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March on.. March on.. March onto Highbury!!!

November 28, 2012

So the time is nearly upon us. The boys from Highbury are marching on

Harry will appreciate this link.

When? 1.30pm, Saturday 1st December –  Where from? the Canons public house – Where to? Bear roundabout. What do we want? Lattes!!!

“Where has our Arsenal gone”? Well the last time I looked it moved from Avenell Road to Ashburton Grove in 2006. Maybe it’s not the high prices. Maybe they just can’t find the new stadium.

My take on all this. Well the BSM have made it quite clear they are not marching to oust the manager. Which is good as that would sort of bug me and any chance of me siding with them on any issue would be gone at that instance. However, when you look at the website and I would suggest people do, before they start having a pop they do have some legitimate concerns.

March on, march on! The boys from Highbury.

Q. We want Stan Kroenke’s commitment not to take money from the club.

Fair enough, but sadly today’s football is big business and if you run a business I think you’re allowed to take money in the form of dividends. Not everyone’s cup of tea I grant you, but dems the rules. Personally if they can stop the board from taking money out of the club and leaving it in the club, they get my vote. After all if the board are supporters as well as custodians of the club, then why take any money out of the club? I’m sure if any of us were lucky enough to be the owner of the club we support (Support) being the key word, we would not wish to take money out? It’s a business surely in as much as the running the club, but as for making money out of it for personal gain, that’s not really what football is about, is it? Well it shouldn’t be.  Because of the huge sums involved, I get the business side, but for me, it’s a football club not a supermarket, this is sport. Therefore any money made should stay within the club, unless it leaves via transfer deals, wages and day-to-day running costs.

Then if they (BSM) can convince the players to take less wages and agents to stop taking so much money out of the game as well. I’ll walk at the front of the march holding the banner.

March on, march on! March on to victory…….

Q. We want Peter Hill-Wood off the Board. He has become an embarrassment to the club and its supporters.

I would agree here. However, only because this is modern-day football and I think the club need more dynamic people to run one of the World’s biggest football clubs in the 21st century.

Embarrassment, well PHW is getting on a bit. I was brought up to respect my elders.  Also there are some of our fans who do a good enough job embarrassing Arsenal Football Club as well, so it’s not a one-way street. We all get old sooner of later and I think we would all like to be shown respect wehn we get there, so yes I would like to see PHW leave, however,  with a shake of the hand, a hearty well done and a thank-you for him and his family for all the work they have put in over the years. Maybe a cut class vase or something with “We want our Arsenal back” “thank you from your ever loyal supporters” on it.

The Gunners colours on the Cup……

Q. We want Red & White Holdings to be offered a seat on the Board. Ivan Gazidis called for us to all come together and work in the same direction but how does this work when a 30% shareholder in the club doesn’t get to have a say? In what other large business would this blocking of a major shareholder happen?

No thanks!  Don’t want them on board, nowhere near the club. Don’t like what City or Chelsea stand for and don’t want it infesting Arsenal Football Club either. Also this is not just about Arsenal, it’s about football and where it’s heading. We have to look at the bigger picture and all the other clubs here. Of course some will say “but I’m only interested in Arsenal” well for me there is a problem. Football is nothing without the fans, but also nothing without clubs. As the top clubs get richer, the rest fall behind, maybe going on until the day comes we only have the elite left. Football for me is not all about money. Get rid of sugar Daddy’s (though I do understand BSM are not aking for a sugar Daddy). I want Arsenal run as a Business that IS self financing. They spend (or not :-)) what they earn, not what some super rich geezer gives them to make his toy work better.

Is what we’re gonner see……

Q. We want action from the club to stop poor allocation of our money. From wasting money on players we have to write off a year later, to handing out huge contracts to players who we can’t then sell on because nobody will match what we pay. It’s mismanagement and it’s the fans who get hit in the pocket because the club fails in other revenue generating areas such as commercial deals.

I agree that the club have wasted money on certain players and it’s crazy that these players are now just sitting around not even getting a look in and yet picking up about £300k a week combined. This could be three much better players wages. The Q is right that the higher salaries these players get means we cannot get rid of them easy. Also younger players should be paid less until they can justify bigger money and not based on potential. Players used to want to play, now it would seem they want the money and are happy to put their careers on hold for a few years, rather than take a cut, move on and play first team football. Also I can see how fans being charged high ticket prices while this happening can feel aggrieved. Yes the price at the time might have been justified and managers do make mistakes, however, it does seem like a lot of mistakes all at the same time. This irks as we end up getting rid of the players we want to keep and having to keep players the we are not using.  The last bit about commercial deals. Well I think the new one with Emirates sorts that and the smarts says the new kit deal will also be big in the region of £20m+ a season. I quite like Gazidis.

When we go marching round Highbury…….

Then I saw this from RedActionAFC in support of BSM.

We think the age for taking one’s driving test should be increased to 21… Oops!! Looking at wrong website…

Red Action – Firstly, RedAction is what you could call an ‘activist’ group – we are a group of fans who are unhappy about something (in our case, the atmosphere at Arsenal games)

Well pardon me! RedAction asked for a singing section, got one, albeit in the corner of the North Stand and at most games they just mime. This was a picture I took at the Fulham home match.

No it was not 2pm an hour before kick off, but 2.45pm 15 mins before kick off.

Hardly what you would say getting the ready and up for the game.

RedAction – we see four main Arsenal fans’ groups who do this in their own areas of interest – AISA, AST, REDaction and BSM – and there is MUCH more agreement between the people that run these groups than many realise. 

Well why not just merge, make one huge Arsenal supporters group which would have huge backing and dare I say the thoughts of more supporters. By the way I am a member of AISA, AST and Fanshare. This would make my subscriptions cheaper.

Red Action – The BSM are clear that people should support the Arsenal team and manager.  Even if you think some players aren’t fit to wear the shirt, and the manager’s time is up, we should support them during games.

This is a no brainer. 100% support while in stadium is a must.

RedAction – The BSM want Arsenal to take action to look into safe standing at Emirates.  We couldn’t agree more – the potential positive effect on atmosphere is obvious.

I would be more than happy for safe standing at Emirates, while I don’t think RedAction are very good at getting behind the team and getting the stadium going it can be a bit difficult sitting down and being told to keep sitting down, when you stand to try to get the crowd going. However, away fans seem to be able to do it. The simple fact though is a change to standing will need a change in the law and that’s down to the government. However, it would do no harm for clubs like Arsenal to take up the cause and show that there can be safe standing area’s and that football has changed since the dark days. Also show that by bringing back safe standing, it could be controlled correctly. What do we want? The bloody atmosphere back at football grounds.

RedAction – The BSM want Arsenal to look at a ‘league only’ season ticket option.  We agree – it would mean more opportunities for different, younger and local fans to attend cup games – ensuring that the next generation of vocal support can get into the habit of attending Arsenal games.

Good idea. Though by not having cup tickets included in season ticket lite, I take it that it would be acceptable that tickets for Cup Finals would go to those who have full season tickets or those that just brought 2 or 3 Cup tie tickets, above those who had brough a 19 match season ticket.

RedAction  – The BSM want season tickets to be made available in the Clock End.  We agree – it would improve atmosphere and may allow the creation of a second REDsection.

Can’t see why this should be a problem, save the messing about of moving everyone should there be a Cup tie where we have to give 15% of tickets to away Supporters. Having a North Bank and Clock End section as it was at Highbury, would make sense. Look after your broom!!!  Sorry – Look after your fans first. Again – What do we want? The bloody atmosphere back at football grounds.

RedAction – And more generally, we support aims to make the board more aware of how long-term fans are feeling – because we have seen several of our long-term, most loyal and vocal REDsection members walk away from the club in recent years.

I have always had an issue with how our club treat its supporters as to communication with their fans. Football is part business today and it could be said we are just seen as customers. However, football is built on Loyalty and passion and therefore we “The Supporters” will always be just that “Supporters” not customers.  If hard-core fans are leaving then Yes! Something needs to be addressed. I’m hard-core and now take my Son. If I’m forced to leave, then so is my son, multiply that and you start to get a problem. While I can afford a season ticket now, there for the grace of God, go I.  It would be nice to move down a grade or two, or be able to buy a cheaper ticket.

While the club needs to raise money through many avenues and part of that through a section of fans that could be called football tourists, you still need the passion of the hardcore support in the ground week in – week out, both home and away and in this age of football/business for me it’s not good practice that the club should just let hardcore fans leave without some help, within reason.. There has to be way found to keep them coming through the turnstiles.

BSM website regarding the walk against Swansea, kink here. Navigate to news tab, the click on “Let the board know your feelings” Take a look. You may not agree with their opinion but, just as we ask fans to respect our manager, also show them respect. They have not built up this group for nothing. They have their concerns and should be applauded for making a stand.

Lastly – while social networking can make it easier for groups like the BSM to get their point across, gain membership and raise their concerns with the massive amount of Arsenal supporters on such sites as Twitter, my concern is that trolling in the background is the media, who are always looking for a story. I worry that things will not get reported correctly.

Arsene Wenger said it well in a John Cross column “In the modern media, the extreme opinions are picked out and sold like the majority” “This means that those who shout the loudest are usually presented because they are interesting and easy to sell. But they don’t always represent to majority opinion”

I feel there are so many lazy journalists today and they hook onto supporters concerns they see as sexy on Social networking sites and run them and cause trouble. The sort of thing that could end up turning the march on its head or using the march to make yet another attack on the club. I don’t think Journalists, save a few, like the superb Paddy Barclay really give a damn about the supporters or the club, they just want headlines and a story.

Take Calendergate. look how the media have presented this and that they even bothered to use that as part of an article is nonsense.



3 Comments leave one →
  1. Madge permalink
    November 28, 2012 13:57

    Very good in depth piece.

    I was led to believe that Kroenke was not in the habit of taking money out of any of the clubs he invests in.

    I think any group that ‘walks or marches’ is entitled but like you, is only feeding the media
    With headlines.

    As for ‘tourist Supporters’ anyone who wants to watch AFC should at least have a chance. Not everyone is offered one or can afford one.
    They should have access.

    I understand BSM agenda & concerns but getting rid of PHW, he will leave probably sooner than later. No way do I want Usmanov
    Near our club. I also find it naive to say that
    Any of these concerns are aimed at AW, maybe not directly but it affects the whole club.

    Excellent Steve, thanks 😄

    • November 28, 2012 14:09

      I thought at first BSM were part of the Anti-Wenger campaign. Maybe they were and distenced themselves from it all or just plainly were not against the manager at all. It could be some fans who shall we say are a bit lazy and did not read their website, thought any group that marches is anti-wenger due the WOB’s out there.

      I do think many of the BSM memebers are true die-hard Gooners doing what they feel is best, not only for themselves, but all Gooners. Some fans are falling on hard times and can’t afford the high prices and yet still want to go with maybe down sizing and simply getting match tickets for certain games. These are all good and noble causes.

      My only real concern is that the media will hi-Jack it all and make it something it is not. Maybe if they said to the press they don’t wnat coverage or seek it (in know they can’t stop it) then it might look better.

      Today’s bloody media are vultures and they don’t care about BSM, AST or AFC and their fans, they only care for headlines and hyped up articles. They go with what way the wind is blowing.

      Take care

      • Madge permalink
        November 28, 2012 14:18

        You are much more articulate than I am, so get the best out of people, I usually get their backs up with my oversimplified outlook. Ah well
        I accept that these are not AWOB.
        Still, I thought it was the AST job to represent us to the board. You take care too.

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