The Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) has told the club to reduce its ticket prices if it fails to qualify for the Champions League next season, reports The Daily Mail.
Arsenal currently have the most expensive tickets in the country with Champions League seats costing as much as £100. Champions League revenue is worth £45million annually so if Arsenal fail to finish in the top four this season, there is already likely to be a major shortfall in the club’s budget which won’t be assuaged by any prospective ticket price cut.
The monthly meeting of the AST revealed that the club is presently in a state of stagnation. With the average age of the board a crusty 73 and major shareholder Stan Kroenke content to sit on his burgeoning investment, Gooners are growing increasingly disenchanted with the running of the club.
Arsenal will have a total of £160million in the bank in June 2012 but with the annual wage bill standing at £130million, there is little room for manouevre without some serious investment by the board. And with Kroenke blocking any attempt by billionaire Alisher Usmanov to acquire a seat on the board, the club may even be in danger of breaching the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations if it fails to qualify for the Champions League.
Usmanov recently acquired the shares held by the board of Rangers and now nearly has the 30% stake required in order to examine the club’s accounts and bid for the remaining shares. Kroenke, who holds a 66.82% operating stake, has once again reiterated his opposition to the Uzbek business magnate but with fans growing increasingly restless it may be more than the price of Europa League tickets that the board will have to contend with over the course of the next six months.