Arsenal sent an email to season ticket holders and posted a long explainer to the club website about the lottery process for season ticket holders for when fans will be allowed back at the Emirates. The current hope is that a reduced-capacity number of supporters will be permitted back for the October 3rd match against Sheffield United.
Fine. The club, Premier League, and U.K. government are working together to figure out the best and safest way (maybe) back in stadiums. I’m not a public health or infectious disease expert, so I have my questions about what is truly driving the decision, but I’ll defer to the experts.
One thing about the announcement rubbed me the wrong way.
Throughout recent months we have talked about the financial impact the pandemic has had on the Club. Normally, at this time of year, and at the beginning of the season, we would have received significant revenues and cash flow from season ticket sales. The Initial Payments will help us protect our revenues and cash flow which have been severely impacted due to the pandemic.
I get it. Arsenal, like all clubs, have been hurt financially by the shutdowns caused by COVID-19. But something rubs me the wrong way about the club crying poor and trying to tug on the heartstrings of supporters to fill the coffers. The underlying message here is “make the season ticket initial payment to help your club survive this difficult time.”
People have been hurt financially by the pandemic too. A decent number of season ticket holders likely lost their job or were furloughed. And while Arsenal is being somewhat understanding of the impact on individuals by not requiring renewals for this season to keep one’s normal tickets, I still don’t like it. The implied emotional appeal feels icky to me. I don’t like it.