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Spurs and Arsenal ticket price hikes – fan groups hit back

Despite being the eighth richest club in world football, Tottenham Hotspur’s hierarchy have decided that the club doesn’t have enough money and the best way to fix that is to put the squeeze on their most long-serving supporters – pensioners with season tickets.

There’s no case of age discrimination at Spurs though as the club have said there’ll be a 6% increase for all other adult season ticket holders. So everyone loses!

The club have also announced that, unless you’re already eligible for a “senior concession” by 2025-26 they’ll no longer offer OAP season ticket discounts at all. They’re gone forever.

So if you’re a 60-year-old and have had a season ticket for 40 years you’ll never, ever be able to buy one at a senior concession rate – even if you live to be 100-years-old you’ll still pay full price.

To add insult to injury the club have insinuated that these measures are backed by supporters groups – their release says these changes have been made “following discussions with our Fan Advisory Board and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust.”

This is misleading in the extreme – a more accurate form of wording from the club would be to say: “We spoke to the Fan Advisory Board (FAB) and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) but we didn’t like what they said so we’re going against matchgoing supporters’ wishes.”

Spurs have a track record in trying to use the FAB as a PR shield – the club’s deal with the unpopular cryptocurrency firm Socios was launched in similar fashion with THST having to put out clarifying statements outlining their opposition to the deal. 

(Re: crypto-peddlers Socios. This is from their own website – “The performance of most cryptoassets can be highly volatile, with their value dropping as quickly as it can rise. You should be prepared to lose all the money you invest in cryptoassets.”)

Prices hikes at Arsenal

It’s not just Spurs who seem intent on testing their supporters’ patience / wallets as Arsenal announced last month that they would push up season ticket prices by 10%. 

Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST): “This size of increase is unnecessary at a time when club revenues from broadcast and commercial revenues will increase by up to £150m over two seasons to exceed a predicted half a billion pounds during this current season.”

AST say the club will also “reduce the senior concession benefits offered including removing any option for new purchases of a discounted season ticket and greatly reducing the match by match discount.”

This is an issue which matters to all supporters, rivals or not:

What does the FSA think?

Arsenal and Spurs are out the door early on announcing ticket price rises – so while this feature focuses on those clubs we fear that more price rises are set to follow at other clubs.

We’ll work with our affiliated supporters’ groups at Arsenal and Spurs to combat any rises or policies which they oppose at a local level, and raise any issues which have wider ramifications with the Premier League (or EFL and FA where appropriate).

Football has a spending problem, not an income problem, and top-flight clubs have more money than ever before. Squeezing the longest-serving, most loyal supporters seems a particularly questionable way of doing business. 

And Spurs’ repeated attempts to make supporter groups complicit in unpopular decisions just makes their actions worse.

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