Arsenal fans demand changes to create better matchday atmosphere

Arsenal fans demand changes to create better matchday atmosphere

 at The Emirates Stadium

New survey puts the introduction safe standing at top of the list

An independent survey of Arsenal supporters has revealed an overwhelming consensus in favour of improving the atmosphere at The Emirates Stadium.

94.5% of those taking part said it was very important (76.8%) or fairly important (17.7%) with 2% saying it was not very important (1.2%) or not important at all (0.8%).

Suggestions for improving the atmosphere were then presented; by far the most popular was the introduction of safe standing, followed by more lower tier (cheaper) seats for home supporters and “initiatives to enable more younger supporters to attend”.

Paul Matz, vice-chair of AISA, said:

“What is striking about these results is the overwhelming number of supporters from every part of the stadium who see the need for improving the matchday atmosphere at The Emirates Stadium. Every income group, every age group and fans from every area of the stadium are united in this belief.”

“AISA will be presenting the results of this survey to the Club in the near future.”

Survey statistics

2,173 fans took part in the survey, conducted by the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association during November and December 2012.

  • 3.0% currently sit in box or club level
  • 42.5% upper tier
  • 50.1% lower tier
  • 4.4% family enclosure


  • 2.3%      under 18
  • 25.3%    18-30
  • 33.9%   31-45
  • 29.4%   46-60
  • 9.0%    over 60

For more information please contact Paul Matz on 07706 885078 or

56 Replies to “Arsenal fans demand changes to create better matchday atmosphere”

  1. I’m glad you have done this survey. The atmosphere at the Emirates is rubbish. Everyone sits there in silence (except those who boo at times). If everyone was encouraged to cheer and sing then maybe this would lift the team. We haven’t won a trophy since moving to the Emirates, I wonder if this has anything to do with it.

  2. definately needs something, moving the away fans to the top tier would be a start. At the Schalke game we were sitting above them and that was all you could hear – we need to create and atmosphere, encourage singing help motivate the team not just sit there in silence complaining. Right now it is a miserable experience going to the Emirates

  3. This is all very fine, but is there any survey to find out how many real fans have been priced out? I live is West London, with 2 kids and I cannot afford the season tickets + the travel cost that’s involved. Sometimes if I try to tickets I can never get any home games. When I look at matches and the crowd you need a whole contingent of foreigners in prime seats, with their respective country flags. I am missing something here or is me just being paranoid. Surely people who are season tickets commenting on this site can shed some light.

  4. Very encouraged by this.
    I am also a big fan of sections of Safe standing – works in Germany and will here.
    Politically, maybe too soon after further Hillsborough issues and still too many open wounds, especially with the injustice we all suspected confirmed, however it is surely only a matter of time before SS.

  5. Given something to get excited about would lift the atmosphere at the Emirates.If it wasnt freezing cold at the last two home games people would have fallen asleep watching the dross we have had to put up with.

  6. How much would it cost to change from the current seating to the safe standing seating?
    Is the stadium designed for safe standing seats is the angle of the terracing correct?
    Would the police want more than the 60,000 current capacity or would they ask for fewer fans elsewhere in the ground?
    Would the local transport system cope with more fans on a match day?
    How would this effect current season ticket holders in the safe standing area who do not want to stand?

  7. Here’s an idea why don’t a group of fans all sit/stand in one part of the ground and sing songs etc all the way through games. That will help, what might help aswell is these fans can get into their seats about 30 mins before the game to help increase the atmosphere, sing the players names when they come out to warm up etc.

  8. Steve,
    some pertinent questions you ask. I really don’t know about the angle to be honest.
    But I do think that if we would have let us say 10.000 extra tickets because of parts of the ground being used as standing areas this could bring big problems to the transport system.
    I seem to remember that at first Arsenal had thought of a higher capacity but had to cut it to the current 60.000 because of transport issues?

    That said I surely wouldn’t mind standing to be honest. When I go to see my local team I always go to the standing area even though I can sit for free with my free entrance card. I just like it more standing up between the hard core supporters who sign and jump and dance. Even at my age 🙂 and my bad back and wobbly knee 🙁

  9. The Wenger way of playing is what quietens the stadium. No need for visiting teams to quieten the crowd … our own team does it.

  10. Gouresh, I am a season ticket holder, born in Tottenham, lived all my life except for one year, in the UK. But what I would question on your email particularly is the bit about not getting tickets without being a season ticket holder. When I was a silver member I had no problem for any game. Couldn’t always get the exact ticket I wanted, but I got a ticket.

  11. I have always hated the idea of sitting at football matches.

    Not because at 6’5″ the seats are too small, but because it is just not right to site through a game sitting down. You need to stand to sing properly.

    However, Steve is right about the stadium capacitiy and Walter is right about the police limiting it.


  12. An independent survey of Arsenal supporters has revealed an overwhelming consensus in favour of improving the atmosphere at The Emirates Stadium.

    Well I did my own study and found that at half time we would like to see the Dutch female hockey team training in the nod at one end of the pitch and Brazil Vs Holland female beach volleyball at the other end. I have been assured that this will raise the atmosphere in more ways than one.

    I think I give too much about myself away?

  13. @Adam, can’t fault that thought process. I had the misfortune of going to watch a rugby league match at the behest of friends in Leeds and what I enjoyed most was the cheerleaders before the game.

    @Gouresh, I can’t afford to go anymore. I must admit I’m not sure I want to give any money to AFC unless I see it spent on some better players. Our football is sleep inducing these days.

  14. I used to enjoy walking around outside Highbury on match days, looking at all the Stalls, Sweets, Flags, Tee Shirts, Hot dogs,Badges and old programmes, there was a real buzz around the ground. At the Emirates we have that great concourse round the ground but no atmosphere, they could have a real market type atmosphere going on if they let trader in get a band playing, but they wont because they want you to spend in the shop and eat there expensive hot dogs,So sad those great days of Highbury have gone forever.

    Do you think with all the extra TV money coming into the game soon they will reduce ticket prices? we need the real fans back who want to be there,a winning team with characters to identify with,then you might get an atmosphere

  15. I’m a Silver Member and can usually get tickets so long as I don’t leave it too late after they go on sale. The pricing system for matchday tickets means that while pricing for the top tier games is still pretty steep, I now usually pay £35 for a decent front section seat in the upper tier. Most of these games also go on sale to Red Members as well. As a last resort there is the Ticket Exchange system where ticket holders who can’t go to a game sell their seat at face value.

  16. Why talk about going to games. Ur filling the boards pockets and in return their mugging you off. No money from us fans means that changes will be implemented. Creating better matchday atmosphere rubbish….

  17. No, there are two Guardiolas. The first was named Juande Ramos. You know what happened to him when he came to England without the massive budget and friendly match officials he had in Spain. The same thing would happen to Guardiola — or have you forgotten that those were Rijkaard’s players? And what has Rijkaard won as manager without Barca’s benefits? Not a damn thing. Sacking Wenger and bringing in Guardiola would make things much, much worse.

  18. Could the banning of black scraves improve the atmosphere ? Don’t know where that came from – just asking .
    Wait a minute , what if the ref and his assistants are in black ,and their family members decided to come and support
    them decked in their colours ?
    Man , this is really a bummer ! I have to think on it somemore and get back to you .Watch this space !

  19. What can a 10000 extra heads do….

    There are a few things we can do instantly to improve the match day atmosphere. BUT…….alas, we wait eagerly for the first misplaced pass and gather our voices to sing the new fav. Arsenal anthem…..”BOO”.

  20. Off subject here but I notice the back pages of one of the red tops is comparing the fine to Bendtner for displaying his Paddy Power pants (£80k) to the fine handed to Serbia for racism (£65k).

    Has someone been reading here?

  21. We’ve been through all this before. Going back to the time of Bertie Mee when the club adopted the official ‘Good Old Arsenal’ song different attempts have been made to stoke up noise levels.

    Strangely enough I recall games in the bad old days of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s fans (with smaller attendances)would create noise (not just singing) during games even though they would end up moaning afterwards more often than not.

    The problem today is expectation. Fans react to what they see. If the side aren’t scoring and winning and it all goes quiet. I’m not sure that rearranging the furniture would help.

  22. The best thing about standing is that it should allow fans to congregate nturally with like minded people, if one bloke wants to sing, he can, if the bloke in front doesn’t, he can move, the biggest problem with seating is that we end up with the lowest common dominator winning, ie the sit down, shut up lot.
    However, i started out in 76, (as a 4 yo) and even with huge terraces, there were many games with no or little atmosphere. I vividly remeber one dull game vs Leicester in the mid 80’s when we could hear just about every word uttered on the pitch.
    However, terracing didn’t cause Hilsboro, just as a car can be driven safely or dangerously.

  23. Terminating the catering contract and inviting a fleet of kebab vans would be a start. I’d certainly be happier queuing for a shorter time, paying less and actually knowing I’m eating rat instead of just suspecting.

  24. If you compare standing at a football ground and standing on a train station platform which one would you think would be the most danderous? And yet all seater stadiums are the norm at top level football. You would think applying the same safety logic that all train stations would have compulsory seated waiting areas?

    Amazing really; we can send space probes all over our solar system but we can’t be trusted to build safe areas for people to stand and observe a football match?

    You really couldn’t make it up.

  25. Start wininng. Then I can guarantte the atmosphere will be very different from what it’s today.

  26. @ Adam – like your half time suggestions very much ! Maybe you could start a petition too !
    Where do I sign ?
    That chocky-dippy thing has put me off my comfort food for now ! Yucky to say the least ,but if you do get it ,tell them to be gentle with the crunchy nuts !

  27. @gunner fan

    What was that song again “you only sing when you’re winning…”

    Didn’t think that was what support was all about. Lets not mix our poor performances at the moment with our poor atmosphere. It’s always been poor bar a few notable exceptions.

    Don’t want to go on about people’s right to boo but you know there’s a problem when there’s 10 times more people booing at half time than singing at start of match.

  28. The availability of food & snacks could be seriously improved – also the price – how about some free snacks for youngsters & OAPs?

    But for more atmosphere and noise. This can depend on the responsiveness of the fans but also on the acoustics of the stadium. How to change the latter I don’t know, but it might be worth having a look at in case there is a cost effective improvement available. For the fans – they were great against Spurs – so lets keep reproducing that performance!

  29. here’s a tought…..the club tell us that 60k plus have attended even when we see shit loads of empty seats……. on the same deception, so why don’t they just play on the public announcement a track of tons of fans screaming, singing and urging the team which by the way is playing like their on drugs. that will allow the fans in the stadium to go back to sleep.

  30. I thought we already had a red section at the North bank lower tier?

    Even at Highbury, before all seater stadiums, we had this problem. Highbury library anyone? Of course it’s mainly about perceptions and to some extent urban myth.

    The current noise and atmosphere levels are more to do with the demographic of the support base and it’s change in profile over the years and the move to the emirates, i.e more women and children. I sit in block 19, next to the away support; regardless of whether we sit or stand the noise levels are similar from game to game.

    The biggest single influence is what is happening on the pitch and who we are playing. I do not want a return to standing and terraces.

  31. After being told to keep quiet by the person in front of me once (for just having a bit of a sing-song), when I now think of going to watch Arsenal it seems comparable to the Cinema.

  32. On the subject of standing, I’d love to have safe standing brought in. I think there should be a cap of say 20% of the stadium but the option would be nice.

  33. @Rupret: if I would be in a position to afford a season ticket, I would seriously think of not renewing it because of the standard of players brought in. AW’s explanation is that these so called players are international’s. So would the players from say the Indian, Bangladesh or Sri-Lankan league championship also be suitable to play for Arsenal, they are international’s, are they not plus you could get them cheaper.

  34. Don’t be ridiculous Gouresh, People need to stop comparing players.

    If you do, compare them from the time they arrive not depart. Fabregas nowhere near the first team when he arrived, same for song, RVP and many others.

    Arsene has signed players in te past to progress. Only lately has Arsene been trying to sign players near to being the finished article but please remember these are not Arsene trained players. Time is needed.

    I remember watching Song play for the reserves and thinking he’s not going to make it. How wrong can a person be? £15million Arsenal have or are going to receive for Song and people ask who will replace him like for like.

    If we replace Fabregas, Song, RVP like for like we would be signing 15-20 year olds again. Not your Cazorla’s or Podolski’s.

    Wake up people and get an opinion that is not media driven.

  35. Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud are all top players.

    However, they are new to the English premiership which in certain ways is different to the countries they played in before.

    It is well known that many players from abroad take a season to settle in.

    I think all three are doing pretty well considering and we ought to give them more support.

    In fact, we ought to give all our players and our manager more support. This way we are likely to get back to our best flowing, scoring play more quickly. Against Bradford, despite the somewhat unfavourable conditions, we did get quite a bit of flowing, though not enough scoring.

    It has been said many times on this site, but constant negativity does not encourage and improve people.

  36. You whiny lot complaining about how boring and soporific our current Club is should live 2000 km away and be forced to watch grainy and crappy ESPN games on the internet. I’d love to actually visit ANY friggin’ stadium and watch ANY live EPL match just to enjoy the atmosphere and Football, English-style.

    Appreciate what you are so fortunate to have, there are millions of us fanatic supporters who will never likely get a chance to see AFC live…..but c’est la vie as Wenger must often say!

  37. I don’t know if introducing standing areas would do much for the atmosphere. I agree it’s better to sing standing, but we might also just end up introducing an extra 10 000 standing boo boys, which would make things worse. Much like the AAA have a “sack Wenger” movement, the AKB’s should start a “back the team” movement. I see a number of people saying this in various places online, and recent interviews by the players (Smarteta and I think Sagna and Verm as well) suggest that they want the same. Backing them during the game helps them. Booing does not. It’s supposed to be simple logic, but I’m obviously placing too much belief in the cognitive abilities of some fans. I say we flood the AAA blogs with “back the team” comments, they can’t ALL delete our posts. We need the attitude of the Arsenal away supporters to be infused into the Emirates crowd. It sux that we play better away from home, that just isn’t right. The fans can help turn the Emirates into a hostile place for the opposition. Instead they’re helping the opposition and holding back their own team. Unless it’s the tiny totts visiting – that seems to get the right stuff out of the crowd.

  38. And whoever did Theo’s “sign da ting” song should do another called “back a team”. And once the track’s been released, we’ll need a matching banner to take to the games, of course.

  39. @C4, you could try flooding blogs with back Wenger comments or whatever but you’ll have your work cut out as most are very sceptical about Wenger these days.

    @Pat, maybe it does take some foreign players time to settle in but I don’t recall that being the case with Vieira, Bergkamp, Petit and a whole host of others.

    Cazorla actually started well but has faded a little recently. Podolski has been inconsistent and Giroud looked anonymous at first but has got better and to his credit he works really hard for the team.

  40. Rupert,

    If I remember well the mob was already out on Bergkamp just before he scored his first goal.
    And of course Pires will always be a nice example on a foreign player who needed a season to really get going.
    And even TH took ages (in a way of speaking) before showing a first sign of great things.

    Some need time, some don’t. For midfielders it is usually easier to adapt and the same goes for defenders. For attackers it is a bit more difficult at times.

  41. @Walter, I don’t recall people being harsh on Bergkamp. Maybe they were, all I can remember is being somewhat amazed that we’d signed someone of that quality.

    Henry took about 8 or 9 games to score didn’t he? I know plenty were sceptical about him but it didn’t take him a season to settle.

  42. About Bergkamp: Maybe because at that moment the internet wasn’t what it is today Rupert? 😉

    I take this sentence from wikipedia about Bergkamp (with all reservations) : “He struggled to adapt to the English game and failed to score in the club’s next five league matches, prompting ridicule by the national press.”

    Nowadays DB and TH would have been “murdered” on the internet already.

  43. Bergkamp was not given an easy time at the start from a section of Highbury, singing that he was crap in Italy and crap in Islington. Obviously, the word crap wasn’t actually used. But then as mentioned there wasn’t a 24 hour media machine to feed, nor a hostile shareholder who despite declaring he should receive dividends (take money out) is bizzarely regarded as a saviour by some deluded/disgruntled fans.

  44. Wenger should be fired to pave way for young and brilliant coaches to restore glory at arsenal.

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