Morning people of The Arsenal faith. I hope this particular ‘hump of the week’ finds you in fine fettle. Me? I’m ok. Very kind of you to ask. The sun is shining, it may be early and the sleep dust may not have quite wrestled itself from the inner parts of my eye, but I’m doing peachy. Oh, what’s that? You were just being polite? Well fine, I’ll move on to different blogging pastures.
Yesterday saw Sky Sports announce that, according to their information, Arsenal will once again remain the most expensive place to watch Premier League football next season – if you’re a season ticket holder that is. This comes despite the fact that Arsenal Plc have announced a freeze on ticket prices.
I have to say I find it quite interesting that we are the most expensive. Of course the media low to have a little poke ad talk about winning nothing, paying for Champions League football as our trophy and alike, but I do find peoples take on the announcement of prices amusing. Firstly, comparing Arsenal to the Manchester clubs. Why? Those two clubs have entirely different ways in which they fund themselves. The blue side take oil money, whilst the red side have built an international empire that has taken decades to cultivate. In addition they are both based in Manchester. Has anybody seen a Manchester and London salary survey lately? Or even the ONS (Office of National Statistics) figures on average wages? London is by far bigger than any other region, so isnt it inevitable that we Londoners pay more? So to make comments about how unfair it might be seem a little pointless to me. It is what it is.
That’s not to say I’m happy to be paying more than any other fan in the Premier League. Far from it. I know that we are being squeezed all the time by the club for every last penny. And are we getting value for money? If you believe the Tim Payton school of thought – i.e. Arsenal have the fourth highest wage bill and so on that basis fourth is a realistic target, then you would say ‘yes’ we are getting value for money. All I know is that the kind of media stories that eminated from Rupert Murdoch’s empire must always be taken with a pinch of salt.
So where an I going with all this? I guess it’s an assault on the media more than anything else. After all, they are the ones, coupled with social media, that drive gooners into a whipped up frenzy. It’s all about selling sheets and boosting ratings. Yes, we have issues – 19 points from the Champions clearly shows this – but these issues have to be dealt with by investment and that comes through revenue streams. It’s just unfortunate for us that we have gotten ourselves tied into long-term commercial deals from trying to finance the stadium move that have set us back and meant the fans finance the clubs revenue. As soon as those commercial deals begin to lapse, I think we’ll see a real jump in revenue the club makes. I’m not naive enough to think the club will suddenly half the price of tickets, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see other teams catching up to us over the next few years in the ‘how expensive is your cheapest season ticket’ league tables.
The other pieces of news coming from the club yesterday was the release of seven players, only two of which you and I will know any main detail of in the shape of Gavin Hoyte and Manuel Almunia. It’s two losses that won’t greatly affect the team too much with the latter of the two a bit of a bonus to get him off the wage bill. Unfortunately for the ghostly looking Manuel, he’ll probably be remembered more for the clangers than the good performances like the game against barca a couple of years ago, but I guess that is the nature of today’s football.
Have a good one y’all.