The Arsenal Trust has blasted the decision by the board of Arsenal football club to add a surcharge on season tickets for the upcoming Champions League tie against Barcelona.
Arsenal wrote to season ticket holders on Thursday evening to inform them that they would be placing a surcharge against their season tickets for the game later this month.
Spokesperson for the Arsenal trust, Tim Peyton, told Loaded: “It’s very frustrating and yesterday’s actions showed a contempt for Arsenal fans, to decide ‘oh you’ve bought a season ticket, you’ve bought 26 games we’ve had a look at it and we’re going to surcharge you’ is really just pushing it too far.”
Peyton fumed: “It’s greedy, it’s irresponsible, it also makes a lie of this claim all season that they were going to freeze the price of tickets and then they surcharge you.”
In an email, the club explained their decision, claiming that Barcelona will be rated as a “Category A” match and cup credits are broadly given a “Category B” rating and so the difference will be charged against season ticket renewals for the 2016/17 season.
Season ticket holders will be given the option to opt out of the Barcelona tie and surrender their seat – a practice only invoked when all seven cup games are used up.
In the email the club explained to members the action they were taking, writing: “As a result of our continued progress in cup competitions this season, our FA Cup Fifth Round home match against Hull City on the weekend of 19/20/21/22 February is the sixth cup credit for the 2015/16 season and will be a category C match.”
“Consequently, our UEFA Champions League Round of 16 fixture against FC Barcelona, to be played on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 will be our seventh cup tie credit of the season and has been designated as a category A fixture.”
“Due to the number of matches played this season and the categories assigned to them, there will be an additional cost to your season ticket for the 2016/17 of, This additional cost will be added to your renewal price for next season.”
It will cost season ticket holders between £18-30 depending on the price of their seat.
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran