Arsenal Profit of £37m: How Much Could Ticket Prices Be Reduced?

We sit here on the eve of Arsenal v Chelsea, the world’s most expensive ever domestic league football match, where the minimum adult non-concession ticket price is going to be £62.

I know there are a couple of thousand Junior Gunners and Seniors concessions, so I’ll average them out by saying if everyone (60,000) paid a minimum figure of £60 each would be £3.6m. I suspect the average is closer to £85 for tomorrow, so that would be £5.1m from this one match.

Obviously other matches are cheaper than the Chelsea game, and generate less income. The overall average for a Cat C game is probably no more than £50. That would give exactly £3m per game.

I’m working in round figures here; I’m a big picture kind of guy, swings and roundabouts even out the rough edges on my calcluations.

Yes they do.

So here is a rough calculation of a bigger Arsenal figure:
60,000 people at say 25 games a season is 1.5 million people through the turnstiles.
Total matchday income for a season is about £95m.
Divide one by the other and the average that everyone pays is £63.33.
Now that makes my estimate of an £85 average for the Arsenal / Chelsea match look quite conservative. Maybe tomorrow will bring in closer to £6m for one match. However, that’s not my main point.

Arsenal have just announced a profit of £36.6m for the year to May. Some people say that if we want to at least be challenging for trophies then we need to fund it by paying high ticket prices. But given that Arsenal have no need to make a profit, and if they do they get taxed on it, there is £36.6m spare that they didn’t need to take from us. So why not give it back? Arsene doesn’t want to spend it – he could if he wanted to, but he hasn’t. That’s fine, that’s his job, to decide which players he wants. He’s decided the squad is strong enough and all paid adequately and there is still £36.6m left over. So instead of hoarding it rather selfishly, let’s have it given back to the people it came from: everyone who buys a ticket.

There was a huge cash balance before this profit, and since May there has been more transfer profit and money from the sale of the Queensland Road site, so it’s really not a big risk to hand something back. It’s not going to suddenly plunge Arsenal into mid-table. It’s not going to stop anyone doing anything they do now, make us sell players or make backroom or non-football staff redundant. Note that I am expressly saying here that Arsene can do what he wants with ALL the income, but clearly he doesn’t want as much as has been generated. Generating more than is needed to hoard it is just fleecing fans.

So, round figures again, because I can’t even be bothered to get my calculator out: Arsenal don’t need (and Arsene doesn’t want) 40 per cent of the matchday income (£36.6m of £95m). So without losing anything from the team’s competitiveness, we could all pay 40 per cent less than we are.

This would knock £25 of the overall average ticket price of £63. I think we’d all settle for that. No need to be greedy and try and take back anything that would affect the marvellous way (the Board think) the club is run. AKBs and WOBs alike must surely agree that if Arsenal don’t need it there’s really no point in us paying it.

So the minimum ticket price for a Cat A game could actually be £37, and for a Cat C – get this – 50p!
Remember the 1970s? Suddenly it’s all coming back to me.

By the way, please note I have done zero research for this particular post and may or may not enter into arguments with people criticising my figures as a result. But you know, ball park, swings and roundabouts, etc. It’s all close enough. Are you with me, brothers?

Twitter: @AngryOfN5

Update: I thought the minimum Cat C price was £27.50, but it’s actually £25.50, so I’ve changed that calculation result from £2.50 to 50p (if you knock the £25 off.

And re what I said about arguing with commenters – well, let me just say that some people don’t seem to quite get it. However, I’m sure Tom Fox will laugh himself to sleep tonight if he knows that there are really people out there happy to pay more and more and more, ad infinitum.


15 thoughts on “Arsenal Profit of £37m: How Much Could Ticket Prices Be Reduced?

  1. Seems a tad risky, as in they might need that income for operating costs or to spend on players, but if that money is left over at the end, which it is now, then pay it back to ST holders & those who bought tickets at the end of the financial year when it is deemed not necessary.

  2. My tickets for the chav game are well reasonable.
    I am genuinely surprised you manage to put out a blog what with you being Peyton’s gimp.

  3. Or you could do it this way.

    Supposing we had good runs in all ccup competitions, we would play:
    Premier League – 19 home games
    FA Cup – 2 home games
    Champions League – 5 home games
    I’ve not included League Cup games as they are heavily reduced prices anyway.

    That gives a total of 26 home games x 60,000 per game = 1,560,000 through the turnstiles for the season.

    £36,000,000 / 1,560,000 = £23 per seat per game reduction.

    A different method of calculating and not too far away from your figure.

  4. Well, in an ideal world perhaps. The reality is that the market dictates the prices and as long as there is a demand they are unlikely to go down. Besides, match day income is not a guaranteed amount of money. You estimate how much you will make from each game and arrive at a number you need to charge for the tickets. If less people come to games, you earn less money. It is speculation and as such there need to be margins. Not to mention that the club isn’t a non-profit organisation, even though there are many reasons to keep supporters happy.

    Generating a positive cash flow should not be seen as a bad thing, it will only make the club stronger. There are holes to plug, like the stadium debt. Also it gives a certain amount of freedom in the transfer market.

    • The market dictates the price up to a point, but a) it shouldn’t for football clubs and b) in Arsenal’s case the stadium is full every week so they don’t actually know how high they could raise prices before attendances would drop off.
      They have raised prices as much as they think they can get away with without causing too many howls of protest.
      But you don’t “estimate how much you will get from each game and arrive at a number you need to charge for the tickets” – that doesn’t even make sense.
      If fewer people come to games you earn less money, that much I agree with – apart from the grammar.
      There is plenty of margin. Cash balances have gone up every year for several years now.
      The club IS a non-profit organisation. It only exists to play sport and only makes money to put back into playing sport. It exists for the benefit of supporters, not for the benefit of shareholders.
      I never said a positive cash flow was a bad thing, but cash only makes anything stronger if you use it. It’s not being used, so give it back.

  5. According to the Swiss Ramble (in his tweets from yesterday), Arsenal made a loss of £31mio, before tax, if you take away profits from player sales and property. Yes, that is a loss. Lowering ticket prices in this case would lead to more player sales? Downward spiral springs to mind.

    • How would it lead to MORE player sales? I don’t think you’re paying attention. This is the spare money left over. Since May there has been more profit on property and player sales. There was already a huge cash mountain. The club can give all the £37m back and maintain the status quo (ie huge cash mountain and more profit since May), there is no reason to sell more players to fund the £37m I’m asking for.

  6. I know it sounds a lot but I recently went to Conference game and paid £18.00 for a standard match . I havebeen to Arsensal on 2 occasions once to the Emirates cup as a guest in hospiltality which was £ 106 including dinner and tea which to watch two games I thought was reasonable. the second time the price for a seat in the tier in line with corner flag was £ 39 . If you go to a show or pop gig for a reasonable seat you will be paying more than £ 62 which I see on other blogs have quiried this price

  7. Seems to me Arsenal have little trouble putting fans in seats at the Emirates, regardless of how little success they have had to show for, trophy – wise. Wenger has managed to strike an uneasy balance between attractive football and just enough successful one. Make no mistake though , if Arsenal fail to qualify for Champions League and continue the trophy drought, more empty seats might show around the stadium. Instead of ticket discounts Arsenal might be better off if they signed another world class player.

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