Manchester City Fan Explains Why He's Not Attending Arsenal Away

Manchester City's failure to sell out their 2,900 allocation for Sunday's Premier League fixture at Arsenal has gained plenty of coverage this week as the cost of ticket prices in English football returns to the forefront.

The price for an away supporter's brief at the Emirates Stadium this weekend is £62 now that the club, after the success they have enjoyed the past few seasons, are a Category A team. But City have returned 800 tickets.

Last season the Premier League champions sold out an extended allocation of 5,200 tickets, priced at £20 and £10, for their League Cup quarter-final win at the Emirates.

Although some City supporters are boycotting this week's game in protest at the cost of watching their team, others have different explanations. Here, a London-based City fan explains why he will not be attending the game.

Arsenal is a local game for me and I would normally be going. I had planned on it but when ticket prices were released it was a few weeks before Christmas and New Year with quite a heavy schedule ahead.

At the time £62 was not available to me so I had to make a choice - the wife's Christmas present or Arsenal away. If I'd known a good divorce lawyer...

Yes there has been a lot of complaining over the cost but for those travelling down it's much, much worse.

My travel would be the Overground-Peckham Rye to Highbury and Islington but coming down from Manchester is a different issue: up to £68 train, with food and beverages on top it soon stacks up to around £150 for a day out, which is very hard to justify. You also have to take into consideration there will be 20+ away days a season - admittedly no where near £62 but often not far off.

Arsenal have said this would be a guaranteed sell out, so they could charge City fans inflated ticket prices to enable them to subsidise "less attractive" games in the future. Is it fair? No. Are Arsenal alone in doing this? No. City do the same, albeit not by quite as much but still only £10 cheaper.

A fairer way would be that all tickets for every game were priced around £45 regardless.

I feel the way the sending back of 900+ tickets has been taken out of context. This was done two weeks before Christmas when sales and interest was poor - how many people were in the same predicament as me?

City would have been liable for those unsold tickets (£60,000 or there abouts) if they had not been returned by an agreed time.

Most people have just had two weeks holiday, but now that the official site is saying it's "sold out" it's a big story.

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