AST want to club to take tickets from no-show fans

AST want to club to take tickets from no-show fans

Arsenal’s AGM takes place this week, and the Arsenal Supporter’s Trust are urging the club to take action against fans whose tickets are regularly unused.

Despite schemes like the Ticket Exchange, there remain swathes of unoccupied seats for every game, and the AST want the club to address the issue.

Spokeperson Tim Payton told The Telegraph, “It’s disappointing to see so many empty seats at ‘sold-out’ matches when the demand is clearly there.

“If someone is only using the ticket a few times a year then they should be warned and after that they should lose their priority for the next season.

“It is a win-win to get this sorted. More people on a match-day means new fans and extra revenue in other areas but, crucially, it would also improve the atmosphere and benefit the team.

“If Arsenal are concerned only with making money then the board won’t be bothered how many ticket holders actually attend.

“If they’re interested in the atmosphere within the ground and in encouraging the next generation of young fans to become regulars then this issue should be a major concern.”

It’s pretty obvious there are plenty of available seats for almost every game these days, particularly at club level, so finding a way of ensuring they’re filled would definitely be a good thing.

Let’s see what the club response to this is.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sheffield Goon

I guess it has become fashionable and also a status symbol to have a season ticket at Arsenal (and other clubs, but I suspect it is worse in London).

Shame for genuine fans.

David C

as a North American, I just can’t understand how complicated it is to buy tickets for footie matches. You should be able to sell (even for profit) or giveaway your tickets to anyone, no questions asked. Why do they make it so hard?!?!?

Sherbet Chapman

It would be great if they could sort out the empty seats, but letting people sell their seats at a profit isn’t the answer. That would just lead to touts/scalpers buying season tickets to then sell on seats at inflated prices (as happens for most big gigs and festivals). Match tickets are already expensive enough, so adding a premium that goes to a third party and doesn’t benefit the club would be the last thing we need.


I think a lot of this is down to the slick corporate package that the EPL now is. People treat live games at these new super stadiums as if they were watching TV in their front rooms. I think the sense of community that football was originally founded on is becoming a lot harder to find these days, and Arsenal aren’t the only ‘super club’ that struggle to fill all their seats on match day any more – and lets be frank, we are bar no means the worst, their are teams way worse then us. I personally think its… Read more »

Nav van dham

There should be a system in place, that when 20 minutes into a match, seats havent been filled ( indicated by people not swiping in at the turnstiles), those seats should be released for sale at a discounted price at the box office. Like a ‘re-sale’ queue they do at Wimbledon.

I reckon that would be a very good option and would make kronke happy as well as everyone else. win win


I think this is another great measure. They would have to make exceptions when there’s public transport issues but even then there’s an argument to release them and refund the late arrivals.
At the very least sell half time tickets. Use this in combination with the article’s measure and for season ticket holders a check in like flights would help a lot too. That might be a pain for some but it’s for the greater good of the club and as supporters of said club you’d have to get behind it.


There are a lot of empty seats even if they show fully sold out.

Some fans do not even return to seats after half time. I do not even leave tv during half time.

Many fans just enjoy eating and watching the game instead of creating a atmosphere for our players. Our aways fans are way too good for this.

I have seen many times players thanking fans for their support and cheer.

Support the AST purpose.

David Hillier's luggage

To be fair, a lot of us (myself included) leave our seats at half time as we’ve got wind of spare seats next to friends or in slightly more atmospheric parts of the stadium, so head over there (I’ve got into arguments with people in the upper tier who have told me to pipe down the singing). It’s sad as I’d say in about 80% of games I’m able to move seats at half time, which is a shame as I’d pay MORE for one of those lower tier tickets where you can actually chant!


As a season ticket holder this really pisses me off. Often the seats either side of me are left empty so to viewers of MoTD it looks like I have no friends. I can categorically state I do possess a number of friends, many whom I am on first name terms with , albethem friends who live inside my mind.


That’s not what they told me….Your poor poor deluded soul 😉


I would say more should be done to make the ticket exchange system more accessible and user friendly, many of us season ticket holders have work or family commitments that come up last minute and the present system will not allow you to sell your ticket last minute as far as I’m aware.

Also the ticket exchange service is quite antiquated and difficult to use, a match will say sold out but there will still be season ticket holders wanting to sell their tickets on the exchange.


Arsenal did a deal with Ticketmaster for all eternity and it’s utter shite


This. Also whenever I’ve tried to sell my ticket on Ticket Exchange more often than not I’ve failed to sell my ticket, even when posted for sale well in advance of matches that I am unable to attend. So I can’t only conclude that either 1. demand for tickets isn’t as high as the club or AST would have us believe; or 2. demand is high, but people are unaware of, or unable to use Ticket Exchange. It’s a massive shame because I’m attempting to use the official channels in order to sell my ticket and of course I can’t… Read more »


I’m not entirely convinced, at all, by the argument here. Surely the purchase of a season ticket reserves you the right to attend Arsenal games as and when you chose rather than being a binding contract to attend all, or any, games.

I understand that those without tickets may be frustrated at the situation, I’m just not comfortable with some dictating how others should act.


While the purchase of a ticket guarantees admission, it also comes with the general expectation that as a season ticket holder, you’d be supporting the team on match day. However, I choose to put the blame on the club. They should come up with a text messaging system that asks ticket owners not in the stadium if they’re planning on attending the game. If they choose not to respond or show up to the games repeatedly, their priority should be downgraded next season. If they respond and say they’re not coming, the club should be able to resell the tickets.


I agree you shouldn’t have to show up to every game…but it is reasonable to require you to let the club know if you arn’t showing up, so they can give the seat to someone else. If you ahve a season ticket and fail to let the club know when you arn’t going to be using it, I have no trouble with the club eventually after warnings taking the season ticket away from you the next season.

Marble Halls TV

Why not? the club already places restrictions on how tickets are distributed and it’s their product. All products have a terms of use/terms of sale, and if the club wants to restrict how it’s used, then fine. it’s just basic economics.


The traditional football fan (in many cases) has been priced out of the game. I know of many diehard fans of many years standing that no longer attend matches. Fans which are part of several generations of support within their families now stream or go down the pub to watch. The sort of money one needs to follow the team has attracted some fans who treat attendance in the same way they might attend a country club or health spa!


our cat c games – the cheapest ticket ones – do not sell out, our youth enclosure does not sell out, £10 ticket. This being priced out soundbite is the greatest load of crap out there. Its true that many fans can not afford a season ticket, but its also true that these same fans do not take every opportunity to go to games that tickets are available for. Put a ticket up on ticket exchange for a game v any of the big clubs and its snapped up in minutes, put up a cat c game ticket and you… Read more »


Have to agree with some of this. I have a season ticket and on more than one occasion I’ve put a category C on ticket exchange, with plenty of time before the date, and it hasn’t sold. Easy for people to moan about atmosphere when they never go to a game.

The general AST point is solid though. People who leave their seat empty week after week are not only letting the side down but also have more money than sense!

Antony B

If ever I can’t make it I just give the ticket to a mate for free rather than leave my seat empty.

My wife went in to labour with our 2nd on a Friday night, I had to go home on Sat morning as visiting hours were over. I popped into my local with my season ticket before going back to the hospital and handed the ticket to the landlord and told him to lend it to one of the punters. I couldn’t bear to leave my seat empty!

Godfrey Twatschloch

If it’s a boy I hope you name him Arsene!

Antony B

It was a girl and it was also just over 7 years ago. Admittedly that wasn’t clear from my message, but thanks!

Godfrey Twatschloch

Well congratulations anyway.


I don’t manage to go too often but was offered a ticket yesterday by a friend and like always, jumped at the chance. Even though it was frustrating, I was glad I went and had a good time. I also enjoy being one of the louder fans, even if it means getting some looks from parents that have taken their kids their for a nice day out. (even with no swearing!) But what I hate seeing is empty seats. I just don’t understand it. The atmosphere is often pretty average, and empty seats definitely contributes to this problem. It needs… Read more »


I’m a season ticket holder too and the ticket gets used every single game. I was on the season ticket waiting list for 10 years and finally got one when the emirates opened. I love the fact I get to see The Arsenal every other week, it’s one of my prized possessions. What also pisses me off is the people who regularly turn up late and leave early every game, and also leave early and return late for half time. I fully understand that people are free to do what they want but this behaviour regularly disrupts my pleasure of… Read more »

David Hillier's luggage

Leaving early is one of my pet hates, can’t stand it, however turning up late at half time can have a lot to do with food/drink facilities. The system is completely inefficient, staff don’t seem capable of counting change or serving effectively and there’s only one card payment machine per 6(?) tills, let alone contactless ones. Tender out that catering contract an I bet 80% of those half time fans will be back in their seats for kick off.


Totally agree, this is a big factor. The service is really poor, there’s always huge queues


As a SeasonTicket holder for over 30 years i try to attend most matches and put my seat on the Ticket Exchange where I can’t make it, but this is only availability once the match is a sell out. Last weeks Champions League fixture was impossible for me to attend because of the Southern Rail strike.The match didn’t sell out until Monday and despite offering my ticket on the Exchange it did not sell. Result, an empty seat. if as AST claim there is massively more demand than supply, surely my seat would have sold. A great deal more thought… Read more »


I feel there is also an issue with away tickets. I have a grand total of three away credits but just never get a chance to buy away tickets. I think that now they are so cheap people with many credits or on the scheme just buy them up anyway, knowing me one will buy them through twitter, or that 26 quid would not be a huge loss.


Away Season Ticket holders get preference for all tickets including Cup Finals and whilst most may deserve such priority there are many who just sell on their tickets in order to maintain their position. Others cannot get away tickets to even build up credits. How does this get addressed? Ludogorets game had loads of tickets available on Ticket Exchange and unsold, thereby giving no incentive to season ticket holders to use the scheme. Where were all the waiting list people? I pay out a fortune for two season tickets each year and reserve the right to sell my tickets to… Read more »


I’m an away season ticket holder and agree with this. The new low price tickets have created a “closed shop”…


My 2 season tickets, which I’ve had for the last 20 years got me NO tickets for Cup Final against Villa and just One for previous Finals. This despite going to the unattractive semi finals and also European finals – no credits given for those!

Canon Fodder

I am a season ticket holder but unfortunately, I am required to work on some weekends. It’s easy to sell your ticket on Ticket Exchange for a Cat A match but not for games such as Burnley. In such cases I actually give people my ticket free of charge but even then I do not always have takers.

…regarding leaving early. When you live in Durham and your last train out of Kings Cross is 9pm, you have to leave early to catch it or risk being stranded in London


Fair enough, but I don’t think half the ground live in Durham. At most games the ground is half empty for the first and Last 10 minutes of the game.

Marble Halls TV

good point. people who say “fans leaving early are shitty fans!” dont’ see the complexities of the situation.

Bob Davis

I saw many empty red seats at yesterday’s game. I’ve got many friend that would love to watch Arsenal, but have never got the chance to. perhaps an airport style checking in system before the game to say they’re coming and if they don’t then their ticket gets offered to someone via text message at a discounted rate!

Magic Ox

This seems a reasonable response. Put the money back into the STH’s account if the ticket sells. As an opt-in option, it’s a good way to get seats filled. It shouldn’t be mandatory, though. If one pays for a season, what one does with that seat is their business.

Foreign Gooner

It is because purchasing season tickets is fashion to showoff and plenty of foreign fans buy it and only attend games when they come to visit London. Want example, go check Arsenal official page on Facebook, the last Live Video before match against Boro, a Dutch fan told to Nicole that I am a season ticket holder but I miss plenty of matches and came here at Emirates after such long time.

Sir Henry Norris

Far too many empty seats in the Stadium. Some games you can actually see the white cannon on the East Side seats. I dont think those that use the Ticket Exchange System should at this time be looked at, at this time.. But certainly need to look at those that just don’t turn up need to be.. The problem is, that club level particullarly is so expensive, that if they take the ticket away from someone, they will have difficultly selling it to anyone else!


I used to attend games semi-regularly back in the 80s and 90s and sometimes had to travel long distances just to get to home games. When the membership schemes started, I joined; went to quite a few games but, lack of ability to get to ‘big’ games led to me falling out of the habit of attending. I could never afford a season ticket anyway. It’s the gradual drift from feeling part of the Arsenal ‘family’ and the perceived hoops you need to go through to get tickets – added to which the rescheduling of games for TV – which,… Read more »


Im not a season ticket holder and live overseas, but i had the chance to be in london for yesterdays game. Between 1 and 3 weeks before i checked the ticket exchange daily. Each day there was one or max two tickets posted, never two together. Most went for £100+. Maybe i was unlucky, or maybe season holders only post a few days before the match, but it was pretty gutting not to get a ticket and see the emptys on TV. In the end i gave up and bought tickets for Reading tuesday GOYGS

Glass half full

I’ve been a season ticket holder for 23 years, so not a Johnny come lately.

Occasionally, I can’t make it. My ticket was available for Ludogorets on ticket exchange until 10am the day of the game.

I actually was able to go in the end, so pleased it wasn’t sold.

I’m sure If it was PSG, it would of snapped up for twice the price.

Will probably get a few thumbs down, as my comment doesn’t fit in with some peoples agenda.

Also, because the truth hurts

Dewi Mackenzie

I think they also need to look at the people who buy their tickets as an investment. The seat next to me is a season ticket but there is a different person in it every week, and they’re weeks its just empty. I’m not against someone being enterprising but at the cost of another arsenal fan who’d turn up every week disappoints me. Also my dad has try to buy a seat near me a couple of times and can’t cos all the tourist seats as well call them aren’t being given up. They’re season tickets but they’ve not got… Read more »

Irritating Tourist

You and your dad should sell “Say No To Tourists” shirts at the next English Defence League meeting you attend. Maybe even half and half scarves with AST and EDL. I’m sure a gaggle of bigots can come up with something.

Dewi Mackenzie

My issue isn’t with their being a tourist in the seat its to do with someone buying a ticket without the intention of actually coming to see the games. I’ve sat next to people from as far the new york or Singapore supports club and as close as the newport supporters club they’re wonderful fans. But they’ve always massively over paid for their tickets that annoys me. And also we get a lot of fans that aren’t fans that come because it’s a status symbol. I would love if for the sake of argument it was the NY supporters club… Read more »

Dewi Mackenzie

There not thier balls to auto correct.


Great idea.

It should be like theatre tickets.

If they don’t show up by say 15 minutes into a match, release them for half price.


I’d suggest Ticket Exchange be extended to allow sale below advertised price, so it becomes logical to resell in every case, even at the last minute. Agree season ticket holders who regularly fail to attend should eventually be stripped, but how do you police for illness etc..


The Arsenal used to have a system that let you offer your tickets up for charity. Well maybe “for charity” isn’t the right expression but if you couldn’t make a game, you could give the tickets to the club to be used through Arsenal in the Community by young Islington residents who could not afford to get to a game otherwise. I’m not explaining this very well, but the point is that I don’t know if this option still exists but it would be good to see it more up front if it does. Eg as a ticket exchange option.… Read more »


Well, it’s a pity that most people have the opportunity to watch Arsenal weekly and they regularly chose not to show up. Not that i’m totally against their actions because i don’t know what reasons they might have. But for me, i will do anything humanly possible to watch Arsenal play at the Emirates even for just one time. Sorry, i just can’t control the amount of love i have for this club.

Marble Halls TV

i support this. but then the club has the ticket exchange, so why not just strengthen this platform?

if season holders don’t put up tickets, then keep a record and warn them they could lose their tickets.

just that the ticket exchange system needs to be more efficiently run imho, even though it’s a decent system.


I feel like If a season ticket holders seat is empty more than a certain number of times in a season then they shouldn’t be allowed to renew