Reports this afternoon say that Arsenal are willing to offer refunds on tickets to fans who cannot attend the game against Leicester in three weeks time due to the fixture change announced yesterday.
A report in the Evening Standard quotes an Arsenal spokesperson who said, “We are sorry that our fans have been inconvenienced by the late change of this fixture.
“We should point out we have received only a handful of calls about this from supporters. Any Arsenal supporter who has purchased an individual match ticket from the club who is unable to attend is entitled to a full refund. The same applies to any fans who have purchased their ticket on our ticket exchange system.”
Which is fine, but does nothing for anybody whose travel plans are affected – be it planes, trains, automobiles or any other kind of carriage into which Steve Martin and John Candy might fit. There are hotels, guest-houses, and all the other things people have to arrange to attend a match – whether they’re travelling from abroad or inside the UK.
Those are the main costs of these late fixture changes, not the match ticket itself. And ultimately while this kind of gesture can’t really be criticised, Arsenal, Leicester and the other clubs should do more to ensure that proper rules are put in place so that games can’t be moved on the whim of broadcasters.
Hopefully this is seen as the mere sop it is, and the discussion will continue until something is put in place that is the benefit of all fans.