Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool Fans Unite over Emirates Tickets Row

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool Fans Unite over Emirates Tickets Row

Article excerpt

Byline: Julian Bennetts

ARSENAL, Liverpool and Tottenham supporters groups have come together to criticise the Gunners for reducing the ticket allocation for away fans for FA Cup ties at the Emirates.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust, Black Scarf Movement, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust and Spirit of Shankly are furious over the ticketing for Arsenal's third-round tie with Tottenham and next week's fifth-round match with Liverpool.

Competition rules state away fans should be given 15 per cent of the stadium 9,050 seats but Arsenal gave Spurs and Liverpool only 5,186 tickets each while fourth-round opponents Coventry were offered 8,686.

Arsenal say the decision was made on the advice of their Safety Advisory Group "due to fears over safety issues from supporters standing in the upper tiers of the stadium". The group consist of representatives from the club, Metropolitan Police, local authority and transport.

However, in October Arsenal granted Chelsea the full 9,000 tickets for their League Cup fourth-round tie and that game passed without any crowd trouble.

And now four fan organisations have questioned the decision regarding the FA Cup ties, asking six questions of the club including why a stadium that opened in 2006 can consider the upper tiers safe for home fans but not for away supporters in some circumstances.

They have also asked how the club can be granted a safety certificate if the ground is unsafe for some supporters in the upper tier and how Arsenal can stage concerts in the off-season where fans are routinely seen dancing in the top level.

Marc Harold of the Black Scarf Movement told Standard Sport: "Fans are sick of being treated as if they don't matter, especially when supporters at games are an integral part of football. We support Spirit of Shankly, as if the shoe was on the other foot, we'd be understandably upset at having a reduced ticket allocation. …

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