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?
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.