Arsenal suspend disabled fan’s season ticket
PUBLISHED: 11:06 14 October 2011 | UPDATED: 11:20 14 October 2011
»A disabled Arsenal fan says she has been “treated like a criminal” after her season ticket was suspended by the club.
Lifelong “Gooner” Elvy Fichera-Beer, 54, has had her £550 disabled ticket – which also provides a seat for a carer – withdrawn because she left her companion alone at the Emirates, against the club’s rules.
But the mother-of-three, who cannot walk without crutches, says she left the ground after falling ill during the 2-1 win over Greek side Olympiakos on September 28.
She said: “I also suffer from something called Ménière’s disease, which makes me suddenly very dizzy and nauseous. It’s like a terrible migraine.
“I sat down for about five minutes, but started feeling very bad and went to sit in the car park. I was too ill to go back to the seat, so my mum came to pick me up.”
Under the terms of the discounted ticket, which she has had for five years, she must be with her carer at all times.
“They say I broke the rules,” she said. “But I was feeling so ill I was not thinking about it at the time.
“Now they’re treating me like a criminal. They have not even given me the chance to appeal or offered any money back.”
The club discovered Mrs Fichera-Beer’s carer – her 24-year-old son Stefan Beer – during a ticket spot-check, but she says she spoke to the disability team the next day and got the impression no action would be taken.
On Tuesday she was shocked to receive a letter telling her the ticket had been suspended until the end of the season.
She said: “I was very disappointed they can treat people like this. They could have given me a warning, but to be totally cut off is a bit strong. It’s not right.”
A spokesman said: “Arsenal Football Club is proud to provide its disabled supporters with unrivalled matchday facilities and concessionary ticketing for both the individual and a carer.
“The club has a large waiting list for the scheme and therefore expects all disabled ticket holders to use their tickets responsibly and adhere to the terms and conditions to ensure the scheme is used appropriately.
“Stewards carry out regular spot checks at the stadium and any proven misuse of the concessionary scheme is dealt with accordingly.”
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