Arsenal Fans Prepare Protest Against Stan Kroenke Ahead of West Brom Match

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 15:  Fans walk past the ground prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on April 15, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Arsenal fans are planning to protest against the club's increasing ticket prices prior to the Gunners' final home game of the season versus West Brom.

As reported by Matthew Morlidge of the Daily Mail, action comes against "a three per cent increase in ticket prices and the input of American majority shareholder Stan Kroenke."

Twitter account @Arsenal_Anon is leading the charge and detailed the reasons behind such a protest:

The group also released a statement, detailed by Morlidge, confirming the protest is "unrelated to how good or bad the team is doing." Instead, it is a direct statement against the club's hierarchy, "whose bellies are more than full."

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19:  Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke looks on before the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Bayern Muenchen at Emirates Stadium on February 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Sha
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

At the onset of the current season, The Guardian revealed Arsenal fans are faced with shelling out on "the most expensive season ticket in the Premier league and the highest 'lowest priced' season ticket."

This comes despite confirmation the Emirates Stadium has been paid off—per Jim van Wijk of the Press Association (via the Daily Mail)—and the onset of a sponsorship deal with Puma worth in excess of £150 million, reported by BBC News.

At the very least, Gunners fans must have longed for season ticket prices to be frozen during the 2014-15 campaign. Manchester United recently announced this policy, with the highest year-long admission fee coming in at £950, per BBC News. Arsenal's can cost up to £1,995, noted by Morlidge.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19:  Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal tackles Claudio Pizarro of Bayern Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and FC Bayern Muenchen at Emirates Stadium on February 19, 2014 in London,
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

For further comparison, Bayern Munich fans could purchase season tickets for as low as £104.48 in 2012-13, compared to Arsenal prices that reached £126 per game, revealed by Brian McNally of the Mirror.

The protest will take place whether "1,000 of us or 10 of us" turn up, according to Arsenal Anon's statement, per Morlidge.

It remains to be seen how effective the group's call to arms is, but its stand against the board deserves recognition. After all, it is the fans' love for the club that ensures shareholders such as Kroenke are able to do business.

Ownership in modern football often grants financial juggernauts with extortionate power. Unfortunately for fans of a popular team like Arsenal, this allows them to take advantage without severe consequences. If the upcoming protest can prompt Kroenke into some kind of reaction, progress will have been made.