You’re now less than 17 days away from experiencing a one-of-a-kind online journey through the Premiership courtesy of EPL Talk. As we get closer to the “kick off,” I’ll keep you updated on what the ticket purchasing experience is like, what it’s like dealing with the different clubs, and what you can expect to see and hear first-hand during my trek to England.Depending what the result is from Arsenal’s decisive match today against CSKA Moscow, the Gunners next Champions League match could be crucial. If Arsenal beats CSKA, then a win or a draw in their November 21st match at home against Hamburg would be enough to qualify them for the next stage of the glamor tournament.When I was originally planning my trip to England a couple of months ago, one of the main reasons I picked November 17-26 was because I knew Arsenal would be playing at home in the Champions League.While it’s been a simple process purchasing tickets for the Fulham and Blackburn home matches, the Arsenal experience has been more challenging due to the greater demand for tickets and the way Arsenal operates.To give you an idea of how difficult it is to get a ticket to an Arsenal match, consider this: Tickets are on sale via for the match against Hamburg, but right now you can only purchase them if you’re a “Silver Member.” How do you become a Silver Member? You first have to become a ‘Red Member.” You’re then placed on a waiting list and Arsenal will notify you to upgrade to become a silver member ONLY if a space becomes available. When would the possibility of an upgrade be available? Prior to the beginning of the 2007/2008 season. Yes, probably between May and August of 2007.So while the tickets for the Hamburg match are being bought by silver members, any remaining tickets will be made available to red members on November 8. For a crucial Champions League match against Hamburg, the chances of ANY tickets being available to Gunners fans is practically nil. But in the extreme unlikelihood that some tickets are available, you would have to pay $57 just to attain the red membership level. Even with your red member card in hand, this doesn’t guarantee you a ticket. You’d have to rush to purchase tickets before the other red members snap them up. Ticket prices range from $61-$125.Tickets are available for general sale only after the red membership level has had a considerable amount of time to purchase tickets. So, general ticket sales are essentially non-existent.By the way, after you achieve the rank of silver member, you can hope that you can become elevated to become a gold or even platinum member. A gold membership is only available to season ticket holders. To become a season ticket holder at the Emirates Stadium, you have to pay $28 to have your name added to a waiting list. That list, gulp, contains over 30,000 supporters. Essentially the only way to get a season ticket is to hope that a large number of people relinquish their tickets at the end of the season. And we know what the chances are of that happening.So, back to me, I’m not a card carrying member of any level at Arsenal, so my chances of getting a ticket to see the Gunners play is hopeless.However, here’s where the good news comes in. Thanks to the fantastic people at the Official United States Arsenal Supporters Club, they were able to secure two tickets for me (my cousin lives nearby in London), so I’ll be attending the Arsenal against Hamburg match after all. The stadium is supposed to be state-of-the-art and this will be my first time to see Arsenal in person, so I’m thrilled and indebted to
for their assistance.This goes to show what value there is in joining your local supporters club. They often have access to tickets before others, organize tours and provide you with discounts that save you more than the price of membership. If you’re a Gunners fans, sign up at today. For other supporter’s clubs, take a look at the links page at the latest itinerary for the tour is:Saturday, November 18: Everton v Bolton (at Goodison Park)Sunday, November 19: Anfield Stadium Tour (Liverpool)Blackburn v Spurs (at Ewood Park)Monday, November 20:National Football Museum (Preston)Tuesday, November 21:Arsenal v Hamburg (Champions League)Saturday, November 25:Fulham v Reading (at Craven Cottage)