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Wenger: Arsenal prices had to rise

Fri 6th May 2011 | Money & Finance

Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal had little option but to take the hard decision to increase ticket prices at Emirates Stadium as the Gunners aim to keep pace on the pitch with their big-spending Barclays Premier League rivals.

Arsenal - who look set for a sixth season without silverware - dismayed supporters' groups earlier this week when they confirmed prices would rise by an overall 6.5%.

The cheapest season ticket is set to be around £951, with most to be paid up front.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis admitted he shared fans' disappointment at the cost of watching Premier League football, and maintained the Gunners were working towards "reducing our reliance on the matchday fan as our biggest source of income".

Wenger accepts placing an extra burden on supporters in difficult financial times is far from ideal, but one of the avenues the club have to explore as they aim to stay competitive in an unbalanced market.

"We try in every single way to increase our income to fight with the other clubs, but the resources will always be down to three different incomes - media, sponsorship and gate receipts," said Wenger, who is set to compromise the team's usual pre-season build-up by going on a lucrative overseas tour this summer.

"We tried to keep the [ticket] increase as low as possible, and we spoke about that at the board meeting. Unfortunately the expenses always go up.

"We do not master the expenses because the expenses are dictated by our opponents.

"That is why the [UEFA] financial fair play [rules] are so important because we are pushed into a situation that we do not master because if our opponents do not respect the financial fair play, our expenses will always go up and we can only reflect that as low as possible on the ticket prices."

 

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