Posted on Friday, 29th April 2011 by Alastair Bayliss
News has emanated out of Arsenal in the last couple of days that the season ticket renewal process has been delayed, and this can only be a good thing. A rethink on a subject which is so volatile seems entirely necessary and not before time.
Season ticket prices at the Emirates are already extremely high. Whilst it does have to be mentioned that Arsenal include seven cup games within the price, which actually means that on a match per match basis, their prices are not the most expensive in the league. However, the cost of going to watch the team play is as high as it has ever been. Consequently, it does not seem unfair to suggest that the investment on the playing side of matters should correlate to the ticket prices, and as Arsenal fans are well aware, that is by no means the case.
Obviously, just because Arsenal fans pay over a thousand pounds for a season ticket does not mean that the manager should be obliged to spend excessive amounts in the transfer market for superfluous players. It does, however, mean that Arsenal should at least be strongly competitive in the hunt for the first choice players on the list. If the club want a player coveted by many other teams, then they should fight tooth and nail to get him even if the price is raised as a result.
Aside from the transfer market, the money spent by season ticket holders should be siphoned into improvements to the stadium…what the club call ‘Arsenalisation’. This would be a reasonable and fair way in which to spend the generated income from the supporters – by making their experience of the game better. It does not really cut the mustard to hear Ivan Gazidis claim that a lot of money that is earned by the club goes back to the supporters when there is very little concrete evidence to suggest it does.
This season ticket hike issue is one which always creates great interest – and it is probably most sensible that Arsenal review it, and shelve whatever plans that existed. One should not make the club policy necessarily upon on-pitch success, but with trophies and morale in the camp scarce. A reduction in prices would be a real motivator for supporters to get back behind the team once again. Now obviously that will not happen, but a freeze would be the next best thing. That is the minimum requirement.
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