Arsenal started planning Europa League parade in MARCH… before they even faced Napoli in last eight
- Arsenal sent emails to Islington Council the day before they took on Rennes
- By March 7, a member of the council’s staff responded agreeing to a parade
- They take on Chelsea in the showpiece final of the Europa League on May 29
Arsenal started planning a Europa League victory parade before they reached the quarter-finals.
Communication seen by Sportsmail reveals they started putting plans for potential celebrations together at the beginning of March, suggesting they were confident of going all the way.
Emails about a potential bus parade were exchanged between the north London club and Islington Council the day before Unai Emery’s team faced Rennes away in the last-16 stage, a match they lost 3-1.
Arsenal started planning a Europa League victory parade before they reached quarter-finals
An email from Arsenal – who qualified for the final last Thursday – on 6 March marked ‘Europa League final’ said: ‘Whilst there is still a long way to go and much to plan, in principle, could you support an event’.
Internal emails within Islington Council said: ‘Arsenal are doing some early planning and have asked whether we would be supportive of a parade IF they won…’.
The following day, on 7 March, a member of staff at the council responded to Arsenal to agree to a parade.
Some content of the exchanges, which were released under the Freedom of Information Act, has been redacted for confidentiality reasons.
They qualified for the final courtesy of a victory against Valencia at the semi-final stage
The plans were hatched almost three months – and six games – in advance of the final, which will take place on 29 May. At the time, Arsenal were sitting fifth in the Premier League.
Despite losing to Rennes on the same day the parade had been given the green light, Arsenal qualified for the quarter-finals on aggregate and have since beaten Napoli and Valencia, to set up a decider against Chelsea.
Arsenal have spent the last two seasons in the Europa League, following a 20-year unbroken spell in the Champions League.
Lifting the trophy in Baku is now their only chance of returning to the top tier of European football next season, after finishing fifth in the Premier League, and may explain their early desire to celebrate should they win.
The plans were hatched almost three months – and six games – in advance of the final