Before I kick off into the Arsenal Tour stuff thought I’d give my thoughts into some of the news floating about.
Firstly the story that has you all dreaming of a mega signing in January. Well, I was with John Cross and Tim Payton last night. John thinks we’ll most certainly be making a move for the young German in January. The club realise he’ll be hotter than the underside of a Villas Boas collar this summer, so January might be our only chance.
Tim thinks this might be PR spin to a certain degree. If the worst happens… 1) We keep our powder dry through January 2) We finish 5th… Ivan Gazidis will have to preside over a baying mob of upper class hoodlums and explain why £50million profit is acceptable.
The CEO will be desperate to reinforce this January, so expect movement.
It’s also worth remembering that we can afford to do this as we’ll also be receiving £25-30million from the Queensland Road development. Did you know Arsenal own the land where the Metro bar is next to the station? I didn’t…
Arsenal announced to the web yesterday that our fees for agents was £4.6million. Apparently much of that went to Chamakh’s people. One can only assume into his party time fund.
Spurs and United…
It’s always amusing to watch your rivals lose games. However, I think United losing was always possibly going to be on the cards. Fergie doesn’t prize the Carling Cup over the other three, especially with a squad that hasn’t been performing. Then there is Spurs, we can all laugh, but I told you during pre-season their sole focus was attaining Champions League Football. So we can laugh at the 26k that turned up, but rest assured, Spurs European campaign is bang on track.
I was fearing the exclusion of the Ivory Coast wing machine in January to the ACN. It’s amazing how many people I meet who are not convinced by his potential.
Anyway… I think AOC is more than capable of holding the fort through that period. Hopefully we’ll buy a striker who can help. Even if it’s Thierry for a final hurrah.
Last night I was invited to attend the new super interactive Arsenal stadium tour. I’d never been on an Arsenal tour before, mainly because I remember being bored to tears doing the old Wembley tour when I was about 8.
The jist of the offering was that previously the tour had a capacity of 100k per year. With this new style version the sky is the limit… No longer are Arsenal constrained.
How do they manage that? With a giant key fob that has a colour screen of course! Yep, you get a digi box with some headphones and you’re sent on your merry way.
Now, I will say, being a social kind of guy, I struggled with the solitude of it all. You’re basically on your own you’re paying attention to the interactive tour guide. This worked out ok for me, having no friends finally paid off.
The tech is pretty smart. Bob Wilson gives you the lowdown on pretty much everything. If something is boring, he’ll jazz it up with media, if it’s exciting, there’s no additional media, you’re just left to explore.
Basically you get free rein of the Emirates. You came mooch round the dressing room, hang in the dugouts or leave illicit transfer notes in Ivan’s Diamond Club chair.
Some interesting facts…
- It took 6million hours to build the stadium. Roughly the same amount of time it took me to programme my central heating.
- We have one of the first stadium tours that translates into Mandarin. I checked as well, the translation is good.
- The stadium is capable of pouring 2400 beers a minute. The staff are at 2% of that capacity.
- There is a dog toilet in the stadium
- We used to be called the Arsenal. Herbert Chapman dropped ‘The’ in the thirties so we’d always be first alphabetically. Mark Zuckerberg copied his method at Facebook.
- The Queen is a Gooner. Block 14 so I’m told.
I think there is something for everyone here, it’s well worth having a look regardless of how many times you’ve been to the ground. Charles from Marketing, Mark Gonnella from Communications and Katie (good banter) from PR hung around at the end for a chat at the end. All very indoctrinated in the Arsenal way which is great to see/hear. I had quite an extensive chat with Mark and he seemed really excited about our commercial prospects as a club. He said that there is a commercial vision that is going to take time to realise, but they think they’re on the right track… especially in Asia where he said setting up shops and training schools has in the main, been an exercise in white elephantery.
I think a learning curve for anyone working in the business side of sport is that it’s emotive, so the standard decisions you’d make with a theatre enterprise can’t necessarily be transferred over to a football club. Case and point… season ticket prices.
The tour is a step in the right direction and the openness the club has had with the fans over the past year is too.
See you in the comments!
P.S. Happy Birthday Arsenal!