You only sing when you’re winning!

by Teflon

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Telfon’s weekly rant

I had the pleasure of being at Arsenal this weekend… finally a good win and a good performance, even though it should have been 6 or 7 nil. So as we sat in our ‘Impossible to get’ seats, in a game that sold out within 30 minutes of being available to Red Members, the wife and I had a look around the stadium, we were amazed to see the amount of empty seats! Anyone who goes to the Emirates regularly like I do realize that the ground never really fills up fully until about 10 minutes into the first half, but this was different, the boxes were empty, the Club level £100 a ticket seats were half empty, the lower tiers had so many spare seats it made me mad.

2-0 to the gunners!

In fact, I couldn’t believe the amount of empty seats, at the end of the game the announcer said the Attendance was 60,109 but in truth there was at least 3000-5000 empty seats (Max attendance 60,500). It just shows that the fans that get the tickets only show when were winning, which hasn’t been much lately I admit! At half time the 4 people sat next to us never came back for the second half, leaving 4 free seats for 45 minutes. (I mean who the hell buys a £50 per person ticket and only shows for half the game?)

I think Arsenal have the most screwed up unfair ticketing system in the country, It is impossible for my friends to get tickets so I have to get them, but then look at teams like Middlesbrough, Bolton, Wigan, Reading, or hell any team outside the top 5 in the country. These teams have stadium’s, which can hold 30,000 to 50,000 fans but they only half fill them. Actually, come to think of it, Chelsea are just as bad!

Maybe a better thing would be to lower ticket prices? Do local promotions where clubs invite Schools along? Just something that may improve the attendance. I saw Middlesbrough earlier this season at the Riverside, and sat a few rows in front of me was 200 School kids with 4 Teachers. Not only would that be a great experience for the kids, but also the team would benefit from gift shop sales and half time Cornish Pasties.

It makes me sad to see many empty seats in a stadium, with only a select few fans supporting a premiership team. Clubs need to make more effort, lower ticket prices and do some more special offers to bring the fans in. I mean look at Derby County, probably the worst team in Premiership history, but they almost fill Pride Park every week, and sell ALL of their away tickets. All fans should take note of this! Derby have the worst team, but they certainly have the best fans!

So if teams lowered ticket prices and give tickets to local schools and big businesses I think the stadiums would fill to a higher level. But I think the real reason these stadiums stay empty is the fans are spoilt in today’s game. Who wants to support Bolton when Manchester United are winning everything? Who wants to support Reading when you have Arsenal and Chelski are based 30 miles away? Today’s fans only want to support a team who is winning. I’ll admit I was taken to an Arsenal game in 1997, (I was 12) It was against Villa and we drew 0-0, Emmanuel Petit got sent off. Since then I have always seen Red. I fell in love that day and now my wife has given up competing for my love for Arsenal so she has joined me.

But Even though I’m a true Gooner I love to support the underdog, I have been to see Derby a couple of times this season, their fans showed spirit and love for their team while they went through a very poor season. But they suck by them. Unlike the Arsenal fans that don’t deserve to wear the shirt, it’s a disgrace to the fans, the club and to themselves to leave so many empty seats during a home game. I say ban people that don’t turn up 3 times in a season and give their ticket to someone who actually wants to go. But of course, they won’t!

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  • Darren

    I saw the game on the TV and there were loads of empty seats. But not as bad as the empty seats as Chelski this season, mind you, we all know that the Chavs are have the biggest glory fans in the Europe!

    I still think the crowd was good, the ground has been filled for almost every game. They did do cheap tickets for the Carling Cup game against Newcastle, that was a nice touch. The fact of the matter is, there are probably over 80,000 people wanting to watch Arsenal every week. Which is odd, because when I was a true fan back in 88-92, I used to get a ticket on the day, I never owned a season ticket and yet I missed 4 home games in 4 years. Maybe because I went to loads of away games I got bonus’s? It was so long ago I can’t actually remember. I think that fact that not many woman and corporates went back then.

    I’ve only actually been to the Emirates once this season, yes I know, it’s a disgrace from someone who has an opinion on everything, you see, I can’t be arsed with all the hassle of getting to the game, to many people, closing down the station, big queues etc… I used to go to almost every home and away game under George Graham but something happened, I met a woman, and she became far more interesting then watching any game of football.

    So maybe all those empty seats were people who met a special someone on Friday night? Or they though they take their loved one shopping (boring I know) But football is important, but at the end of the day, its not that important! Did I just really say all that? Shame on me!

  • Tef1on

    I was at the Newcastle Game, Our reserves beat the Newcastle first team 2-0. ticket prices were £10 a ticket and the stadium sold out to great success on a tuesday night. the Carling cup first tie vs spurs only had an attendance of 50,000… Thats a game vs Spurs! This week I am writing a letter to the Arsenal Supporters Managment to try and get my memberships upgraded, I’m fed up of seeing empty seats and not being able to get a ticket!

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