Arsenal Supporters Trust has called on the club to crack the whip and take back season tickets of club fans who cherry pick matches. Many games this year have seen few fans turn up for some of the home games. This was seen again when the Gunners faced Vorskla Poltava. The stadium had numerous seats that were empty. Arsenal Supporters Trust reckons that fewer than 30,000 fans were in attendance. The club however disputed the argument.
Arsenal, who face Everton on Sunday afternoon have been tipped as favourites by many bookmakers such as the likes of McBookie Betting. Most betting companies are betting against the Gunners finishing outside of the top 4. bet365 have Arsenal at 7/4 while Skybet are looking at 11/8. So imagine what the odds are for Arsenal winning the title? Don't laugh. A quick search tells you that they are as far as 80/1 with Paddy Power * Ouch *
There must be a correlation between the decreasing popularity of the Gunners and their lower betting odds as well as late performance. Obviously as the odds for the group drop dramatically with the known bookies, so does the fans’ loyalty. This could be part of the reasons why less tickets are sold and fewer fans have been heading the stadiums recently.
The Gunners sell seven home cup games that is part of the season-ticket and is one of the most expensive in Europe. However, with the club playing in the less exciting Europa league, some of the fans are not thrilled that they have to pay this in order to get their Premier League season ticket.
Another concern is that there are wealthy fans who only show up to high profile matches but are a no show to support the club in extra fixtures that are less exciting.
A research which was taken by AST, shows that there is outrage among some of the ordinary fans that attend all the games. They are urging the club to take stern action against the fans that only pick certain games to attend.
In the survey, a total of 66% were in favour of the club removing season tickets from the holders who often leave their seats empty. Arsenal did not do enough to support a good atmosphere inside the Emirates. For this reason, more than 90 per cent called or more resources to be dedicated to improving their ticket-exchange scheme.
AST wants action taken against individuals who do not use their tickets consistently. The club has 44,000 season ticket holders. This includes 14,000 at the higher-end premium level. This is the area that is mostly mentioned. However, this issue is not only limited to Arsenal, clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool are also affected.
The club has said that it is looking for solutions to deal with this menace. They want to have initiatives that will deal with the occupancy at the Emirates and also maintain that the Thursday game had one of the highest attendances in the Europa League. On Wednesday, the Gunners welcome Brentford in the League Cup and expect the same numbers even though tickets will only cost £10.
We want a full stadium for every game and work hard for that,” said a club spokesman. “All tickets are sold and people then make a choice after that.”
The club is also looking at developing technology. This will simply assist them to precisely identify people for a probable home credits scheme. They are understood to be restricted by issues of security as well as regulation in the timing of some of their resales on the ticket exchange scheme. The club’s main agenda at the moment is currently is on incentivising ticket holders to appear rather than taking cup games out of the package or striking off those who do not consistently attend.