Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has criticised the FA after it was announced that 37,000 tickets for the FA Cup final will not be going directly to fans of the two finalists.
Each of Arsenal and Hull City will be given 25,000 tickets for the May 17 final, with 37,000 tickets going to Club Wembley and ‘the football family’, the FA have announced.
Of the tickets handed to ‘neutrals’ 20,000 will go to ‘volunteers’ including people who work for ‘counties, leagues, local clubs and charities’. The other 17,000 will be allocated to Club Wembley, the corporate scheme which give priority and hospitality to its members.
Gazidis claimed that “the balance in the FA’s allocation system is not right” and branded the ticketing situation “disappointing”.
“We are disappointed many of our supporters and also those of Hull City will be unable to get tickets to the cup final,” he said.
“We fully understand this is the showpiece FA fixture to celebrate the game as a whole, but we also believe the loyal supporters of the competing teams deserve a greater chance to see their team play in what is one of the biggest matches of the season.
"Arsenal have approximately 45,000 season ticket holders and 150,000 members, many of whom come to games.
"They all give us their loyal support throughout a season but with the FA Cup final allocation at 25,000 there will be many disappointed Arsenal fans, who have supported the Club home and away for years, who will be unable to get a ticket to this historic match.”
Arsenal received 49,000 tickets for the semi-final against Wigan, which sold out completely. The club have announced their intention to screen the game live at Emirates Stadium for fans who cannot get a ticket to Wembley.
Last season Manchester City were originally allocated 25,000, but had that number boosted to just over 31,000, with Wigan receiving 25,000 tickets.
Tickets for fans of the two clubs will cost up to £115, with the cheapest costing £45.
The game has also been confirmed as a 5pm kick-off, which would mean that Hull fans would not be able to get back to Yorkshire by train the same night if the match were to go to extra time and penalties. The last train to Hull, via Doncaster, leaves Kings Cross at 8pm.