Saturday, May 25, 2024

Arsenal surcharge season ticket holders for Barcelona tie

Arsenal wrote to gold members (season ticket holders) on Thursday evening to inform them that they would be placing a surcharge against their season tickets for the Champions League tie against Barcelona later this month. In an email, the club explained their rationale, that Barcelona will be rated as a “Category A” match and cup credits are broadly given a “Category B” rating.

So the difference will be charged against season ticket renewals for the 2016/17 season. Gold members will be given the option to opt out of the Barcelona tie and surrender their seat. Ordinarily, this option is only extended to members once all seven cup vouchers have been used.

Barcelona is the 7th cup credit of the season, but the club are obliged to provide an opt out option, since they are effectively introducing an extra charge outside of the season ticket price, paid last May.

In a confusingly worded email, Arsenal explained that, “As a result of our continued progress in cup competitions this season, our FA Cup Fifth Round home match against Hull City on the weekend of 19/20/21/22 February is the sixth cup credit for the 2015/16 season and will be a category C match.

“Consequently, our UEFA Champions League Round of 16 fixture against FC Barcelona, to be played on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 will be our seventh cup tie credit of the season and has been designated as a category A fixture.

“Due to the number of matches played this season and the categories assigned to them, there will be an additional cost to your season ticket for the 2016/17 of [between £18-30 depending on the price of your seat]. This additional cost will be added to your renewal price for next season.”

With a new £5bn TV windfall to come this summer, adding to the already swelling pile of TV cash, the decision to make this surcharge has obviously been met with some opprobrium. The announcement isn’t especially well timed as the team falter in a winnable title race, whilst Liverpool’s decision to raise ticket prices has attracted a lot of media attention around the subject.

As well as being unnecessarily covetous, the announcement comes at a time when media focus on supporter welfare issues is high. Liverpool fans announced their plans to walk out of the next home game after 77 minutes in protest at rising prices. Whilst Leicester fans (and some Arsenal fans, myself included!) will sit out the first five minutes of the upcoming Arsenal v Leicester home match to protest Sky Sports’ late decision to alter the kickoff time.

Arsenal will surely have been hoping for a better result against Southampton prior to this announcement, but they would have needed to let supporters’ know as soon as possible to uphold their obligation to offer members the chance to opt out of the Barcelona match.

Ultimately, it feels like Arsenal have driven another chasm between themselves and the fans and this will probably manifest itself in a more bitter atmosphere at games, which seems a shame when the club are trying to reignite a title challenge.

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To be rubbed in by the demoralising scoreline later on. Bravo Arsenal!


I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why it has to be this way. Has this always been a world where we are routinely lynched in public? It’s nobody’s fucking business. Surcharge, Kroenke, Gazidis, what the hell is that! Which guys are here and which guys aren’t here. Forget it, the fact we have to deal with this shit, it’s not our business. I like to talk — and I’ve spoken as clearly as I can, if that’s not good enough, I won’t say a thing. I’ll go, ‘yes sir, no sir.’ And I can… Read more »


Anne, are you ok?

Michael Jackson

Are you OK? Are you OK Anne?


Are you ok Anne?

The Car2n Goon

In the words of the great bard MJ:

“Annie, are you OK?
So, Annie, are you OK?
Are you OK Annie?
Annie, are you OK?
So, Annie, are you OK?
Are you OK Annie?
Annie, are you OK?
So, Annie, are you OK?
Are you OK Annie?
You’ve been hit by
You’ve been hit by
A smooth criminal”

The Car2n Goon

In the words of MJ:

Annie, are you OK?
So, Annie, are you OK?
Are you OK Annie?
Annie, are you OK?
So, Annie, are you OK?
Are you OK Annie?
Annie, are you OK?
So, Annie, are you OK?
Are you OK Annie?
You’ve been hit by
You’ve been hit by
A smooth criminal”


No doubt Kroenke is a smooth criminal.


It will be interesting to see how much more Kronke sports Enterprises, extracts from Arsenal in next years accounts over and above this year. What’s the guess that there will be a £700,000 increase ? Thank God I gave up my ticket in 2010. As Hill-Wood said of Silent Stan – “we don’t want his sort round here !”


What,s that? ..we make more revenue on a match day each season than Barcelona, Munich, and Real Madrid.. why’s that you ask? Well its simple really. Its all because we charge you through the nose for the most expensive football ticket in Europe, so you can enjoy the game in our big atmosphere-less corporate arena, where foreign businessmen watch the big match through their Ipads and Tablets. Why you’re there, why don’t you try one of our Cheeseburgers, they only cost £10 each, or if you’re a bit chilly outside, you can always pick up a cup of tea for… Read more »

Raffi Balian

I used to be one of Wenger’s biggest supporters, even when every one and their dog were asking for his head. I think it’s time Arsenal move on to someone with more ambition (not to say anything about self-respect). An analogy would be taking my kid to a piano teacher. When I feel that she has nothing more to teach my kid, I’ll look for someone who can. Arsenal are regressing, not getting better. I think Arsenal fans would be fools to pay inflated prices. I for one, will stop watching Arsenal play (even on TV), until the club starts… Read more »


Well said.


Err what has this got to do with Wenger? I’m sure Wenger is not the one that sets ticket prices. Even if he were to leave the ticket prices would not be any cheaper

James Bond

Wenger is the one that chooses to not invest all the money the fans put in to improve the squad and actually challenge for major silverware. You fail see/understand that? The squad, the results the last 12 years, and his ambition doesn’t justify charging the highest ticket prices in world football. Supporters are being charged top dollar but getting “top 4” results and are now being surcharged to watch an actual top drawer side come to town. Its sickening. All while AW and co sit on more cash reserves than the rest of the other 19 teams in the EPL… Read more »

Ted E.

Don’t you know Flamini sets the ticket prices, not Wenger?


Not a season ticket holder yet but this is rather petty from Arsenal. I am not sure if the categorisation of the game had been explained when people buy their tickets as I assume this would be open to some sort of challenge otherwise. It’s even more ridiculous when you consider that whilst Barcelona may be a category ‘A’ game the same cannot be said of Hull or Burnley who must be lower than category ‘B’. What happens if a member opts out? Do they get the difference in cost back, the cup-credit carried forward or is that just a… Read more »


Sorry I mean speaking as a member (just not Gold). Obviously.

Keepin it MonReal

I think the ticketing systems can’t cope with the demand for the Barca tickets so it keeps on crashing when they put them on sale. I’m a silver member and it’s very frustrating because I keep on putting aside a good 45 mins to make sure I can get my hands on some!

Gus Caesar

After the change to the Leicester kick-off I can no longer attend, very annoyed. I e-mailed the box office over a week ago asking to take up the offer of a refund and, surprise surprise, still no reply. Also noticeable that the club didn’t announce the refund themselves and there’s nothing to be found about it on the official website, only the Premier League announced it. Probably spending their time working out ways to fleece season ticket holders for more money…

Mick Dickens

Gus did you play for Arsenal back in the late 80,s early 90,s ?


Arsenal have the highest match day revenue in the world with £100 million (Swiss Ramble).

The email makes it clear that it’s all about the money and holding cash. If it was about supporting the team and fans by maximising the chances of winning titles we would have spent the money and be skint, and I would gladly spent the extra £20 to help out.



That takes the piss.


Reminds me of this quote from Uli Hoeness. He might be in prison now, but think I would prefer him instead of the current Arsenal board and owners. “Former Bayern president Uli Hoeness once explained the rationale behind the club’s £104 season ticket price. “We could charge more than €130 (£104). Let’s say we charged €380 (£300). We’d get €2.5m (£2m) more in income, but what’s €2.5m to us? “In a transfer discussion you argue about the sum for five minutes. But the difference between €130 and €380 is huge for the fans. “We do not think fans are like… Read more »


“The rest is for me to pocket”
(Yes I went there even when you write “He might be in prison now” and his general sentiment is nice).

Goone's Farm

He was in jail for tax evasion. It’s not like he receives yearly 3M payments for “consulting”.


And that’s the difference between a business man and a thief. Also evading taxes still makes (or saves) you money.


Unfortunately there is a very thin line between thiefs and big business men these days. And in Hoeness’ defense – at least he didn’t steal the Club from the fans.

I would still prefer a member-owned Club With a Crook as the president, instead of a Club owned and run by People who don’t care about the fans…


Increase prices for season ticket holders and can’t even
open up barca tickets to silver members due to their sheer incompetence…disgraceful treatment of fans.


I’d like to them reimburse members for the difference of that Category C match vs Hull. It only works one way, huh?


Exactly what I was thinking. They can also deduct the amounts for the two previous Cat C ties against Burnley and Sunderland.


Re the 5 mins, most fans will be forced to carry this out anyway due to the ridiculous new search system. Block B now has a female only search line which is ridiculous, by all means have a female steward designated to search them but also have a male steward to search the blokes as well. It now causes long delays and congestion onto to walk way and ironically and obviously God forbid this ever happens but should the event hey are trying to prevent actually happen it will cause maximum carnage due to to he numbers now forced to… Read more »


Ps ……. If anyone knows where my missing t’s are please return them to block 4 row 20

Belfast Gooner

How does the search system now work Trippy? I have not been to a game since it was implemented but am coming over for the Leicester game. Just interested to see how much time I should leave to be searched.


How about a boycott or sit out the first half then. It’s not like the club is broke. I know it’s Barcelona but if we stay away then we send a clear message. Besides its not like we are delivering like Barcelona on the trophy front which might have made this more palatable


No one is going to sit out the first half of Arsenal vs Barcelona and the club also know that few season ticket holders will forego the game, especially when the cost is deferred to later in the year.

That’s how they get away with it.


Afraid that message won’t be heard so long the fans keep on paying for tickets, merchandise and TV-subscriptions. The board won’t listen until the seats in the stadium remain empty for the full 90 minutes…


I always thought Arsenal cared about the supporters. The ticket prices being high just so we can compete at the top level and push us to challenge the likes of Barca.

I guess I was wrong. I guess Arsenal only really care about making more money.

Maybe it is just the owner calling the shots, but it is sad. Wenger will get stick for it as always, but anyone who knows the guy will be aware that he wants success above income.

Any other line of “business” and this simply won’t happen.



I noticed that too. I was waiting for the Red member tickets today and saw that the on sale date had been changed to the 10th. Quite weird…


They’ve actually changed the date for ticket sales 4 times, I’ve emailed them to ask why but haven’t heard back yet. It’s ridiculous, but maybe this explains why. They were going on sale to red members on the 2nd, then the 6th, then the 10th. It’s ridiculous.


It’s because the box office has collapsed every time they’ve put them on sale to Silvers, the day before Reds. I’m a Silver and have had to organise time three times now to try and buy. We sit in the online queue for 45 mins and then a message comes up saying the sale is postponed.


Hep another 16 quid. Liberty


Embarrasing! I saw Barca in my season ticket allocation last time they were around. A deal is a deal. Arsenal are now going against their traditions by doing this. Shameful!

Value 4 money

Since Arsenal have only invested 15 million on players the last 12 months I find that is really taking the Mickey.



A Yank In King Arsene's West Stand

More like “Farcenal,” I’m very sorry to say.


You win 🙂


I’m not a season ticket holder but what a joke. We already pay the most for tickets + the bumper tv deals as mentioned, you’re telling me they can’t afford to cover the £30 cost? Even if it meant missing out on £30 for 60,000 tickets it would still only be £1.8million, 1.8mil that we will inevitably not spend in the summer. We are classy club but it’s about time the supporters got something back in return for all the money spent over the decade at the Emirates

das Pauly bear

Jasus that’s harsh pay extra to watch the lads choke and get hammered 5-0 great timing after 3 league games without a goal. Wtf


The club should be paying the fans to sit through the inevitable humiliation. Given the financial situation at Arsenal this price increase makes no sense


Really poor decision.

A Yank In King Arsene's West Stand

I’m so furious about this. We’re not getting a g.d. discount for drawing category C teams in the cup – I feel like the numbers must balance out in the end. It’s unbelievable how out of touch this decision was. And we don’t decide how the ST works, THEY’VE chosen the ‘seven cup fixtures’ allocation. I’ve already paid for this fucking ticket.

The Powers That Be are pricks. In case we needed more evidence.


Its the Kroenke consulting fee that is getting back at us…


This modern football malarky sure is fun, eh?

Between price gouging, articles on “five things we learned about Joey Barton’s flaming hoop this weekend”, overflowing digital gutters of “opinion” and sickening criminal club owners you might be able to see a thin slither of a game called football.


Woo! Money grab!

You could actually hear the dollar signs rack up in their eyes when we pulled Barcelona.

Likely held off the announcement hoping we’d turn in some good results but they ran out of time. Cynical, me?


I will be writing to arsenal, contract lawyer who sits next to me is currently going through the fine print. The issue is that they are varying the terms, but as they are effectively offering a full refund if you don’t want to pay extra there is a fair bit of wriggle room. Morally it is of course completely reprehensible!


A protest that would hurt the club financially and not the fans is to boycott the beer and food in the stadium.

If this was organised, it could be a threat that would cost the club far more than the Barcelona surcharge.

Dixon's awesome own goal

No booze at CL matches thanks to UEFA. Otherwise I would boycott that. Refreshing statement form the club in many ways. Stopped pretending we have a chance of getting through to the quarters by rinsing us for everything they can now.


Great idea.

I recommend for every fan to abandon buying any drinks or food in the stadium as a protest – something like this can make a real statement. On average people must spend at least £5 on food and beverages x 55,000 (our seating allocation?) = minimum £275,000.

This is all about the money. The owner or decision makers behind this will only stop if the “protest” hits them financially.

So hit them where it hurts so we can try enjoy us get hammered by Barca!

Gus Caesar

It is an excellent idea, although Arsenal actually don’t get the revenue from food and drinks sold so it would really just annoy the catering company. An alternative would be for people to stay clear of the club shops on the day of the game.


£16.11 thanks AFC.

Martin Finley

Greedy Bastards. I would happily pay more if the club really needed it and was not allready feckin neck deep in cash. It is not hard to understand why so many Gooners quit supporting the club and now enjoy lower league football instead. Like a friend of mine said it sometimes feel like the club as we knew it somewhere along the line just died and all thats left of it is it’s shell. And after the club past away the Shell was found and populated by this greedy soulless American corporation who only use the shell as a facade… Read more »


Am I missing something here? A season ticket includes 19 home premier league games and the FIRST SEVEN cup ties. I would urge season ticket holders to look into this because contractually that does not seem in order. Incredible that this club thinks that categorisation of matches should apply to season ticket holders who pay out in full weeks before the start of the season. This club regularly markets itself as a pioneer in the football world, but lets face it, that is drifting with the introduction of Kroenke and cheap tricks like this.


Someone needs to do a class action lawsuit against them. Consumer groups like Which? can instigate this.

Tom Spencer

This has come about due to Arsenal playing Bayern in the Group stage this year. Because the seeding changed we got a top seeded team which the club (fairly obviously) wanted to charge Cat A prices for – prices which the Bayern fans protested at the time! In terms of the T&Cs the club it seems the club have the right to do it (as we will be having 7 Cat A games) but it’s really stupid. It doesn’t even make that much financial sense as the club will be getting Cat A income for all the Silver and Red… Read more »

Ox in the box

Ok, I don’t want to be the one to come in Silent Stans defence, but then again… I don’t get the outlash. It has been said at the begining of the year, that season ticket holders have acecs to 6 cup games. It just so happens that Barcelona game is the 7th. Why is this a problem? Should club give away free tickets just because supporters are disgruntled? I agree that ticket prices are overly expe nsive, but even that isn’t the case here. 10-25 pounds for game with Barcelona isn’t that much, when you compare it with regular ticket… Read more »


Was it?


For a start, it’s totally unprecedented. They have never done this before and I’ve been a ST holder since 1992. They’ve varied their t’s and c’s over half way through the season, 9 months after the ticket was paid for. They can do so legally by offering to give you the chance to opt out. Secondly, Bayern at home in the group stages was also a category A match, which is also unprecedented. We’ve been top seeds for years in the group stage so the group games have always been Cat B. So we were charged extra because Arsenal fell… Read more »


Why do they have the chance to opt out? You’ve bought the ticket already. They can’t just increase price and say take a refund if you don’t like it. It’s your ticket, they can’t do anything with it.

Crash Fistfight

I’m just thinking out loud here, but I think it’s covered by the fact that they’re not charging anything for this season ticket, as otherwise it would constitute a counter offer by Arsenal in relation to the cost of this season’s season ticket. This based on the fact that they have accepted the fans’ offers in relation to the price of the ticket (i.e. when they pressed ‘pay’ that constitutes their offer to Arsenal, which was subsequently accepted and a ticket issued). With the money being added to next season’s ticket, it is effectively saying that your ‘offer’ for next… Read more »


Since everyone else is down-voting this without bothering to explain.

The season ticket includes seven cup games, and the Barcelona game is the seventh; which means it is covered.

What the club is trying to do is retroactively charge more for a ticket that all season ticket holders have already bought.


Good on the fans who walk out in protest at these ridiculous price increases. You would think the money they get from TV rights would be enough? Good article Tim. I hope the Liverpool fans walking out after 77 minutes will become a trend across the whole premier league.


This is being done so the clubs coffers swell so Kronke can find is NFL Rams move. The sooner we get a new owner the better.

little gretel

Capitalism rules!


As someone on the list for season tickets to the Rams games, if this helps get that $3 billion stadium bit than other fans will have to suffer for the greater good.

Seriously, looking at the drawings for the new Rams stadium. It’s going to be awesome.

We're not the American army...

Take your new stadium and then Ram it up your arse.
Arsenal fans are not here to fund your NFL stadia.
Stuff your drawings mate.


US taxpayers pay for stadia here.

Dan the Gooner

Seriously everybody, what do you think of the idea of a walkout? Let’s leave the stadium empty for the game. They would never do anything like this again! Capitulate, and it’s as good as acceptance.


The only realistic option here would be if a significant proportion of season ticket holders opted out of the game, putting 10s of thousands of tickets back on the market less than 3 weeks before the game.

If you are going to vote with your feet; do it properly. While it is a Barcelona game, it is also a midweek, category A fixture. If the club resell all of the seats, then good luck to them.

Making it happen is hard for all kinds of reasons; not least there is only a week to opt out.


Well, well, doesn’t this just confirm what our club has become, a cash cow for the already stinking rich yank! With Wenger being complicit. Keep the dough rolling in Arsene.

How very sad



Fuck the fans.

Jack Wheelchair

Ticketmaster and AFC have also fucked up two (TWO!) days when tickets SHOULD have gone on sale for Silver Members….
Obviously this juggling of prices has lead to the “technical error” spin, in my opinion.
Ripped off by a club we give our money to.


Fans would like to think Arsenal has a ‘style’ of football. The board knows it is just another ‘brand’ of football which is marketable.


This is all very American, you should see how they fleece us at NFL games. Couldn’t go foe less than 250 per person. Complain all you want about you 6 quid pies but how about 12 dollar hotdogs and 15 dollar beers.


Fucking ridiculous. Gouging bastards, they don.t appreciate loyal support. And dreadful PR


Outrageous … It should all be part of our season tkt price regardless of who we play …very clever knowing were getting knocked out anyway

Ronald Omia

I hope we (arsenal) are not hammered 7:0 just like my friends from the other side by Barcelona. ….what am saying let ticket prices match club ambition….period!!! Otherwise Wenger should consider quiting!!!

Far East Stand

The board needs to get realistic about the value of the product they’re selling.

We aren’t the best team in the world, by quite some distance, so it is unreasonable to charge the highest ticket prices in world football.

First put together the world’s best football team, then charge the world’s highest prices to watch them.


The Board are realistic. They know there are a lot of fans who will pay. And sadly thats reasonable enough for them…

Far East Stand

Sad but true I guess.


We are not even the best team in North London at the moment.
Another terrible decision by corporate Arsenal. Seriously had enough of the club and the way it treats it’s fans.


Most Arsenal fans are broke. If you doubt my statement, count the number of red-thumbs.


£22.16…will be offset at least by me giving up my Leicester seat to Ticket exchange…

Crash Fistfight

Unfortunately the club won’t care if you do – it’ll mean the same money for them, either way. The only protest that will affect them is one that hits their pockets. Even though it’s only a small gesture I agree with Perrygrovesshorts’s suggestion to not buying any of the ‘products’ on sale in the stadium. Something as invisible as this would affect them far greater than an empty stadium – as long as the tickets are paid for, what do they care? It’s not like there’s any atmosphere in the stadium as it is, with all the day-trippers having a… Read more »


They want to kill arsenal by their greed.Excuse me.


I had an email exchane with the box office last year when they charged gold members grade a prices for the bayern match as it was the 8th tie. I was under the impression we played a flat price for 26 games as we were loyal fans who stumped up over a grand 2 months before a ball is kicked year in, year out. HOW WRONG I WAS! no apparently we pay to watch the opposition and are charged accordingly. It was pointed out to me that why should i pay the same to watch coventry in the cup as… Read more »


Why is the Wenger out brigade here, it’s nothing to do with him. We can moan about it or the simple answer which is also the most difficult, is to not pay and don’t go to the game. A half empty stadium for the whole game hits them more than a empty stadium for 5 mins but everyone has paid anyway so it doesn’t matter! It’s time fans did this and why can’t it start with the fans who pay the most now? We all need to grow a pair and just do it

John C

Because he’s responsible for the product on the pitch, and if you’re going to charge the highest prices in World football then you need your manager to provide the best team in World football. Wenger doesn’t even attempt to sign the World’s best players, let alone build the World’s best team. This is where Wenger appears to show no sympathy towards the fan’s at all with his constant talk of “no value in the market” completely ignoring what value his team provide for the fan through the gate. Personally i do exactly what you suggest and am no longer prepared… Read more »

the stoat

To be honest I’m embarrassed by what the club has turned into and this is including Wenger in this statement


What can Wenger do?

I bet he is just as annoyed as any fan is right now.

It is a serious issue in football, has been for some time. Every Arsenal fan knows where Wenger stands on this topic. Just imagine if he publicly condemned this decision… He won’t do it though as it would cause a media frenzy, could cost him his job, and also derail our season.

Gus Caesar

Every year they massively ramp up the cost of renewing silver membership – last summer it exceeded £50 for the first time. £50 to essentially remain on their system and to have exactly the same right to buy a ticket as before (no chance of cup finals though…). Again, they know that people will pay because that’s the only way to access tickets easily. Is there any other walk of life where you annually pay £50 just to buy the right to buy something else?! Liverpool fans have got this right and fans of all teams need to stick together… Read more »


Rather than take the opt out option, you can sell a pair of tickets for this game upwards of £500 .Might as well put that to next years ticket. The club are forcing the supply on to the touts.

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