LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 01: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal holds off Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on May 1, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
A Cultured Left Foot breaks down the ticket price increase, and points out that the increase won't necessarily cover wage increases and new signings directly:
For many months, a direct correlation has been made between ticket prices and the amount of spending that the club makes in the transfer market. The two are entirely separate issues but when the ticket prices are amongst the most expensive in the world for football matches, it is easy to link the two simply by suggestion.
Arseblog, meanwhile, in his thoughts on the matter, makes a more general point about how rising prices change the nature of football support:
And I’m not trying to excuse or condone it, merely understand it, because if I had to front a decision like that I’d be very hard to convince. Gazidis is hands on, he knows how fans feel and what the consequences would be, yet it went ahead. There will be people priced out of renewals, which is a real shame, and the games become less affordable for many people.
Being an America-based Arsenal blog, and speaking as someone who has only ever known the club through a television, I can't really imagine what it would be like to attend a match at Highbury or the Emirates as one's first experience of the club (although I imagine it's something like the scenes of childhood in the English Fever Pitch). It's easy to imagine, though, how powerful an experience that could be for somebody. The shift away from working-class supporters is an issue far beyond the scope of this blog, but it does appear to be the reality at the Emirates.
Arseblog also offers his thoughts on Jack Wilshere wanting to play for the U-21s; I really just hope that somebody sits down with him and, while acknowledging his desire to play every day, warns him of the dangers of continuous top-end 110% effort with no rest. Please.