Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Thursday February 23 2012
Following consultation with several supporters' groups this week, Arsenal today announced that General Admission Season Ticket prices will be frozen for 2012-13. Last season, Arsenal caused a fair amount of consternation amongst supporters after announcing a 6.5% rise amidst an alarming slump in form, leading to the chant of '6% you're having a laugh!' being chanted as the players conducted their end of season lap of honour.
But Arsenal have moved quickly to keep prices for General Admission season tickets the same for 2012-13. Club Level members- who have to renew earlier- face an average 2% rise on last year. Given that the hunt for silverware is effectively over for the year and with the Gunners far from assured of Champions League football next year, another rise would always have been a tricky sell.
Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said; 'We understand the pressure fans are under in the current economic climate and hope this will go some way to helping them.
'Our season-ticket holders are the heart of our Club and we are recognising their loyalty by holding their ticket prices for next season.
'This is the fourth year out of six that we have held season-ticket prices flat against continuing pressure to keep pace with rising operational and player costs."
Interestingly, no comment has been made on General Admission tickets for next year on an individual game by game basis. It could be that the club will wait to see if Champions League qualification is in the bag before making a final decision there.
Understandably, no comment has been passed as to how Arsenal participating in the Europa League would effect the price- if at all. (To do so at this stage would look like throwing in the towel). The announcement confirms that the seven additional cup credits will remain for F.A. Cup and European home ties. When factoring in the cost of season tickets, most people do not consider the 7 additional games Arsenal fans get in comparison to most other clubs. For instance, Chelsea pay slightly lower prices on average, but for 19 games against our 26.
It strikes me that failure to qualify for the Champions League will have no effect on pricing. Part of the discussion at Monday night's AST meeting suggested creative or flexible pricing for cup credits should be encouraged in the event that we participate in Europe's junior tournament. The announcement also suggests the renewal process will begin in April. Traditionally, the deadline for renewals has been 1st June for as long as I have been a season ticket holder. Pure speculation on my part, but it could be that the club ask for the renewal money earlier, before the spectre of Europa League becomes a 'live' issue. LD.
Date:Thursday February 23 2012
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