Football has been a nail-biting, tension-driven and dynamic game. With the Fifa fever rising high we would like to keep all you football fanatics well-run. We don’t doubt the fanaticism and fervor of football freaks but here is a hair-raising question. How much would you pay to watch a Premiership game? Match prices — at between $32 and $101 a game last season, about the same as a night in a West End theatre — seem pricey to most. But a select few are signing up for a season ticket that, over three years, will cost $187,872.81. Arsenal is a team loved by one and all from the pauper to the prince. The can boast of a very hi-profile fan following too. It is for this very elite group that the gentrification of the national game reaches its apogee next season: simultaneously, Arsenal FC is inaugurating its Emirates Stadium — and its glittering new Diamond Club, Britain’s most exclusive line in season tickets. Limited to 80 people, Diamond Club membership costs $47000. You then pay a further $47000 a year for a minimum term of three years, making this an $187,872 commitment — or $62,000 a season.
Two-thirds of the places are sold, mostly to ultra-wealthy local businessmen who are long-time supporters. So plush is the Diamond Club that its other benefits almost overshadow the pair of guaranteed seats. How about the free meals at Raymond Blanc’s new stadium restaurant? “I think it’s unique,” says Keith Edelman, the Arsenal managing director. “The concept’s based around our brand values: tradition with vision. We wanted that old English club feel. But we wanted it to be for people who are mad Arsenal supporters. We’ve got top City people, top lawyers, top bankers — all our fans.” Now that’s a very cool thing but what makes me ponder is how will the not so filthy rich fans benefit from this? I guess just the football fever is good enough for them.