Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended the high ticket prices at the Emirates, stating that the club offers value for money and that in fact the prices could be higher than they currently are (via the Standard). The Frenchman was asked this question during yesterday’s meeting of the club shareholders, and while admitting football was getting more and more expensive, he compared it to similar rises in rugby tickets as well.
The BBC recently conducted it’s annual survey of prices in domestic football, and the results were as expected. Arsenal fans pay by far the most compared to any other team in the Premier League (via BBC). Our minimum price for a season ticket is over £1000, while most other clubs including Chelsea and Tottenham sell theirs for closer to the £700 mark. Similarly, Arsenal fans might have to pay up to £97 for a Tier A game, which is much higher on average when compared to other teams.
Wenger had this to say, “It is my job to [offer value for money]. Overall I feel that we have made a conscious effort in our board meetings to block the increase of our tickets and in seven of the past 10 years we have not increased our prices.
“Overall there is a desire on our board to stabilise and make the tickets more affordable for people.
“Is football more expensive? Yes, but Saturday or Sunday if you want to go to rugby you will see the tickets are expensive there as well. It is maybe part of professionalism and a modern society.”
While there is nothing wrong with the manager’s arguments, it is certainly curious how the other London clubs can afford to charge their fans less. Also, the main problem remains that while Arsenal fans are willing to pay to watch the team, they also expect their money to be invested in developing the squad rather than sitting around in a bank.