Staggering ticket prices facing Manchester City fans for January’s trip to Arsenal stem from a 23% summer hike – made so the North London club could cut rates for less attractive games.
City fans must find £62 to attend the January 13 clash – to be shown live on Sky – which is 240% more than many other club’s supporters pay to visit the Emirates Stadium.
In a ticket policy restructuring, Arsenal slashed the prices of matches with the Premier League’s lesser lights by nearly a third to ensure their home games remained consistently sold out.
The flip side of this, however, was an inflation of ‘Category A’ ticket prices to help compensate for these reductions.
Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis defended the club’s pricing policy and said: “This isn’t just an Arsenal issue, across the game we’ve seen ticket prices rise.
“During the last year, we spent a lot of time working with our fan groups to develop our ticketing strategy and create a wider and broader range of prices.”
Tickets for these premium matches – including those with Manchester City and United – therefore jumped from £51 to £62, as Arsenal realised demand was high enough to warrant higher rates.
Arsenal insist their policy rethink has created 90,000 cheaper match day tickets for fans at the Emirates this season.
But, their policy paid no consideration to the needs of visiting fans.
The result is that fans of their most recent visitors West Brom paid £25.50 for adult tickets, a whopping £36.50 less than what City’s loyal followers must pay.
Last week, Manchester City’s supporters club told MM that Premier League intervention was needed to regulate the pricing of away tickets.
Manchester City Supporters’ Club General Secretary Kevin Parker labelled the prices as ‘absolutely scandalous’.
“You do expect some mark-up, but this is quite ridiculous,” he added.