Firstly let me say sincere commiserations that your beloved Arsenal football franchise failed to earn qualification for the Champions League of European Football tournament next year, twice in recent weeks. I won't dwell on the recent heavy defeat to your London 'rivals' in the European B competition final. I'm sure with time, the pain of this loss will fade, and I'm sure your son will be grateful for the cultural experiences, not to mention air miles, gained from travelling to Baku.
No, today's missive is actually about those pesky season tickets I've got to renew. This year will be the first time that I essentially have to pay you the almost 4k for my Upper East double perch, now that you've got 100% control of the
franchise club. This letter hopes to outline the pros & cons a normal customer fan faces each year, but this year in particular. So, without further ado, let's weight them up:
I love you Arsenal, I do! Yes, having left North London for my Swiss enclave, I only get to use my seats about 4 or 5 times each season. Sometimes I get to see us thrash a lowly side like Huddersfield or give one of the top sides a good run for their fair played money. But, sitting on the Upper East stand looking across at your trusty Spanish general gesticulating and pacing about in the technical area, I feel part of something bigger, something that gives epic highs and Baku.
Cost: Stan, I know 4k is a drop in the ocean between North London and yourself, but it adds up.
Treatment: Stan, I couldn't make the Europa League game against Napoli, at that moment in the season it was really the biggest match of the year. I went to sell the tickets on the Club's ticket exchange website. It offered me 54 quid per ticket. Sure Thursday evenings are normally busy for most people, but 54 quid for a must win game in the latter stages? I ended up giving the tickets to a friend for gratis. The fees, and inflexibility of this ticket exchange are like playing three card monte street hustle. I am a paying fan, some respec' bro!?
Fair play: Stan, it some ways, I should commend you for not flouting the rules around fair play money injections. But, Stan... Winter is coming, yes, I mean Everton and Wolves... Stan, Thursday football is bad, but heaven forbid we fall out of the top 6. Surely my annual investment in your club, should be matched with some investment by you? You scratch my back, and I'll keep scratching yours??
Baku: Sitting in the Heydar Aliyev almost International airport after the Europa league final, perhaps waiting for Josh's private jet to clear the runway, I just thought to myself, "If I don't renew, will I be part of the problem or part of the solution?" By solution, I mean say I'm not the only one to not renew... And say this year or next year the once mighty season ticket waiting list is no more, and then say a few years hence the once full stadium becomes a little like the Baku bowl, i.e. half empty? Then you would be left with a horrible decision, take the money and run, or invest some money to get the team back competing and the seats back full... What say you Stan, stick or twist?
Yours faithfully, FT.