A recent ‘Price of Football’ study revealed only 4% of season ticket holders are young adults. So why is the percentage so small?

One reason is that young adults are in the worst possible financial situation.

Arsenal fans can have various young people memberships until they’re 19, but after that they have to pay adult prices, even if they’re still not being paid full adult wages.

When they do move into the world of work, they’ll still be making significantly less than those who have been in employment for longer.

And as a result, the BBC reports that 82% of 18 to 24-year-olds find the cost of tickets an obstacle to attending matches. 55% said they’d either stopped going completely, or go to fewer games, because tickets are too expensive.

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Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s cheapest season tickets jump from £384 to £891 when you go from 19 to 20, but the minimum wage is still the same as when you were 18, and less than three-quarters of what it is at 25.

You need to be able to afford £500 more than you did at 19, with no legal requirement to be paid any more than you were.

Arsène Wenger said in response to the findings that there was nothing better than being at the stadium, but admitted: “There are many ingredients in the modern game that stopped people going. The lifestyle is different, they play less, they play more computers.

“The security of gathering people is a problem. Can you afford to go when you are young? There are many ingredients we have to take care of in the game.”

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Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager.

The point Wenger makes about young people playing more video games is also one supported by the study, with 18 to 24-year-olds far more likely to play a football game on a console (61%) than in real life (37%).

This is the second reason young adults are staying away. The fact that sport is moving online is surely also a big factor in young people viewing it as something they can enjoy from home, rather than turning up in the stadium.

You have the choice to play FIFA with your friends, then switch over to watch the game when it’s on, then get back to playing afterwards, or to attend the game in person.

Going in person adds travel time and prices you can’t afford, and most likely your friends can’t afford it either, so you might have to go alone. It’s not hard to see why so many people are staying home.

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Emirates Stadium. Picture: Paul Childs/Reuters

The third reason is down to the rise of social media. You don’t have to be at the ground to share your thoughts or your excitement about a match, or to hear other people’s opinions.

For me, nothing compares to really being there, but it’s certainly a lot easier to replicate the experience of watching a game with other people without physically being in the room with them.

It’s not particularly a problem for Arsenal and the other Premier League clubs at the moment, as there are enough older fans going.

But if those young people don’t start going to games when they grow older, since they’re in the habit of watching from home, then it could come back to bite those clubs.

More importantly, it’s disappointing for the young people today who want to go to games and fill the stadium, but just can’t justify doing so. Hopefully we’ll see the Gunners make an effort to try and change that.