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AST requests fair pricing and better deal for Europa league ticketing

Posted Monday 15th May 2017

Please find set out below the full letter that the AST recently sent to Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis regarding season ticket and ticket pricing arrangements should Arsenal qualify to play in the UEFA European League next season. Ivan has subsequently responded to the letter with the following message for AST members and Arsenal fans:

"Many thanks for your thoughtful letter about pricing for next season. Although it is something we don't want to happen, we have obviously given this a good deal of thought both this season and in previous years. I can assure you that the key objectives you have identified - fairness and strong attendances - underpin the work we have done in this area. Should we end up in the Europa League we will announce our plans swiftly so people know what is happening".

The full text of the proposals set out by the AST is set out below:

 

Ivan Gazidis

Chief Executive

Arsenal Football Club

8 May 2017

Dear Ivan

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) is writing to you with regard to Season Ticket and General Admission ticket pricing issues in light of the possibility of Arsenal qualifying to play in the UEFA Europa League (UEL) next season.

We do this on the understanding that for next season general admission ticket prices will remain the same for Premier League matches, with no price increases. This follows campaigning by ourselves and others that made the case that the current broadcasting deal with Sky and BT sees huge new revenues coming into the game, meaning there is no need or case for any further burden on supporters. We welcome and support the decision by Arsenal to recognise this and freeze general admission prices.

Looking ahead to next season and Arsenal's possible qualification for the UEL, it is important that the pricing arrangements achieve two key objectives:

1.    Fairness to Arsenal's Season Ticket holders and regular match attendees

2.    Encourage attendance at home matches so there are large crowds to cheer the team on

The UEL is the lesser of the two European competitions and has the potential for more fixtures than the Champions League. There may be seven home games for Arsenal in this competition should the team perform well. This comprises three group stage games in the Autumn of 2017 and then a further four games in knockout rounds from last 32 through to the semi-finals.

This competition needs a different pricing arrangement than that for the Champions League, both to be fair to existing supporters and to attract new fans to Arsenal's home matches.

A list of teams in this year's competition shows the likely level of opposition for most of these games, particularly in the group stage when Arsenal would be seeded:

Zorya, H. Be'er Sheva, Feyenoord, Viktoria Plzen, Asse, Mainz 05, Genk, Dundalk, Rapid Wien, Osmanlispor, Steaua Bucuresti, AZ Alkmaar, Konyaspor, Astana, Apoel Nocosia

The AST proposal should the club play in the UEL is a model based on the following:

  • The three UEL Group stage games are not included in the Season Tickets. These should be treated similarly to League Cup games and priced at £10 and £20 with a general sale taking place for all fans. Season Ticket holders would be given first choice to purchase their existing seats.
  • The subsequent UEL knock-out games to be priced at category C and B.
  • The usual season ticket with seven cup tie credits should continue to apply and these seven cup tie credits to include all FA Cup games and the final knock-out stages of the UEL. This would work as is standard practice now with credits/debits being issued at the end of next season depending on how many home cup ties are played.

We would specifically request that Season Ticket pricing is based on the structure set out above.

In all this would mean a reduction in the headline price of the Season Ticket compared to this season as there are fewer category A and B fixtures. We have worked on the basis of 4 category B games and 3 category C games across the UEL and FA Cup:

2016/2017: 6 As, 14 Bs, 6 Cs

2017/2018: 5 As, 13 Bs, 8 Cs

On this basis, the average season ticket price would be reduced by approximately 5 per cent. This doesn't take into account any credits due from the 2016-17 season when five home cup games were played - excluding League cup - and will vary depending on the final categories decided and number of cup games played.

This reflects the sort of pricing structure used by Spurs when they have played in the UEL in recent years and we believe is the fairest approach for all match-going supporters. We hope that you will take these suggestions on board and adopt this or a very similar approach. This would give great reassurance to our many members currently considering renewing their season tickets.

We look forward to hearing from you and will ensure that your response is provided to all of our members.

Yours sincerely

Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST)