We were recently asked, ‘I paid £49 at the beginning of this season for a Silver Lite renewal. Having been unable to buy tickets for any matches due to Covid, do you know if Arsenal are planning to refund renewal payments to all Red and Silver members?’
We asked the club if there was any update, and it has replied;
There’s no change to what has been put out before. Once the club knows whether supporters will be allowed back at all this season they will make a decision.
HOW WE REPORTED THIS IN DECEMBER, FOLLOWING A FANS’ FORUM
We covered the Fans’ Forum on this site. We reported that we asked:
Given the very welcome return of fans to the Emirates could we ask whether there has been any further discussion of the situation as it affects Silver Members? Since it still looks as if they have little or no chance of getting a ticket this season is it possible that these memberships could be rolled over to 2021/22 gratis or heavily reduced?
The club said they ‘still expected’ that silvers would get the chance to come to games this season. We were also reminded that the club has made a discounted merchandise offer, spoke about the membership packs, and said the club were looking at other ‘virtual’ offers. In AISA’s view, this didn’t really hit the heart of the issue which is that many members renewed immediately (by DD or simply in response to renewal calls) and feel they have been penalised for being ‘good citizens’. Others have not renewed but have been able to retain their membership.
We at AISA think the best solution is a full or partial discount on next year’s membership. We appreciate the club is facing financial issues by the loss of income but so are many of the supporters that have handed over their cash, almost ‘for nothing’.
Vinai has promised the keep an open mind on this and to review this again at the end of the season.nIn our view, If Silvers don’t get the chance to attend then we will lobby the club to discount 2021/22’s membership fee. The club has promised to make a statement about the Silver membership situation before the end of December.
ARSENAL RESPONSE IN FULL (Minutes from the Fans’ Forum December 15 2020)
Mic Conetta (Arsenal): Currently the changing external factors make it very hard for us to predict at this stage what the situation will be regarding ticket access for the rest of the season. This is one of the reasons why we have still not set a deadline for Silver renewals. We have provided / continue to work on additional benefits for our members. These include:
•Season long 10% membership discount on Arsenal Direct
•12 days of Xmas campaign (launched on 13thDec)•Virtual Experiences (planning for some additional events in the new year)5
•Potential access to a limited number of tickets via our club partners – Our club partners, who have access to a limited number of tickets, have asked us if/how they can reward different elements of our membership base with their tickets.
We continue to explore this option and our Silver Membership is a key group we will consider in such an offering. The additional benefits are on top of the existing benefits related to the membership programme(s):
•Membership packs, currently being distributed to our full members
•Members Events -Members are invited to exclusive events organised throughout the season, 2 Away Screenings were held prior to fans returning
•Membership Rewards -provides our fans with exclusive access to a range of monthly prizes, opportunities to win signed merchandise and online Arsenal events (such as live Q&A with Players).
•Arsenal Player – All levels of members continue to have access to Arsenal Player, our online video channel featuring exclusive first team related content and behind the scenes access. We plan to include a recognition of the above in our end of year newsletter that will be sent out to our membership base during December.
Further information will be communicated once the environment is better understood. Jake Coare, Drew Gray (AISA) and Akhil Vyas (AST) all drew attention to the fact some silver members have made an upfront payment for access to tickets this season and it is now increasingly unlikely they will get tickets to games this season. They asked the club to consider rolling over those payments to next season. Mic Conetta reinforced the position that due to the changing situation around COVID it has been impossible to make a definitive statement on this matter. We will continue to look at this and update members in due course. Vinai re-iterated that we will continue to monitor the situation and understood the points raised.