Arsenal or Ajax tickets – Is it any better on the continent?
I’ve chatted with a few buddies recently about ticket prices and arguing until I’m blue in the face that Arsenal do not have the most expensive tickets in the EPL. The two chaps I spoke with are not Arsenal fans, one is a Liverpool fan and the other is a Bristol Rovers fan (I live in Bristol these days).
The Liverpool fan hasn’t been to an away game for over 10 years and maybe makes it to Anfield about 4 times a year, once for the Merseyside derby and the other times for what we Gooners know as category C fixtures.
The Rovers fan however goes to every home game and 80% of away games with The Gas. He has never been to the Emirates although he has said he would love to but can’t justify the cost especially when him and a few other mates hop around Europe a few times a year catching games in other leagues in countries like Belgium, Czech Republic, Holland, Portugal, Austria and Denmark or any league where you can name at least one “decent” team for less than the price of day in London.
As most fans of English Premier League clubs might tell you, they’re sick of paying more than they can afford to see their favourite team in action. Watching a game in London at Arsenal, Chelski or Totteringham might set you back over £50 for the ticket and there’s all the extras to think of, but is it any better on the continent? My buddy seems to think it is and I was curious to see if he was right as I wouldn’t mind joining him on a few boozy football trips especially if we are going to take in places like Ajax.
Arsenal are reportedly one of the most expensive clubs to watch in the world but how do they compare to a club on the continent of similar stature such as Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam? According to a survey from the BBC of football fans from all over the UK, they revealed the following statistics about the cost of following the Gunners:
- Tickets to an individual game tend be around £60 per game for adults
- A matchday programme costs £3
- A hot pie will set you back £3.30
- £2 is the price of a cup of tea
- An Underground ticket from Central London for a return journey costs upwards of £5 if using an Oyster Card
The average cost without a beer pre-, during or post-match or other travel costs if like me and many of my fellow Gooners no longer live in London or within walking distance of Ashburton Grove is roughly £72.
For some casual fans that’s reasonable value, to regulars and wannabe-regulars that might be too much to see what they want to see but are Ajax any cheaper than Arsenal and do they offer value for money in terms of quality football and the overall matchday package?
Ajax enjoy a reputation for playing great football and for producing some world-class talents at their youth academy. If their youth players are good enough, they’re given a chance to shine in the Eredivisie, Dutch football’s highest level.
Although the quality of the Dutch top flight isn’t as high as that on show in the English Premier League, Ajax are one of the best teams and the likes of Danish youngster Christian Eriksen are a joy to watch. However, are they cheaper or more expensive to watch than Arsenal?
In terms of paying for a ticket and most of the peripherals including the match programme and food, it is. Typically, the cheapest tickets in the Dutch top flight are less than £20, while a package with Ajax for a match costs just over £50, taking in a tour of the Amsterdam Arena.
Go over or stay home?
The cost of travelling to Amsterdam and back, not to mention hotels might prove to be the difference for fans. There are tickets available for as low as £76, but they need to be booked in advance, while the same usually goes for hotels.
On the face of it you could get to an overseas games for less than £100 so as a break, a trip to watch football on the continent is a good idea. It allows you to see the game in a different light, and even with travel and accommodation to take into account, the savings made on tickets alone could make it worthwhile.
I don’t think I’ll be giving up my trips to the Emirates for a trip overseas every time but if for a few hundred quid I could have a weekend in Amsterdam and take in a football match at one of the most vibrant stadiums in Europe I’ll certainly be signing up.
Who knows, with the global fan base we have maybe we could arrange a few match-dates with our overseas Gooners. They could play host to us at their local football ground and show us around and we could welcome them over here to a match at the Emirates or a quality away trip to another Premier League ground.
Maybe a few trips overseas might get me a scouts job with Arsenal 😉
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