When I agreed to take on this subject, last week, I couldn’t have imagined that writing it today- in the aftermath of our fantastic win in Manchester- I would end up feeling kind of mean spirited.

But I did agree and, ultimately, the fact that we won at Eastlands on Sunday doesn’t change anything regarding Arsenal’s ticket prices. Except, maybe, if Arsenal supporters believe that there is a proper team in the making, we might be prepared to dig a little deeper into our pockets.

Of course, that won’t be necessary this summer, as Arsenal have announced their 6th ticket price freeze in ten years.

On the face of it, an admirable gesture, of course it is.

Less admirable when you think that the cheapest ticket available to a Red Member, which- in the words of the immortal Iñigo Montoya- I am, for a category A fixture is £64. Let me say that again, £64 to go and watch a football team and, over the years, not a particularly great one.

The situation for a Red Member wanting to go to a cat A game is made even worse by the fact that those £64 tickets are in the lower tier and, effectively, unavailable to Red Members. In the upper tier, the prices range from £74.50- £95.50.

Who can really justify spending £100 on a football match? Who can justify charging it?

Especially when, games against West Ham, Liverpool and Spurs aside, Arsenal have made a bit of a habit of not winning those games. I can think of better things to spend my hard earned cash on and they wouldn’t make me as miserable as watching us get beat 4-1 by Chelsea, or 3-1 against United. Or drawing 4-4 with, or even losing 3-2 having been 2-0 up to, that lot up the road (yes, I was at all of those games).

Of course, some people will continue to pay these prices, because; a) they can afford to and; b) they don’t want to miss out. Effectively these people are hostages to fortune.

But if you think about your own experiences watching Arsenal at home since 2006, isn’t it almost certain that your best experiences have come in the Cat A games? Beating Burnley 3-0 doesn’t quite hold the excitement as beating Spurs 5-2 from 2-0 down, Chelsea 3-1 or Barcelona 2-1 with two late goals. And, yes, I was at all of these games too. But I almost certainly wouldn’t have been at any of them had it not been for a good friend of mine.

Perhaps that’s what going to football should be about, I don’t know.

I do know that for someone like me, paying £100 to go and watch a football match simply isn’t sustainable. I have been priced out of these games and I’m not sure, beyond sheer greed, Stan Kroneke’s £3m payout and the laws of supply and demand, I fully understand the reasons why.

Or is that all there is to understand?

Further, is it right for a football club to do this? I have been an Arsenal fan for over 25 years now and a Red Member since the scheme’s inception, I don’t think the argument “If you can’t afford it, tough” is acceptable. It’s not even an argument, really. I’ve put my time in, I’ve spent the money- not as much as some, granted, but as much as I could.

Why should I be priced out of going to cat A games?

Arsenal have, in fairness, reduced their ticket prices for some of the lesser lights of the Premier League, which definitely is a welcome move. It means that you can pay £26-£39 and watch Arsenal hammer the crap out of relegation fodder*. Unless, of course, the visitors somehow grab a goal and then you’re treated to a series of five -minute-long goals kicks. In some cases, this happens from minute one anyway.

Cat B? £36.50-£55.50- I reckon I’ve paid out an average of £50 on those tickets down the years and, again, it drains you if it’s happening every fortnight. By way of comparison, I went to the cinema- another (much warmer, and if you choose wisely, guaranteed) form of entertainment about 20 times lat year- I probably spent around £250 total on those trips- that’s the equivalent of 5 cat B games, or 3 or 4 cat As.

I realise that some of you, those of you who can afford, and are happy to pay for, your season tickets, or to go every fortnight as a Red Member will have no sympathy with this article whatsoever and that’s fine with me. However, it’s worth remembering that there’s a whole host of people out there- like me- who love this club passionately but can’t, or won’t, be skinned by the club any more. You probably know at least one person who’s had to stop going. I do and, no, I’m not talking about me.

Increasingly, Arsenal’s stadium is filled by tourists; people taking photos of an opposition corner, people with selfie sticks (now banned), wearing half-and-half shirts with half-and-half scarves. People who don’t really understand what they’re seeing and don’t really care either.

They’ll probably be at Chelsea next week.

In the meantime, I’ll be watching at home on the television, whilst you’re wondering what happened to our (not-so) famous atmosphere.

Football has become entertainment and, increasingly, the make-up of the average Arsenal crowd reflects this. The only problem is those who have paid to be entertained don’t really care about the outcome, so they aren’t going to (emotionally) invest in it, particularly if the team are struggling.

And didn’t the swathes of empty seats which became increasingly apparent during last season signify, well… they signified, something, right? Apathy? Unrest?

As Helen said last night, freezing the prices this year is welcome. A price reduction would have been even more welcome, but we all know that’s as likely as turkeys voting for Christmas.

*The exception to this rule is, clearly,  QPR whose London location gives them a Cat B status their team certainly doesn’t deserve.