by Tony Attwood
Ahead of this game an announcement appeared on Arsenal.com stating that access to tickets was going to be very restricted. Red members, for example, would not be able to buy tickets and there would be no sale of tickets to away fans.
And yet at the same time hundreds of websites were offering tickets for sale – thus seemingly bypassing the restriction for red members.
In other words if you were a red member you could not buy a ticket, but if you wanted to go to a ticket tout you could. Where is the logic in that? Will the people with touted tickets be arrested?
Here is the announcement
“Following discussions with the police and local authorities, we are having to place restrictions on ticket sales for this fixture. This decision is based on safety considerations and follows the difficulties experienced when we played FC Cologne in September 2017.
“As a result of this anticipated demand from Eintracht Frankfurt supporters and the confirmation that they will not be receiving an allocation, we have been forced to limit ticket sales to our supporters for the match in order to prevent visiting supporters overwhelming Arsenal sections of the stadium. Consequently, there will be no sales to our Red Adult and Cannon Red Members for this match. Also, the Friends & Family and Ticket Exchange Service will not be in operation for this match.
“Any Eintracht Frankfurt supporters in possession of a home ticket will be refused entry and any who do manage to gain entry will face ejection from the stadium. We will also cancel the memberships of anyone who has sold their tickets on to Eintracht Frankfurt supporters.”
On 25 November when I checked for availability of tickets, expecting to have to search, and this is what I found…
- Live Football Tickets web site showed on 25 November tickets at £158 and £249
- Ticket Compare has tickets ranging from £117 to £158 available
- FanPass confirmed it had 58 tickets available.
- Hotfootballtickets had tickets from £76
- Compared Arsenal Tickets had tickets from £117
- FootballTicketPad had two tickets for £235
- SportsTickets had a range of tickets from £120 upwards
and on and on and on and on and on. Company after company offering tickets for a game which Arsenal told us everything above.
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Now all these tickets are openly on sale, so in all cases the police could be notified and the company’s offices stormed, the directors and employees removed and the company shut down.
So why not?
Red Members have been stopped by Arsenal from buying tickets at normal prices, but these companies are charging three times the face value of each ticket.
The club absolutely must know where these tickets are coming from and how they are being passed on, yet I myself find I am in a situation in which I am afraid to pass on my silver membership card used by the partner when she can’t go because of the dire warnings about not allowing anyone other than the named person buy a ticket with the card or use the card for entry.
Of course it is possible that I have got my information wrong – in which case I will be delighted to be corrected – but those adverts were all live on the internet on 25 November.
If the restrictions have worked then it is going to be a small crowd.