Let's hope so eh? The FA Cup was already our biggest chance of silverware this season, and even more so now we've knocked out Liverpool. A home tie against Everton awaits; win that and we're two matches from our 11th FA Cup.
Of course what the draw means is we now have a further home match not covered by season tickets and it's a match where Arsenal stand to coin it in once more. Now I'm going to be very crude with figures in this article as I don't have the time to research them in detail, but I don't imagine they're too far from the case. With the average home match bringing in around £3m in revenue to Arsenal, taking the price differentials into account for Category C and Category A matches, I'm assuming:
- Category B pricing: Average ticket cost £49. Matchday revenue c. £3,000,000.
- Category C pricing: Average ticket cost £35 (29% reduction from Cat. B). Matchday revenue c. £2,130,000.
- Category A pricing: Average ticket cost £84 (72% [!!] increase from Cat. B). Matchday revenue c. £5,160,000.
Already there is the match against Bayern Munich which wouldn't have been budgeted for and based on the figures above it could bring in around £5m of income to Arsenal. That's not including TV revenue and prize money from UEFA, but even so it's a fair old wedge.
Now we have another home match, against Everton in the FA Cup. Normally this fixture would be classed as Category B in the Premier League, meaning an average ticket price of £49 (£36.50 for any Everton fans reading this). At these prices and assuming revenue of £3m, this means Arsenal - bearing in mind they take only 45% of the gate receipts for an FA Cup match - would bring in roughly £1,350,000. Of course the game is likely to be televised which means even more income.
Should Arsenal make Everton Category C?
Given the huge outlay made by our supporters and the scandalous decision by the club to charge Category A prices for Bayern Munich, making Everton a Category C game would be a way of giving our loyal fans a breather. Let's face it, we're caned enough with our ticket prices!
If they did make Everton a Category C match, this would mean income of around £960,000 plus TV revenue. All in all over a million quid of extra cash.
How much will Arsenal bring in from these two extra matches?
In total, the two extra matches will bring in between £6m and £7.5m. I'll say it again, this is money they won't have planned on bringing in, and again it doesn't take into account TV revenue and prize money.
Key issues for Arsenal to consider
To my mind this poses more for Arsenal's number crunchers and decision makers to think about. They must bear in mind the prices they already charge for tickets, which are the highest in football. They must bear in mind that they've already caned loyal season ticket holders with a Category A price for the Bayern Munich match. Two key issues are...
- What should be the price point for the FA Cup match with Everton; Category B, or do they recognise the huge financial pressures on an already hard-pressed fanbase and make it Category C?
- Cancel the planned 3% price rise for next season.
As mentioned above, Arsenal stand to bring in £6m to £7.5m in revenue they hadn't planned for, with the two additional home cup matches (and more could still come). The price rise they announced for next season stood to make them an extra £2.8m. So why not cancel this rise, bearing in mind the club will still be richer to the tune of around £4m?
Here's some more food for thought, for the decision makers at Arsenal...
- Recognise the loyalty of your core support
- Recognise the huge uplift in commercial income
- Recognise our Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis, said that improved commercial deals would mean less reliance on fans having to foot the bill
- Recognise the huge uplift in TV revenue
- Recognise the additional revenue brought from these two extra cup matches
In short, make Everton a Category C match and cancel the 3% price rise. You've already made more than you stood to make from the rise, so ease up on the greed and consider your loyal supporters.
Up The Gunners.