By Tony Attwood
As you may know I am a committee member of AISA – the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association.
AISA has put out the following statement about Arsenal’s announcement on ticket prices, which I would like to share with Untold readers who are not AISA members.
We are pleased that Arsenal have made an early announcement that ticket prices for all supporters will not increase for the 2013-14 season. This reflects what we said to the Club back in November, and we hope that progress is also made to other related and important issues discussed then and subsequently i.e.
* More support for season-ticket holders, including a staged-payment scheme
* Improvements in what is on offer for younger supporters at the Emirates Stadium
* Recognition of the commitment and dedication of supporters who follow Arsenal at away matches throughout the UK and beyond, week-in and week-out
* More cheaper tickets for home supporters at the Emirates Stadium
* A review of the club’s policy for senior citizens who take up cheaper season tickets but are forced to move to a different part of the stadium.
AWAY TICKET PRICES
Liverpool and Man City supporters have received publicity recently regarding their complaints about the £62 ticket price charged to them at Arsenal. Away ticket pricing raises separate and discreet issues, contrary to the impression created by the headlines. Arsenal supporters have already had to pay similar ticket prices this season at Chelsea (£59), QPR (£55) and even Man City (£51). Arsenal supporters will also recall the £70 tickets at Villarreal a few years back in the Champions League.
AISA’s response to the noises coming from our friends at the Etihad and Anfield is to agree in general terms that ticket prices are too high. At our January meeting we debated whether there should be a standardisation of prices charged to away supporters, irrespective of the team supported. A new and reputedly massive tv contract for Premier League football is about to be signed and the FSF, the national supporters organisation, believes that some of the income from this contract should be used to reduce ticket prices for all away supporters.
Away fans are seen by most as amongst the most loyal, so is it right that supporters of category A teams routinely pay more to watch their team than supporters of category B and C teams? Why should Arsenal supporters travelling to, say, Wigan be charged more than QPR supporters pay to watch their team when both sets of supporters are doing exactly the same thing – loyally following their team to an away game, with the same travel costs. Is it time to introduce a greater degree of uniformity by way of a cap on away ticket pricing so that, irrespective of which team you support, there is a maximum price that can be charged to away supporters?
Those against such a move refer to current rules which state that away supporters must be charged the same price as home supporters in comparable seats, and there are home supporters who argue that, if there were a cap on away ticket prices, it would be wrong if it led to home supporters paying more than away supporters.
All supporters will have their views, and we would like to hear them. Your views will help formulate the AISA policy as regards away ticket pricing. Please let us know whether you are in favour of a cap on away ticket prices, possibly equalisation, or have any views that you wish to express. Email us at email@example.com
Aisa’s web site is www.aisa.org and from there there is a link to the membership page, in case you wish to join.
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