A rare event of fan solidarity has happened this week as supporters groups from Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal joined forces to call for action against the Gunners seat allocation policies.
The central charge aimed at Arsenal is that the Gunners have a capricious price and ticket allocation structure which visiting fans interpret as a simple money-making scheme designed to bleed them of their money.
Now, of course, there is no breaking news surrounding claims that football clubs are in the profits business, however the Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal fans have good data which deserves answers from the powers that be.
As reported on the Spirit of Shankly website:
This season has seen Arsenal draw Tottenham Hotspur, Coventry City and Liverpool Football Club at the Emirates. The disparity in the way in which each game has been treated is of a major concern to us.
Tottenham Hotspur played at the Emirates on 4th January 2014. They were allocated 5,186 tickets priced in the Category A band of £62.00 for Adults. The match kicked off at 5.15pm on a Saturday.
Coventry City played at the Emirates on 24th January 2014. They were offered an allocation of 8686 tickets, comprising the upper and lower tier and decided to take the 5186 lower seats only. Tickets were priced in the Category C band of £25.50 for Adults and the match kicked off at 7.45 pm on the Friday night.
Liverpool will play at the Emirates on Sunday 16th February with a 4pm kick off. They have been allocated 5,186 tickets and these have been priced in the Category B band of £35.50 each for Adults.
Then comes the sting in the tail.
The fans point to FA Cup rules which states that all clubs must offer up to 15% of their tickets to away fans for FA Cup games. Whilst Coventry fans received that ticket availability, Spurs and Liverpool were denied their full allocation. Arsenal have claimed that was because of safety concerns.
This raises some serious points, specifically why was it safe for Coventry fans to be at the Emirates in their droves, but not Tottenham and Liverpool fans?
The statement concludes: “We ask that the Football Association work with us on this matter to address our concerns and to ensure that the “magic of the FA Cup” is not lost forever.”
The full report on the complaint raised by Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal fans groups attack Gunners away seats allocation can be read here.