It is that time of year again.
The time of the year when the tabloid press roll out their unsubstantiated, fake news regarding that old chestnut, ‘Arsenal’s overpriced Season Tickets’.
The Current Bun’s illegitimate half-sister (The Mirror) ran with the usual:
“Arsenal fans hit hardest, Arsenal revealed as most expensive Premier League club to follow in new study on cost of football”
The report bounces all over the shop, with contradictions, but still comes up with its predetermined result.
It leads with:
Arsenal fans can expect to pay £105.40 on average for a ticket, pie and a pint this season.
This is the basis of the report’s findings and then it does not benchmark against anything or anyone else. Top work there.
Then it goes onto list the price of season tickets in London:
Tottenham (£2,200), Arsenal (£1,768 – although they do get a handful of cup games included), Chelsea (£1,250), West Ham (£1,155), Fulham (£1,149) and Crystal Palace (£705).
Now by my reckoning that makes The Spuds more expensive, no. yes. maybe?
At least, for once it had the decency to mention Arsenal’s season ticket includes ‘a handful of cup games’, but then doesn’t quantify or adjust to align with the others.
By my reckoning, 26 games for £1,768, equates to £1,292 for 19. So on par with Chelsea, a grand cheaper than Spurs. Not the most expensive then, no?
It then goes on to list the cheapest season tickets at other Premier League clubs, but no mention of Arsenal, just to keep the negative agenda going.
Now, before anyone launches into me, I’m not defending the price of our season ticket, it’s too expensive, but, if journos are going to, yet again, use this as another stick to beat Arsenal, at least get the facts right, mark all teams from a level playing field and actually look at all the factors.
A report run by The Liverpool Echo (with stats from Odds Monkey) last week, at least goes someway to taking a pragmatic view at season ticket prices, by looking at some socioeconomic factors effecting fans in premier league cities and towns.
‘Has following the beautiful game REALLY become too expensive?’ sets out to relate season ticket prices against average wages in the area and in my opinion, it is probably the most relevant analysis.
This article does not bode well for Liverpool or Arsenal (no games adjustment, but, well, we are used to that), but at least it an article that actually did some research.
The piece is pretty damning when it comes to the cost of football and, yes, if you did not know it already, football is getting too expensive for most.
Therefore, tabloid hacks, yes, most of us think season ticket prices are expensive, but they are expensive for many clubs and for many reasons. If you are going to throw somebody under the bus for it, at least do it with a bit of research and without a predetermined scapegoat.