We have had further time to reflect on Thursday night’s match and we are now undertaking a full review to assess the events which occurred inside and outside our stadium.
The safety of everyone in and around Emirates Stadium is always our paramount consideration. We have a sophisticated control room at the stadium, in which our matchday security team work closely with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Service and the London Ambulance Service.
We are satisfied that the joint decision to delay the match by one hour and play with a 9.05pm kick off was the best and safest option. This was the first time in 20 years of European competition we have had to take such an action. Ultimately the match passed off safely.
Unfortunately there were clearly many Cologne supporters in Arsenal sections of the stadium. They obtained their tickets illegally, most likely via ticket touts. We continue to work hard to try to eradicate ticket touts and would urge all supporters not to sell or buy tickets from touts. Any tickets found that have been sold or purchased illegally will be traced back to the original purchaser who will have their membership cancelled and the appropriate action taken.
On a specific point, we can confirm that no new Arsenal members who joined after the UEFA Europa League draw were eligible to purchase tickets for the match on Thursday night through our box office or ticket exchange service.
Finally we would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters for their patience and conduct during what was a very difficult night for us all. We know that many supporters experienced significant disruption getting to the match and also inside the stadium during the match. We thank everyone for their understanding.
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