Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal’s CEO (for now?), responded rather quickly to an Arsenal Supporters’ Trust letter sent to him last week regarding how ticket prices will be impacted if the club ends up in the Europa League - a first for the club in 18 years:
"Many thanks for your thoughtful letter about pricing for next season. Although it is something we don't want to happen, we have obviously given this a good deal of thought both this season and in previous years. I can assure you that the key objectives you have identified - fairness and strong attendances - underpin the work we have done in this area. Should we end up in the Europa League we will announce our plans swiftly so people know what is happening".
As we’ve outlined before, as well as virtually every EPL talking head and blog/website the past few weeks, Arsenal need to win out their last two matches and have Championship-bound, 19th placed Middlesbrough win away at Anfield on the penultimate matchday of the season to back their way into a 19th consecutive season in the Champions League. The odds, while still above 0%, do not favor our favorite club at the moment. So it makes quite a bit of sense that AST is concerned how Arsenal will handle ticket prices for lesser home European matches, and Gazidis being extremely receptive to the Trust’s request.
It further shines a light on the apparent fact that the club has routinely planned in the past for a future that involves Europa League in place of Champions League (and, apparently, no European football at all). Think of it how companies plan for disaster scenarios and their blueprints on surviving and eventually returning back to normal operations.
Arsenal isn’t a club that should accept multiple seasons in the Europa League, given their vast amount of resources and location, but it’s good to see that they’re planning on easing up a bit in regards to ticket prices knowing they’ve gone up dramatically over the last handful of years in part due to participating in a competition they probably won’t be in next season.