I was astonished to discover that our opening home match of the season – a glamour game against Liverpool – is now on sale to Red members. There’s even a chance it could go on general sale. In seasons past you would have no chance as a Red member to get hold of a ticket for a ‘Category A’ game such as Man Utd, Spurs, Liverpool or Chelsea because the Silver members would fight amongst themselves to snap up the few available tickets in a matter of hours.
Then there’s the story of a fellow fan who discovered in May that he was 13,000th on the season ticket waiting list. With people not renewing at the usual rate of 2,000 per year he was looking at a 7 year wait to get to the front of the queue.
The club rang him in June to offer him a ticket.
Fans are so disillusioned by the current regime running our beloved club that they are passing up the chance to buy a season ticket in their tens of thousands. And having watched Wenger fail to act decisively in the transfer market yet again, plenty of supporters aren’t bothering to attend a huge game like Liverpool because they’re fed up watching the same spineless, naive side that imploded last season.
Last summer 33,000 of the 35,000 season ticket holders renewed despite our lack of success in recent years (according to this source). I would love to know the figure this year.
We know how you feel mate
We are finally voting with our feet which is fantastic. Hill-Wood and the rest of the board will choke on their cigars as they watch the season ticket waiting list dwindle in just a matter of weeks, not helped by the ridiculous decision to increase prices by 6.5% at a time when the club are showing little ambition in the transfer market.
It’s important to remember that these fans are not staying away because they are fair-weather fans who only go if Arsenal are winning trophies. After all, last year 94% renewed and attendances have been sky high for the last six silverware-free years. No, these supporters have finally had enough of being mugged off by a club content to finish fourth every season while
telling them lies selling them the future with lines like ‘This side is young and will develop’ and ‘This side has fantastic mental strength and will improve’ year after year after year.
They are fed up of Wenger’s stubborn refusal to buy the experienced players necessary to win trophies.
They are fed up of watching other clubs strengthen in the transfer window while theirs gets left behind.
They are fed up of star players like Henry, Vieira, Nasri and Fabregas wanting to leave.
They are fed up of seeing the same naive defending over and over and nothing being done about it.
They are fed up of paying an extra 6.5% and wondering where that money has gone.
And they are fed up of being told ‘Judge me in May’ only to discover that when May comes around and the judgement is three red crosses, nothing changes.
Despite the fact that Wenger is making them a profit every year, I hope the board can remove their tongues from his arsehole long enough to realise that if the club continues to pursue an unambitious, skinflint strategy which is over-reliant on youth, there may not be many fans left to keep milking money from.
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