”

    Horrible PR move from the club. Fans were promised that financing the new stadium would not affect our performance on the pitch. LOL. Fans were promised that the revenue generated from the new stadium would be invested in the club and we would compete with the biggest clubs in Europe to bring in players. Instead we end up increasing club revenue by making profits in the transfer market. Highest ticket prices in the world. The idea that all the fans who are frustrated with what APPEARS to be happening are bad fans does not hold water.”

    If you act like a customer, instead of being a supporter, don’t get mad when the club actually starts treating you like one.

  122. Paul N

    That was the point I was making. A certain section of the support has made the link between ticket prices and signings / success. That relationship does not exist but is fast becoming part of the psyche so it is something that will be brought up to beat the club with. It’s their own fault.

    YW

  123. Why are people sow pissed off? Good brands cost money. Arsenal are the Louis Vittouns of footy. They can charge absurd money and still sell tickets. It’s not a charity project. It’s a business enterprise. If people think them to xpensive they stop buy and they will lower the prices to get people back. But until that you either pay or do something els. If arsenal wants to invest money they do, If they want to take out profit they do. It’s the owners right as in investors to do that. You seriousley cannot complain on a prices of a entertainment commodity like that! People other places struggle to buy bread and you complain cos “your favourite entertainment” has become more expensive? Ints no fucking human right to go watch arsenal. Not even for a 3rd generation arsenal fan. If you cannot afford it, don’t go, if you are pissed off with the club, drop using ur money on it. That’s simply how it is when you cheer for one of the most popular brands on football. Supply and demandy friends, supply and demand. Elementary economics really.

  124. Has Arsenal said what it’s trying to achieve financially with the price increase? To meet these undefined goals, too, has the club implemented a salary freeze? Salary cuts? Employee downsizing? There do come points in time where price increases do cause revenue to decline, whether it be through fewer ticket sales or through fewer sales of concessions/gifts, the latter due to less available cash from higher ticket sales or from simply being pissed off generally. Anyway, I wonder what the club needs the extra money for because even with an increase to wages for next year, the operating profit of the club is still very healthy and still more than enough to service the Emirates mortgage debt.

  125. Someone just showed me how the table would look if every shot that hit the bar this season was a goal. Anyone seen this? We were top with 86 points. Utterly pointless exercise on the part of whoever did it, but interesting nonetheless I thought.

    I’d say it’s about right too. There was a point earlier in the season when we were just knocking seven shades out of the woodwork.

  126. I would hope all those saying it is perfectly fine to have the highest ticket prices and if you are priced out, stop moaning and whining, just shut up and don’t go, are not ones that complain about a quiet crowd or poor fan support at the games.

    If it is simple economics and the way things are for a top club, well then those are the way things are when rich people pay to see a “show”, they want the best and if a tenor’s voice sucks at the opera… they boo, hiss or walk out because they aren’t getting their money’s worth.

    Tickets to the Emirates are just going to be tickets to any other highbrow social scene event in London. See and be seen. Tell your friends how you ‘caught some of the match’ on your way to dinner.

    You don’t just get what you paid for, you get those who can pay for it… and the higher the prices go as wages stagnate and the rest of the economy bites into peoples budgets, then most are going to be mostly over priviledged persons who can afford it. So don’t expect them to get hoarse screaming or tire their leg muscles standing for too long.

  127. YW, I completely agree that the balance of the ticket structure needs to be changed to do more to encourage younger supporters to attend. While the Arsenal “brand” can currently be sold around the world because of our style it is the loyal support with a real affinity with the club (don’t have to live in N5 or N7 to have that but a large proportion will have been to a game a some point – probably before their 18th birthday) that will hold it up when one day the going is not so good.

    What makes me so proud about Arsenal has always been our longevity. Winning a title in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s is a massive achievement and if we want to be strong past 2020 we need to embrace what has made us so strong for so long. I like to hear the board talk of custodianship and being a family club but that needs to run through everything we do; not just be choice phraseology to create brand value.

    I know that it’s a frustrating time for Gooners everywhere and it’s a testing time for 90% of UK citizens (and most of the world) however I do feel that we need to put the discussion in perspective. The question we should be asking is not “Why are Arsenal putting up their prices?” but instead “Could Arsenal further reduce their real prices to continue to support their fans whilst disposable income continues to drop for the average household?” The answer may be yes but people should realize that they’re looking for Arsenal to drop their real prices because the fans are becoming poorer.

    On transfer fees: No, £4.5m is not going to be enough to sign the experience we currently need (unless Arsene pulls off one of his signature captures) but it is still £4.5m. £4,500,000! Even if that is all invested in the football side of the club (rather, say, than using it to avoid sacking stewards, care assistants, etc) that could be Samir Nasri’s contract renewal. Or if we bring someone new in it could be their contract. And while we would all love to think that every Arsenal player is a diehard Gooner from birth (and we could do with a couple more who have been at Arsenal since they were 9 like Jack, Henri, etc) most will think seriously about how much more they could get elsewhere before signing. If we want the best that comes at a cost (in some form or another). People criticize Arsene for not spending but if a 6.5% increase equates to £4.5 imagine the impact of signing a £20m player every summer. Or doing a Real Madrid!

    The good thing is that it should be open to debate and this can be the right type of vehicle for that discussion.

  128. G69 at 4:58pm:
    Best comment of the day! It doesn’t matter who it is directed at! You hit the nail on the head! Brilliant!

  129. I don’t believe this. Does nobody remember that VAT went Down to 15% a while back? They managed to absorb that though didn’t they?

  130. Busch,
    Excellent point about Arsenal being just another highbrow scene in London. You raise an interesting point, one that has been discussed in a book I recently read called Soccernomics. The fact: No team from the capital city of a democratic country has won the Champions League (the book argues that Real Madrid still benefit from the support from the Franco regime, thus negating them as an example in this case). The premise: in the capital city of democratic countries there are too many things going on, too many people who don’t really care about the football teams in the city, to really help their teams along. UCL winning teams are usually teams from provincial capitals whose inhabitants are far, far more involved in the success or failure of their teams, and thus winning has a much larger impact on the teams. It is an interesting point to note!

  131. GrisGris,

    I know this is an imperfect comparison, but I think back to the Yankees in MLB who when they built their new stadium thought they had a brand that could charge anything they wanted in one of the richest cities around. (most of the Yankees money comes from their local TV deal and not from their grounds, so they were really trying to pad the coffers)
    On opening day, a day which even in the smallest markets usually do well if not sell out, they had lots of empty seats because they tried to sell the best seats at $2,500 a pop, and other not much cheaper.
    $2,500 for 1 seat for 1 game.
    Well, after awhile of many empty seats and bad press, they cut them in half (and I think even lowered them more later).

    I guess the only way that really fits with this story is I’m not too keen on the attitude of “tough luck if you can’t afford it” from some fans. Saying that if you want the ability to see a game, start saving up or take from your kids university fund, because there shouldn’t be a ceiling on what Arsenal charge since there will always be a demand.

  132. take a bow yogi..
    quality post..

    ive got a funny feeling this isnt going to go down well…the knives will be out, as well as the black scarfes…

    the club are shooting themselves in the foot, ive said this many times before but the atmosphere in the stadium is going to be more and more redundant as the club continues to attract customers…

  133. Good point about the new black scarves movement. While I’m against the scattergun approach of the planned march/ protest/demonstration/ gathering or whatever it will end up being, making this announcement when the next home game is the one they have scheduled for their appearance is surely just adding fuel to their fire

  134. Wow united must feel sure the ref is on their side tonite. 9 changer and so many nublettes.

  135. Man U throwing out their B team. It would be really funny if they got burned.

    G69 @ 4:58:

    Have to give you credit. That was a good one. Does not change anything but touche’ nonetheless.

  136. C’mon Raul, you legend!!

  137. I guess I can see the association with Indesit, they’ll be able to rinse the fans better for shirts……. did I put those words in the wrong order?

  138. Great fun to see what Fergie would do if Schalke got an early goal.

  139. for a club that announced 60mil profit after the 2010 campaign it is an absolute scandal that it wishes to fleece its own fans for another measly 4.5 mil..

    its a total kick in the nuts, they think we must have come down with the last drop of rain…

    whilst its true that this has no direct correlation to transfers – we have to remember that this is a club that makes a profit on transfers…
    it takes the piss that a club who makes profits on transfers, qualifies for cl every season, gets a huge share of the broadcasting rights ever year, and has already the highest prices for tickets, decides they need to raise the prices some more…

    how much profit do they want???

    football is a business, but if this business decides it cant do without another 4.5mil from its own fans then its a business that is badly run…and badly out of touch with its own support..

  140. Billboy at 5.49pm,

    Arsenal did not absorb the VAT drop, matchday ticket prices dropped. Season ticket holders did not get any benefit as VAT is charged at point of sale. By the same token, season ticket holders were not penalised mid-season when the VAT rises happened.

    YW

  141. Shalcke don’t look very lively at all. As it is now uniteds 4th team would have no prob beating them. What a shame

  142. Bummer. Thought this might come to something. Game over now.

  143. It’s mad how united has the depth to swap 9 players in the cl semi and win while we struggle when we do the same.

  144. Gris Gris

    Sorry to wreck a book on the basis of one wholly inaccurate fact: Two clubs based in capital cities have won the Champions League.

    The first Champions League was 1994/95. Won by Ajax of Amsterdam. Real Madrid have won it 3 times.

    Now your book claims that Ream benefit from the Franco regime? Franco died in 1975, Spain became a democracy in 1978. Since then the right and left wing have swapped power. Franco’s benevolence has long since evaporated from Madrid’s footballing prowess.

    One question – if the distractions are that great, no club from the capital would reach the final. Four teams have reached the finals and lost.

    YW

  145. Only 3 more goals and Schalke are through!

  146. lol @ pail N.

    You think?

  147. Hah if united tackle like that against Barca they will get atleast 2 red cards

  148. I also wonder that we seem linked to Nueur, the schalke 04 keeper. is he not about the dame age as fabianski? for all our goalkeeping crises this season, we have conceded 3 goals less that them!

  149. LOL. sat the following on the bbc chat

    NathanJBright on Twitter: “Gibson is the new Iniesta… Neuer the new Massimo Taibi.”

  150. sat = saw

  151. How did Schalke get this far?

  152. @ bill. Its worth marveling over indeed

  153. Shalcke must be the worst semifinslist ever

  154. No worries, YW, it’s an excellent book and I won’t let your rebuttal ruin it for me! There is quite a lot in there that is really interesting as its written by a journalist and an economist who use statistics (social and economic) to explain things like why England are actually overachieving internationally, what country has the most mad sporting culture, and why the myth of the “hardcore” fan in England keeps getting perpetuated.
    The book makes two points that both speak to your post, which I did not flesh out in my earlier post due to laziness. Firstly they argue that because the government, the Queen, and the foreign embassies are all in The Hague and not Amsterdam the former is really the seat of capital and Amsterdam is only “nominally” the capital (There is actually a football club in Den Haag, it turns out). The second point made in the book is about Madrid and I quote (I’ve got it up on my kindle as a matter of fact!): “it (Madrid) had built its mammoth stadium, brand, and support in the days when Madrid was the capital of a dictatorship. Spain may have gone social democratic, but Real’s players still enter the Santiago Bernabeu in those white “meringue” shirts as if it were 1955. The clubs global standing is a relic of the fascist era.”
    What I found most interesting, despite the qualifications needed to excuse RM and Ajax from the list, is that no teams from Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, or Bonn (pre-unification) have ever won the Champions League. That is an awful lot of quality that hasn’t done it. Yes, making it to the final sure is tough but that none of the capital teams have won it still seems interesting to me.

  155. LA, try starting at The Engineer in Chalk Farm and walk along to Camden Lock. There is a jazz cafe there. I used to go to Dingwalls at lunch time for years. Maybe try the Unicorn in Brecknock Road. Walk up to Caledonian Road along the canal or to Upper Street and just see what you can find, there are several pubs on the way. Actually if you keep going a bit you can get out at The Eagle, my grandfathers old haunt. You know ‘up and down the City Road in and out The Eagle, thats the way the money goes…’ He used to hock his suit every week to pay the rent. But thats too far for the Arsenal. Caledonian Road or Upper Street are best. So many ways to enjoy match days. Good luck.

  156. Gris Gris

    The winners don’t just come from provincial capitals but they all have one thing in common. Without fail, all winners of the Champions League from outside of the capital city – let’s not argue with facts(!) – are based in the north of their country. United, Barcelona, Dortmund, Porto, Milan, Internazionale, Juventus, Liverpool – all Northern clubs. Why is that? Coincidence or Southern Jessies?

    YW

  157. YW,

    LOL! Southern Jessies, has to be!

  158. Bill
    They won their group and got good draws unlike Wenger who true away winning our group after we won our first 3 games and we ended up getting drawn against the best team in the world.Does that explain it for you?

  159. Yogi.

    Best post in six years.

  160. How to deal with the worst home atmosphere….yep raise prices and drive the working class fan further out.

    cunts. lets just fill the whole ground with hooray fukin henry’s.

  161. YW, iep it is a PR disaster and the reasoning behind the rise could be well intentioned and it would still be unwise, IMO. Another freeze (although I am sure I have been paying more for games, home and away this season compare to last?) should have been theway to go. At least for one season.

    Not good and the home support is getting worse and that was before this rise, so fuk knows what it’ll be like next season. I guess the players will have to promise a trophy or 4!

  162. Jon ~~ We would have met Barca in the next round anyway so not much difference.

  163. Superb Post YW

    And Gazidis has come out and said it will price out the ordinary fans.Does this guy think before he speaks.But dont worry the seats will be filled by Yuppies who still think Henry plays for us.Emirate=Alton towers for football fans

  164. YW,
    Always read hardly comment as we sit on different sides of the fence but this today is one of the best articles I’ve read on the Increase, Cannot beleive some are trying to justify it
    The argument about waiting lists will soon be played put in front of the fanbase that’s for sure,

    There’s a saying I’ve always liked which is
    There’s only so many times you can kick a dog before it finally gets up and fucks of

    I hope for Arsenal this is not the last kick of that dog,

  165. Have you got your flak jacket and wooly hat yet Chippy?

  166. Hey Dexter,
    How’s tricks.

    More a Smoking jacket and deerstalker man 😉

  167. “Yogi.

    Best post in six years.”

    You should quit while you are ahead!

  168. Fans at the Emirates in a few seasons of more prices rises:

  169. skywatchingmug

    I’m just waiting for the letter. Then I’ve got 14 days to deiced.

  170. Like your style Chippy! Ha! I’m good thanks mate. Still smarting ove the Bolton loss, but buoyed by the win on Sunday! I’ll look out for you in your outfit at the Villa game then! Can’t be that many deerstalkers knocking about? 😀

  171. sell us a new shirt every year then take the fucker off our backs.

  172. Gainsbourg69

    I think it’s hillarious that people who regularly advocate for money to be spent next season complain about ticket prices. See, boys, it’s a completely different ball game when it’s your money, isn’t it?

    For the doomers who complain about the club’s ambition and about ticket prices, where’s your ambition? How come you’re not a high flying jet setter who lives a life where money doesn’t matter? Shouldn’t your ambition drive you to get a job that makes you millions?

    Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

    If I lived in England and was priced out of the Emirates I’d go watch the reserves and go to the Carling cup games exclusively. I’d boycott the Emirates and not accept a seat in the nosebleed section as you’re guaranteed the yuppies won’t want to sit there either. And the atmosphere in the stadium isn’t shit because of the yuppies. They are silent most of the time. It’s shit because of the working class louts who yell shit at our players thinking it somehow motivates them. I mean, the away fans are working class as well and they support as if their lives depended on it.

  173. the club are selling their brand
    ‘arsenal play great football, i want a season ticket at the emirates’
    all well and good..but these ppl dont support arsenal, they are there to watch the football…but what happens when we have an off day and the footballs flat??
    you get the atmosphere of a snooker match…cos they are only there to watch something happen..they are there to be entertained..souless ppl..

    all the ppl with passion are sat at home or watching it in the pub, screaming at their tellies instead cos they cant afford to get themselves or their families in…

    and to make it worse they have to sit and watch their team on tv and look at all the empty seats in the ground…those supporters could be there, they could fill that stadium properly..but the club wont let them cos its all about the profits..

    fuck the fans, show me the money mr customer…

  174. Dexter,
    The Bolton loss wasn’t as bad as the points dropped at home against Sunderland and Blackburn for me they hurt more in the sense of we really should have got max points in them as Bolton always give us a game and they were smarting after that cup tonking!! Great performance against the Mancs mind and put me in a happy place 🙂

    No copying my style now Dexter there can be only one deerstalker on display 😉 Got to go fella look after yourself and be lucky !! Here’s to 3 points against the Pulis and his hackers,

  175. Nice one Chippy, you too mate.

  176. Oh, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth

  177. G69,

    If the club spent money then we could understand a price hike, but they dont, they spend the money from player sales.

  178. thats a ridiculous comment gains…
    you dont get it do you…

  179. you eating your dinner frank.

  180. JJ

    Arsenal fans with passion? You referring to youelf again mate??? 😀

    I think there are loads of passionate Gooners at the ground, unfortunately they are sat in the midstof those who can’t be arsed to support the team and will only bother if a goal is scored. Why is that? My guess is that there are quite a number who when we moved got themselves season tickets and simply expected regular trophies as there had been previously. As that hasnt occurred they have simply become more frustrated, angry and would rather sit and moan at every misplaced pass ad get on the backs of certain payers. The ground will soon be just like an away ground for Arsenal! The fact the tickets cost so much, makes the lack of a trophy all the more harder to take for them. I think that last bit is understandable though, make the tickets cheaper i say!

  181. thats just it duke..
    this club makes profits everywhere…
    they dont need this money if anything they should be spending it…

    we are a self sustaining model…’spend what you make’..thats all well and good…but we make shit loads and we spend fuck all so why are we being charged more??? whats it for??
    wasnt the 60mil we made last year enough…

  182. Man, in our country we’d kill for a stadium like that, never mind the prices. I’d guarantee full capacity every match.

  183. dexter of course you are right
    there is still lots of passionate in the ground..
    but you’ll know yourself that the numbers of spectators are increasing…the ppl who leave early the ppl who dont turn up, the ppl who tell you to shut up cos theyve got themselves confused with watching a chess match instead of a football match..

  184. JJ and Duke;

    Have you seen the rider Perry groves gets every time he does a legends tour?

    Krystal champagne, high class hookers, fruit bowls filled with Bolivian marching powder, blue M&Ms. Someone’s got to pay for it all!

  185. Oh, I’d rather use the time to call Stuart pearce a fucking moronic, semi-literate done nothing useless clogger of a coach!

  186. Bolivian marching powder. lol.

  187. pearce is a twat..
    and if jack goes i hope we get knocked out in the group stages..

  188. Whats he going to learn out there…How to get knocked out of a tournament.

  189. i bet rambos rubbing his hands though..
    if jack goes and he gets an extended holiday..aarons got his spot..

  190. Yep, Pearce will teach him how to get in the faces of the opposition, and how to shake hands like a man and be gracious in defeat. He culd learn that last bit at Arsenal!!

    Ramsey will be nice and ready for the season for sure, along with Vermealen and all the world class players we are bound to sign with the extra $ and a half mill!

  191. *4 and a half mill even

  192. Now Sir Trev Brooking has waded into the Wilshere call up storm in a tea cup debacle fiasco shenanigans. Can someone tell me whether or not the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and co were playing for the U21s at the same time as playing for the senior Spain team please? Coz they all keep wittering on about the doing that as a reason for it being OK for jack to do likewise.

    While you are getting that info and posting it, I will spend the time sleeping. have it here no later than 11am tomorrow please. Thanks in advance.

  193. Big Al 3.01pm : rat-faced inbred..nice! Be interesting to see, if Rambo plays, whether the home ‘fans’ jeer / abuse him. “There’s only one Ryan Shawcross” [Praise the Lord!] was bad enough. Man, i dislike some teams, but truly have hatred for Pubis and his freaks.

  194. Gainsbourg69

    dukeGoonem:

    “If the club spent money then we could understand a price hike, but they dont, they spend the money from player sales.”

    That’s not the issue. The issue is that some people talk about buying such and such player for fifteen million pounds as if the club plucks money off a little money tree they’ve got planted out behind the Emirates. But when it’s their turn to cough up a few hundred pounds extra a year they cry bloody murder. See, they’re massive spend thrifts when it’s other people’s money but when it comes to themselves they’re more austere than the Tories.

    jonjon: “thats a ridiculous comment gains…
    you dont get it do you…”

    I do get it jonjon. The club is shooting itself in the ass by raising prices during an economic downturn and everyone is feeling the pinch. I took this opportunity to remind the buy now, buy big brigade and the anti-Wenger crowd that money doesn’t fall from the sky. Imagine how much higher ticket prices would be if it weren’t for project youth and all the other ways in which Arsene keeps spending to a minimum.

  195. “I think it’s hillarious that people who regularly advocate for money to be spent next season complain about ticket prices. See, boys, it’s a completely different ball game when it’s your money, isn’t it?”

    Good point.

    When you buy your ticket it does not come with any guarantee regarding trophies. But what you do get for your money at Arsenal is top class football and a team which competes at the highest levels. You could pay less and watch some boring sh*t week after week with the highlight of the season being taking a point off a top team!

  196. On a day the Mancs only increased their tickets by £1-00 and indeed reduced their Junior priced tickets, it makes what the board have done all the more insulting.

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