Season ticket stinger… | Mad Jens signs | Some great stats for you!

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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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720 Responses to “Season ticket stinger… | Mad Jens signs | Some great stats for you!”

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  1. G STAR




  2. gambon

    It makes sense why clichy and Nasri haven’t signed a new deal, cos they don’t know who their manager will be.

  3. ice

    In the name of Geordie Arrmstrong and Rocky Rocastle let’s hope this is true and that the likes of Dopemoonia, Diaby, Song, Denilson, Vela, Bentdner, Walcott, and Co never darken our doors again with their limited ability and losing mentality

    Where did THE Arsenal go?

  4. SUGA3

    IMO, Fabregas would leave anyway, his facial expression when that second Brum goal went in said it all – ironically, the only thing that could keep him here is appointing a ‘man with the plan’ at the helm…

    if AA leaves, it’s not because of AW leaving…

    Bendtner – pretty please with sugar on top?

    and we will most definitely see the backs of D******n and Diaby!

  5. G STAR

    i dont think denilson or diaby will go, who tha fuck wud buy those two, they would struggle to get into the crawley team

  6. SUGA3

    but that bunch of cunts on the board will not employ anyone even remotely competent…

    I mean, come on, Grimandi and that dude from Japan? fuck off…

  7. Big Dave

    I heard last summer clichy was leaving anyway.

    Look lets not slag any one off just yet, grimandi or who ever, its just rumours at the moment,lets wait and see 1st

  8. G STAR

    I personally would do this

    Manager – Pep Guardiola
    Assistant Manager – Steve Bould
    Director – Arsene Wenger

    GK Coach – Seaman
    Defence Coach – Keown and Adams
    Scouting Coach – G STAR

    Improving Arsenals Mentality:

  9. Rohan

    I knew it would be Grimandi. I am the messiah.

    Honestly though, I seriously doubt it. Seriously seriously doubt it. If that were the case, Cesc and perhaps even Nasri would be certs to leave.

    Rohan says:
    March 12, 2011 at 21:39
    Gilles Grimandi.

  10. Rohan

    I don’t want grimandi really.

    There’s no point discussing it though.
    I don’t want Wenger to leave either. It’d cripple us for the near future imo especially if it’s true that we are strapped for cash. Say what you want but on a tight budget, there’s no better manager than Wenger in keeping us competitive.

    That’s not mentioning all the players who are at Arsenal only because of Arsene Wenger. A lot of talented youths come to us because of him. If they see Grimandi or someone of that ilk we’ll be fucked.

    If and when Wenger leaves, I want us to either get a reasonably big name or even better, an inside man like Henry.

  11. SUGA3


    if any player came to play for anything other than the badge, then he may as well fuck off, good riddance…

    this is one of the reasons we did not win zip for the last few years – you will say all the French legion came here for Wenger, well, true, but they had reputation of World Champions to protect, no?

  12. Big Dave

    We defo need some ex players who luv the club back in the background, might have to take a leaf out of spuds book, they have a lot of ex players.

    You never know the next thing on the horizon might be a take over

  13. ice

    SSN reporting the Denilson has gone for a fee of 2k plus a chicken tikka pukka pie to Rag Arse Rovers FC of Sao Paulo

  14. Rohan

    Fine, SUGA. That just puts us at a massive disadvantage then.

    You just can’t deny that Arsene Wenger is the biggest of pulling factors in the transfer market especially when we don’t have the resources to pay exorbitant wages.

    The likes of Bergkamp are far and few in between. Since we can’t really compete on the highest echelon of the transfer market, we need a manager with a reputation unless the manager coming is the clone of Wenger ’97 and can pluck gems out of nowhere.

  15. ice

    SSN reporting that Rag Arse Rovers FC have sent Denilson back and are demanding the return of the chicken tikka pukka pie

  16. Rohan

    Fuck Usmanov. I don’t want him anywhere near our club. I’m proud of the way we’re run. Don’t want that to change.

  17. SUGA3


    I think you will find that Bergkamp was signed by Rioch and we did not have anywhere as much financial muscle back then as we have now…

    I don’t really want AW gone either, I was always the one to say that I would prefer if he just bit the bullet and show who the boss is by the way of clearing out the dross and buying a few players to take us across the line…

    well, maybe this is as far as he can go? or maybe the big fella has goine completely fucking bonkers? we have witnessed many ridiculously wrong decisions in the past few seasons that proved costly, no?

  18. Rohan

    Never said anything to the contrary. My point was that you’d struggle to see someone like Bergkamp join us were we managed by someone like Grimandi or Rioch.

  19. Pedro

    So Arsene Wenger is resigning… jeez… that is a rumour and a half to start!

    He’d never quit his £7million a year job!

  20. incesc

    am i being stupid or are people saying wenger is leaving and we dont have a new manager but grimandi is the new no 2?

    who has sacked wenger anyway? gazidis works for him.

  21. 1886-2006

    Big Dave says:
    March 15, 2011 at 22:45

    Abidal played with a tumour last week. whilst we played with Rosicky.

    Good one.

  22. 1886-2006

    I hope the rumours are true and DS takes the helm, would be sad to see Wenger go but we need new ideas and it might mean Cesc staying on to see if the Dragan can bring a mood change to the squad.

    Btw he was some hell of a player, silky skills and fantastic vision.

  23. jay 11

    have a day off 1886-2006….if aw goes (which is not gonna happen) then u think the players will still stay at the club? looooooooool mate your having a laugh!

    fabregas will be on the first flight to barca and the big guns will be following them

    lets not even start this debate again though

  24. Keyser

    Is this what we’re left with for the next few weeks ? This International break is going to go oh soo slowly.

    Didn’t Wenger say he’d have to re-think his approach if this season didn’t work out ? So I hope the rumours, heh rumours, are bullshit.

    We’ve got West Brom, if we go all out for the win, then we’ve got two weeks to get players fit for the rest of the season. A league title will be more than enough for this year for me.

  25. Keyser

    Suga3 – Have you actually looked into those teams ? Or the leagues they’re apart of ? American Sports is far removed from what we see in the Premiership and European football.

    Not completely but far enough.

  26. A

    I’d be surprised if Wenger went this summer – next summer when Guardiola becomes available would make much more sense

  27. Gooby

    some think if wenger is kicked out we’ll win the trophies for fun and all, but tbh i am not so sure about that.

    if he leaves some of the main players will be tempted to leave too

  28. Keyser

    If we don’t win the league now, the pressure will probably build to a point where something has to be forced though.

  29. incesc

    if wenger wanted he could lock up the ems and there would be no more arsenal!

    keyser he said he would rethink hes approach season before, its not worth even suggesting he might change.

  30. incesc

    also wenger leaves the board will go for a cheap option, no doubt about that.

    but any manager would love to come here, especially if they get 6 years to build a team.

  31. jay 11

    oh please, fans dont be naiive…..if wenger goes then its goodbye to our big guns

    but he isnt going anywhere yet…there is no way he will leave now or at end of season…nonsense

    he is a man of principle…ok yes he has quit a job before but wont now with arsenal.

  32. Keyser

    Gooby – If Wenger leaves and another manager comes in, it won’t change our competition or the resources those team have, it’s just the impatience of the modern day fan, though 5 years is a relatively long time considering what Wenger’s done in years gone by.

    We could win something next season, we could be looking at finding another manager if we don’t.

    It’s just the pressures of today’s game, I can see what Wenger’s done and I think we’ve got some very good players at a somewhat unstable time in our clubs history, at the same time you have to think that if Wenger had done this or that, we could have had a cup or two or Won the Champions League for the first time in our history.

  33. Keyser

    Incesc – Don’t really see the point in that though ? Once we force change, how long are the same fans going to wait for that manager ?!

  34. Master P

    manure latest: thru to the next round of cl
    arsenal latest: parlour backing lehmann to save arsenals season.


    whats all this about wener leaving/resigning?
    has pedro got word from the tea lady again?

  35. Keyser

    Suga3 – That’s not really the point is it, do you pay much attention to the sports ? The Nuggets have a pretty decent team or had until they traded Carmelo Anthony and Billups.

    With big market franchises like the Lakers and so on it’s very difficult to overcome teams in your conference and the process of building a Championship team is difficult and harder to sustain.

    Look at Prokharov and the Nets.

  36. Keyser

    I’m happy the manks are through, let them all fight it out in a bloodbath.

    We’ve got our own things to worry about.

  37. Rohan

    Not to mention the complete different system here in the US. The whole draft thing and all. You can’ just buy whoever you want.

  38. Master P

    Keyser says:
    March 15, 2011 at 23:45
    The Nuggets have a pretty decent team or had until they traded Carmelo Anthony and Billups.

    sounds like our equivalent.

    so….if wenger goes, so does cesc, nasri, clichy


    wenger must stay on until guardiola takes the reigns at the start of 2012/13 season.


  39. SUGA3

    With big market franchises like the Lakers and so on it’s very difficult to overcome teams in your conference and the process of building a Championship team is difficult and harder to sustain.

    sounds familiar?

  40. Hussain

    That is absolutely ignorant of you to think he would be managing a youth team, the guy has respect from all over the world, even Real wanted him, Juve/Inter/Milan/Bayern/Real/Schalke would all love to have him!

    Let me tell you all though, i know we are whining about him today but trust me he will come back to bite us, he has been hugely important to us and there will be a mass exodus of players/staff when he leaves and for the first time since we can remember we will end up below spurs! Arsene Wenger is absolutely HUGE for us!

  41. Keyser

    Where’s David he’s got some good knowledge of American Sports.

    Dunno about the St Louis Rams, but the other two teams are local like the Denver one and I’d like the idea of someone who likes the idea of community to come in.

  42. Hussain

    I just hope he does until we line up someone like Pep, Pep would be more than willing to come here though barring an offer from the Manchester arrives before the one from Arsenal

  43. Keyser

    Suga3 – I think it’d be better if you actually looked into it yourself, it’s not the same, not even close, but like all walks of life there are advanatges for some over others.

    Prokharov is one of the richest people around, he’s found it very hard to actually just use his money to mould a team in his own vision.

    It’s just not as easy.

  44. Keyser

    Master P – I’d rather wait and see how we go from here and until the end of the season, the players and the fans now have 10 games until the end of the season.

    It’s weird we’ve played 20 games from January 1st until now, and now we’ve got only 10 until the end of the season.

  45. Carlos

    Hussain, I can’t see guardiola replacing wenger to be honest. Why would he leave Barcelona anyway! Internal replacement seems more likely.

  46. Hussain

    Carlos, why not? Everyone associated with competitive football wants to try their skills out in the PL, and Pep has admitted he would love to come to PL as well

  47. Hussain

    On the other hand though, if he does sell Squillacci, Denilson, Almunia, Bendtner in the summer, sign a striker and a CB in the summer and change philosophy a little, i would be more than happy to keep him until 2014

  48. Keyser

    Yeah at the end of each game he could find new and inventive ways to get himself killed and then be back alive for the next game.

  49. Paulinho

    Wenger to leave eh.

    Thank fuck for that.

    Go very well go backwards but at least the season won’t be as predictable as an episode of Columbo.

  50. Arsene Nose Best

    who gives a fuck if the big players leave,what the fuck have they won for us,mass exodus is certainly no bad thing,rip it up and start again….

  51. 1886-2006

    jay 11 says:
    March 15, 2011 at 23:30
    have a day off 1886-2006….if aw goes (which is not gonna happen) then u think the players will still stay at the club? looooooooool mate your having a laugh!
    fabregas will be on the first flight to barca and the big guns will be following them.

    So apart from Fab who are our ‘big guns’?

    A new manager might not want to keep a bunch of crocks and players who only know defeat in tough matches.
    And I am not slagging Wenger off here, he has been let down by a bunch of complacent primadonnas who have achieved nothing in the game but act like big time charlies who have cupboards full of medals, but still he sticks with them. I just think his judgement is clouded by misplaced loyalty.
    He is starting to act like Haig instead of Napoleon.

  52. zeus

    Big dave

    What have you done? Do you honestly see wenger walking away at the end of this season? I can’t.

    The announcement if any would be that pat rice is going at the end of the season if not now and gilles is taking over at number 2.

    I know Arsene has said that it doesn’t matter If he leaves the club in a positive or negative note as long as the club is in good hands but that is bullshit. No way does he want to leave before he proves his critics wrong.
    Denilson is a fighter.

  53. David

    It didnt take long for Gazidis to become a yes man did it?

    The culture at the club is substandard.

    Bring on Usmanov i say.

  54. David

    Bad example Keyser.

    Using New Jersey as an example is the equivalent of trying to use the Billionaire who bought Birmingham and asking why Birmingham arent competeting at the top level since they have their Sugar daddy.

    Well its pretty simple.

    Nobody wants to play for Birmingham or New Jersey.

  55. David

    Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, D-Wade, A.Stoudemire all had the option to play for the Nets and wouldve probably made more money.

    The simple truth is that everyone wants to go where they are mostly likely to win because winning is more important than milking fans for their money.

    Only Arsenal.

  56. David


    The mexican’s positioning is second to none. Reminds me of I.Wright.

    Its a real shame, of all the CF Bendy’s age playing at a top club we had to get the shittest one.

  57. zeus


    I can’t be bothered to search now, but we played in the cup game was probably orient or the tie before ( carling or fA obviously) and there was this kid leading the line in his own and I thought this kid looks dangerous.

    Can’t for the life of me remember his name though.

  58. alan b'stard M P

    the supporter’s groups are hopeless. We need a group, with a lawyer and an accountant, with known local people to approach the banks and get a loan to buy the club back and give it back to the community

    The sponsors, including the bank gets paid back via gate takings and TV deal, plus they could also be given ad rights. Ticket prices stay the same for a couple of years and, with sponsors agreement, a reduction in prices and adjustment of the loan

    It’s a lot of money but it can be done as honouring and serving the debt not a problem over a number of years

    You have a voluntary board and staff will need to be paid, but no money goes to private hands. More money to purchase players and give to community causes

  59. Moray


    I never understood why we didn;t sign Eto’o at various points in his career – you know Wenger is a mentor and like a father to him? Perhaps it is because he is mouthy, and Wenger is worried about disrupting the serense atmosphere of our dressing room? Seems like such a different manager to the one who signed vieira and Petit…incredible!

  60. Moray

    alan, I watched the first New Statesman just two days ago. It was amusing, but I’d forgotten how hammy it was. And he talks about the “banana boat” for the sexy black councillor from Hackney. It was like the 1970s all over again.

  61. Moray

    the great news is probably Man U qualifying for the next round of the CL, meaning more games for them at key times.

    That would be typical Arsenal “great news” at the moment. Just like Squillachi and Kozzer are “super, super signings”

  62. alan b'stard M P

    Ah I see LOL! They were great shows those

    Do we have a correction facility and well as a quote facility. Sorry to be a pain but I made a double post trying to correct the first one

  63. luke

    I miss the verminator! He is exactly what our team lacks right now. Cant wait to see him and LJW dominate the pitch together!

  64. Gooby

    chavs still have to play shitty home, stoke away, spuds away and united away. They won’t be able to win all.

    we might drop another 4 points (2 draws) and we need united to drop 5, a lose and a draw.