EXCLUSIVE:Did ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB BACK DOWN with plans to move the date of general admission/season ticket renewals…?

Well the question on my lips today is “Did ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB BACK DOWN with plans to move the date of general admission/season ticket renewals…?”
Arsenalinisder’s Vic Crescit broke the news that Arsenal Football Club were planning the moves that would have created more than uproar amongst its fans. This all began when the Islington Tribune carried a piece on Saturday by Tom Foot it’s Sports writer which revealed that plans are being considered at Arsenal to bring forward the renewal date from 1st of June to a date in April without having consulted the fans and the statement was juxtaposed with an observation that there are 47,000 fans on the waiting list.
I contacted the Islington Tribune and its spokesman stood by the report as published. I indicated to the paper that if the club was really considering such moves, then in the current financial climate, this would be not only holding the fans in utter contempt, but it would be releasing official news from the club without the courtesy of it being on the official website.
There followed some tense telephone exchanges between Fabregas the King and an Arsenal Spokesman as I tried to untangle fact from fiction. The first exchanges seemed to indicate that there may have been communications with the Tribune, but the spokesman was unclear as to whether this had been upon the subject of Club level renewals. I was advised to be wary of the speculation especially as I had not seen the article personally.
I referred his comments to the Tribune, and indicated that Arsenal Football Club were in effect denying the truth of their story, and what was their response? I also indicated that plans were being formulated for an official protest at the Blackburn Home game next weekend, which would make an even bigger story. The Tribune reaffirmed their take on the Arsenal Football Club plans and sent me the article that I have been allowed to reproduce below.

CAMDEN JOURNAL
Arsenal face criticism ‘as they ask supporters to pay early for their season tickets

“Show the fans some Loyalty”
ARSENAL season ticket  holders are being asked to pledge their allegiance to the club.
Fans will be asked to renew their season tickets in April, two months earlier than usual and before
the club will know for sure whether or not they will be in the Champions League next season.
An Arsenal spokesman told the Tribune: “We are yet to confirm a date, but it will be in April.’ It’s
true, they will not know about the Champions League qualification. But there are 47,000 on the
waiting list so we are in a fortunate position.”
Fans will have, just a  few weeks to stump up more than £1,000 — or lose their tickets to the
next in line.
Pail Mats, chainnan of  the Arsenal Independent  Supporters Association (.AISA), said: “There is a
lot of general pessimism around at the moment at the club.
‘Then there is the financial climate. We will have to wait and see what kind of impact there is.”
Fans sitting. in Club Level, an exclusive business class ring of seats in the Emirates Stadium costing up to £4,000 each year, have been told they must renew their tickets even earlier, by the end of March, although they get longer to find the funds.
Mr Matz said: “Arsenal need to put in place measures that demonstrate to supporters that they understand the hardship that some face, and that they value the loyalty  of  those who continue to pay very significant amounts of their disposable income.
“I think the club should think about letting some fans pay in installments and maybe options, for deferred payment. There’s no reason why there should be one rule for Club Level ‘and another rule for the rest.”

by TOM FOOT
 

Well Arsenal fans can make up their own minds, but at this point FTK was sensing more than a club protest, and more than a follow up story from the Islington Tribune. I indicated to the press office that this afternoon’s blog would be running this story and I would very much like to clarify the Club’s position on this. The worst impression that Arsenal fans would have got, had the story been true, would be that their club were at best being insensitive given the current economic climate, but at worst being totally contemptous of its supporters by the juxtaposition of the observation of there being 47,000 supporters on the waiting list. In effect, if you could not have raised the funds, then your ticket would be taken up by one of the waiting list members,

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I am happy to report that during my third time of contact with Arsenal Football Club, the clarification was finally forthcoming after it seems some frantic back tracking from the original position. I was advised by the spokesman, that the original media reports were inaccurate, despite their prostestations to the contrary and that the necessary contact with the paper would correct the misleading impression.

So what I can do is clearly and unequivocally confirm that the General Admission Season tickets renewals will remain on June 1st, and that these renewal notices will be sent out in the next few days. Whether there were any such plans in existence appears to have been clearly disputed by the Club. Cynics among you out there might come to the conclusion that far from this being a misunderstanding between the Football Club and a local newspaper,  that it was in fact a rather disastrous experiment in policy kite flying. Which funnily enough reminds me that I saw the undisputed Master of Political Spin one certain Alistair Campbell at the game on Sunday… One wonders if someone at the Arsenal was trying to take a leaf out of his discredited copy book…lol

Comments of course invited.

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