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Chaos at the Emirates tomorrow? Arsenal demand vaccination or LF test.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal have issued a notice stating that “ticket holders for Emirates Stadium that are aged 18 and over may be asked to provide proof of full vaccination (+14 days), proof of natural immunity (via a PCR test result) or a negative lateral flow test (taken within 48 hours of the fixture’s specified kick-off time) prior to entering the stadium.”

I am not sure how long that message has been up there; I must say I didn’t notice it before when I was looking at the site ready to book my ticket.

But it leads me back to two key, although totally different, points.

First, showing documentation to a steward or helper is going to take time, which means that the queues are likely to be rather long.  Or put another way, very, very long.  Now I know that in one way this won’t matter too much if a fair number of people have arrived early to see both games, or maybe the second half of the first game and then the second game.   That spreads people out much more than for a normal league match – but it is going to be chaotic as a way of getting people into the ground once the regular season starts.

Second, Arsenal are now taking from all of us private information and storing it goodness knows where, and using it goodness knows how.   I don’t mind them having my data in terms of my name and address, when I buy my season ticket each season, because all that says is that I am an Arsenal supporter – and that information is obviously available in many places – not least here.

But once we start having medical information attached to that database, that begins to worry me.  Data breaches are commonplace – we all know that – and there is every chance that this data will be hacked and provided to people who I might not want to have it.

Now to be clear, I am not trying for some special pleading over my own case.  I’ve had the two jabs, and have been very happy to do this.  I know that doesn’t make me immune but does reduce my chances of getting the illness, and if it I do get it, it will probably reduce the amount of time I am ill, and how bad I feel.

The club is also accepting a negative lateral flow test as proof of immunity, so that people who have not had the jabs can still gain admission by taking the test before each game, but I still worry about the delays on getting into the ground.

And what disturbs me in all this is that Arsenal are clearly interested in getting us to go into the ground earlier and earlier, to buy our drinks and refreshments there.   Which might not worry fans too much – except think of the pubs around the ground who for years have served fans on match days, with that extra trade adding significantly to their annual turnover.

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Arsenal is effectively using its size and might to squeeze out its local competition when it comes to selling a drink and maybe some food before the match – and that really is unfair competition.   The pubs around the ground have provided a service for years and this move to getting every punter’s penny into the Arsenal coffers just feels like a move too far to me.

10 comments to Chaos at the Emirates tomorrow? Arsenal demand vaccination or LF test.

  • porter

    My experience of getting served at The Arsenal is a lottery , they pull pints and leave them standing in the hope of dispensing them at a pace and half the time it tastes rather tepid and flat.
    As for buying food I once asked for a pint of bitter and got served a piece of pizza.
    I have given up buying in the ground the local pubs and chippies serve better beers and food at much better value for money. I drive to london for matches and before a match can only have 1 beer as I will be driving home later . So i make sure that I get a good one .
    Possibly this will cost me in the new brownie point system that the club are developing but I doubt that I shall be changing my habits built up over more than two thirds of my lifetime.

  • AFCam

    or afc could just open the doors , deliberately or recklessly causing a superspreader event and be called worse than muck for it , maybe fined or ground closure for having no care as to whether 60k people catch and spread a plague

  • RichardR

    I’m not sure whether this is Arsenal’s attempt to increase revenue, as you state, or the government trying to force venues into taking the NHS vaccine app or similar.

    I do think that this will reduce revenue to football clubs in the longer term when implemented as:

    1 – there will be people who can’t or won’t comply and so these people will have to stop coming if the system is implemented and works;

    2 – it could largely stop ticket sharing – except via the club – which I am sure accounts for a reasonable portion of tickets today

    3 – as you imply, the data gathering and retention needs will cost for no gain

  • i renewed my membership a few days ago
    every time i logged in on arsenal.com, i used to be greeted with a nice “welcome back Hervé!” whereas now a frowning, reproachful “Hervé (O point)” pops up in its stead
    can’t say i don’t regret the good ol’ days
    the “control” issue is a very important one indeed, and is getting bigger and bigger here in france, where macron has gone as far as threatening to shut non-vaccinated high school kids out of school
    we all have to wonder if we are ready to live in a society of permanent control; and should remember the old saying (“the road to hell is paved …” – should i write with “2 jabs” here?)
    if we trust a football club with our private data, who do we think we’ll be in a position to keep from using it, in a near future?
    and don’t believe a word the mainstream media will say about the french demonstrators; those against vaccines were a ridiculously tiny minority, but “Liberté!” could be heard everywhere
    well, as for tomorrow COYG of course – always nice to trample those “blues” under foot; on the other hand i must say i have difficulty adjusting to the idea of a “pre-season friendly” (!!!) against you-know-who
    as i write this, i’m watching marseille villareal: saliba and guendouzi are excellent … again

  • AFCam

    nice to see my comment , the first reply is no longer here.Maybe simple common sense is not appreciated

  • Porter

    Definitely an attempt to force people into the ticket exchange system wheee the club earn at both ends and restricts recipients to paid up members

  • Indeed, but generally leaping to an extreme position in a debate is a sign that the position being taken has no validity.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am not sure what information can be gleaned/misused by this exercise , but safety must be the main consideration. It probably may be time consuming , but knowing that we are with like minded safety conscious people must be reassuring.

    In my country we have an app on our phones which we have to use to scan wherever and whenever we enter an establishment. We also have to record our temperatures on entering. Not foolproof , but definitely reassuring.

    I wouldn’t mind if the club records and keeps tabs on those clowns who who bring black bin bags, stupid posters and “OUT” banners. Personally I would hate to be seated next to some moron who unfurls such crap each time he feels the urge to do so.

    In fact I would ask for more cameras , CCTV and other recording devices to be fitted for security reasons. Especially after that Wembley ticket less free admission fiasco.

    Why , I ‘d even venture that those them extra cameras may even help the PIGMOB whenever their VAR is doubted !
    Stay safe , all.

    Up the Gunners !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Very touching message – Her truth be told

    The wife was in the ICU.

    The husband was unable to control his tears.

    Doctor:” We are trying our best but we can’t guarantee anything.Her body is not reacting . It seems she is in a coma.”

    Husband: ” Doctor,please save her.She is just 50 years old and the family needs her. ”

    Suddenly something happened. Miraculously.
    The ECG started beeping like crazy !

    A hand moved,her lips mumbled and she spoke: “I’m 49 !”

  • porter

    No validity ? I suppose my point is that if the club want to make a success of this then they will have to up their game . I have my ticket in the lower tier , I believe things are a little better in the upper however for those that do not venture downstairs llow me to say that if you want something at half time you will have to leave 10 minutes before the break and probably get back 5 minutes into the second half.
    To my mind not worth it.

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