Metro Police Service Figures Show Arsenal's Attendance Was Lower Than Club Reported
More than 170,000 seats were "left empty during Arsenal's home games last season, according to startling new figures which cast serious doubt on the Premier League's boast of record occupancy on the eve of the new campaign," according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Attendance for matches at the Emirates Stadium recorded by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which "counts the number of spectators who turn up to games, contrasts sharply with the official figure released by the club, which is based on tickets sold." MPS data shows Arsenal recorded an "average attendance of 53,788 at the 60,338-capacity ground for all Arsenal matches last season," an occupancy figure of 89.1%. That is almost 10% lower than the 99.1% average "released by the club and would suggest an alarming number of no-shows for matches -- 173,945 in total" last season. Such stark figures are not limited to Arsenal either, with a similar freedom of information request to Greater Manchester Police last season "revealing it had recorded much lower attendances" for ManU matches at Old Trafford than the club, "the difference in one case being almost 25,000" (TELEGRAPH, 8/14).