Londonist has no allegiance when it comes to football — we love all our clubs equally, be they league or non-league, winning or losing, minted or potless. But sometimes a piece of information lands at our doorstep which highlights a discrepancy in the sport's equality, and thanks to the BBC's Price of Football report published this morning, we must grimly report that Arsenal supporters are getting royally stitched-up by their club in a way that fans of other clubs can only stare in astonishment at.
According to the BBC's report, Gooners pay more for the club's cheapest season ticket than any other London club (any other club at all, in fact). Their most expensive season ticket is top of the money pile, and their most expensive single-match ticket is the most expensive of any club.
Heading into the more unusual statistics, Arsenal fans pay as much as anyone for a match-day cup of tea (joint with Crystal Palace and West Ham), for a match programme (joint with Crystal Palace and Fulham) and for a replica shirt (joint with Chelsea and Tottenham). To be an Arsenal fan is to part with more match-day funds than seems practicable even before the extraordinary price of alcohol comes into play.
There is one piece of good news for the Gunners, though. By a full 40p, Crystal Palace take the crown for the most expensive match-day pie. For some reason, AFC Wimbledon have failed to submit prices for their match day pies. Do they not sell pies? Come to think of it, who even eats pies at football?
The following table has been sorted by price of pie, obviously.
|Club||Cheapest season ticket||Most expensive season ticket||Cheapest match ticket||Most expensive match ticket||Programme||Pie||Tea|
|Dag & Red||£179||£400||£18||£21||£3.00||£2.50||£1.20|
The BBC's data reveals some intriguing facts. You can pay as little as £20 to watch a Premier League match, at West Ham. There are just two pounds between Leyton Orient's cheapest and most expensive single-match tickets. Based on the figures and the league they're in, the club that seems to be fairest to their supporters is probably Millwall. Every single match programme in London costs either £3 or £3.50. Surely the quality of Dagenham & Redbridge's £1.20 cup of tea must be called into question. And somehow Chelsea charge only £2.50 for a pie. Remarkable.
These are not, admittedly, the most exciting statistics in a sport awash with the bloody things. The BBC has compiled another set of numbers though, which do make more interesting reading. These are for the price each supporter pays 'per goal', based on the cheapest season ticket price divided by the number of times the home team manages to stick the ball in the back of the net, which is the whole point of the enterprise as we understand it.
|Club||Price per goal|
|Dag & Red||£12.00|
Yet more grim reading for the red half of north London. We wonder how Arsenal supporters will react to the knowledge that they pay almost exactly twice as much for each goal than Chelsea fans who, given the way this season's going, may well end up winning the league as well.
That said, on this measurement Arsenal are not the most expensive club in the country. That triumph goes to Norwich, who charged their fans a bumper £29.38 per goal last season. And got relegated. Shame.
Will London clubs continue to rinse their supporters following the revelations in the data? Yes, yes they will. But it'll be interesting to hear the inevitable justifications from certain quarters, in particular a certain oval building in N5.
The full date of the BBC's Price of Football study is available at the BBC website.