Dom Howson column: Difficult balancing act for Chansiri over Arsenal ticket prices

Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri
Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri
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When Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri controversially introduced a new match-day ticket pricing structure over the summer, the move drew stinging criticism from some of the club’s fan-base.

Many voiced their displeasure, arguing Chansiri is pricing them out of going to cheer on the team. There are still fans out there who have not forgiven the Thai businessman for increasing prices.

Dejphon Chansiri deserves some credit for the ticket pricing for the Arsenal tie

Dejphon Chansiri deserves some credit for the ticket pricing for the Arsenal tie

But in the interests of balance, it is only right that Chansiri and company receive some credit for the prices they have set for the Capital One Cup tie with Premier League giants Arsenal later this month.

For the Gunners first visit to Hillsborough in 15 years, the Owls have rewarded season ticket holders and members, pricing tickets at £25 in any area of the ground. Under 17s can snap up tickets for £5. It was another reminder of the benefits, if you can financially afford it, of becoming a season ticket holder or signing up to their membership scheme. Arsenal’s season ticket holders and members will pay the same.

What Chansiri, though, is quickly discovering, is that it is nigh on impossible to please everybody as an owner of a football club. There will be occasions where your decisions are not met with public seal of approval. Whatever actions you take will not be good enough in some people’s eyes. You can’t win.

With the tie set to be screened live on Sky, some fans are unhappy adult tickets will cost between £30-£36 when they go on general sale, arguing that is too pricy and the club should be charging a similar amount as they did in the earlier rounds against Mansfield and Oxford.

No disrespect to Mansfield and Oxford but they are League Two clubs. Arsenal are one of the biggest teams in England and, given that they may crash out of the Champions League at the first hurdle, there is a strong chance they will field a strong side against Wednesday. Historically, under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal take the cup competitions seriously, although he does give some of his young players a chance.

I know Wednesday’s hierarchy spent a lot of time deliberating the Arsenal ticket prices. They want Hillsborough to be packed out for the biggest cup match the club has been involved in for 15 years, but would be missing a trick if they did not maximise it from a business perspective.