So the worst kept secret since Wayne Rooney entrusted a hooker with £200 to buy him some fags is out…
Jens Lehmann is back!
I was told about it on Sunday, totally forgot about it amongst all the other stuff, then missed out on an exclusive
Anyway, I’m pretty excited about it. I’m not really sure why so many people are getting bent out of shape about it. The likelyhood of him playing are about as slim as Denilson picking up an injury or getting that much mooted transfer to Barcelona this summer. Manchester City, with more money than Wayne Rooney’s hooker after buying him some fags, had a similar situation last year and they ended up ushering in Márton Fülöp.
Jens will come in, kick a few puppies, shout at a few people for standing on his shadow and possibly chase Almunia round the shower with a damp towel (that’ll get some colour in his gaunt cheeks). He’s been around the camp for a few weeks apparently and he’s been great. You can’t argue with his inclusion, the guy is a legend. It’s amazing, when he was with us, I always used to find myself getting angry at his petulance… how I’d have opted for that over the calamities we’ve faced over the past few years.
Still, we’re in good shape on the goalkeeping front. No one could account for the mess that’s happened this year. Chezzer is our number 1 now, he is probably the best young keeper in the world and he will be a great asset going forward.
Onto news of a more serious nature. Geoff and I received our club level season ticket renewals through the post yesterday, Arsenal have lumped us with a 6.5% price increase taking a pair of tickets up to £5540 for the season. All in all, the total additional revenue generated by this pocket busting exercise is about £6million. That’s 2 Abou Diaby’s in wage terms. I find it disgraceful that we’re employing an expensive collection of International Commercial monsters and the best they could come up with for revenue generation ideas was a ticket price increase.
I also find it amazing that we’ve employed a new Communications guy and he didn’t look at the fixture list before landing the bombshell on our doorsteps. What an absolutely believable piece of toilet Arsenal PR. Where do the club get off doing this to us at this time?
People will say that 6.5% when you consider inflation and the VAT rise isn’t that much. Well, it depends what angle you look at it. If you think we merit the most expensive ticket in the game, fair shout. If you think like most that we’re being shafted, you’ll probably find the increase harder to stomach than seeing Wayne Rooney naked smoking a £200 box of fags after sex with a hooker.
We pay all this money and the coach doesn’t invest in the squad, we haven’t won anything for 5 seasons, the wage bill is going up, the managers salary is at £7million, the CEO is getting a 70% bonus and we’re lumped with the increase in inflationary costs?
@TimPayton made a great point on twitter yesterday, if we’d won our Champions League group and qualified for the quarter finals, we’d have an extra £8million in the bank right now. That’s 40,000 boxes of Wayne Rooney fags.
If you thought that was bad enough, we’ll be donning two new strips again for our 125 year anniversary (The away one will be blue because they sell more). It’s absolutely relentless being an Arsenal fan and it’s becoming an unfeasible for even the well off middle class these days. Arsenal need to be careful they don’t kill the goose that laid the golden egg, even if Arsenal promise to engrave that egg with your name for an extra £45.
As with all things, there comes a tipping point, with all the empty seats we’ve seen in a pretty competitive season this year, you wonder if fans are reaching it?
I don’t mind wedging out for a ticket if I know the club are going to invest in the playing staff… and I don’t mean paying our poor players more than they’re worth, I mean buying in what we need. I’d much prefer a lean squad of top players who want to fight for the shirt than a squad of over paid teenagers who might make it with a dubious attitude. Paying out football tax and seeing it squandered is gutting and if it’s not pricing people out of paying, I’m sure it’s making them feel a little queazy at the prospect of handing over their pay day loan to cover the cost.
Since Arsenal purchased Dennis Bergkamp way back in 1996, we’ve never had to sell a season ticket on general sale. 8,000 people bought a season ticket off the back of his signing. Who says superstars are a waste of money?
The sad fact is, we’re still 50% more expensive than Manchester United across all levels. Now, I know it’s pretty under privelaged once you’re outside the M25, but not to the extent where ticket prices are that much lower.
It was interesting that last year people flew down the waiting list. People claimed that Le Grove lied about that, well, I’m pretty sure if you know anyone on the list they’ll tell you first hand their number dropped significantly. The thing with a waiting list is that there is a big difference between being on it complaining about not getting a chance… then actually being presented with a £2,500 bill for two tickets. Now, I know plenty of people wouldn’t have paid, however, I can’t lay my hands on those statistics. What I can tell you is that a number of additional season tickets were made available last year in the areas that didn’t sell well when on general sale.
Last season the overall ticket churn was 3%, question is, what will it be this year?
I can’t leave you without giving you a balanced argument, we’d never do such a thing on this Arsenal blog.
If there was a tick box on your season ticket form that said, ‘The keep Cesc & Nasri‘ fund and the cost was 6% on your ticket, what would you do? That’s the reality of it. Samir Nasri is not going to sign up for anything less than what he’d get at Chelsea or Manchester City. Arsenal did not have those two clubs in mind when they moved over to the Emirates and for those of you asking why we left Highbury, well, our wage bill is now equal to the total revenue made at Highbury. We’d be dead and buried like Everton if we’d stayed.
That said, I still believe when you earn the money the people at the club earn, you lose touch with reality. Who on our board is thinking about the fans? No one is my guess… Can you see people like PHW caring a hoot about fans struggling to pay their fees to see their beloved club? I can’t. It’s days like yesterday that make you feel what you have become… just another paying customer.
Shame on you Arsenal, shame on you.
P.S. Le Grove had ventured into the exciting world of tumblr! We used to have a funnies page, it became too much for me to handle and it was hard to access. So instead, we’ve set up a Le Grove Tumblr so I can stick the best photo shopped pics on there. In fact, any pictures or videos you might have would be of interest. As long as they’re unique and most importantly… funny!
Finally, if I haven’t responded to your e-mails over the last month, it’s mostly because I went all big time when the band Morning Parade said we were their favourite blog. We didn’t hang out or anything, I just stayed in, drank coffee and ignored e-mails. Anyway, I’m back online, so if you do e-mail in, I promise a prompt response.
Finally, finally, if you have any spares for WBA, get in touch, I have buyers galore. I also have club level renting opportunities if you’re interested. Enquire within!
Also… pray for JD, could be back sooner than expected… according to others.
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