I feel quite embarrassed writing this.
Tickets for Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb are yet to sell out.After years of mocking Chelsea, West Ham & Spurs for advertising in the Evening Standard in the days before games, unable to sell their smaller stadia, it seems Arsenal have finally hit their breaking point.
Just over 24 hours to go until the game kicks off and tickets are still on sale. Not through the ticket exchange, but on normal general sale.
The only time I can remember a game not selling out was Shrewsbury in the League Cup. The press made a big fuss over it. The first time a game had not sold out at the Emirates. It was turned into a big story. They ignored the fact that the attendance was still 55,000 for a League Cup game.
But this is the Champions League. Perhaps our last European home game of the season. And important match. And tickets are still on general sale.
The question is simply. Why?
The answer is not so simple.
I am sure there are plenty of willing buyers. The problem is prices. As always. Tickets will not go on the ticket exchange until the game is officially sold out. That essentially creates a massive game of poker. Do you buy a ticket, no matter the cost, to ensure you have one, or do you sit and wait it up, poker face it, hoping that someone else will be the last few expensive tickets.
Once these are gone, ticket exchange opens up, allowing you to buy said tickets off other fans. At much lower prices. So it is a risk. Do you buy a ticket to guarantee one, or wait it out.
It seems we have a situation where a lot of fans are waiting it. Probably getting frustrated. Their only option now is to pay the high ticket prices for a general sale tick. They will probably now chose not to go. A game that if they were paying the £34ish that it costs for my seat, they would go to.
The whole system is geared to making the club the maximum amount of money possible. By forcing fans to buy tickets at the highest price before opening it up to the ticket exchange.
What this will mean tomorrow is that there will be thousands of empty seats. The fans who can not afford the high end price and were waiting for it to drop. They will not be there.
The fans who usually rely on the ticket exchange to sell their season ticket for mid week games will also be missing. They travel from Birmingham, from Devon, from Swindon, weekly for every game. But work commitments mean it is impractical to go mid week. They are not able to sell their ticket. They will not be there.
Then fans like me, who became disillusioned with the Champions League many years ago. A competition set up to make those who run UEFA more millions from TV deals and sponsorship, filling their bank accounts like the fat pigs their are. I hate the competition. I would rather not go to the game. Even if it leaves me out of pocket. I will probably not be there.
With people fed up of the Champions League, our performances so far in the competition, the ticket price, and the decision to make Bayern Munich Cat A, tickets now sit unsold.
Hopefully this will make the club sit up and take note, that fans can not continually be fleeced for ticket prices. That there is a limit for what people say.
Sadly, it is unlikely they will change anything, rather pointing to the other 25-odd home games we will play this season that are all sold out.
It disappoints me that we are unable to sell out. Expect abuse tomorrow from opposing fans as they ask why so many Arsenal fans have come dressed as seats.