Arsenal have been charged by UEFA following Thursday night’s crowd trouble, so what punishment can they expect?
UEFA confirmed earlier today that both Arsenal and Cologne have been charged over Thursday night’s crowd trouble.
While Cologne face four charges, Arsenal have just one charge of blocking the stairs in the away section of the ground, which is in breach of Article 38 of UEFA’s Safety & Security Regulations.
It’s highly likely that Arsenal will receive a fine.
Last night’s crowd trouble was on a scale unlike anything seen at the Emirates Stadium before. Despite the chaos of the situation, Arsenal aren’t being charged with anything that might incur a more severe punishment.
Our last punishment from UEFA came as recently as last season, as we were fined £4,300 for a pitch invader during our 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich at the Emirates.
Bayern Munich were also fined during that game. UEFA charged them £2,600 for their fans throwing toilet paper onto the Emirates pitch.
It is also entirely possible that Arsenal might not be fined at all.
For example, back in 2014 during a match against Galatasaray, Arsenal were charged by UEFA for not searching fans properly as the visiting supporters threw flares onto the pitch.
However, despite the stewards’ failure on the night, UEFA dropped the charges. Galatasaray, on the other hand, were fined £38,000.
Much will depend on how much accountability UEFA deem Arsenal to have in the stairways being blocked.
Arsenal could point out that they weren’t expecting, and therefore weren’t prepared, for such a volume of away supporters at the game.
Cologne were allocated 2,900 tickets as per UEFA’s regulations. That several times that number turned up to the game isn’t Arsenal’s fault.
In any case, expect Arsenal to get a fine and nothing more.