A Real rip-off?

Arsenal blogger Vic Crescit wonders if the bracing sea air hasn’t made a few Cherries board members a bit light-headed in signing up Real Madrid for a pre-season visit to Dean Court...

As a Gooner I’m pretty unshockable when it comes to ticket prices. We know that all too many football clubs treat their most loyal fans as turnstile fodder to be ruthlessly fleeced for every last tanner. No “tanner” isn’t a typo. It’s the nickname for the pre-decimalisation sixpenny piece worth 2.5p in today’s money.

In those pre-decimal days at the turn of the 1970s it cost me two shillings or 20p to watch Arsenal. Adults paid 40p. My first FA Cup Final ticket in 1971 set me back 75p. When Arsenal finally introduced standing season tickets in 1981/82 they cost £60 and covered every League match and up to five League Cup and FA Cup games.

Later this month non-season ticket holder Cherries fans will be asked to part with £60 to watch one friendly match. Are you ‘avin’ a larf? Alright, the opposition is Real Madrid but stone me, sixty sheets! Are you sure?

Season ticket holders will get a fiver off making tickets for them a mere £55. Bargain! And as for U16s and pensioners, a ticket will be theirs for a miserly £45 or £40 for season ticket holders. Hold me back.

Sources close to a major English club tell me that Real Madrid’s starting price for a pre-season friendly is €400,000 or around £341,880 plus first class/five star travel, accommodation and food for two nights. Depending on the exact mix of tickets sold even a sell-out would only produce around £400,000.

Another £50,000 or so can probably be raked in for broadcast rights. I tend to think that a crowd of 5,000-6,000 is more likely at the nose-bleed prices being charged. If I’m right then a whacking loss would result. I’m sure red ink wasn’t the intention when this fixture was arranged.

I hope I’m wrong but I fear that the AFC Bournemouth board may have badly miscalculated. The Cherries and their fans have seen enough monetary trauma over recent decades without a financial own goal.

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this blog.

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