Arsenal tosubsidise away tickets for Atletico Madrid game in Europa League
Arsenal will subsidise tickets for away fans travelling to the Europa League semifinal at Atletico Madrid, cutting more than £40 off the price the Spanish side was charging.
Atletico have priced away tickets at £79, but Arsenal agreed to fan demands to subsidise the cost so that Gunners fans will only pay the same £36.50 that away fans will be charged at the Emirates for the first leg.
"We know our match in Madrid is already shaping up to be an expensive one for our supporters with the early May Bank Holiday increasing travel costs," Arsenal supporters' liaison officer Mark Brindle said in a statement. "On top of this, our fans are being asked to pay a higher 'non-member' price for their tickets to Estadio Metropolitano.
"We've decided to subsidise tickets for the second leg, meaning our travelling fans will spend the same as those from Atletico. Our travelling fans are the lifeblood of the club and we hope this measure helps to make their journey to Spain a little easier."
The decision is a victory for fan groups like the Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST), who had called on the club to step in and help lower what it called "outrageous" ticket prices.
After the subsidies were announced, the AST praised Arsenal on Twitter "for helping our fans going out to Madrid to support the team. Very affordable tickets now with Arsenal paying the difference."
Arsenal are the second club this year to subsidise tickets for an away game in Spain after Manchester United also stepped in when Sevilla charged travelling fans £89 for their Champions League round-of-16 match.
United responded by raising their prices for away fans from £54 to £89, while subsidising the difference for their own supporters.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.