The Gunners are well-known for having comfortably the most expensive season ticket in England’s top division and world football, with them last week cancelling a surcharge on season ticket holders, where they were expected to pay a fee of between £7 and £30 if they wanted to attend the club’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Barcelona.
However, Leicester fans are set to stage a five minute walk out on Sunday afternoon due to the cost of tickets and Arsenal supporters group REDaction AFC have urged their own faithful to do the same, in a statement by the collective.
As we all know, our match on Sunday against Leicester will be televised by Sky Sports. As we also know, they decided this with just over 3 weeks’ notice – causing many fans on both sides to need to rearrange travel, or in many cases to lose pre-booked transport or accommodation.
This kind of thing happens too often – match going fans are treated appallingly, both by clubs (who continually increase ticket prices, despite the huge and growing TV revenues flowing into their coffers); and TV companies (who move kickoff times at short notice, and stage games at times that are good for TV viewers, but bad for the match going fan).
Leicester City supporters’ group Union FS are planning a protest during Sunday’s game. They are asking Leicester fans to boycott the first 5 minutes of the game – to make the point that without fans, football doesn’t make a good TV show. After 5 minutes, Leicester fans will take their seats – we ask all Arsenal fans to show support for their protest – on an issue that affects fans of all teams.
As with all protests of this type, none of us have any idea how successful it will be. Liverpool’s walkout last weekend was a huge success – but it will be difficult to ask Leicester fans to miss the first 5 minutes of a table topping clash. Nevertheless, if you see something happening in the away end around the 5-minute mark, this is why – so please support it, as we did so well when Bayern Munich did similar.