What should Arsenal do about season ticket holders who don’t turn up?

By a rather irate Tony Attwood.

Some seven years ago I injured myself in the gym.  It was a back injury.  At first it seemed nothing.  Then it was unbelievably painful, but I expected it to go.

But it didn’t.  I was unable to walk more than two or three steps, for a month.  Then I walked outside for the first time.  Ten paces down the road, leaning on a friend’s arm, only to find in panic that I couldn’t go any further, and had no idea how I was going to get back.  Ligament damage. It’s a bugger.

It went on like this for months and months, and even after I started walking again I couldn’t get in the car, or on a train, or anything else.  Travelling from Northamptonshire where I live to Arsenal was out of the question.

I passed on my season ticket to friends when I could, but quite often it went unused.  Sorry about that; I think this was before the days of the ticket exchange.

But sometimes people just don’t want a single ticket anyway.  Last season I couldn’t go to the Tottenham game.  I placed the ticket on ticket exchange.  No one bought it.


So on each occasion my seat was paid for as a season ticket holder, but on a lot of occasions no one sat in seat.

In an average season when I am not inflicting self-harm, I miss maybe two matches because of appalling weather conditions, having a bad cold and not wanting to make it worse, a grandchild’s birthday party or some other clash because of some wild lunatic schedule changes brought about by the demands of television.

That means I miss about 8% of the games I have paid for.   If I am typical (meaning some people miss none, and some miss lots more than me) then we might expect 8% of the sold seats (ie those sold to red, silver and gold members) not taken up.  That’s about 4800 a game.  About 120,000 a year.

Does that matter?  I don’t think so.   Certainly not enough for me, if I were a daily newspaper journalist, to rush around my desk like a demented hedgehog on heat and scribble

Arsenal announce attendances 6,000 higher than official Met Police figures

But that is what the… wait for it… Daily Telegraph has done.  Their figures don’t quite accord with mine – but that probably means that I am not a typical supporter.

Their view is that “More than 170,000 seats were left empty during Arsenal’s home games last season, according to startling new figures which cast serious doubt on the Premier League’s boast of record occupancy on the eve of the new campaign.”

Well yes I suppose they would be startling if you couldn’t do any maths and had no sense of logic.  It means the average supporter who buys a ticket for every game misses three of them per season – one more than me.  Quite feasible, given the distance we travel.

Mind you, the Telegraph persist in the bizarre and eccentric belief that Arsenal fans live in “north London”.  They repeat the mantra regularly along with radio stations and TV shows.   I suppose they say that because they get free tickets and never actually trot down to a railway station or a car park next to an underground station on the fringes of London where they will see fans in the Arsenal shirts getting off trains from Cardiff, Manchester, Brighton, Exeter, or parking cars that they have driven from Chester, Norwich, Southampton or, in my case, Corby.

It’s a strange thing Ben Rumsby, this football supporting lark, but don’t let reality get in the way of your little fantasy tale.

“Attendance for matches at the Emirates Stadium recorded by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which counts the number of spectators who turn up to games, contrasts sharply with the official figure released by the club, which is based on tickets sold,” says a breathless Mr R.  Well his prose sounds breathless.

Hey ho, I suppose it fills another page on your blog, and quite possibly in the printed paper, which I tend not to buy.  The obituaries are good, but the rest is rather sordid.

The fact is, as we all know, Arsenal record the number of tickets sold – which makes a lot of sense since they are answerable to Revenue and Customs, our old chums who collect taxes (as opposed to the guy with a garage in Peckham who collects taxis.)

So now we know, shock horror, that football fans with tickets don’t always turn up.  (Actually I once didn’t turn up because the Virgin Train I was on got stuck.  I called Mr Wenger and asked him to hold on for a while, but he wouldn’t oblige).  And once I turned up on the wrong day – but that was about 30 years ago and I was but a mere whatnot, and on that occasion I kept rather quiet about it.)

But of course The Rumsby, rather like an over eager undergraduate doing his first sociology essay fixated in the belief that the more you write the higher your grade, won’t leave it there.

“Such stark figures” he says, and we may pause and perhaps getting out the red pen might underline “stark” and ask, “why stark?” “how stark?” and “why are these figures more stark than other figures?”   But then having paused we allow him to continue saying that these “stark” figures “are not limited to Arsenal”.  Oh apparently Very Old Trafford has the same problem.

But wait, wouldn’t that be the Manchester United Supporters Club (Cornwall) making their way north where they bump into the Manchester United Supporters Club (Inverness) as they have a quick bevy in the city before the game.   “Old Bob’s not here,” they say, “he felt decidedly ill half way up the M5 and had to get off the coach.”

Anyway, we find that “stark” was just the start, because the Rumbsy character now tells us that these figures are not just “stark” but also “dramatic”.

So the fact that over a season a fan misses three matches is both “stark” and “dramatic”.  Well!  Whatever next?  He’ll be announcing that at the funeral of the King Edward VII in 1910 – the year Very Old Trafford opened – a lot of those naughty Londoners didn’t line the streets to mourn their sovereign but instead made use of the public holiday to bugger off to Southend.  Another no-show.  Better shut down the monarchy then.

And that really is my point.  People, Mr Rumsby, don’t always do what you expect of them.  They spend over £1000 on an Arsenal season ticket and then don’t go because their five year old grandson has a birthday party on the same day, and sentimental old sap that you are, you want to go, because it only happens once in a lifetime.

Just wait until you grow up Mr Rumsby and if you are very lucky indeed, you might have grandchildren.   You’ll perhaps see.

But then, with the speed of an undergrad on speed, Mr Rumsby switches direction, and announces that, “The MPS figures for Arsenal matches were published amid growing anger about a perceived lack of value-for-money when it comes to attending matches in England.”

Ah.  Perceived eh?  Rather like, “it is reported”.  And “is said to be”.  “Rumoured that”.

Sorry chum, if you want to talk about “perceived” you need to tell us by whom, and wherefrom came the evidence.

And then of course, in the blink of a keyboard carriage return we are off on another track.  No need for evidence because, “A march on the Premier League’s headquarters was taking place in London on Thursday by fans demanding a reduction in ticket prices, which have increased every year for a decade.”

Yep, just like two years ago we had a march on the Emirates Stadium by the Black Flag movement, and what percentage of the Arsenal fan base were they.  But now try this follow up…

“The protesters were given more ammunition for their fight on Wednesday when the head of the Bundesliga claimed there would be a “huge s—storm” in Germany if clubs increased the cost of even a bratwurst.”

We know that Germany has a different model of ownership and pricing.  And different issues to face.  They don’t have billionaires running their clubs, but they do have a few big companies doing just that.   Tell you what Mr B, I could pass on to you about a dozen articles I have been sent for publication on Untold, which purport to reveal the links between companies with purported links to German clubs, and the Nazis.  I’ve never published these articles because of a lack of evidence that is presented with the pieces, and a lack of insight on my part.  But lack of evidence is your forte so perhaps you’d like to have a go.

The fact is that using words like “ammunition” and “perceived” and connecting utterly disconnected situations without evidence, is very much the sort of stuff that I used to send back to my first year undergrad students with a note saying that they really ought to understand that wild rants won’t do in serious writing.

But yet there is more.  An unnamed person from the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (I just wonder who that might be) gave the Telegraph’s over-enthusiastic cub reporter a quote.

And here it comes…

“The AST has been urging Arsenal to make real investment into improving their ticket exchange arrangements and to incentivise the use of the tickets at every game by allocating cup final tickets to those who go to most games.”

Well, sorry chum, but they were.  First round of FA Cup allocation tickets went to people who not only had a season ticket but also a fairly high number of away matches on their card.  I think it was 25 or more.  The same was true with the Charity Shield.  And the semi-final. The same is true for the Leicester City away game.  I got tickets because I have the right number of matches attended.  Shame that the AST puts up a spokesperson who doesn’t know that.  Or maybe he just thrust himself forwards.

And then this, from the AST

“It may even be time to consider removing season tickets from those who rarely attend.”

And that squire is too much.   Because that would have meant that in the year of my injury I would probably have been in that group.  “Sorry matey, I know you’ve supported Arsenal for 30 years and spent far more money that you should on this club, and were even there as a school kid in the 1960s under Billy Wright when we were absolute shit but you still kept on coming and shouting and supporting and even doing some away games, and I know you did the ligaments at the base of your spine and you were a cripple for months on end, but the AST have said we can’t be doing with non-attending season ticket holders, so you are out.  But you can join the season ticket waiting list if you like.  That will be £50 and an eight year wait.  That will teach you to go to the gym in advanced middle age.”

I would say, “shame on you Daily Telegraph” and “shame on you AST”, but I know it wouldn’t do any good.  But at least the two are probably quite happy together.

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50 Replies to “What should Arsenal do about season ticket holders who don’t turn up?”

  1. The thing that pisses me off about this shit is that despite the fact it has absolutely no credibility it is still put out there on the main 6 o’clock News as if absolute damming fact.

    Your average ‘Joe’ on the street, or more accurately in there living room, just sucks it up and locks it with all the other lies and bullshit spouted about our Club.

    What’s more you can rest assured they will regurgitate it as an indisputable fact the next time they feel the need to have a pop at our club.

    Media scum. I hate them.

  2. Arsenal have never claimed anything other than they report the paid attendance. Does anyone REALLY think that every season ticket holder at Man Utd turns up? Yes the media will play on it because they hate our club but who cares. The only people that suck this stuff up are morons with an IQ lover than a football score. There are a lot of morons for sure, but it is best just to laugh at them.

  3. The snotty, spotty little Herbert trainee time waster journalist is simply doing what his equally talentless editor is telling him to do -produce a story with an anti Arsenal bias. No change there since the low point of Mihir Bose.
    The AST, and I think we all have a good idea who the nameless interviewee was, really have to get over themselves. They are an irrelevance. More than that, they are an irrelevance with a mystifying sense of entitlement and self worth.
    As you say, the two are always likely to be happy bedfellows. It’s up to the grown ups here to maintain a sense of balance and keep on outing them for the mediocre non-entities they undoubtedly area.
    Keep up the good work, Tony.

  4. I’ve been in this situation while simultaneously holding season tickets at Arsenal & AFCWimbledon when they were on their charge towards the Football League. Fortunately there were not too many clashes, but when there were I chose to go to Wimbledon where my support was more likely to be effective. The exchange scheme was useless so I just loaned my ticket to someone.
    Anyway, here’s Tim of 7amkickoff’s take on the ticket issue. It’s very, very funny, and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it

  5. jayramfootball

    “The only people that suck this stuff up are morons with an IQ lover than a football score.”

    If only that where true.

    The problem is, taking this sort of thing ‘on board’ has nothing to do with intellect.

    It is not something people apply any particular intellectual process to, but similar to the repeated accusation that our ticket prices are the highest, it just seeps into the subconscious.

    It all adds to the media propaganda that Arsenal football Club are a an ‘expensive rip off’

  6. Of course another weakness is that the numbers put forward have been collected by the police.
    We all know just what fine minds and mathematical talent they will have had to call in to produce these. No doubt the accuracy will be akin to that used in their fine crime clear up rates. Go to the local library to review these.
    They’ll be in the Fiction section.

  7. Jambug

    West Ham have the highest prices this week end.
    No too many papers have noted this.

  8. @Tony

    I noticed a headline on NewsNow relating to the 170,000 “empty” seats – from Le Groan. Being Le Groan I did not bother to open it – but it may have pre-dated the Telegraph article and may well be the source of the telegraph nonsense.

  9. Off topic I know but it seems that Mr Pulis and Crystal Palace have parted company my mutual consent. First manager gone this season, unlikely to be the last.

  10. As people get better at handling data, such as people having season tickets to games, purchased tickets to games, exchanged tickets for games, going through the turnstile to enter the stadium, going through the turnstile to leave the stadium, and so on; there is a chance for things to improve.

    Person X has a season ticket, and that season ticket is not used to attend any game in a season. Dear Person X: we noticed that you purchased a season ticket for last season, and never used it. If you anticipate the same situation this season, could we suggest something else? We will take the money for the season ticket and apply it to purchasing medical equipment for the training facility, we will register your name as a contributor nee season ticket holder, and we will sell that seat assignment to someone else.

    Person X1 has a season ticket. On the way into a game, they get into a traffic accident and end up in the hospital. The stadium grounds people notice the unspoken for seat assignment 10 minutes into the game, and allow someone hoping to attend to use the seat assignment (paying a cut rate for the seat).

    Person X2 has a season ticket. On the way into a game, they get involved in a traffic jam. They arrive at the field 11 minutes late. Someone was given their seat assignment at the 10 minute mark. They are pushed to the head of the late attendance list. At 19 minutes, someone has to leave the game for some reason. A person from the late attendance list is given the seat.

    There are lots of reasons for season ticket holders to not attend a particular game, to only attend specific games, or to not attend (hardly) any games. The good organization should try to work with the population of actual and potential attendees, to maximize attendance. As soon as someone makes a single rule to try and fill seats (such as my hypothetical 10 minute late rule), some situation will become apparent where a season ticket holder on the way to the game was held up just enough to get to the stadium after the seat was given to another.

    If a person is going to have a waiting area, it might as well have a big screen TV, food and beverages services, and some way of getting the attention of individuals who are waiting. I would say that if such a service was available, that seating be on the periphery of the area, and that people who had assigned seats could sit close to areas where they might normally sit. That the TV show a closed circuit version of what is on the field (no advertisements or other pauses), and that the sound be piped in from microphones in that part of the stadium. No idiot commentators.

    Who knows, maybe Arsenal has a start on such a system? I’m in western Canada, and will never be at The Emirates to find out.

  11. According to the editorial in WSC this month the average crowd in the EPL last season (36670) was the highest in the top division since 1951 – despite the prices charged and unprecented TV coverage..
    Arsenal get about 60% above that average EPL crowd despite charging more than average for those tickets.
    Might all this be an indication that if a club plays better and more successful than average football in a more comfortable and more accessible than average stadium situated in a richer than average city it can (and indeed should) charge above average prices? It would be a very badly run business if it didn’t.
    Much of the debate around ticket prices revolves around football moving away from its ‘working class roots’ (see David Conn in The Guardian recently). Such commentators, rather conveniently, forget that the whole nation has moved in the same direction and if football hadn’t moved with the market it would have found itself relying on an ever shrinking constituency of potential (relatively poorly off) supporters and be witnessing declining rather than rising crowds.
    Meanwhile, in the face of rising prices and unprecedented online access, newspaper circulations are in serious decline.
    Which industry is getting it more right?

  12. I understand your pain, Tony. The annoying thing is that someone like Ben Rumsby gets to put out his ill considered thoughts just because he’s a journalist.

    If I’m not mistaken, he’s the one who gave Sanogo a score of 4 after the Community Shield match and included a few unflattering words about his physique. Pathetic! Sanogo had an assist for one of the goals; that alone should have brought him up to a 6. It sounds to me as if Rumsby has an agenda – probably a fan of one of our rivals.

    There is a financial matter attached to the sale of season tickets on ticket exchange. I’ve gone on that at times and found the first couple so expensive – in one case over £100 – that I gave up, even though there might have been others within my price range I suppose. So maybe this is a factor in some not being sold.

  13. OT: Share Prices, Arsenal Holdings is World’s 6th Most Expensive

    The things one finds in looking for Arsenal news. 🙂

    BrisbaneTimes (Australia) has an article, which leads with Berkshire Hathaway as the most expensive stock in the world. It goes on to list others in the top 10. To see Arsenal at number 6 was surprising.


    The 4 and 5 places, are golf clubs.

  14. Really hope the fanshare closure was just the start and that our club takes all necessary measures to shut out the AST completely. The self serving, self centered, agenda driven pricks deserve that and more. They really need to get over themselves as for some reason twats think they are actually important and relevant. Guess what dim Tim? you are not relevant and the club doesnt have to do anything you say you abhorrent prick. Why dont you transfer yourself out of this club since you see nothing good with it? Cunt.

  15. The first thing the club should do is breakdown the season ticket to just epl matches.

    But people not turning up for something they haven’t paid for is not unusual. I am a regular traveller on long haul flights and did you know that on average 20% of passengers do not arrive for their flight. Hence standby flights and upgrades are issued.

    My opinion is for one there should be a facility for tickets to be sold right up till kick off. Any decent website should be able to cope with sales up to an hour before kick off, then after that any remaining tickets and any new tickets becoming available could be sold at some of trade off point at the ground. With a 10% cut going to the administrating of this. Just like the standby procedure for a flight.

  16. Mahdain

    The problem we have is that the media WANT to hear his negative views. They have no interest in reporting in a balance and fair way.

    If he disappeared they would just find the next prick to tell them what they want to hear.

    And if they couldn’t find anyone to dish the dirt on us they would just make it up, if they don’t already.

    Media scum. I fucking hate them.

  17. Tony, in breaking news a recent report has established that 99.9% of people who buy the Daily Telegragh don’t read all of it… close the buggers down!

  18. blacksheep63

    I have my concerns about the 00.01% who do actually read all of it. Fashion,puzzles,shop,luxury,The diary,etc.

  19. The negativity in the comments to supporters groups is really unfortunate. They have done a lot of good and are needed. Don’t think the actions or self importance of individuals should make us attack the organisations themselves.

    Sure you might not agree with everything they do but the authors of this site themselves could tell you all the good things done by AISA. Should they be shut down because of you don’t agree with all they do, how they’re run or certain individuals within group?

    The main point about empty seats is valid though even if some of the solutions are not the best. If the AST does get the club to look into this (and it looks like they are) then it’s a good thing for everyone.

    We’ve already had a few good ideas in comments – let’s not just except TX in its current form but look into this properly so we can improve the match day experience (BM game last season shows what match day can be like if we have full stadium of supporters who want to be there)

    As for Telegraph story – if you keep clicking they’ll keep printing

  20. Grayfox

    I would agree with you save I can’t recall any vocal representatives from AISA joining in a campaign, over years, to discredit the Arsenal manager. Bed sheet protests outside the ground. Billboards when your team was competing for a bauble. That kind of unfortunate idiocy.
    Reminds me of the conduct of those Blackburn fans under Steve Kean, which worked out well for them. Not a good look. And I wouldn’t recommend it.

  21. Point being Kean was the manager, and not the owner 😉

    What was Usmanov saying earlier in the week? 🙂

    And people wonder how the AST blew its credibility?

  22. For a start if the AST’s PR genius’ could stop demeaning themselves with what have been shown to be jingoistic and petty attacks on Arsenal fans who don’t live in London, well, as a local Arsenal fan who grew up next to the ground, I would appreciate that.

  23. Let us established a fan-based ticket-exchange for those who are not season-ticket holders and those s-t holders who can’t attend but are prepared to let others use them, just like Tony! I had tried using the Club ticket exchange platform but to no avail.

  24. The issue of non-attending season ticket holders afflicts every club in the Premier League, albeit to varying degrees, so I can empathise with the frustration many of you have with this article in The Telegraph – it comes across as a bit of a hatchet job. Not only that, every club (not just Arsenal) releases attendance figures these days based on tickets sold rather than clicks through the turnstiles.

    Believe me, this is a hot topic at City, with many fans picking up on the same seats being empty most weeks while the club announces the vast majority of matches being a sell out. However, I don’t think it’s right to go around confiscating season tickets due to non attendance because the ST holder has made an up front financial commitment to the club.

    Jayramfootball correctly pointed out that not every United ST holder turns up at Old Trafford every week. Somewhat surprisingly for the largely pro-United media, the situation at United was actually covered in an article about 18 months ago in the Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/apr/12/manchester-united-attendances-police-figures – which was a source of some amusement to many of us City fans because some deluded United fans try to claim there’s never an empty seat in their stadium while at the same time genuinely believing our ground is only half full every week.

  25. M18CTID

    The thing that irks me about this is how it was picked up by LOCAL TV news and repeated verbatim as if fact.

    They love it.

    As I said in our other (uhum) debate, this is why I hate the fucking media. No investigation. No checking the facts. No attempt at balance.

    It’s criticising Arsenal so that’ll do.

    And what makes it worse is that it is quite possible the whole story was instigated by an article written by a group of Arsenal fans (in the looses possible sense) with a distinct and overt anti Wenger agenda. They attempt to undermine everything about our Club in there misguided attempts to oust many, if not all of the current incumbents.

    But my question is, would/do local Manchester media outlets look at any opportunity they can find to criticise and undermine the 2 Manchester Clubs as ours do to Arsenal?

    From afar I get the impression the local Media are very supportive of there local Clubs.

    I’m sure you will correct me if this is the wrong impression.

  26. Jambug,

    That’s an interesting question. The answer isn’t straightforward. I’d have to say that the 2 main reporters assigned to City and United at the Manchester Evening News are definitely very supportive of the clubs they write about. However, for years City fans have accused the MEN of a pro-United bias and United fans have accused them of having a pro-City bias and you can argue a case for both sides because outside the 2 main reporters, the newspaper has published articles in the past from roving journalists that have shown both clubs in a negative light. Also, they’ve printed inflammatory articles that seek to play the clubs off against each other which invariably leads to World War 3 breaking between both sets of fans.

  27. M18CTID

    I suppose we all think our Clubs get a bad press.

    It’s just ours is worse than anyone else’s. 🙂

  28. Finsbury

    There’s criticisms of all the supporters groups if you look hard enough.

    Point is AST has done a lot of good. Fair enough if you think they should censure some of their more outspoken members and yeah feel free to question certain aspects but please don’t be dismissive of a whole group because of said individuals.

    Just have a look at some of the stuff they’ve done as an organisation. The fanshare scheme was much admired by fans of teams up and down the country (despite it being mostly symbolic). That alone puts them up there as a supporters group that actually tried to do stuff for supporters.

  29. There’s bad press. And there’s disinformation.

    Anyone with a calculator, or a phone these days, could’ve calculated over recent seasons the average cost per game for a season ticket in the PL for every club. Yet we recorded years of what is simply and best described as propaganda, this year as we all saw in spite of a correction from the Arsenal press officer, is not just bad press. Though we wish that it was.

  30. I think you’ll also find that the reason for the articles like the Telegraph one where they focus on Arsenal when it’s a problem with all clubs is the fact that Arsenal are so well represented online compared to other clubs that an article like that is guaranteed page impressions which in turn leads to advertising etc etc.

    Don’t feed them

  31. Gray fox
    I don’t deny what they did, just as I can’t deny the damage done to their reputation.

    But when I heard that the AST had given negligee support over the years for the likes of Redaction that was it for me. As we can see with this current non-story on seating that is being used to attack arsenal football club specifically, the organisation has become a vehicle for personal aggrandisement and self-promotion, at best. That seat on the board is a long long way away now.

    Like Untold the AST contributed to a government White Paper on football. And like most White Papers, that one ended up in the bin. For them to continue to target the manager of their football club after that, not even the. Owner but the manger, as opposed to say the FA, that is more damning then any words of mine could be.

    It’s over. Finished. Kaput. The end.
    No credibility left.

  32. Football fans need groups to represent their interests.
    Based upon the evidence that we have before us, that’s not the AST.

  33. Guess well have to agree to disagree about credibility. Think their voice over last 10 years has been very important.

    For the record I’d agree that Red Action probably the most important group as far as supporting the team is concerned but still think we need all supporters groups. I guessing even the powers that be understand the importance of keeping supporters groups on side – at least for the time being. As has been mentioned it’s the actions of individuals that have caused the real problems as they should be target if your ire.

  34. The whole ‘taking ST from people not using them’ is interesting. I think there is scope to do it. Of course like Tony says if you have a genuine reasons then absolutely you shouldn’t have your ST under threat (indeed I was in a situation a couple of years ago when new child meant enforced absence).

    But I also personally know a few people who got season tickets (I think as part of the scheme to offer tickets to locals) who hardly ever use them. Even getting those people to ensure their tickets are available (by threat of loss) would be a step in the right direction in making sure everyone that wants to see our club does

  35. Quote from 7am:

    “It’s all absurd. AST needs something to do, this is their new thing.”

    It’s not aboout disagreeing or agreeing on credbilty. The damage the AST has done to itself in front of the entire Arsenal fanbase cannot be dismissed as opinion. Because it’s not an opinion. As per the quote above, it is now the consensus, whether you accept it or not. In case it wasn’t clear to you Grayfox, almost all of those who now see the AST as a joke were always supportive of Fanshare.

    The inabilty of the AST to distance itself from these self-declared PR experts who have destroyed it’s reputation over the last few years is exactly the reason why the AST itself has lost all credibility. Simples.

  36. Grayfox

    Please don’t remind me of the generous ticket scheme for local residents at the time! I was living abroad in Berlin at the time and couldn’t apply! 🙂
    I was told at a much later date by someone who runs a pie shop that not as many tickets were taken up by locals as were offered. Which to my mind is madness.

    But it’s there on the record. Arsenal gave away thousands of free season tickets (Planning agreement!) and many local people enjoy going. Though you find this story in the funny papers. Which is why we call them the funny papers! And some of these very lucky fans even give me their tickets when they can’t go! Even better, living locally, people who live far away sometimes force me to take their tickets too 🙂

    Fortunately I got my ticket on ticket exhacnge for tomorrows game very late on. Phew!

  37. @finsbury

    Fully agree with your comments about the AST – a self discredited treacherous grouping.

    The only aspect of AST which interests me is the motivation for the treachery – the possibilities could be quite fascinating.

  38. Will
    I think that you have to be a Red member.

    Like many and most, once upon a time, I had high hopes for fanshare.
    That fairytale came to an end some time ago now.

    At best these self declared PR experts are not as good at PR as they think (I’m trying to be kind), at worst these genius of business have played straight into Kronke’s hands.

  39. Tony, the each EPL club fills in a form disclosing the sold tickets and the actual “bums on seats”.

    The Club Level members can hire a table for the whole day. Which means that nearly 10,000 STs, do NOT NEED GO THROUGH THE TURNSTILES. Each restaurants has a TV, showing the game.

    I am sure that the police do not include these “bums in the restaurants”.

    There are also 4 theatres, also showing the game on TV.

    Research by the AisforArsenal fella, was abysmal.

    Well done, Tony.

  40. Er I do disagree.

    The whole point of this topic is to highlight the issues with availability of tickets vs empty seats in the stadium. I think we can all agree using the evidence of our own eyes that certain matches have loads of empty seats. If people are just not turning up then something needs to be done to make those seats available (and comments above have already made many good suggestions – so I’d imagine it’s something a lot of the fanbase think about)

    Tony also mentioned that he put a ticket on TX for the Tottenham game which didn’t sell FFS. Walk around the stadium for a NLD and tickets go for twice face value so think it’s safe to say there may be issues with the TX which need looking at.

    I don’t know how it can be a negative to highlight this. By all means have a go at sensationalist reporting but the point still stands. If we fill up EVERY seat then it’s good for the team (many players have commented in the past about how having a full and rocking stadium is a dream).

    To me this is the sort of thing that the AST should be highlighting – real concerns that benefit supporters if solved. To me they’re actually getting credibility back by doing this. I think in 10 years we’ll look at the highlighting of issues like this as the reason supporters groups are needed and credible.

    Perfect? No
    Could do more? Yes (like highlighting the fact that TX needs upgrading so people can easily sell tickets to NLD)
    Needed? Absolutely

  41. An example of how the media interpret things and always (in my eyes anyway) try whatever they can to put a negative slant on us whenever they possibly can.

    This little example I am going to show is from the LONDON evening news Friday supplement ‘ES’

    It’s an article in which the Author, a certain Mark Starling ?, assesses the merits of some of the big Summer signings. The actual assessment part is pretty irrelevant, but once I show what he says I hope you will see the point I am trying to make.

    He says in his assessment of ALEXIS SANCHEZ:

    ‘Arsenal have splashed out £30 Million on the Chilean striker in the hope of FINALLY WINNING A TITLE AFTER TEN YEARS.’

    So straight away we’ve moved on from the ‘9 years without a trophy’ to the ’10 years without a title’

    No suggestion of us perhaps building on our FA Cup triumph.

    Nope, lets just go straight to the negative.

    Pathetic really, but fine, if that’s the yardstick with which you want to measure Clubs, bring it on I say. But wait. We move on to his assessment of the Liverpool new boy, LAZAR MARKOVIC.

    He says:

    ‘Markovic’s trickery is a nightmare for defenders and will BE VITAL TO LIVERPOOLS CHANCES OF MOUNTING ANOTHER TITLE CHALLENGE’

    So no mention of Liverpool FINALLY WINNING A TITLE AFTER 25 FUCKING YEARS !!!!

    Nope, Liverpool are looking to mount ANOTHER title challenge. ANOTHER? Fuck me last year was the first time in how many years they’ve been anywhere near the title.

    What about something like, ‘Markovic has been bought in to help fill the void left by the departure of there star man’ or ‘has been bought in in an attempt to avoid the same kind of end of season capitulation we witnessed last season’

    Not a chance. This is Liverpool. Seems it’s illegal to say anything negative about them.

    Lets save all the negative shit for Arsenal.

    look, I know it’s a small article in one paper but to me, in those 2 pieces you have the perfect example of the different ways we are portrayed compared to the likes of Liverpool, Utd, Spurs etc.

    And this, in a LONDON paper.

    Sorry for the rant but it really pisses me off.

    Guess what? I hate the fucking Media.

  42. Today in…

    …The Sun:

    Sagna having a pop at Wenger.

    Mourinho having a pop at Wenger.

    …The Mirror:

    Staunch Arsenal fan John Cross (yeah right) having a pop at Wenger.

    Sagna having a pop at Wenger.

    New season, same old shit.

    John Cross, Arsenal fan? Wanker, pure and simple !!

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