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  • What do fans want?

    If Arsenal contacted all their members and asked them about how fans should be treated and promised to change their service to reflect the fans wishes, what would you like to see happen? To be fair, any crazy ideas like all tickets to be free or very cheap like a fiver would not be entertained.

    First, I feel we need to decide what areas are problematic. I will come up with general ideas and areas I feel are important, possibly mostly for me. Tickets are a big problem and the ballot system seems to be a disaster. So ideas about tickets are to be welcomed.


    Is the Arsenal system fair? I don't think so

    What about ownership? Some countries have fan ownership and it works very well. Even in the UK, there are many clubs owned by fans either in part or totally.

    What about prices in the grounds? It is expensive for food and drink in the Emirates.

    I would love free access in grounds without segregation. Hooliganism has not gone away, though.

    I would also like to be able to drink beer as I watch.

    Is there anything to be done?

    I will go through these one by one and see if any progress can be made.

    Tickets: Of course, I would love to see cheaper tickets but as expenses keep going up that may not be possible. If anyone has any ideas in this area I would love to hear them.


    Give the fans something to sing about

     So access to tickets is the next problem. The ballot system certainly seemed to work against the fans. The problem is that anyone can put in for the ballot for every match and even if they didn’t want to go, could sell them on. It was easy to apply. The old queueing system meant you needed free time on a work day and I only ever applied for matches I actually planned to go to. This time I know people who applied for every game. Which means there are a lot more applications for the club to sift through and chances of failure are higher.

    There are changes afoot but little clarity as to what. To be honest, the old queueing system had its flaws but if you were willing to get on as soon as it opened up you had a chance. I was successful a few times with this method but I was able, as I work from home a lot, to put aside an hour or so to queue. Those who work may not have this possibility.  They could do it at 19.00 and that would make it better for the nine to fivers. However, it requires many people to be at the end of a phone and that is expensive. I guess that is why they changed it. Ballots can be sorted by machine.

    We need a fair system

    What else would help? I feel that priority is key here. Silver and red members get x amount of tickets but I suspect that some are touts with multiple memberships who flood the ballots. Maybe more work is needed to weed out the touts. Also season ticket holders can be assessed as to whether they are selling most of their tickets and they can be removed for real fans who will attend most matches. My suggestion here is an agency within Arsenal to identify those Red, Silver and Season ticket holders who are only in it for selling purposes.


    Lots of dollars flowing through the Arsenal

    For the club, they need fan clubs to attend and new viewers every year so there should be a possibility for first time buyers. Young and even older people could come and get hooked. Fan clubs provide supporters and do free marketing for the club. This should be recognized more and tickets provided closer to the real needs of the fan club. I believe and hope that fan clubs would not go down the route of selling off spare tickets at inflated prices.

    So the advantage of looking after fan clubs is that they provide new members, the fans that travel are real fans, and they don’t sell tickets off to platforms for 300 euro or suchlike.

    Any ideas in the area of tickets are welcome. I would love to hear them.

    Fan ownership would make a huge difference

    Fan ownership: This is an area I would love to see. There is a disconnect between the huge clubs and the fans, There should be fans helping with decision-making in all areas, from boardroom level to what happens on the pitch and within the grounds. Bayern Munich are fan owned and they haven’t done too bad, have they? It should be obligatory.


    Adults cannot be trusted to drink alcohol

    If the clubs were fan owned that would fix the other areas mentioned about prices for food and drink at the club. In Ireland the Gaelic Athletic Association clubs have their own clubhouses which operate as pubs, restaurants and events such as music gigs and weddings, all on a nonprofit basis. Why not football clubs? Why is money the criterion for sporting activities as it is in most PL clubs?

    Can we do it step by step, please?

    Non-segregation of fans and drinking in the stands: These can probably be tackled together as they are connected. This would take a societal change which, although ameliorated since Sky changed the direction of football to make it more family oriented, (to create more money for themselves) still can spill out into violence. I feel we need to make this a target and take as many little steps as we can along the way to eventually get to the place where rival fans can sit together in safety and we can enjoy our beer as we watch.


    West Ham put up a barrier so rival fans cannot even see each other

    We could do with a fairer system for tickets, ownership, achieve non segregation, fair prices for food, drink, and products and providing real rewards for regular fans. To do that we need fan power and perhaps fan clubs everywhere in the world could come together to become a force in the world of football. Fanclubs should be a force in FIFA and the continental bodies as well. Without fans, there is no football. That should be reflected in the controlling bodies. Are you listening, Mr. Wenger?


    Bulgarian fans fighting for a fairer football world?

    We could make a start here in Bulgaria where corruption, incompetence and nepotism is rife. I do not know a Bulgarian football fan who is not appalled by how football is run here. A fresh start would be great. It would be superb to be able to go to the matches again to have fun. Will it happen? Will Bulgaria ever be a force in world football once more? You tell me.



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