This is so typical of Arsenal. No, I’m not referring to matters on the pitch. Although, in that respect, it is also typical of Arsenal. What I mean is the potential increase in the price for match tickets next season.
I will make this clear. I was not born in the London or England for that matter. I have never step foot on that country let alone the hollowed steps of Highbury or the Grove. I won’t pretend like I have because that is disrespectful to those fans who do. I’m from a foreign land who happens to fall in love with Arsenal and follow them passionately.
But if I was in the shoes of those who religiously attends every single home games that Arsenal play, I would be rightly angry about the hike in ticket price. The prices at the Grove are already one of the highest among the grounds in the Premier League and most parts of Europe. Will fans consider renewing their season tickets? With consideration to the economic situation, will the fans be able to afford continuing their seasonal pilgrimage to watch Arsenal?
It is hard for me to imagine myself in their shoes because I cannot comprehend the type of salary I’ll be getting and how big the impact is going to be for me. The situation may very well end up like the Murphy/bar/decoder/pub viewing scenario. I was listening to the Beyond The Pitch podcast (which is a wonderful pod, by the way) and I want to relate to that. There, they talked about how the changing landscape of the television rights/broadcast will start to drive fans away from buying on their own and just start going to watch in the pub.
The same can be said of this move by Arsenal. The middle and upper range of tickets might not be affected but you can be assured that the lower range of tickets prices will be affected. Sure, given the stature of the club, if thousands are refusing to conform to the new price, there will be thousands more who are more than willing to replace them. On the part of the club, they will still continue to generate the kind of money that they are targeting but what this will do is to drive away their loyal fans.
The timing of the announcement/story-leak is hardly accurate. This coming just days after we were knocked out of the third competition in 2 weeks. This coming just days after the fans are questioning why have we not spend the money that we have to bring in seasoned, experienced professionals. I’m sure no one would complain about paying more if they can see the money being reinvested in the playing staffs.
It’s a Catch 22 situation for Arsenal now. No doubt, they are able to find fans who are willing to fork out that type of money to watch Arsenal in the flesh. But on the flip side, Arsenal will start to see the back of many, who have been there for the club for many years.