Rethinking season tickets

by .

The Premier League is currently facing down the biggest challenge since its inception. Covid-19 has shuttered the game. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Football is a high contact sport on and off the pitch. In fact, it was Mikel Arteta who drew the dangers of the virus into sharp focus when he contracted it from the top boy at Olympiacos. Since that moment, games have been cancelled, clubs have shut down, everything has crashed.

The big question that everyone has been asking for a month has focused on how we finish the season. Clubs are determined to close out the league for the TV cash, but the further out we push that date, the closer it starts to encroach on next season. Some are starting to suggest that it might be best to cancel this season and work towards a normal start next season.

The assumption that sport can resume normality any time soon reads ambitious, even naive.

Firstly, we’re going to have to get past the testing issue. In the UK specifically, testing has been inadequate. That’s not a political statement, it’s just a fact. Globally, there’s a lack of materials to deliver the tests we need to the people on the frontlines. We also don’t have the necessary tools in place to track and trace. These are all things that can be solved, but the idea that we’re ready to implement these processes into sport by early August is fanciful.

Think of the amount of people that need to be involved to get to a single game going. Coaches, fitness trainers, the medics, admin staff, drivers, players. Then think about how many people need to work in close proximity to get a stadium up and running. Now add in camera crews and journalists. How about the medics you’d have to take off the frontlines?

Now understand that every single one of those needs to be tested multiple times to make sure they’re clean. They all need to clear that 14 days quarantine.

Now where do you put these players? All in the same hotel? You need just one incident and you have a cruise ship like incident. At multiple hotels? You need just one cleaner to have picked up something from their second job to cause an outbreak.

It’s a beast of an operation if safety is top of mind. A nightmare to justify the means to get there. Where are you sourcing tests? Politically, how can you settle that score with the public? Sport really is bottom of the pile of serious things we need to rev up right now. Hard to see how that changes in the next 6 months.

However for the sake of our sanity, let’s take a sanguine outlook, imagine that we create a perfect moment in time and we solve the logistics, politics, and science. At the very best, football is performed to empty stadiums. That sounds great right? Games. Real games. At least it’s something. However, there are still issues here. The biggest one is financial. Arsenal book £96m from gate receipts, that’s about 25% of our total revenue. That’s high, but on average, the top 20 clubs in Europe would stand to take an average hit of 16% of their revenue if we played games behind closed doors. For the Premier League, it’s a fraction lower at 14%.

Still, these are desperate times. Protecting the TV golden goose is the most important thing and that is 57% of the revenue for football clubs. It’s our biggest client. The lower down the table you go, the more important it is. For Bournemouth, TV is a staggering 88% of their lifeblood.

This is where things might start to get a little creative. In times of crisis, we adapt at breakneck speed to new realities that may have taken years for society to adopt. As a culture, we’re currently experiencing one of the most aggressive disruptions to working patterns since WWII. Work from home is now the new normal. We have invited our workplace to monitor our every move and we’re barely paying attention. We might be handing over our bio data to handy apps created by tech giants that have repeatedly exploited our privacy for advertising dollars.

… but that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m a football blogger, I’m here to talk about the new season ticket we’re all going to want and the how clubs make up the bulk of that £681m in lost match day revenue. I think it’s going to be another case of speeding up the inevitable.

Currently, in the UK, clubs are not allowed to sell 3pm games. In fact, only 220 live games are sold each season. 52 to BT. 128 to Sky Sports. 20 for Amazon. There are 380 games in a Premier League season. 42% of games go unsold. The reason for this is largely geared around IRL fan preservation. There’s a big fear that if you sell the games on TV, no one will show up on a Saturday. I’m not sure about this, it greatly underestimates the joy of going to games, but it is what it is.

The most consequential of the deals is the Amazon one. It’s only worth a small amount of money, but for me, it was a proof of concept for Jeff Bezos before he goes big. Amazon streamed games over Christmas. You could pick the one you wanted, you could have commentary or the fans. It came as part of your Amazon Prime deal. That is the future. The tech behemouth is all about making things easier and more cost-effective for consumers. If he can add Premier League football to the Prime bundle, he’s just massively ramped up Amazon’s access to shoppers and created a lever to ensure loyalty to the service.

Question is: Will this longterm ambition be brought forward at a more rapid pace?

Clubs cannot afford to lose 14% of their revenue. It’s not even up for debate. They have to plug that gap. I think we are about to see the terrain for football TV change very rapidly.

In the US, baseball teams are now able to sell their streaming rights. I think that’s where football has to go. It would have taken years to land on that position pre-corona, now I think it’s absolutely essential for the survival of the game. If you literally can’t sell IRL season tickets because fans can’t go to the ground, there has to be a way of tapping that unspent revenue. There might be a massive fight about it, but clubs have to be able to pay their bills, if the current TV contracts they have in place don’t allow for that, I suspect the clubs will unite and go against them.

The big question is whether the league uses this as the opportunity to do it themselves, or they broker a deal with Sky, BT, Amazon or one of the FAANG companies no doubt circling.

I would buy a season ticket for the games on top of my normal subs. I would prefer it if I could buy on a game by game basis, but I think plenty of fans would take whatever they could get. Digital season tickets were always the future, now there’s no choice, it has to become a reality. It’s not a matter of if the clubs move, they have to. Hopefully, in the new world, the fans get a better deal, letting them see all the games would be a huge jump, I just hope it’s priced fairly.

COMMENTS BELOW LET’S CHAT x

 

91 Responses to “Rethinking season tickets”

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  1. Tom

    Two things: first, apparently it’s taken grooverdaddy one full minute to type “ Tr4phy” and press send.
    That’s just lol embarrassing , unless there’s some clever strategy behind it I’m not aware of.
    Second, how do we know for sure where Arteta’s infection came from?
    Is it strictly anecdotal or there was science behind it.
    It’s important to know if reopening football is being even remotely considered as an option any time soon.

  2. AFCNeil

    TBF it’s possible that it will actually be cheaper than the streaming services we use to get the games now. I use FuboTV and can’t watch every Arsenal match. So this change might be a good thing – who knows?

  3. Tom

    No wonder GB and US have always been thought of as having a “special” relationship.
    If this virus is an example, both governments are mostly inept and useless.
    Maybe it’s time for both countries to pull the “it’s not you, it’s me” break up routine and look to hook up with someone who’s got their shit together.
    Is South Korean available?
    Germany is way out of question. They don’t date retards.

  4. James wood

    Yes Pedro fans are going to get more selective.
    The Sky – Bt -packages are to expensive.( They have had a good run.?)

    Amazon and perhaps Apple and possibly Netflix are the future
    Amazon prime at £79 a year is the bargain buy out there if they
    can present the Premier League games for around that price well.?

    Gates will obviously drop after this virus with Amazon prime
    Getting the bulk cream games then gates will drop even further.
    Strange times .

  5. andy1886

    Talk of new deals is all very well but the current deal hasn’t even been delivered yet, why would broadcasters even think of spending more money against a background of falling revenues (even if Amazon want to go big who are the counter-bidders in that scenario?).

    More likely is that the PL will have to throw then a bone to keep what they already have and compensate for what they can’t deliver now. In that case I can see the 3pm Saturday rule going out of the window for the current contractual period and a review after that.

  6. CG

    Exceptionally good read,
    9/10
    ( would have got 10/10 but the Amazon nonsense)

    Let them start paying tax and giving their employees proper terms of employment before they get the spoils of English soccer.

    As an alleged ‘progressive’-I am surprised you want them involved anyway.
    Don’t you think they have done enough damage to the fabric of society already or exploited enough poor souls?

    But back to the excellent post.

    Off course football is in crisis. So critical decisions need to be made.
    Urgently.

    Which is why these piddling and pathetic pay cuts Arsenal and now Chelsea are implementing so pointless.

    Roma have shown the way today.

    A forfeiture of 4 months pay from their playing staff.
    Thats class: thats how it should be and that will increase Roma’s chance of survival.

  7. CG

    Exceptionally good read,
    9/10
    ( would have got 10/10 but the Amazon nonsense)

    Let them start paying tax and giving their employees proper terms of employment before they get the spoils of English soccer.

    As an alleged ‘progressive’-I am surprised you want them involved anyway.

    Don’t you think they have done enough damage to the fabric of society already or exploited enough poor souls?

    But back to the excellent post.
    Off course football is in crisis. So critical decisions need to be made.Urgently

    Which is why these piddling and pathetic pay cuts Arsenal and now Chelsea are implementing so pointless.

    Roma have shown the way today.
    A forfeiture of 4 months pay from their playing staff.

    That’s class: that’s how it should be and that will increase Roma’s chance of survival.

  8. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Cheers Pedro

    Following my idea of streaming home online season tickets…
    Way it has to go.

    This season is dead, can’t be resurrected .

    It’s all important we get ready for next season maybe starting in October.

    The thred teams at the bottom get relegated so the prem will only play 32 games
    Championship will have to have more mid week games.

  9. alex cutter

    “The tech behemouth is all about making things easier and more cost-effective for consumers. ”

    You’re fucking pathetic.

  10. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Realistically the players we can get shillings this summer are

    Auba 45m
    Laca 45m
    Kola 15
    Torriera 35m
    Michi 10m
    Maybe
    Xhara 30m
    Mustafi 20m

    May get a bit of shekels selling those schmucks

  11. Marc

    I can see them trying to see out the season behind closed doors and screening most maybe all matches but to look at doing it into future seasons not so sure.

    Firstly Amazon Prime might be £79 a year at the moment but if they’re paying out billions for PL rights that will go up – significantly purely because people pay a lot more than that for Sky / BT etc. Secondly if all matches are on TV and cheaply then people will drop season tickets so clubs will see a fall in matchday revenue and need to make that up from TV deals.

    There’s also the change in demographics of a younger generation who don’t want to watch 90 minute matches – they just want the goal alerts or action pieces streamed to their phones. I’ve had Sundays where I’ve watched 2 live matches and a Grand Prix – the snowflakes don’t have the attention span.

    Football was always going to evolve but I’m not sure it’ll be in the ways we expect – short term seeing out the remaining fixtures behind closed doors gets the job done for now. The UK is planning for schools to reopen in 3 weeks according to reports and other parts of Europe are lifting or easing the lockdowns.

    This is all going to be far more complicated than just screening more matches on TV.

  12. Sid

    The video games industry is the future football has reached it apex, there will be lots of false hope of resuscitating football for about 10 or so years before reality sinks in.

    You heard it here 1st!

  13. Marc

    “Realistically the players we can get shillings this summer are ”

    Auba 45m – possible
    Laca 45m – not that much
    Kola 15 – unlikely his wages are too high
    Torriera 35m – maybe but probably 10 million to high
    Michi 10m
    Maybe
    Xhara 30m – just say no to drugs
    Mustafi 20m – if we got more than 12 I’d be suprised

  14. CG

    Guvnor

    “”””CG, I can’t defend their working practices, but they have been good for consumers.”””

    (Off course.)
    But are they not good for consumers because they exploit their workers?
    And if consumers don’t take a principled stand and not use Amazon ‘products’ the exploitation continues?

    Anyway – I won’t mention it again.
    Red Truth will appear- and no one wants that!

  15. Marc

    You can tell it’s a fucked up world when I agree with CG on something.

    The exact mentality behind Amazon’s success is the reason we don’t have the manufacturing resources in the west to do what we need to at the moment – PPE, lab testing equipment etc etc.

    We sold our souls to China on making stuff and now we’re selling them to Amazon to do the distribution.

  16. WiscoGooner

    It’s what I’ve been crying out for. I live in Wisconsin USA without spending massive, massive amounts of money I will never see Arsenal play a live competitive match. There are still many PL games I don’t get to watch for multiple tv broadcasting reasons. They really are the scum of the earth. I pay $70 dollars for my regular tv/internet package it includes NBC and NBC sports. That means Saturday when 5 games come on at the same time I can view 2. Arsenal is not always one of the games shown. So I pay an additional $10 a month for NBC Sports Gold package the app version of the almost every game deal. you still need CBS to fully finish out the Premier League. Now the FA Cup, European football, Carabo I believe plays on some NBC. I now pay another $10 for ESPN+ which really shows almost no Europa league games, some FA and some Carabo. I also pay another $10 for Fox Sports to get the rest of the FA cup. And I still miss games bc I cant find the correct coverage or I don’t have the service/app/subscription what have you. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

  17. James wood

    Marc 18.30

    Marc this is about numbers Amazon have 15 million
    customers in the UK this will go up significantly if they
    offer Premiership packages for a reasonable price.
    Amazon have at the moment 95 million prime customers
    in the USA.
    Worldwide god knows.?
    They could charge the £79 now and be able to outbid all the other platforms put together.
    Bezos the richest man in modern history it’s all about numbers.

  18. Marc

    James

    We’ll see – but I’ll bet you a cold beer on a sunny day that if Amazon get the majority package the price of Prime will go up – it be in gradual manor but it’ll go up.

  19. Marc

    Wisco

    The situation for overseas viewers and UK viewers is completely different. If fans stop going to matches it’ll damage the “viewing experience”, I know it’s hard to accept but people who actually attend matches are woven into the fabric of football and a critical part of what a football club is.

  20. James wood

    Marc
    Tend to agree the price will go up but Not to the cost
    of having to have Sky and Bt to watch the selected games
    for that week.
    Amazon are talking about televising every game played
    At any one time like they did Boxing Day. WOW everyone’s
    happy.

    The cold beer and a chat on a sunny day sounds good though.

  21. Marc

    James

    Oh yeah it’ll be a switch between giving Sky and BT £X amount and Amazon taking much the same – the number of matches will increase it has been since the PL came into effect.

  22. Ami

    I am quite astonished that only 220 games are sold live the UK. Kind of funny since in Africa, the rights holders(Multichoice) are able to broadcast all premier league games live, all you need to do is decide which game you fancy.

  23. NJ Gunner

    Great post Pedro.

    I think that your model is the US. It one where you can already buy season tickets for your favorite NFL or MLB team, although that can be expensive. So, I see your point. I used to live in Pittsburgh but can now buy a package and watch them, or any other game, in NJ (although, perhaps unbelievably in this day and age, I think I would need a dish).

    The short term problems, however, are:

    1. The TV contracts don’t conclude this season. Any company that will potentially suffer from a change in the situation will want to litigate the hell out of it. No knowing how long that process will take to conclude. Many contracts are multiyear and in good legal standing, despite the change in circumstance.

    2. As WiscoGooner already pointed out, here in the US we need to pay for NSNBC for some PL games and Sports Gold separately to see the rest; ESPN+ for the FA Cup and most England international; TNT to stream most champions League and UEFA League games. The list goes on if you include other leagues. I had to drop Bein for Spain and France because my bill was so large. They aren’t going to step aside to make Amazon or anyone else happy. Nor is the behemoth that is the PL going to sanction clubs negotiating directly. And the hope that the price will be reasonable seems questionable. I suspect that the US market will remain cheap for that kind of service until demand grows. But as the Fox Sports example demonstrates, as demand grows, so will the price (the FA Cup used to be free to watch, now you have to pay on ESPN+ to see them). But English fans will get clobbered in terms of pricing because demand is inelastic: people will pay whatever the price.

    So, the big problem here in the short-to-medium terms is existing contracts. In the longer term it is who has the right to negotiate (the clubs or the collective organization) and how much fans with no discretionary cash will be charged. No loss leaders with Amazon for sure.

    I suspect that, in the meantime, everything else in football will be deflated (salaries, especially transfers, even number of staff). Those transfer values that Marc listed were the good old days!

  24. Perry Groves World

    It’s a great thought provoking article. Thanks.

    The only point I picked up is that there are 380 games in a PL season not 760.

    (38 rounds of 10 games)

  25. Mark S

    WiscoGooner and NJ Gunner are on the right path, and I’d be happy to sum it all up for what it costs to watch Arsenal in the USA.

    1. I pay $49.99 a month for YouTubeTV. I get all of the major networks, along with ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBCSN. NBCSN is the main home of the EPL, with select matches on NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC. (All part of YouTubeTV) I also get Sky Sports News weekday morning on NBCSN for a couple of hours. I miss Natalie Sawyer…

    2. If you can’t find a Prem game on on NBCSN, NBC, CNBC, or MSNBC, then you shell out an extra $50 per season for NBC Sports Gold Premier League Pass. You get all of the Premier League games not chosen by NBCSN, CNBC, or MSNBC aka the extra 3pm window matches/midweek matches/the rare extra Sunday morning 2pm match. You also get replays of all of the matches, as well as Premier League Productions content.

    3. ESPN+ cost $5 per month, or you can bundle it for $13 a month with Hulu and Disney+. If you have kids and love sports, the bundle is a no brainer! ESPN+ gives you most Carabao and FA Cup matches, as well as Seria A, the German Bunesliga starting in 2020-21, MLS, and select matches from the English Football Leagues, Eredivise, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Scottish FA Cup, Copa del Rey, German DFB Pokal, Chinese Super League, Indian Premier League, and many European International matches. You also have access to select NHL, College Football, College Basketball, College Baseball, College Softball, UFC, and other Olympic style sports and documentaries.

    4. B/R Live Annual Pass is $80 per year. This provides you access to all Europa League and Champions League matches. It also provides you access to the SPL and Belgian League. I can also watch Arsenal TV content on it. I’m really happy that the Champions League and Europa League are leaving B/R Live to CBS. It really wasn’t that great for what you got with it for the price. No idea what CBS is going to charge yet.

    So to add it all up it cost me roughly $76.66 per month to watch all Arsenal matches this season, as well as a ton of other sports, news, and entertainment options. I don’t think that’s terrible…especially since I can cancel my subscriptions at anytime. If I unsubscribed during the off season, I’d drop my price even more.

    The NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL all offer out of market services for their product. (For example…what if you live LA, but you’re originally from Boston and want to watch the Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox, and Patriots? Well, you can!) Most of the services run from $150-$300 each.

    I have season tickets for the Minnesota Vikings, and I can tell you that it costs me way more than $300 per seat for 10 games total.

    I think it’s time that England opened up the matches for their fans in the UK. I’ve always heard it had more to do with keeping the lower league fans attending the matches in person for the 3pm kickoffs than it had to do with the boys in the Prem. I still find it crazy that I can watch more Arsenal matches in the US than somebody can in the UK!

  26. Mark S

    NJ Gunner-The FA Cup on ESPN+ is way better than it ever was on Fox Sports. People talk about Fox Sports like it was the greatest thing in the world for soccer in the US! I’ll give it credit for launching the game to the masses here, however NBCSN and ESPN+ have taken it and run. I remember watching Fox Sports World and then the Fox Soccer Channel for most Prem and FA Cup matches, however you also had to purchase Setanta or Fox Soccer Plus for $15 per month to watch additional Prem and FA Cup matches. I can see your point if you’re talking about when the FA Cup was on FS1 and FS2, however you still had to purchase Fox Soccer Plus for $15 to get all of the games. For $9.17 per month you can have both ESPN+ and NBC Sports Gold Premier League Pass…WHICH GIVES YOU ALL OF THE MATCHES!

    I did enjoy FOX broadcasting the FA Cup Final on over the air FOX, however I’m still happy to pay $5 a month so I can get everything else!

    I saw your post about BeIn Sports. I’ve cut it out of my programming as well, mainly because it has lost content over the years. BeIn Sports Connect is somewhat limited as well for their overflow channels. If you want a cheap alternative to get BeIn/GolTV/TyC International I would recommend getting Fannatiz for $7 per month. I’ve been impressed with what I saw when I had a trial of it.

  27. Block 12 Gooner

    Pedro, I don’t know if you’re much of a baseball fan, but there’s one aspect of the MLB.TV/streaming rights that you’re missing: They’re geofenced to protect local TV deals. For example, in Washington D.C., the Nationals have a contract with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which shows almost every game live. If you are a Nationals fan, and the game is on MASN, the streaming is blacked out within MASN’s coverage area, which is thousands of square miles, to “encourage” viewers to subscribe to MASN and keep advertisers happy.

    I can see a version of this in the Premier League where Arsenal, Chelsea or Man Utd would be blacked out in London and the Home Counties to encourage attendance at matches. There could also be a variation of the NFL’s blackout policy, where games were only shown on television if they were deemed sufficiently “sold out,” which, as we know, is never officially a problem at the Grove.

  28. Valentin

    Marc,

    For Amazon the Football is just a way to bring people on their platform so they can sell things to them. Making money out of football is not the objective of their business model, so in the short yes that could have a huge impact on TV channels.
    Like it did for the books, stamping the opposition until there was no competition left.
    Amazon can afford to make that play, but most other streaming players cannot afford that play for very long. Even Netflix or Disney+ will have at one point to start recouping their outlays.

    But what Amazon will quickly realise is that sport fans don’t behave like regular consumers. Most fans have only attachment to their own clubs.
    As soon as club subscriptions will start, leagues packages will lose all interest. Locally and internationally Nobody is interested in a game between Sheffield and Norwich. The big 6 will then demand a bigger slice of the pie and then we will end up in a SPL or La Liga model. Two top dog slugging it out while the rest live on scraps.
    If clubs CEO have some vision, they will run away from that fool’s gold, because that will be the end of most clubs.

  29. Valentin

    Terraloon,

    Continuing from the previous post, the Courtois situation came about it because Chelsea had the foresight to include such clause in their loan contract. Athletico Madrid kicked a fuss about it and UEFA pressured Chelsea to let him play.

    Since UEFA have made that rule explicit, so that in European competition, loaners cannot be barred from playing against their parent club.

    The Premiership is the only top European League that has explicitly defied UEFA directive and impose a ban on loanees playing against their parent club. In other leagues it is either a gentleman agreement between clubs or done on a contract per contract basis.

    However that restriction only applies to the Premiership, not the English FA. Had Eddie Nkethia stayed at Leeds on loan, he could have played against Arsenal.

  30. Mark S

    Marc-American fans are just as woven into their teams as UK fans are. Many NFL games get 50-65,000 each week in attendance for games, and millions of more people watch on TV. Basketball and Hockey get anywhere from 14-20,000 fans to attend, and again generate large TV Audiences. Even baseball…which plays 162 games each season…gets 15-50,000 to attend in person, and they generate decent viewership. I’d almost say that the US has too many sports leagues, yet there still is a demand in the stands and on TV.

  31. Bojangles

    I pay the equivalent of $US 10 per month for all pl games, cl and el games plus la liga and eredivisie games. I am happy with things staying as they are thanks. Last season I was getting fa cup games too but they were not included this season. Also I do not have a contract with the cable company so I can opt in or out on a monthly basis. Oh and I receive a further 127 channels at no extra cost.

  32. Wolfgang

    Arsenal are now a 2nd tier club .They are unable to compete in the transfer mart .
    The self sustaining model aint pushing the club forward
    Where were MC 10/15 years ago?They were not even in the to 4/5.
    Since then with a generous injection of cash they have won 4/5 titles.
    Arsenal wont be able to win the epl the next 5 years

  33. Terraloon

    Continuing from the previous post, the Courtois situation came about it because Chelsea had the foresight to include such clause in their loan contract. Athletico Madrid kicked a fuss about it and UEFA pressured Chelsea to let him play.Since UEFA have made that rule explicit, so that in European competition, loaners cannot be barred from playing against their parent club.

    The contract agreement between Chelsea and AM had nothing to do with him playing against Chelsea that was never in doubt nor was it barred in the CL regulations at the time.

    My understanding is that clubs can still stipulate, just as they can in FA cup competitions that they do or don’t give permission for loanees to play against their parent clubs.

    Chelsea agreement with AM was that if he played against them in the CL then they would have to pay an extra fee. UEFA said that fee breached sporting integrity. UEFA told AM they didn’t need to pay and Chelsea never challenged that ruling

  34. Spanishdave

    It’s crazy now for the FA to protest lower teams by not allowing 3pm matches from being broadcast. It’s easy to record games so you can easily go along to watch your local team.
    The powers that be are so locked in the past , they only react and never are proactive in moving forward.
    All lower leagues should be part time to make it easier for them to survive.
    As we say here we should be able to watch all games on tv, maybe after this episode when crowds diminish a lot of people would pay to watch tv rather than go to matches, particularly older fans.

  35. CG

    Wolfgang

    “””Arsenal are now a 2nd tier club.””””

    Without a shadow of a doubt we are.
    Everything about us is second rate and second class these days.

    Talking of 2s.

    Two years to this very day, that our beloved Arsene Wenger announced he was leaving the club.

    From first tier club to second tier club in just two years.

    How many more tiers will we fall yet without him?

    I wonder if The Guvnor( PedRo) is writing another blockbuster post today about how we have fallen in these 24 months.

    A reminder when Wenger left , we were 6h and had £200 million to spend on players .

    We now sit 9th and broke.

  36. Uwot?

    Wolfie & cg- strongly disagree we’re a 2nd class club BUT we certainly act / behave like one & the longer that continues under current ownership we will become one.Running out of time to avoid.

  37. Jamie

    We became a 2nd tier club 15 years ago when Wenger dismantled the Invincibles and set achieving 4th place as the standard.

    “4th place is like winning a trophy”

    No it isn’t, asshole.

  38. Leedsgunner

    Streaming games direct to home will become the new norm… especially if the tech giants like amazon, netflix and google get involved.

    The real question is without the availability of a proven and reliable vaccine is it even ethical to think about playing any pro footie, even behind closed doors. I read that even under those conditions it takes 300 people hold a proper game.

    Bearing in mind that 1 person can have the power to infect up to 453 people in a very short period of time, it is madness even to think about it.

  39. Leedsgunner

    *can have the potential to infect…

    The 300 people includes all the backroom and medical staff, broadcasters, security etc…

  40. TitsMcGee

    I don’t see how there is any other solution than to just cancel the season, annoint LFC the champs and start anew.

    The start of the new season might be problematic as well as there will undoubtedly be a second wave of this virus that pops up and send us all scurrying like meerkats back into our respective burrows.

    If we

  41. Uwot?

    Tits,me & Marc have been through this with you before.agree no alternative other than void the season.However there no way we’re “ anointing” the f*** ng scousers as champions! As pointed out on numerous occasions before but for the benefit of others…. there is still a quarter of the season almost still to play for.Anything can happen ( however unlikely) as has been proven in the past.They( the scousers) still have to get the six points reqd.not as if they already have it)It would set a dangerous precedent to simply “ gift” it to them.no matter how much they whinge about the injustice of it all.so a big fat NO from me & quite a few others I’d imagine.They can consider it payback( justice) for the 5 seasons English clubs were kicked out of Europe from 1985.when English clubs were dominating Europe.what goes around comes around hey?

  42. Spanishdave

    When Wenger found out from Stan that 4th was acceptable it made his life easier, and he took it.
    The players also knew it so the intensity dropped off and the whole club relaxed into this position.
    So it was a combo of Stan and Wenger who enjoyed the easy ride, and took the money.
    Wenger destroyed himself and the clubs ambition to win titles.
    The FA cup became our target.

  43. Terraloon

    The real question is without the availability of a proven and reliable vaccine is it even ethical to think about playing any pro footie, even behind closed doors. I read that even under those conditions it takes 300 people hold a proper game.

    If , and it’s a big if, the season resumes most of the people employed in security etc won’t come into contact with any of the players nor would social distancing be that difficult to achieve.

    The players and support would be wrapped in cotton wool and be in a protective bubble . There wouldn’t be the standard type of coverage or indeed the deployment of pundits in the same way but the vast majority of the stadiums would take little or no work to put on a match that could be televised

    We could argue all day about the morality or indeed need to finish the season but the league would be

  44. Terraloon

    We could argue all day about the morality or indeed need to finish the season but the league will be looking at all options

  45. Billp79

    partial revenue is better than no revenue
    someone once told me of the psychological effect of the shut down in England…
    its the same everywhere….work and entertainment work…
    we can’t keep cowering to this disease…it has to start somewhere

  46. Northbanker

    Some of you may remember New year 1998 when one bookmaker agreeed to pay up on Man Utd winning the title because it was a ‘foregone conclusion”

    Arsenal then went on a 10 game winning spree and won the Double

    Nothing is over until it is mathematically over. The season needs to be cancelled and void means void ie no Premier trophy at all for anyone. Perhaps a new season with no promotion and no relegation and no Europe so we reset.

  47. Billp79

    4th was the best we could do under Wenger…he just chose not to release him at the time…
    it was the executives who really didn’t want to rock the boat after their new purchase…they had to grapple with discovering how shit we were run at the time…

  48. alex cutter

    “CG, I can’t defend their working practices, but they have been good for consumers.”

    You’re fucking pathetic. Are they one of you or your daddy’s clients?

  49. Billp79

    there is always going to be one politician, one doctor, etc. who will say its still not safe….maybe even one or two who say its never going to be safe…
    were still dealing with mumps and polio for Christ sake….
    stay healthy…if you feel at risk stay home…if you go out you take your own chances…
    chance are you die of something else…
    RIP Reyes

  50. Marc

    The problem with “giving” the Scouser’s the PL title or playing out a couple of matches that are set up to give them the 6 points is of course the precedent it sets.

    What happens if the Spud’s had another Lasagne “outbreak” before the last match of the season – they lose and miss out of CL football.

    If they did have an outbreak why not say they can’t play and just “expect” the points to be given to them.

  51. Marc

    Bill

    We have to somehow balance the risk of the virus and as we still don’t know how many have had it it’s difficult to know just how dangerous it is, against the damage to the economy as well as deaths from other conditions caused by everything shutting down.

    Personally I’m sick to death of moronic journalists pushing agenda’s to make headlines – the current one is why haven’t we published a “path out of lock down plan”. As we’re several weeks behind other countries wouldn’t it not make sense to watch what they do and then adapt a plan according to that – what works, what doesn’t, what looks like it works and then turns out that it doesn’t etc?

    If the government put out a plan for a months time and then started adjusting it the media would tear them to pieces – that’s without the issue of sending mixed signals to people to stupid to understand what’s going on.

  52. Spanishdave

    Marc you are right but the government must begin to concern themselves about the mass unemployment that will follow this.
    Many high street retailers will use this to shut down shops particularly large dept stores , and franchised stores.
    The retail world is struggling against Amazon and they cannot compete so jobs will not return.
    Many companies have been forced to use their internet sales to keep going and they will know that it is cheaper than having a high street shop.
    Football clubs in the lower leagues will go under.
    There has to be dialog with the public about returning to work.

  53. Marc

    dave

    I’m not arguing that there shouldn’t be a plan – I just understand why they wouldn’t want to publish it yet.

    The big problem is the threat of a 2nd or multiple waves (which are going to happen it’s just the scale) – open things up and then close them down again a month later will cause more damage in the long run – especially to employment numbers – than keeping things locked down another couple of weeks.

    What is needed is a reliable antibody test and confirmation that for the vast majority once you’ve had it you won’t get it again – we can then start lifting the lockdown for those immune and in low risk groups.

    They’ve been talking about reopening schools in May – I always thought kids and school environments are like petri dishes so the government is aware of the need to re start the economy.

  54. Billp79

    Marc,
    Pretty soon healthy people will be wishing to get the virus and recover…taking the risk to the streets…stupid people (insert Spurs joke here) will do it unintentionally…
    why wonder if the next time out some bugger who is asymptomatic is going to give it to them anyway…after the all safe has been declared…

    no northender I didn’t…but I would like the free ride to Europe and the revenue stream….if the season was declared void.

  55. andy1886

    Not sure how exactly staff will maintain social distancing in a contact sport or how medics will treat injuries – sponge on a stick anyone? Are they going to lock up 300+ people per club in hotels until the season is done? What happens when even one single player or member of staff even has symptoms of C-19? Nope, season is done and dusted and the only people who can’t see it are those with their noses in the trough.

  56. Billp79

    people who are out of work are going to be screwed over…unless you know the secret handshake, know the right forms to fill out …or are in line quick enough….there isn’t enough revenue, grants or ‘stimuli’ out there without printing money…and that only leads to a very steep inflationary cycle…

  57. Billp79

    I have allergies and sneeze a lot…someone requested that I not come into work anymore…even with a mask….
    how long before someone files charges?
    at work?
    at stadium?
    what guarantees?

  58. G

    .“4th place is like winning a trophy”

    How many times does this quote have to be explained.. This was said at a time when he had fuck all money to spend

  59. andy1886

    “How many times does this quote have to be explained.. This was said at a time when he had fuck all money to spend”

    How many more times do we have to explain that the above is a load of horseshit? (with respect of course).

    Try explaining how a club with “no money to spend” subsequently found itself with over £100m of reserves in the bank (did the tooth faerie leave it under Wenger’s pillow perhaps?), or how we managed to have less money when we moved to a stadium that generated more addition funds than additional costs?.

    Could it be that the problem had more to do with us buying badly and paying average players far more than they were worth?

  60. Spanishdave

    We will be the last to go back to work.
    Other countries are already going back.
    Meanwhile the tumbleweed is rolling down the high street.
    There are no cases and no deaths in my parish but we sit and hide behind doors.
    Football is finished and so are pubs with this government.

  61. Paul Mc Daid

    NULL AND VOID. END OFF,
    Fuck off you Scouse Bastards, You cost George Graham a European Cup and the rest off the League 5 years European Football, Surely you understand Adversity.

  62. Jamie

    G –

    “How many times does this quote have to be explained.. This was said at a time when he had fuck all money to spend.”

    In any context, it’s 100% loser talk. Finishing in 4th is nothing like winning a trophy.

  63. Silverhawk

    Where I am, I get to watch all 380 games live including champions league, fa Cup, Spanish la liga, eredivise, all major tennis competitions, formula one, basket ball, darts, cricket, baseball rugby etc along with over 150 other stations for as low as £30.

  64. Valentin

    It is becoming tedious and repetitive how people can’t make the distinction between having cash reserve and being poor and being cash strapped but rich.
    Imagine somebody who earn £1,000,000 per month. He looks rich and flush with cash on pay day, but if that person has outgoing of 1,200,000 month every month in effect the guy is broke.
    That’s Arsenal. Full of cash, but also full of fixed repayment.