Arsenal have tonight apologised after their Europa League victory against Köln on Thursday evening was marred by a dirty seat in the stands.
The Gunners conceded early on before convincingly defeating the Bundesliga side 3-1 at the Emirates, a victory which gives them a positive start to their first Europa League campaign in more than two decades.
However, the on-pitch proceedings were only part of the story after horror scenes in the stands dominated headlines and took the sheen off an otherwise by-the-numbers evening.
The controversy, which has provoked called for a public inquiry, centres around hundreds of allegedly dirty chairs at the ground, which several Gunners supporters claim left them with dirty trousers.
According to several supporters who braved the match despite horrific conditions, as many as 200 hundred seat bottoms had not been fully wiped down prior to the game, despite the expectation of a large crowd.
“This was supposed to be a night of fun, competition and revelry. Unfortunately it ended up being one that was spoiled for me and many other supporters. What we witnessed was neglect and fan discrimination not seen since the dark days of English football,” said Arsenal fan Rufus Smidge of the dusty chair, adding that if he had known of the derelict state of the stadium beforehand he would have chosen instead to sit in some shit in the street.
“You come to the Arsenal to catch up with friends, eat some bruschetta and sink a few chai lattes; not to get your deck pants smudged like some miner. I’ve put up with a lot from this club over the years, but this might just be the final straw. It was only by the grace of God that I didn’t get a permanent stain.”
At press time, an Arsenal spokesperson said that the club would do all it could to help those affected by the slightly dirty seats, and that crisis centres had been established outside the ground to deal with the most pressing cases.