Barcelona – Beautiful City, Wonderful Team… Pity about the Club!

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We’re kicking off Monday with a guest blog from a Grover that goes by the name of Old Bird. You might remember her superb guest blog from the summer! Enjoy, I’ll be back in an hour or so with the Monday news review!

Post-match thoughts of a travelling fan

Ok, nothing to say that hasn’t been said about the match. Well done FCB and the truly awesome Messi and thank you Nic B for probably the best 2 minutes of our season (so far)!

I love going to CL away games.  This promised to be as memorable a day out as it’s possible to have in an Arsenal shirt.  Barcelona is one of the most beautiful and friendly cities in Europe, the city/club had set up a good fanzone by the harbour and we wandered the old city and had some great tapas.  We were having an excellent day out ………..until, that is, the coach took us to the stadium!  From this point on we were treated like potential criminals by FCB’s overly officious, unhelpful stewards.

Firstly, in good spirits, we wanted to wander round the Camp Nou (allegedly the greatest stadium in Europe/World), enjoy the atmosphere, take some photos and buy some souvenirs/scarves/food. All the usual pre-game stuff.  Sadly we were barred from this by surly stewards and guided straight into the stadium.  The stall holders outside lost a great deal of money I’m guessing.

Next we were subjected to the sort of body search that Heathrow airport would have been proud of! Fair enough, they have a job to do, and no doubt there are still idiot fans (from other clubs obv) who might try to smuggle in stupid stuff.  However I strongly object to having my handbag (Yes I’m a woman in case you’re worrying) taken off me, given to a steward a few yards away and then being asked to turn round to be searched.  Search my bag by all means but a) I would like to be present and b) wish to keep an eye on my possessions (ie purse/passport/tickets/credit cards etc) while a complete stranger inspects them.

The handbag search (when I was able to watch) beggared belief.  Everything was inspected with enormous care – book, bookmark, reading glasses.  To my great annoyance my miniscule bottle of Dior perfume was confiscated at this point.  My protests were treated rudely.  Did they think it was a nice smelling explosive?  Did they think I was going to throw it? In which case why not take all my coins as well! And actually I’m a relatively respectable (on a good day) woman in her sixties – do I look like a thug? Others around me were having other items taken – camera batteries, folding umbrellas (despite being told before these were allowed) etc.

Finally, somewhat annoyed, we were allowed into the stadium to climb the thousand steps upto the seats in the top of the stadium that our mere 75 euros had bought.  I wonder how much the Barca fans paid for their excellent RINGSIDE seats at the Emirates?  Despite heroic efforts by all the Gooners, it makes it a tad difficult to be the “twelth man” singing your team to victory so far from the pitch.  I would like to think they heard us but frankly doubt it.  No doubt this is the intention.  What a shame.

I expect visiting Barca fans also enjoyed our plentiful toilets complete with toilet paper, hot water, soap and hand driers; none of these were provided.  Great.

It is now 2 hours to kickoff and we are hungry.  Having been barred from the cafes and stalls outside our only choice was the food in the stadium.  This was great too – the only thing on offer was an over-priced and barely cooked sausage in a roll.  Bad luck any veggies. No cheese.  They were selling beer though, much to our surprise (I thought this was not allowed by UEFA but hey).  But 4 euros for half a pint!!! It makes the Emirates sound cheap.

After the match was over, still singing, we were kept behind as expected.  Thanks to those who entertained us with the paper airplanes – good job. Finally released, and still in surprisingly good spirits despite the defeat we were then treated to more heavy stewarding (no you cannot use the toilets on the next level down – thanks a lot!).

So thank you FCB for marring a great day out.  I was delighted to hear from my friends in the City that the media and police were praising our fans – no incidents or arrests all day (despite the beer consumed!).  Well done us.  Perhaps this might be considered if we visit you again.  Of course, a football club must be careful and stewards are essential.  But would it hurt to treat us with some respect? A smile perhaps?  We are just football fans who love the game and our team enough to spend £300 on a day out!  We have come to enjoy a great game of football – just like the Barca fans.  Please don’t spoil your fabulous image as one of the greatest clubs in Europe.  We were treated far better at Seville last year (but you probably don’t want to hear that).

Also, if you’re reading, FCB, please leave our much loved captain alone too!  Mind you, we’d quite like Messi and Xavi.

And finally, please could I have my perfume back (if there’s any left!).  It was J’adore since you asked.

Oldbird

41 Responses to “Barcelona – Beautiful City, Wonderful Team… Pity about the Club!”

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  1. gnarleygeorge9

    Cheers for that Old Shiela 😳 I mean Bird. If that roofless block of concrete known as Camp Nou is better than the Melbourne Cricket Ground then I’d be surprised. The “G” has everything you need 😛 except a Richmond win these days 🙁

  2. realsocialdad

    spot on from old bird

    shit ground no fans….

    some people say the grove cement heartless bowl the camp nou is the worst ground i’ve been too.

    hardley a pub near the ground.

  3. Micky Did It 89

    Thanks Oldbird.
    Anyone know as to whether or not English fans get treated worse than other visiting fans?
    What a lovely sunny relaxed, no pressure, football weekend. Lying on the beach, listening to the radio as Utd and Spuds quietly go about their suffering. Not only was it a beautiful result for Pompey, but the game went to extra time. Ideal. Hope the lads are fully rested for weds. Cannot wait.

  4. tonyadamsisgod

    Good write up Old Bird!!

    The Spanish are a bunch of thieving fuck tards!! My mate was getting a round of beers in during HT at the Nou Camp. He was Carrying 3 beers so using both hands to do it. he felt something move in his pocket as he made his way through the crowd and low and behold there was a hand in his pocket!! By the time he had turned around in mass of people the thieving little cockroach had fucked off, luckily without my mates wallet.

  5. Micky Did It 89

    TAIG: is it sunny in the capital? Did you have a pleasant journey into work? What I am getting at is, has Tit Monday arrived?

  6. tonyadamsisgod

    Micky – ha ha, not yet mate, not nearly enough skirt to be seen! Mind you, when you work in East London you’d be hard pushed to find it at all!!

  7. rantraveandriot

    Just to let you know that the beer you were all supping in the Camp Nou was all alcohol free so there were a lot of Gooners getting drunk on fresh air! I tried to warn a few inside the ground but people didn’t seem to get the message. Still it did entertain me a bit!

  8. james

    I have read almost all the comments and I agree with some and strongly disagree with some
    Goalkeepers
    Almunia – Second choice definitely
    Fabianski – needs to be given a good run in not sporatic matches in fa cup or something maybe a loan spell to a championship or EPL will help make up our mind
    If Wenger has confidece in Fabianski then I wont strengthen the team but if he has lost faith in him then sell him and buy someone like Neur, Loris or Aginfeev

    Buy or Sell – only needed if WEnger doesn’t believe in Fabianski if he believes he can become a great keeper then give him a chance or sell him.

    Defense
    Fullbacks are all covered with Sagna, Eboue, Clichy, Gibbs
    CB – If Gallas leaves then we need two CB’s as Silvestre and Sendros are surely leaving. Keeping Sol on a pay as you play basis is not a bad idea.
    I hope we sign one young CB but one world class CB has to be signed who can compete with Vermaelen and Djourou for the starting place.
    If I could choose I will take Stefan Savic (19 year old) as a our young CB or maybe Bartley and someone world class like Vidic (I know he will never come but someone like him)
    Hangeland for me is not at all world class and with our high line he will get caught out
    Wenger likes 5 CB – Djourou, Vermaelen, Norvedit/Stefan Savic/Bartley, ? world class CB, Sol (pay as you play)

    Sell – Sendros, Silvestre, Gallas (if he leaves)
    Buy – IF Norvedit is not first team material then sell him and either buy Stefan Savic or give Bartley a chance, A world class CB is definitely needed is Gallas Leaves but I doubt he will

    Midfield
    I would sell anyone from our midfield – Rosicky can play in CM, Wings and AM position so he’s a good squad player, Denilson although not the finished prodcut is still only 21 and will get better (look at how much Song has improved in a year), Song is still 22, Diaby is still 23, Fabregas is only 22, Ramsey will probably be injured next season. However

    Players should be loaned – WIlshere, Lansbury, JET, Eastmond, Coquellin
    Buy -I would however buy Melo I know he hasn’t done too well (well he has been horrible) but he can play in the Gilberto Silva role or in Song ROle when he’s injured. He for me is the direct replacement for Gilberto Silva or Petit

    Strikers
    We are sure to sign Chamak for free meaning we will have 5 Strikers – Bendtner, Van Persie, Eduardo, Vela and Chamak.
    Vela and Bendtner are just 21 and 22 respectively so there’s no reason to sell them they are both qulaity and will get better and better
    Eduardo however hasn’t done what was needed off him and with signing of Chamak he will surely not get any playtime. I know the guy broke a leg for us but he needs to move away from england to somewhere like Spain and Italy to rediscover his goal scoring form and enjoy his football again

    Buy – Chamak
    Sell – Eduardo

  9. Sebman

    From FCB fan.
    We payed 54€ for ticket and you are right, it was a real good view.
    I’m sorry for inconvenients from our Club.

  10. Alan

    Can you really blame the club security for being a tad ott? All they know about English fans is their experience of Chavs, Manure and Scum!!!

  11. Paul

    That is such a shame. A mate and me drove down from London on Monday, we were expecting tickets that didn’t materialise, so bought off the streets. What a contrast our experience was, out seats were 15 rows from the front behind messis hat trick goal, all barca fans. The guys around us knew we were arsenal but couldn’t have been nicer. No search at all entering the ground, no stewards around to speak of, they must have all been with you!! We could hear you all singing so your efforts were noticed!
    We were back in the car and on the motorway
    to France within 25 mins of it all ending, amazing. Despite the loss we had a great time. Ps the fans were good to us even when we went in front, not sure if it had stayed that way though /0)

  12. Micky Did It 89

    TAIG: You have no idea. I moved to very rural Devon 14 years ago. Believe me, the East End is Babe heaven!! Up town, blokes assess the ladies in the traditional way. Down here, they inspect their teeth as the first priority, just like valuing a calf at market.

  13. Dan

    Great post 🙂 If you thought you was treated bad you should of seen the way i was treated in my local by the spuds :’) ha

  14. KM

    Morning all

    ManU drew y’day which is gr8 news. It gives us the chance to leapfrog them IF we beat Spurs on wednesday.
    We need to win every game from now and i think the only games Chelsea can lose are against ManCity so therefore we’v gotto go for it

  15. oldbird

    Sebman – thank you for your comment. I still love Barca and Catalans. What a pity your stewards let you all down. I shall be cheering you on to beat Inter! Forca Barca……

    Paul – not surprised you were well treated by the Barca fans. I know several and they are lovely (and all watch and support Arsenal in the PL). Good to hear that we could be heard too. Pity it didn’t unnerve Messi!

  16. wardo

    “Just thinking about cup finals etc”

    The above is just one of the silly quotes from my boss the day after Barca knocked us out of the ECL !! My boss is a spurs fan by the qway and had really assumed they would steam roll pompey !!!

    “I bet you fcuking enjoyed that yesterday”

    Was a quote from my boss this morning. I didn’t answer him but if I had i would have said ” you bet your fcuking skull cap I did Hamish !!!!”

  17. Gooner Mo

    What you have forgotten to mention is the idiots throwing coins at the barca fans, shouting abuse at young girls and getting really aggressive with the stewards. Is it any wonder English fans get treated the way we do. Even in the video above we show how little respect we have for foreign women. Would that “fucked by eboue” chant have happened with an English journalist? There is friendly banter and them there is over stepping the mark…

  18. Gunner8

    erm the beer they sold inside the stadium was non-alchoholic and I was drinking aplenty in the cafe’s outside and they served up some tasty pata negra sandwiches!

    TBH I had a completely different day out, but maybe because I missed the bus!

    I also skipped the fanzone prefering to explore Barca at will, had lunch with a Catalan friend shooting the pre-match shit and took the Metro to the ground where there were some cracking pubs with great singing fans to entertain.

    I headed to the stadium 45mins b4 kickoff and was hardly searched… …on the way out though we were policed almost as ruthlessly as the Alkmaar riot guys as they even decided to follow us on the airport bus to the plane which was great!

  19. Perry Grove

    I traveled too and concur with everything you say. The only impressive thing about the Camp Nou is its size.

    The seat numbers are odd/even which makes finding your seat impossible – the stewards pretended not to speak English when we asked where our seats were. We ended up standing on the steps for the entire match!

    The beer, by the way, is non-alcoholic. It’s a little trick that all Spanish clubs play on traveling English fans…

  20. oldbird

    Gooner Mo – didn’t notice this. What idiots. We all suffer for their stupidity. Great

    Gunner8 – will go with you next time then and avoid the coach. I did have a great day out despite my moaning. Hadn’t realised beer non-alcoholic tho. Good profit on 4 euros then! Glad I didn’t buy any.

  21. Doublegooner

    Old Bird:

    I assume you went with the travel club, unlike us who always go with Flight Options.

    They took us tothe stadium when we arrived to either let us get out but also show where the coaches would be after the game, but then droipped us off in the city & left it to us to make our own way to the stadium early evening which worked well without any hassle.

    The city is 1st rate, but security getting in & the facilities were 2nd rate & highly over rated.

  22. oldbird

    Cheers Doublegooner – will look into Flightoptions next season. Didn’t know of them until saw all the coaches outside the stadium. Are they cheaper?

  23. dunkyboy

    We travelled independantly and sat with the Barca fans. They couldn’t have made us more welcome. Security around the ground knew we were Arsenal but treated us realy well. Nothing but good to say abot the trip apart from the last 70 minutes of the match. Thats good for the soul I have heard.

  24. SharkeySure

    Great read that Oldbird.

    I went when we played there in 1999, and like some of the others, I sat with the Barca fans, having got a ticket off of an English tout outside the stadium in the afternoon.

    I also had no problems at all.

    Its a real shame that those stewards spoilt it, cos Barcelona is pretty much one of the best cities on earth (2nd only to Buenos Aires imho!)