Club plans to introduce a new ticket price for teenagers next season is being seen as a major step towards bridging the void between Arsenal’s back-room hierarchy and the fans.
Discontent has rumbled through the Emirates for a few seasons now and this is largely down to the fact we have the highest season ticket prices in European football yet see little investment returned to the pitch.
There are increasing numbers of empty seats at home games – a fine example being our 0-0 draw with Everton – and while our away following remains fantastic there are gaps in our fan base that cannot be filled.
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Young kids and teenagers are the biggest losers from our ridiculous pricing policy, for most parents struggle to afford one ticket for themselves as it is.
Arsenal announced last weekend that 800 to 1000 tickets for teenagers would go on sale for certain games next year, priced at £10. The move has stunned Gunners in the football betting world, for it will reportedly cost Arsenal £400,000 in lost revenue.
How shocking it is that the board have chosen to do something that will lose them money for the benefit of the fans.
Granted, this act of charity is not exactly going to turn the Emirates into an atmospheric cauldron overnight, and the club also announced in January they’d freeze prices for next season, but what it will do is give those people who otherwise cannot get to games the chance to see their team.
Growing the fan base should be the board’s top priority alongside winning trophies, for both generate greater revenue through merchandising. Maybe what this lot have realised is that if the team underperforms because of poor investment then fair weather fans will turn away.
It may sound ridiculous to diehards but for some there just isn’t a viable way of stumping up around £35 for a game, especially if you’re a teenager.
Hopefully this move could inspire the younger generation not only to watch Arsenal on Match of the Day or listen to them on live football commentary but actually become a fan, contribute to the atmosphere and be a Gooner.
That is what this club needs if the fan base is to survive in three or four decades time and it is reassuring to see we are finally heading in the right direction.