Date: 25th October 2006 at 9:39pm
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Earlier, Goonerholic expressed his concerns over rising ticket prices and the ‘Prawn Sandwich Brigade’, well our resident professor argues that ‘You get what you pay for’.


I don’t see the main problem as ticket prices, Blackburn lower their prices because their matches are not worth watching. The greater issue here is if English football is entertaining. The middle classes hijack anything once it becomes sophisticated enough, but this is inevitable and I don’t see it as a major problem as the influx of middleclass fans hasn’t affected other mainstream sports that are traditionally working class. In America some NBA tickets are really expensive but the cost is balanced by the promise of entertainment and value for money, sport is treated as an expensive event off the pitch but more importantly on the pitch also. Just to clarify, I hate basketball.

I think that if we want ambition and expansion for our club then we have to be realistic and take the cons with the pros. Prices will rise, personnel will change etc but it’s all ineviatbly part of the deal of ambitous progress. There’s a Samurai saying that says ‘No matter how much we yearn for past eras, we have to make the most of the one we face now.’ So if we accept that there is no way Arsenal or other ambitous clubs are going to go back, then we have to look at the situation and work out the best set up given the current scenario.

Personally I believe that best set is to produce entertaining football, I think that this is the only way forward and the only way to justify and balance ticket prices. I don’t think that prices will threaten football atendences short term or long term, I think that clubs will always find a way to accomodate working class fans, I think the real threat to football is what you are seeing in the Premiership right now – anti-football – this has nothing to do with middleclass fans or ticket prices, it’s far worse and presents a far bigger problem as far as I’m concerned. Bolton in the Champions league anyone?

Chris Waddle has a short article up on the BBC Sports website and I completely agree with what he is saying, basically he says that the Premiership is not entertaining, he would only pay to watch Arsenal and Man Utd and that La Liga offers far better value for money. I’ve been saying this for ages, that football spirit and values is in a far bigger crisis in this country than sales and prices.

Perhaps Arsenal could have maintained an overwhelming majority of working class support, but perhaps we would have also maintained our mid table position. Entertaining football will attract fans from all walks of life not just the working classes who watch their teams out of tribal loyalty rather than seeking an entertaining payoff.

It was the middleclasses and toffs who originally took their brand of ‘English’ football round the world, in response to the stiff predictable disciplined English ‘fair play’ game the latinos developed a more expressive game based on technique and expression (and gamesmanship unfortunately) deliberately designed to sepreate it from the colonial English game, so in theory entertaining football belongs to the working classes, granted perahps not in this country but I say it’s about time that it did. England gave the world football, the world improved it and are now giving it back, we can either accept and embrace this change along with the inflation in fans and prices that comes with it, or we can stay old school like the English national side has done, and then like them wonder why the rest of the world has left us behind. Entertaining football is the key, after that, all other issues can and will be dealt with.

Article submitted by Professor Calculus.


10 Replies to “A Small Price To Pay?”

  • But the problem is with football as a whole, not just with our club. The fact is I spend around £5,000 a season watching Arsenal- about a quarter of my annual salary, there is something wrong with that. Football is not the theatre, I like the theatre but I wouldn’t go every 3 days. I know I’m repeating material here, but no teenagers can affors to go nowadays and these are the fans of the future. So in 20, 30, 40 years when we’re dead/immobile/choking on car fumes, the stadiums will be empty as no one will have any interest in live football. Football is currently governed by a sort of Thatcherite short termism, but stagflation is on its way, make no mistake.

  • and answer me why you can watch a top flight game in la liga for so much less money than iut costs over here – barcelona – my mate and hid girlfriend watched a Barca game while over there, and the tickets cost them about EUR13 each. I went to watch Leyton Orient the other week with my mates, and had to fork out £22 for the privelege. Now, fair do’s, orient play god football for the levelt hey play at, but £22 is ridiculous. I think it’s partly also to do with the naivety of the clubs over here, and linked in to the foreign platyers that come to the prem for one last payday, tired old argument i know, BUT they knwo that by comign to the prem they can get sometimes 4-5 times as much money as they could have earned comparitively in italy or spain. A lot of the time the Prem is seen as an easy touch in terms of being suckered for money, and whilst a fair amount is covered by Sky money to the clubs, the cost surely is also filtered down and passed onto the fans…

    »»Arsene Knows««

  • sorry, it was EUR19 – but still, you’ve no hope in hell of getting a ticket to watch arsenal or chelsea for that amount. maybe back in 89-91, when you could get a west upper ticket for £15, but my time machine is broke right now. Still live in the past though 🙂

  • well the top clubs tend to get the best players in their prime but the next tier down to get the players that have seen their best days (see Bolton for numerous examples). if they want to compete with the big boys they need to get talented foreigners in for cut price so its the only way to do it. the rest of the prem that relies on average english players, is quite a way off the top in terms of standard and entertainment. In spain (and brazil) all the players grow up with a more attractive style of football in their blood. so even the lower ability teams still play attractive passing football.

  • hey wingston, your just round the corner then mate, im in Leytonstone 15 minutes from the orient now! really expensive you’re right, £20 i paid on my last visit! for a league 1 game!!!???
    Spain is cheaper because the capacity of Barca’s ground is bigger and the views at the back are attrocious!

  • Yeah, you gotta wonder what glimpses fan number 89834 is getting to catch in the Nou Camp, the carvenous thing it is.

  • Which is the saddest Cusop? The fact we are discussing an important topic that could very well affect football all over the country if the situation is not addressed, or the fact you came over to an Arsenal site to make such a pathetic comment. REAL football fans are concerned, but then again, Spurs dont play real football do they?

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