A protesting Manchester City fan was threatened with having to spend the night in jail after condemning Arsenal’s controversial £62 ticket price yesterday.
Rick Taylor, of Stalybridge, unveiled a banner stating ‘£62! Where will it stop?’ in after travelling fans were forced into paying up to £200 to travel to the Emirates in support.
He was confronted by stewards and police, and warned if he did not take down the banner he would be thrown out and arrested for breaching ground regulations.
Mr Taylor told MM: “I told them not a chance. The steward even claimed he agreed with the banner yet he was under orders from his bosses to get the flag off me. I told them no and he called over the police.
“Part of me was wanting to let them arrest me, thinking of the publicity it would get. However after having spent £62 I didn’t quite fancy missing the game.
“I handed it over and managed to get it back at full time.”
BREACH OF THE PEACE: Fans’ banner pulled down for fear of causing upset at Arsenal
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said officers intervened when supporters refused to take the banner down on request by stewards.
“Officers assisted stewards at the Emirates Stadium in order to prevent a breach of the peace, after away supporters were asked by stewards to take down a banner,” he said.
“Officers spoke to the supporters, who had refused to take down the banner, and then assisted stewards with its removal. No arrests were made.
“The monitoring of banners inside football stadiums is a matter for club security. However, officers may assist security, for instance, where there are fears of a potential breach of the peace.”
An Arsenal spokesman said that the banner was removed because it was too large and obstructed other supporters’ views, not because of its content.
The protest comes after 912 City fans, unhappy at the price they were being charged, sent back their tickets for Sunday’s match.
And Mr Taylor agrees with Manchester City Supporters Club General Secretary Kevin Parker, who last week told MM he thought the prices were ‘crazy’.
“£62 is nothing short of scandalous. You expect to pay a little more when you’re champions but Arsenal will be charging some clubs this season almost 50% less than what we paid today,” he said.
“Some sort of price cap needs to be introduced across the board and quickly before football loses the people that make it everything it is today.”