Arsenal are thought to have attracted the lowest crowd in the Emirates Stadium’s 13-year history last night with just 25,000 estimated to have attended their UEFA Europa League 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
The club itself reported an official attendance of 49,419 at the 60,000-capacity stadium. However, The Times newspaper claims the actual attendance was around 25,000 – marking the lowest number through the gate since the opening of the venue in 2006.
Manager Unai Emery was sacked after the conclusion of the club’s seventh game without a win.
While the low attendance was in part down to Arsenal’s recent poor form, it was also impacted by the fact that fans from the German club were banned by UEFA from attending following crowd disturbances during their match against Vitoria Guimaraes last month.
Arsenal also placed strict restrictions on the sale of tickets to prevent any Frankfurt fans from snapping up tickets via other means. Yesterday morning, tickets were available in all but eight blocks of the stadium.
Prior to the game, Arsenal said in a statement: “Following discussions with the police and local authorities, we have placed restrictions on ticket sales.”
The club’s official lowest attendance stands at 44,064 for the Carabao Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers in 2017. However, the unofficial lowest attendance, according to several reports, was against BATE Borisov in December 2017, when around 30,000 fans attended – despite ticket sales reported to be 54,648.
Arsenal crowds in the Europa League prior to last night’s match include 60,195 tickets sold for their match against Vitoria Guimaraes and 58,725 for Standard Liege.
Image: Kieran Lynam