Arsenal could sanction no-show season-ticket holders

Date published: Sunday 23rd October 2016 11:33

Arsenal: Empty seats

Arsenal: Empty seats

Arsenal could propose the rescinding the season tickets of fans who regularly fail to turn up at matches.

Mega-rich corporate season-ticket holders, who turn out for the big games but cannot be bothered to watch the more unfashionable teams, are believed to be the target.

The Daily Telegraph says at Monday’s AGM the issue of empty seats at The Emirates will be addressed and it could be proposed that steps are put in place to rescind existing tickets and to stop perennial offenders purchasing season tickets in future.

A more accessible digital system to facilitate re-sales and deadlines extensions are expected to be proposed.

The reports claims the freedom of information requests over the past two years have exposed how thousands of tickets each season are bought but not then actually used by the buyer or even made available via the club ticket exchange.

“It’s disappointing to see so many empty seats at ‘sold-out’ matches when the demand is clearly there,” said Tim Payton, spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust.

“If someone is only using the ticket a few times a year then they should be warned and after that they should lose their priority for the next season. It is a win-win to get this sorted. More people on a match-day means new fans and extra revenue in other areas but, crucially, it would also improve the atmosphere and benefit the team.

arsenal empty seats

“If Arsenal are concerned only with making money then the board won’t be bothered how many ticket holders actually attend. If they’re interested in the atmosphere within the ground and in encouraging the next generation of young fans to become regulars then this issue should be a major concern.”

Despite the official sell-out attendance for Wednesday’s Champions League win against Ludogorets of 59,944, it appeared that several thousand supporters had not turned up.

While it was revealed in 2014 that the Metropolitan Police’s official average gate attendance at The Emirates in the previous season was 53,788. That was nearly 6,000 lower than the officials numbers, although this did not include those fans who entered through stadium car parks.

Even then, the actual estimate was that around 4,000 tickets went unused in each game despite their being a huge waiting list for season tickets.

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