Arsenal fans welcome ticket freeze but implore board to splash transfer cash
08:45 30 January 2013
Arsenal Supporters Trust have welcomed the freeze on ticket prices for next season, but also called on the club to invest ticket revenue back into the team.
Ticket prices at the Emirates Stadium became a subject of controversy earlier this month when Manchester City returned 912 unsold tickets to the Gunners for their Premier League clash, with the visitors unhappy at the £62 asking price.
A new campaign to curb rising ticket prices has been launched, with the Football Supporters Federation arguing a £20 cap for away supporters across all Premier League games would be a powerful way to help make football more affordable.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended the pricing policy, stressing the club need the money in order to continue competing with their rivals at the top of the Premier League and in Europe.
Arsenal have some of the highest season ticket prices in the league, but have not delivered the success to match in recent seasons, failing to win a trophy since moving to the Emirates in 2006.
AST spokesman Tim Payton feels fans would perhaps sit more comfortably in those expensive seats were surplus funds of some £80million from the club’s cash reserves ploughed back into improving the first team.
“If we are going to pay these very high prices, let’s see it invested in the team, not just sitting in the bank collecting interest while we have a squad which is stretched on the pitch,” Payton said on Sky Sports News.
“There is a correlation, but also regardless of what is happening on the pitch, football fans have got pockets which only go so far.
“It was the game of the working person and we really have to make sure the traditional fans can continuing affording Arsenal in the future.”
Arsenal said the decision, which applies to “all match ticket prices including season tickets in both general admission and club level” had followed “a full review by the Arsenal board which included an assessment of the current economic environment and feedback from fans’ groups.”
AST welcomed the move and urged the board to further ease the burden on fans by diverting some of the increased revenues from next season back into reducing tickets costs further.
“There is a general feeling football has become too expensive for the working family and this announcement there will be no price increase for next year is good,” Payton added.
“What football clubs need to look at is all pricing, but especially what the away fans get, and it is not just an Arsenal issue; our fans themselves paid £59 at Chelsea and £50 at Norwich.
“It is just going to kill off the away fans in our game.”