Arsenal fans protest at ‘extortionate' ticket prices

More than 900 allocated tickets were returned to the club by Manchester City after their fans refused to pay £62 for Sunday’s game and home supporters could soon follow suit
An angry group of Arsenal fans have written to the club and chief executive Ivan Gazidis to share their feelings about ticket prices at the Emirates Stadium.

Prices for games were changed in the summer to categorise different opposition, with three different price tiers.

Manchester City recently returned nearly 1,000 unsold tickets for the clash between the sides on Sunday as fans baulked at the £62 price-tag.

“It appears that the full implications of last year's ticketing review are starting to hit home,” the letter read.
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“From the season's start, the new ticket pricing structure was viewed with great cynicism. For many, it was a perceived case of giving with one hand, taking back [and then some] with the other.

“Of course reduced ticket prices for the lesser games are welcome, yet the flip side is the ever more extortionate pricing for our more glamorous fixtures. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any football fan who considers the club's Category A prices [£62 to £126] reasonable.

“Was the overall plan of the ticketing review merely to address the increasing number of empty seats for our bread-and-butter games in the belief that Category A fixtures would sell out no matter what the price?

“The extremely slow ticket sales for Manchester City [indeed Manchester City fans even boycotting the fixture due to cost] and more empty seats at every game seem to indicate a misjudgement. We call for, at the very least, a freeze on all ticket prices for the 2013-14 season.”

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The recent boycott of tickets by Manchester City fans is the first of this season as Arsenal claim Chelsea and Tottenham sold their full allocation of £62 ‘Category A’ tickets with Liverpool also set to sell out, and communications director Mark Gonnella has defended the system.

He said: “We understand the concerns of supporters in the current economic environment.

“This was behind our creation of new categories of games which has created 90,000 tickets at cheaper prices than last season.

“In addition we continue to provide supporters tickets at prices as low as £10 for Capital One Cup matches. We will continue to work to find ways for supporters to have more affordable ticket prices.”