Arsenal have arranged a call with Danish side AGF Aarhus to discuss their experience using pitchside screens featuring fans watching live match action via Zoom.
With Covid-19 meaning supporters are not allowed to attend games in most of Europe, clubs and leagues across the continent have been weighing up various ideas to create a faux-matchday experience.
Borussia Moenchengladbach earned significant column inches when they confirmed fans could pay €19 for a personalised cardboard cutout to sit in the stands and the Premier League has reportedly weighed up CGI animations.
Last Thursday, Aarhus took the plunge with their virtual stands (video here). A 40-metre long screen was placed alongside the pitch and supporters on webcam watched the action in real time.
Against the backdrop of various living rooms and unflattering nasal shots, Aarhus secured a place in the Danish championship play-off with a 1-0 victory.
When Peter Hoest, Arseblog reader and Vice President of Arsenal Denmark, saw the Guardian reporting on Aarhus’ innovative option last week, he called the club to congratulate them. It was then that he learnt the Gunners had already been in touch to discuss. He shared the news on Twitter.
Obviously, the long-term goal is to get supporters back in the stadium, however, with nobody quite sure when that will be, it wouldn’t be surprising if we’re open to experimenting with other options. We tried the North Bank mural and Highbury was an early adopter of the Jumbotrons. Perhaps it’s time to combine the two?
It’s Arsenal fan tv…but not as we know it.