Liverpool fans have taken action over inflated match-day tickets ahead of their FA Cup fifth round fixture at Arsenal, with supporters fearing they could be forced to pay as much as £93 to see their team in action.
The Reds’ supporters group Spirit of Shankly have written to the Gunners’ chief executive Ivan Gazidis to try and persuade the north London club not to class the match as a Category A match.
Group chairman James McKenna feels that the two clubs should agree a fee closed to the £25.50 that Arsenal charged Coventry City fans for the fourth round encounter last Friday.
Reported in The Evening Standard, McKenna wrote: “The League game saw Liverpool fans charged £62 per ticket for a fixture played on a Saturday evening. The cost of the match along with the late kick-off saw many fans priced out. We have been informed by Arsenal supporters that if we receive a 9,000 ticket allocation at Category A prices, this would mean that ticket prices could range from £62 to £93 for Liverpool supporters.”
Should the game be a Category A fixture, it would also have costly repercussions for Arsenal season ticket holders.
Seven home cup matches are included in the price of the season ticket. Had Arsenal been drawn away this season’s seventh game would have been the Champions League last-16 first-leg clash against Bayern Munich, which is the week after the FA Cup tie.
However, the Liverpool game is now the seventh, meaning that Arsenal fans will be charged between £62 and £123 to attend the Bayern match as a cost added to the renewal price for next season.
Fans’ group The Black Scarf Movement have requested that the Liverpool game be made a Category B match and for that to be added to next year’s renewal cost rather than the Bayern game — or that the club abolish their planned three per cent rise in prices across the board next season. “We call on Arsenal to do the right thing,” said the group.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger today claimed Arsenal have had less time to rest between matches than their rivals over the last five seasons.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claimed last week the Gunners “always have the best days to play” but Wenger dismissed that citing an “independent” study, thought to be research carried out by another company on behalf of the club.
“In the last five years all the objective studies that have been made show Arsenal had less rest than any other teams in the top four,” he said.
Arsenal v Coventry City in pictures
Arsenal v Coventry City in pictures
1/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal misses his kick
2/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Coventry City's Blair Adams (right) and Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson battle for the ball
3/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
A Coventry City supporter gestures to Arsenal's Jack Wilshere as he walks onto the pitch to protest the fact that they are playing their home games 35 miles away in Northampton
4/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Mesut Oezil of Arsenal is challenged by John Fleck, left, and Leon Clarke of Coventry City
5/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Lukas Podolski scores a goal for Arsenal rounding Coventry Goalkeeper Joe Murphy
6/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Lukas Podolski celebrates after scoring his team's second goal of the match
7/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
The fans hold up lights when the Emirates stadium floodlights switch to half power
8/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, left, fouls Coventry City's Franck Moussa
9/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Lukas Podolski of Arsenal rises to score the second goal of the evening with a header
10/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain falls in the penalty box as he is challenged by Coventry City's Cyrus Christie
11/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud shoots and scores his goal against Coventry City
12/12 Arsenal v Coventry City
Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal against Coventry City