Chelsea raise ticket prices

CHELSEA have raised ticket prices for next season, in a move that goes against the grain of their major rivals.

The hike, averaging around four per cent, ends four years of price freezes at Stamford Bridge and is borne out of an acceptance that they must increase matchday revenue if they want to achieve their aim of breaking even.

Manchester United and Arsenal have both held ticket prices for next season.

But while United and Arsenal garnered more than £100m each in matchday revenue last season, accounting for 39 per cent and 45 per cent of revenue respectively, Chelsea earned just £75m (36 per cent).

The Blues are limited by the 41,000 capacity of Stamford Bridge, compared to 76,000 at Old Trafford and the 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium, and as such are seeking a sponsor to pay £10m a year for naming rights.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: “This will help the club in its stated aim to be self-sustainable.”