It’s Thursday and I’m here to tell you I love you.
So what do we have to serve up on the oak wood chopping board of Arsenal today?
ARSENAL ARE EXPENSIVE.
Yah man. Expensive. It costs many pounds to go to Arsenal. The BBC have exposed us as the MOST expensive club in the land. £97 a ticket if you go big, though I’m reliably informed the most expensive goes up to £127.
Most clubs across the country sat on a pay freeze this year. Like being a public sector work, eh? We should strike for higher!
Jokes. That’d be stupid.
There was also a load of complaining about the cost of football kits. Apparently a United kids kit costs a whopping £100. I mean, lusting after one of their kits should come with some sort of fine. So that price feels fair.
Both of these instances feel a little bit like a bland moan.
Yes, football is expensive. However, football is premium entertainment. That’s the price of premium entertainment in London. If you break football out of this birth right thing we have in the UK, it is a day out. It is expensive. But we kind of get a very good product in London.
The game brings in a lot of cash, so you’d hope we could bring the prices down, but that’d be a crazy move even if you loved the club. If people are willing to pay top dollar, why say, ‘no, pay less’ and we’ll use the TV money to supplant that revenue. Doing that weakens the club and it’s only a smart move if everyone lowers their prices.
That’s why I like the Twenty is Plenty movement. If you’re going to help any fan out, it should be the nutcases who travel the country to follow the team. I don’t care what anyone says, those guys are super fans in my eyes. It’s a different level of support and clubs should do all they can to make sure those guys are looked after. Away fans make the games.
Back onto kits. This one really gets me. Now, I don’t have kids because they look kinda expensive and they can make you really boring on social media. However, I like the concept of them and I like the idea of giving them football kits. So, football kits are expensive. £100 they say.
BUT. How expensive are games consoles? £300? How expensive are games? £60 a pop? How many games do you buy kids? Two for the year? I bloody doubt it.
At least a kit gets the kid out of the house. At least the kit makes the kid feel part of something that isn’t virtual (he says, writing a blog). At least the kit is tangible.
I understand that it would be nicer if they were cheap. But look, kits have always been expensive. But they’re an important indoctrination tool.
I know that you can now make millions videoing yourself playing computer games. Which is really cool and makes me hate that fact that I don’t get any money for writing about Arsenal. However, I’d prefer to be outside. I’d prefer to give a kid the gift of being good at sport, because that makes you less bullied and far more appealing to the opposite sex.
Sometimes it goes too far though… I’ve seen kids turn to adults and then wear the kits out as adults. It’s horrendous. Most grow out of it. Some buy retro kits to soften the blow of the act of wearing a kit. But look, that’s the risk you run.
I don’t really get the bitching on that front.
‘X BOX SHOULD REDUCE THE PRICE OF GAMES FOR KIDS’
Isn’t something I read often.
Anyway, how about the AGM? I wasn’t there. Which was upsetting. No mingling with the big dogs there trying to wangle a job as a cameraman.
So, on the ticketing front… Ivan said:
“Almost no-one gives up an Arsenal season ticket. We had 97 per cent renewal rate. But in the face of demand, board holds prices,”
“Always comparisons with Germany. Effectively, in Germany the tax payer subsidises the average match going fan.”
Fair shout. I can’t see a situation where we’d reduce prices because it’d hamper us in the transfer market we don’t compete in.
Ivan went big on defending his boss, Arsene, on the summer of shame.
“We have built a strong squad. We have to be smarter, working more intelligently than our wealthier competitors,”
“I make no apologies for having a strong squad and being in a strong financial position. That’s always been our aim.”
“We won’t spend money or waste it just to appease commentators.
“Ozil, Sanchez and Cech show how the board will release funds for signings at any point.
“You don’t sign players like Ozil and Sanchez unless you have ambition to win the league and you don’t sign them without Wenger.”
DO ME A FAVOUR IVAN. We’re out the Champions League after two games. We’re not working smarter than our destitute friends in the backwater leagues of europe.
I also find the ‘it doesn’t happen without Arsene’ line irritating. Like without Arsene, we’d be managerless… or forced into signing a manager with no pedigree or ability to sell a vision or a dream to a player. It’s like the debt of gratitude never ends…
‘God bless Arsene for just being so damn appealing. Have you thanked him lately? No? What about that stadium though? What about him. Just him. What about him? So good. I love him. Have you written him a letter lately? Why?’
However, asides from the obvious public backing of a manager that doesn’t fully cut it but just about does so he stays in a job… Ivan said this, which I love.
“We are investing in the best people, scouting, medical, analytics, and many are from outside football.
“These changes will keep us ahead of the game.
“Our strategy is youth development, player signings, and player retentions.”
READ BETWEEN THE LINES.
We’re trying to build a world class infrastructure so when Arsene goes, it doesn’t all go to shite. We’re building something so when a David Moyes comes in, he can’t break all that is good to make a point. This is the best thing that’s happening, because it appears, Arsene has little control over it. It’s clearly part of the deal. We’ll build around you, you can be part of it, but you can’t dominate it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, within 5 years of Arsene going, we’ll win the Champions League. Well, if the infrastructure that’s being put in place is a good one. Which I’m assured it is.
Sir Chips sounded like he had a nightmare. Belligerent fool. Thank god he doesn’t have any real power. His response to the Living Wage was beyond embarrassing for a chairman.
“That one again.”
I suppose when you’re mega rich, the idea of poor people probably makes you feel a bit queezy.
I can’t wait until that part of the club is shipped out to the knackers yard… and look, this is nothing to do with Sir Chips being old, it’s to do with him being a bit of an arse.
Right, 1000 words on a hangover. You lucky sausages!
Have a great day.