Arsenal fans concerned by ticket price rise

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Arsenal risk losing a significant number of their loyal fans by raising season ticket prices for next season, a supporters group has warned.

The Gunners have increased the prices for the 7,000 'club' level season ticket holders by 6.5 per cent for next season and there are fears that they could apply the same rise across the board to all supporters.

Club level members, who pay from £2,500 a year, will see their yearly ticket price rise to £2,625.

The move has drawn strong condemnation from the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST), who claim that the hike could see a number of fans turn their back on the club.

An AST spokesman said: "We are very concerned at the impact this will have on the fans at a time when bills are increasing, wages aren't and some people are losing their jobs.

"It's a big increase for fans to stomach in one go and for some people it is just closing them out.

"Some members have come to us already expressing their concern. They are worried that they won't be able to afford to come to games.

"This is stretching some fans' loyalty to the limit."

Arsenal say the increase is only four per cent, with the additional money being added on due to the Government's increase in VAT, and point out this is the first increase in season ticket prices since the 2008-09 season.

An Arsenal spokesperson said: "We obviously take any decisions like this carefully. We have decided to make this increase at club level to keep up with the rising costs.

"A decision on the cost of other season ticket prices has not yet been made."

The AST argues that the club should be working harder to gain revenue from other sources rather than push fans to pay more money during a recession.

"Arsenal must work harder at securing more revenue through commercial projects so the fans do not have to pay extra," the AST spokesman added.

"The Government's VAT increase means that they get another £2million from the club this year. What the AST would like is to see the Government support football clubs more too."