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Arsenal’s title implosion sees ticket touts' payday go up in smoke

The Premier League is the most entertaining and unpredictable football league in the world, meaning that demand for tickets almost always outstrips supply. But Arsenal’s title implosion sees ticket touts' payday go up in smoke.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 17.05.2023
Arsenal title implosion sees ticket touts' payday go up in smoke

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The Premier League is the most entertaining and unpredictable football league in the world, meaning that demand for tickets almost always outstrips supply.

One of the significant downsides to the Premier League’s global appeal, however, is that it has seen the number of ticket touts skyrocket as they try and capitalise on the English top flight’s success for their own good. 

What is a ticket tout?

If you’re unfamiliar with how a ticket tout operates, it is an individual who buys tickets from a club’s official site with the sole purpose of reselling them at a far higher price in order to make a profit. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that these touts are the scourge of the modern game and the reason for this uncompromising view is simple; their self-serving actions make it virtually impossible for a large percentage of legitimate fans to watch the team they support without parting with a sum that they quite simply can’t afford.

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Owing to the size of this problem, Premier League clubs have, unsurprisingly, made it one of their top priorities to suspend ticket accounts they believe are purely seeking to make a profit. Indeed, every effort is being made to ensure that lifelong fans are given a fair opportunity to purchase tickets for the biggest games in their club’s season but it is a battle that is proving difficult to win. Every now and then though, it is not the powers that be of a club that intervenes to derail the plans of scheming ticket touts but rather fate instead. 

Arsenal on the brink of history 

With ten games to go in the 2022/2023 season, Arsenal were eight points clear of Manchester City in the table and on course to win the Premier League for the first time since 2004. Of course, calculating ticket touts across Europe were alive to this which is why when tickets went on sale for the Gunners’ last home game of the season - which would have severed as the historic championship party, these individuals pounced. In short, ticket touts snapped up thousands of tickets for this final home fixture which were initially on sale for £66 and in some cases, set the resale value at an eye-watering £50,000.

— Premier League (@premierleague) May 15, 2023

To put that price into context, it’s worth looking at the most expensive sporting tickets in 2023 which we can do courtesy of data released by SlotsOnlineCanada.com. On this list, you’ll find that the most expensive ticket to a sporting fixture this year was to watch the Super Bowl Final in Arizona at a price of £7,480. Just behind that was UFC 286 in London where tickets were going for £3,557 per person. Now, keep in mind that these Arsenal tickets were around £43,000 more expensive than the most-watched events of 2023 so far.

Yes, it was a shameless act but these touts knew that there would be fans with the financial means who wanted to be there when history was made. When the club became aware of this, they did release a strongly-worded statement on their website Arsenal.com but it was impossible to put the genie back into the bottle at this stage. 

Arsenal's title charge derails 

However, just six weeks on from Arsenal leading City by eight points, the Gunners now trail Pep Guardiola's men by four with only two games to play. In other words, following a disastrous run of results in early spring that culminated in a 3-0 loss to Brighton on May 14th, Arsenal will not win the league.

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 15, 2023

Crucially, this also means that demand for the final game of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers has spectacularly fizzled out with the same touts now selling these tickets for 250 times cheaper as Express.co.uk details here. 

Irrespective of how satisfying this tale is in terms of opportunistic ticket touts being unable to earn a significant payday, more robust practices have to be implemented to protect genuine fans who want to witness their club's finest hour.

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