• Premier League

Wenger: Tickets high because we don't have City money

ESPN staff
January 11, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended his club's decision to charge Manchester City supporters £62 to attend Sunday's Premier League game at Emirates Stadium.

City fans were so outraged at the price the Gunners were charging them to watch their team that 912 of the 3,000 tickets allocated to the away side were sent back and will now be sold to Arsenal supporters.

Wenger admitted he was concerned about rising ticket prices, but insisted the revenue created by the paying public on matchdays was crucial to the financial stability of the club as they are not being financed by a wealthy benefactor.

"Ideally you want ticket prices to be as low as possible, but on the other hand the only way we can pay the wages and compete without any external help is through the ticket prices because it is our main income," Wenger said. "Therefore we are in this situation where, of course, the prices are high. I am really worried they are high for our supporters. For the visitors, it only happens once per year, so that is less of a concern.

"Ideally you want ticket prices to be affordable to everybody. It is a very delicate subject. It is down to every individual to decide: 'Do I spend the money or not to go anywhere to watch anything?' If you want to go to a concert tomorrow, you look at the price of a ticket and after if it is too high for you, you say yes or no. That is everybody's individual responsibility."

Wenger also believes the demand for tickets suggests his club are providing the paying public with value-for-money entertainment. "What is very important is that we try to give value for money and that our attitude is absolutely 100 per cent committed to try and achieve that," he said.

"Everybody can have a different opinion when he comes out of the stadium. Did he get enough for what he has spent? You have to leave that to every individual. The only way you can measure that is if people come back or not. At the moment, we sell out our games."

With City set to have a smaller away following than usual on Sunday, Mancini regrets that many of his side's supporters are unable to afford the tickets. "We are disappointed for this because we need our fans away. We have fantastic fans, fantastic support. We are sorry for this," he said.

Arsenal currently boast the most expensive top-price ticket in the Premier League at £126, while they also lead the way in season ticket pricing, with their cheapest annual pass coming in at £985 and their most expensive at £1,995.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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