Ban Scoring Goals…. it’s against Health and Safety …..

Rasputin’s rant

I know other bloggers have moaned about this before, but last weekend’s game against Wham was the first time I’ve experienced at first hand, the ‘over-zealous’ behaviour of some of our stewards. We were unable to get our usual seats and found oursleves high up, one row from the top of the stadium. As I took my seat, I surveyed the ‘regulars’ around me and joked that “I hoped I was in the singing section”. They seemed a really good bunch of hardcore supporters and I felt at home in their company – and the singing was pretty good too.

I was aware in my peripheral vision of a steward fidgeting about at the end of the row and apparently conversing with the guy behind me. I turned and asked him what it was all about and he explained that he was being asked to sit down. Since he was in the uppermost row and there was nothing behind him except concrete, I was curious as to why the steward thought he needed to stay in his seat “Health and Safety” was the answer he spat out with a grimace.

“But what happens when we stand up to celebrate a goal” I asked, a resigned shrug of the shoulders was his only response. This sparked a debate at half time and the consensus was that in areas like the new North Bank and Clock End (= behind the goals), everyone stands whenever they feel like it because the strength in numbers means that the stewards are powerless to do anything about it. I don’t want to stand throughout games, but I also don’t want to be treated like a kid if I do take to my feet.

I have some sympathy with the stewards because they are only doing what they are told, but surely the club can ‘adjust’ its policy to accommodate supporters who wish to stand at important points during the game or where there is no risk to life and limb and no impairment to the enjoyment of other supporters. We have been criticised this season for not getting behind the players enough, well then don’t stop us expressing our feelings by telling us to sit down when it’s not necessary.

peachesgooner’s rant
I’m thoroughly fed with how the club take our money for seats but really offer so little service to the buyer. Yesterday’s attempt to buy tickets for the Barcelona tie next Wednesday caused the usual crashing of the web-site and lack of information about the state of play. Having logged in and been held in a queue for what seemed an eternity, I was finally able to buy my tickets (although it was already too late to get adjacent seats) but when I tried to log-in again to buy more for a friend on his number, the site was blocked. Having checked that tickets were still available I logged in again and waited to gain entry to the box office. I waited for an hour and a half before the thin burgundy line had filled its space only to find that the game was now sold out.

I know of several other silver members who also waited for over an hour only to be disappointed – where did the tickets go? I thought the idea of silver membership was that you should be able to get a ticket. I must have been one of thousands of supporters trying to get through.  Surely it’s  possible to put out a STOP PRESS – TICKETS SOLD OUT so at least supporters don’t waste their time waiting online.

Another problem I think the club have not addressed sufficiently well is the problem season ticket holders face if they can’t go to the game. The Ticket Exchange is a very good idea but shuts 48 hours before a game. From the number of empty seats I see at games every week its clearly not possible to always find someone  to take a spare ticket.

Now that the ticketing system is electronic it must be possible to action changes even up to a couple of hours before a game. Season ticket holders should be able to call a number and give their details, their card gets blocked for that game (which is what happens with the ticket exchange anyway) and silver and red members have their cards turned on for the game.

Come on Arsenal FC  lets make sure we fill the stadium for every game.

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40 Responses to Ban Scoring Goals…. it’s against Health and Safety …..

  1. Morning all

    Does anyone remember that advert that was on Arsenal tv where the guy is in the supermarket and then gets transformed to the Emirates – bag of peas still in hand – all the crowd were standing then………

  2. TheBayingMob says:

    I borrowed a mates spare season ticket with the other day and went to the Burnley game. My enjoyment wasn’t spoilt by a steward, no less a fan in the North Bank Upper who, every time I got out of my seat for an exciting Arsenal break tugged on my coat and asked me to sit down. Amazing. No wonder our home support is so utterly devoid of any excitement or idea, and that’s the reason now I only cherry pick the best games as a Silver Member or take freebies. A stadium half full of plastic cn/uts who’d never seen the inside of a footy stadium before 2004. Football’s changed so much and not all of it for the better, AFC amongst others have done their utmost to prize out the atmospheric element (working class young lads) and bring in those with disposable incomes (old grump bast*rds, a stadium full of Jeremy Clarkson’s who only know how to sing “stand up if you hate tottenham”). Then the Barcalona debacle. What was the point of The Emirates if we’re still left with a crap system and a sell out within 60mins? A few opinions out there that the club have back handed blocks of seats to online agencies. Wouldn’t be surprised.

  3. dandan says:

    Morning all, Two good and fair rants.

    Peaches I hate automated telephone systems at the best of times, especially those who charge premium rates. I would be furious were I to queue for ages only to be told “sold Out” a quick fix is possible and should be installed by the club straight away

    By the way I have heard some dud tickets have been issued for this game, if you would like to post yours to me, I would be only to pleased to check it for you.

    Rasp. The only problem with Standing is, should someone do so and be hurt then the club would probably, in this mad PC world of ours be liable to be sued. Sad but true.

  4. Rasputin says:

    Welcome TBM,

    I suspect that you are correct and seats that would normally be available to silver members have been allocated to other agencies – we’d have to find someone on the inside at the club to verify this.

  5. Livers says:

    Good rant guys, firstly Rasp.. I wish I stood in area’s where people want to rant which leads me onto a rant but may seem a little late..

    I’ve been a ST holder since the 80’s as a junior Gunner then into Adult hood. My Uncles bought me my first ST otherwise I may have followed the father to Millwall. As I was still too young to work they also bought me a bond in the old North Bank. However all my friends were elsewhere so when we moved to the Emirates we all wanted to sit together naturally. However, as my ST cost more than theirs was told I would have last priority to join their “lesser” tickets….. this never happened and whilst I have a great seat (upper behind goal on Pen spot near the front) I sit with the old school shall we put it…It’s pretty lifeless apart from the guy behind me whom I’ve had several words with for being Mr Angry all the time and have tried to move nearer my mates each season again with no joy, but we could give our tickets up and start again…….

    That’s how to treat someone who’s invested thousands in the club and had a season ticket for 26 years :-(

    My rant over ;-)

    Onto you Peaches. I too get disappointed when their are some empty seats and annoys me when my mates say “I see your fans turned up wearing red seats again” despite it being a sell out. I can’t belive there are that many ST holders who decide not to come on the day but do believe they could have sold them vis ticket exchange if it were managed better

  6. Rasputin says:

    Hi dandan – that was the point I was making. If the club got sued under H&S laws because someone was standing during play, then why can’t they be sued when we stand to celebrate a goal?…. or does the law make exceptions when Arsenal score? :)

  7. dandan says:

    Rasp. I am afraid they can be mate.

    Have you seen 14 clubs including Chelsea and Everton have been put on a credit agency blacklist, could be handy in the transfer market.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article7076652.ece

  8. Wade says:

    Good bloggin mate.
    Just to clarify you on the whole sitting down situation, the club understand that fans will stand at times of the game eg when the ref (so often when it comes to the gunners) makes a bad decision or a goal goes in.
    But the whole sitting down issue is not set by the club, its actually part of the law in all stadiums. Hence why we hear “All seater stadium” when referring to most football grounds.
    The law was put in place after the Hillsborough incident and clubs are always told to exercise the law by making fans sit down.
    The stewards don’t make you sit because someone behind them cant see, its so that when gradually more and more people stand (this can start with just the crowd seeing one person stand) it can lead to a point where Health and Safety come into play because as you may remember the surge of crowd in Hillsborough.

  9. Rasputin says:

    Hi Wade, and thanks for the info. It’s a pity that when you can explain it in terms that make it easier to accept that the club has failed to get the message across. I actually think it is far more dangerous when everyone dashes down those concrete stairs after the game than anyone standing during the match – incidentally, there are still idiots smoking in the stairwells. I’m sure I’ve watched games in other top european leagues where there are standing areas?

  10. Livers says:

    I’m not sure if there are standing rasp but the health and safety issued aren’t adhered too abroad. Certainly in Italy and Holland but then again the stadiums are usually half full at best.

    i went to AC Milan v Celtic in the Celtic end 2 years back and we got tickets on the gate with no seat number on. It was a free for all and clearly not enough room for all the Celtic there. Organised chaos at best and it was lucky Celtic didn’t score !

  11. Just to follow up the response from TheBayingMob – I’m certain you’re right about blocks of tickets being syphoned out of the loop. I always use a Silver membership to get my seats and its only these big games that there’s ever a problem.

    I don’t believe there were extra staff drafted in to deal with the demand yesterday and so how can a fixture have sold out so quickly when usually it takes days.

    Also, pity the Red membership holders – 100,000 seats available for them throughout the season but NONE kept back for the big games. Doesn’t seem fair somehow.

  12. Rasputin says:

    Morning peaches … Happy Birthday :P

  13. Morning rasp – thankyou :D

  14. tommystout says:

    Hey up peeps… good rants, just wish i could get to games and experience your misery ;-)
    when i eventually start going again i think it will be through thomson travel or something of that ilk.

    Anyway tomorrow it seems like campbell is deffo playing…. is it sylvester or song!? sounds an easy dilemma but the more i think about it the more i think it would be silly to break up our so effective midfield….. but then again denilson does add that long range shooting where the goal can come out of nothing when our intricate passing game aint working cos of hoofing thuggy longball teams.
    SO question is (an maybe another poll), song or sylvester to be CB tomorrow.
    And cmon Jack, give mr rooney a dead leg tomorrow and bag yourself a brace!!!

  15. dandan says:

    Peaches are you still young enough to have birthdays, Lucky girl, I have started counting backwards.

  16. Livers says:

    Happy Bifta Peaches :-)

    TommyStout, I posted yesterday saying we should play fish head just so we don’t break up Song in midfield.

    The forwards from Birmingham are probably better suited to Campbell and Fish head anyway……queue fish head mistake

  17. tommystout says:

    sorry livers i wasnt about yesterday…
    i agree with you totally!

  18. morning all

    dandan ive given up on birthdays now an’all just have anniversaries of my 30th.

    you know i actually found some silvers who got tickets for barca home, can you believe that.

    have you guys heard the rumblings of a protest on wed?

  19. kelsey says:

    Many Happy Returns peaches.

    Nice article but I can’t really put any input in as I haven’t been to a live game for decades, and when I did at Highbury we didn’t have that problem. less people, less success, less stewards

  20. London says:

    Happy Birthday Peaches

    Good post, I am fortunate enough to be a season ticket holder and as I have no desire to stand unless we score I don’t really have a lot to say on the subjects.

  21. kelsey says:

    HOW TO SAVE THE AIRLINES?

    Dump the queer male flight attendants. No one wanted them in the first place.

    Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers! What the hell, they don’t even serve food anymore, so what’s the loss?

    The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a ‘party atmosphere’ going in the cabin. And, of course, every businessman in this country would start flying again, hoping to see naked women.

    Because of the tips, female flight attendants wouldn’t need a salary, thus saving even more money. I suspect tips would be so good that we could charge the women for working the plane and have them kick back 20% of the tips, including lap dances and ‘special services.’

    Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked women. Hijackings would come to a screeching halt, and the airline industry would see record revenues.

    This is definitely a win-win situation if we handle it right — a golden opportunity to turn a liability into an asset.

    Why didn’t Obama think of this? Why do I still have to do everything myself?

    Sincerely,
    Tiger Woods

    no offence intended :)

  22. London says:

    Top drawer Kelsey

  23. Livers says:

    Are you the grumpy bloke who sits behind me London ;-)

  24. Alfa says:

    Hi all, I’ll be back properly soon. I’ve been following all the posts – a lot of excitement recently.

    I don’t think there is a steward within 30 yds of where we sit and I’ve never had any problem with them, apart from them being in the way when we leave and that isn’t their fault. The exits are too narrow.

    The Arsenal website on the other hand is shameful. I would say it looks so amateurish that we can’t possibly afford a proper one but London would probably have a go at me ;) . It’s definitely way below the standard that such a well run club should aspire to and I can’t understand why – our blog is better designed and can cope with high demand better as well. Perhaps we should put in a proposal to Ivan…

  25. London says:

    Hi Alfa

    I agree in the sense that Arsenal.com do seem to skimp on the presentation of their site. But some of the criticism about how they are so slow to up date makes me laugh; I mean are they supposed to have people manning it 24 hours a day?

  26. London says:

    Livers

    I was the one that almost started a fight at the Burnley after telling the bloke behind to shut the f..k up and stop moaning about Denilson.

  27. Livers says:

    London, I think we sing from the same hymm book. I have had the same bloke 3 years on a spin angry as anything every game. He’ll die of high blood pressure no doubt..

    The only positve he says in a game is “played Cleesh” the rest are rubbish…. I had a pop at him when he said Wenger doesn’t know what he’s doing and it all got a bit ugly…..the people near me said they were waiting for someone to turn on him… just happened to be me.

    Fans like that don’t deserve Arsenal in my opinion

  28. kelsey says:

    Where is everyone ?

    Surely not at that birthday party for 60000 at Winchmore Hill

  29. Livers says:

    Always goes slow in the afternoon Kelsey…. work or something ;-)

  30. Livers says:

    Shocking I know..

  31. ugly word that is

  32. TheBayingMob says:

    All seater/seated stadia are possibly one of the worst things that happened to modern football. Although the old stadia from a Victorian era were out of date and a death trap in some respects, I don’t think sticking seats in necessarily makes things safer, certainly no safer than things were in the terrace era.

    Take Fratton Park. Seats bolted onto old terraces. How’s that any safer??

    For a start over crowding was the unsafe aspect of the terraces. Clubs stopping counting, taking money at the turnstyles but letting thousands into a kop as a tax fiddle was unsafe.

    The filth losing control, opening a huge gate and letting scousers flood onto the Leppings Lane End was unsafe and led to 96 tragic, tragic deaths.

    If there was ever any sort of emergency at all seater / seated stadium (although it’s unlikely to ever be crushing) would cause chaos & deaths.

    Hillsborough gave the authorities the perfect opportunity to fuck us over.

    Thatcher failed with the ID card scheme, but Taylor and the ‘Premiership’ put it in place, get us to sit down and price out the unwashed. Job done. We rejected the ID card scheme but now Arsenal know everything down to my inside length measurement and the size of my cock everytime I purchase a ticket.

    Why did we let it happen? Cause we were told it was off the back of Hillborough ’89 … a fitting tribute to those who died would have been to have the clubs and police start treating us like human beings.

    Luke

  33. Rasputin says:

    Thanks Luke, I can see this is a subject that touches a nerve. In defence of our police, they treat us a lot better than the police across europe when we go to away games.

  34. great post luke
    it goes back to stanley and and taylor report the start of the prem and the desanitisation of the football get the british rail fan out of football is what the prem was about and making it all about money not about community.

  35. just popped by to wish Peaches a very happy birthday ;)

  36. Rasputin says:

    Stan Kroenke is now only 10 shares short of having to make a takeover bid….

    http://www.footballeconomy.com/content/arsenal-takeover-battle-edges-closer

  37. London says:

    He is puposely staying ten shares shy because as I understand it he will be forced to pay the price of the highest paid share in the last calender year. Which means if you sold him one share at ten thousand pounds yesterday and I sold him one at eight thousand pounds today within a calender year of your purchase he has to launch his bid at ten thousand a share but if he waits one day later he only has to launch his bid at eight thousand a share. Did you notice the last batch of shares he bought from Hill Wood were at a very reasonable price…….he won’t launch a bid for another year.

  38. Rasputin says:

    Morning London …. new post

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