You couldn’t get two teams further apart in the European football rankings than Arsenal and FC Koln. Arsene Wenger’s team have been relegated to the Europa League after 20 years of qualifying for the Champions League, while our German opponents are looking forward to their first appearance in any European competition in 25 years.
So it is reasonable to believe that a lot of Arsenal season ticket holders are going to be less than ecstatic about turning up at the Emirates for the game on a cold Thursday night and may make their tickets available for sale, while the Germans are going to be very excited about this tie indeed. There are estimates that up to 20,000 Koln fans could make the trip to London for the match, despite the fact that their club has only been allocated 3,000 tickets for the match, and many of them will be searching for ticket touts around the ground.
Arsenal are aware of this and have sent out a special warning on the Official Arsenal website. They wrote: “Please note visiting supporters that purchase a ticket in the home end for this fixture are likely to be ejected from the stadium.
“We have made this decision following consultation with the police and to ensure we are in line with crowd segregation requirements.”
This will not be easy to implement, unless any fans arriving are asked if they are Arsenal fans on the way in, and if they reply in a German accent they would be refused entry! So just a heads up, if you are going to the game don’t be surprised if you are sitting beside a Koln fan. I guess it may be more interesting than sitting next to an empty seat!