Arsenal fans sent under-fire Unai Emery and the board a clear message this evening as thousands stayed away for 2-1 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.
Emery claimed ahead of the game that all players and backroom staff support him amid a dire run of results, telling reporters: “I feel the club, everyone responsible in that area is backing me. Really I appreciate it a lot.”
However, the swathes of empty seats is another damning indictment on fans’ unhappiness with Emery in charge, especially on a night where qualification for the Europa League knockout stages was on the line.
The official ‘tickets sold’ figure was 49,419 but the number of those in seats inside the group could have been as low are half that figure.
Arsenal have enjoyed relatively strong crowds in the Europa League, with 60,195 tickets sold for their match against Vitoria Guimaraes and 58,725 for Standard Liege.
A spokesperson for the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust said earlier on Thursday: “Hands are tied with the ban on [travelling Frankfurt] fans and Arsenal unable to open the ticket exchange. We expect a significantly lower attendance and this shows the unhappiness amongst the fanbase.”
The figure supplied by Arsenal was not a record low, as some predicted, with Arsenal’s previously official lowest attendance at the Emirates standing at 44,064 for the Carabao Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers in September 2017.
The unofficial lowest attendance was believed to be against BATE Borisov in December 2017, when around 30,000 turned up despite tickets sold being at 54,648. Thursday night may have attracted fewer.