I am the proud owner of an Arsenal season ticket. I pay the lowest possible amount you can pay for a season ticket, which is just over £1,000 per season, to which I have paid there or thereabouts for the last couple of years. 

Am I happy about having to fork out more than any other fan? Of course not. Would I love to see my season ticket halved, to make it more affordable, so I can spend that £500 elsewhere? Of course I would. But with the publishing of the BBC’s Price of Football report yesterday, questions over the match day experience have once again been raised as to why football fans are having to pay through the nose for their obsession.

It doesn’t make me happy that the price of shirts and programmes are so expensive. I’m not pleased that the price of a pie at Arsenal is £3.70 and probably the same as a pint and a pie in Burnley. But equally I am struggling to get too ‘red mist’ over the findings, if I’m honest, because I recognise the environment that we live in. Football, the Premier League specifically, is a global product these days and as such, has seen demand rise so significantly that teams are building new stadiums and extending existing stadiums left, right and centre. There is so much demand to experience live football, that waiting lists are through the roof. I’ve got the Management on the Arsenal season ticket waiting list. I think she’s about 40,000 in the queue. That’s a whole other stadium that can be filled with people desparate to buy a season ticket. Arsenal season tickets must therefore, given this demand, be seen as a precious commodity and if the price of oil can be determined by market factors, why do we think the price of watching football would not be exposed to similar levels of demand?

Bayern Munich fans are preparing to enter the stadium five minutes after the whistle has blown next week. They say it is to highlight the future of football and whilst I applaud their sentiment, they clearly must not have the same level of demand for their tickets as the Premier League, because at Arsenal if a large selection of fans stopped going, others would replace them.

Again, I need to stress that I am not advocating paying more, nor do I believe I currently pay an acceptable price for my season ticket. I’m merely pointing out the – what I perceive to be – futility of the situation that English football finds itself in. In Germany Bayern have the pick of every player in the division. Just below them are a few clubs that operate in a second tier, but below that the quality of football and the ability to attract players, is a difficult situation. The Bundesliga is nowhere near as competitive as the Premier League and the result of that is that it is not as global as the Premier League and you don’t see mid table teams picking up Payet’s, Ayew’s or Shaquiri’s. So perhaps it’s easier to cap prices when the product does not have as global appeal?

As for the price of pies and replica shirts, well, I just don’t buy them any more. Not in the ground, anyway, as I use other food outlets for my pre-match substitutes. What I would campaign for, as I think this is something all of the clubs could and should be doing, is capping the price of children’s replica shirts. The power of the pester, coupled with the need to excite the next generation of football fans, should see that prices for items or tickets for children are drastically lower than that for adults. I can’t believe that the clubs in the Premier League make too much money on children’s merchandise, so why not just sell it at a vastly discounted rate? It would be a good PR win for the Premier League, parents wouldn’t have to blow half a months wages and we’d be encouraging the obsession that has led most of us Arsenal supporting adults to become deeply embroiled in. 

Those in power can, and should, at least act in this regard.

Anyway, we’re getting closer towards kick off for the Watford game and hopefully we’ll get some news on players by the end of play today with the traditional ‘Arsène talks to the official site first’ release that normally comes in the evening. That is if his presser isn’t moved to today because of the away game, but with it being at Watford it’s only three junctions along the M25 from London Colney, so it’s not as if the team need to travel over land and see (and Leicester) so I’d expect it to be tomorrow. I just hope that the fitness of Alexis is being monitored very closely. We all know he’s like the T1000, but there will come a point where he’ll either break down or explode into a ball of fiery kinetic energy, so I wonder if he might get a rest given his exertions in South America during the week. We shall wait and see with intrigue.

The day has just begun for me, so I’ll clock off on today’s Arsenal proceedings, leaving you and yours to enjoy whatever it is you do with your day/evening. Peace out.