So here we are Arsenal v Swansea, 1st December, and that walk. The infamous BSM walk which I’ve skirted around discussing in recent weeks. BSM made me scoff when I first heard of them, with REDaction the driving force for noise in the stadium and AISA the voice of the fans, perhaps the growth of BSM shows the weakness in those two groups. REDaction joining BSM on their walk compounds that for me.
I’m all for supporters groups and I have backed, been with, and celebrated achievements of supporters groups, and AISA and REDaction have done great things over the years. The image of BSM and the lack of depth to their original concepts put me off them. At the end of the day though, we are all Arsenal fans, and we all want the same thing Arsenal on top.
For me though reading the statement, 5th November,the positives and the things I’d agree with are all there in place and have been and are being fought for by other groups.
The easiest way for me to get my point across of why I wouldn’t join the walk is to go through their points. You may not agree with me and I know the guys at BSM can’t possible agree with me.
- Stan Kroenke’s commitment not to take money from the club
I opposed Stan taking over the club, but what can we do? He has plowed money into buying shares in the club and with people like Dein and Bracwell-Smith ultimately shareholders for profit in their investment, this was always going to happen. Arsenal fans seem to have wanted to go the easy route with an owner ploughing a billion into the team but we still don’t actually know the end game here. What happens when the current owners end their era? Chel$ki and Cit£h are riding high at the moment but isn’t their future blurry? Stan says he has a history of reinvestment and doesn’t take money out of his teams, he teams are generally mediocre though, so that doesn’t bode well. At the end of the day he now owns the club, it’s his boards decision if he takes money out and any owner may do it, Usmanov included!
- Peter Hill-Wood off the Board
Eccentric old Etonian’s running our club, shocking! Next Sir Chips will be selling his shares! If only Sir Henry Norris had listened to the fans hey? Hill-Wood has been heckled for year, perhaps he deserve it but his history is with club, and if you prod him enough he’s bound to attack. When you have the head of AST bounding to the mike at an AGM……… the atmosphere will always be punch and judy!
- Red & White Holdings to be offered a seat on the Board.
Wow! REDaction walking in favour of Usmanov, these were the guys with Orange balloons against Dein and Usmanov and had the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan do a talk on what a bad man Mr. Usmanov was. They would not work together with the board and in my opinion would actively look to work against the rest of the board.
- Action from the club to stop poor allocation of our money
Now if only we were all managers of the club! Funny how 4,000 gooners can jump up and down outside the Eight Bells singing Chamakh’s name. How important Diaby was to out season after Liverpool away. Weren’t people celebrating the arrival of Brazil’s U19 captain, DEN IL SON, and of course there is Champions League finalist Sébastien Squillaci. Maybe it’s Dick Law who we should march against!
- A ‘lite’ version of a season ticket with no cup credits
I think a season ticket should be every home game. I’m grateful that the Carling Cup isn’t part of the ticket, although I love the Carling Cup nights and attend them, it’s fair. FA Cup Home Game and Champions League nights are the fabric of the season. Of course is it ideal to pay for it in June……. maybe that’s the argument.
- A short-term staged repayment scheme for season ticket renewals
Totally agree. AISA’s idea on repayment of season tickets is far more radical than BSM’s and would have a huge impact on a fans ability to pay for their season ticket. Four payments ending in January means the club are well in front but fans have an extension on 6 months to pay for their ticket. Until the club listen to AISA’s ideas I think our best bets are to sign up to interest free credit cards or use the system of repayment (loan) the club has arranged.
- The ability for season ticket holders to downgrade to Silver membership
It’s a hard one. Overall if I am in a position where I can’t afford to pay for my season ticket for whatever reason is it ideal to move down to Red. No! I’d be gutted if that was the case. Totally feel for anyone in this position but what about people who think ‘do you know what I cant be arsed to go every game and I know I’d get tickets on silver membership’? Again this is nothing new and it’s been something the club have been asked about many times.
- Move away fans to the upper tier, thereby providing cheaper seats for Arsenal fans
It can be done Dortmund had the upper tier for the group game last year but ManUre failed to do it this summer due to local planing consent/health and safety. Long term would Arsenal be allowed to do it? I am also not sure what the repercussions on us lower tier gooners would be. Arsenal are not going to drop their income on a match day, unless attendances (tickets purchased) falls. Will the FA approve £20 increases to away fans? I bloody hope not as it means clubs would do the same to us. If there is an away section with one ticket price each club only charges an equivalent to the lowest single match day ticket price.
- Introduce season tickets in the Clock End at Emirates
This stadium will always struggle to have that Clock End North Bank feel. Even just a couple of weeks again against the scum the atmosphere had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. There are season tickets in Block 19 but from Block 24 to 26 there are not. This is simply because away fans may need this space on cup competitions. I would say a NEW redsection or a way of specifically selection a ‘singing’ block may be the way forward. It sounds naf but it’s how the REDsection started and the guys from REDaction worked tirelessly to achieve what we now have.
- Introduce safe standing.
Far be it from me to start arguments in parliament, we all become Libral Democrats when the local MP wants to back safe standing but at the moment it is not allowed. Liverpool fans for a start would have kittens and we are a long way from being Dortmund. German football and the way their fans are is part of their culture. Perhaps a part of their culture we should adapt. I love watching football in Germany but with the Hillsborough disaster hovering over us I think it’s very hard for ARSENAL to be seen as the leaders in Safe Standing. We have the RedSection, we have away days, and I can see this in the future and would support it. I think it’s unfair to pressure the club into supporting it. They have listened to the ideas and I believe REDaction have already put plans in front of the board.
- Cheaper tickets at Emirates Stadium
Because we have money in the bank tickets should be decreased? Wow! I just don’t see it. I’m sorry. I’d love it if we paid Wigan prices week in week out. It’d mean I could take the Mrs. out for dinner once a year! My seat is just short of £37 per match. I am happy with that. Am I being selfish? Probably! But that is what I want to pay and where I want to sit/stand. I think the introduction of CAT C is a joke. I was disappointed in AISA who consulted on this and I am sure there were others BUT this was always going to happen you introduce CAT C it makes CAT A more expensive. People have asked me how much tickets are for Swansea and when I tell them £25 they can’t understand why it’s so cheap. If I told them the only spares I had for the Totts game was £87 they would have had a heart attack. I understand the categories but for me, someone who goes to most of the games, I don’t agree with it. I would rather pay the same every week. As for reduced ticket prices. There is NO WAY Arsenal will reduced their season income on match tickets, no way, unless you out there stop going to games. Celtic fans have made it clear with their banners on empty seats. Now that is a powerful message.
Of course most of these points are valid and if you agree with them all you may go on the walk that is up to you. You are free to walk, as you are protest, and the less success the team have on the pitch the more this will happen.
The latest post on the BSM website has the quote, “I’m not here because we’re shit right now, I’m here because generations of Arsenal fans are being priced and forced out of the club”. So why do it now? Why not do it in May or August? What has changed?
It may not come from BSM, but many people I’ve talked to say ‘when I was 14 I could go when I wanted’, and ‘in the 80′s’ but we are not 14 or living in the 80′s anymore. Money changed the game but maybe the people to protest against is the players and agents? Is the greed in football not generated by players and their agents? We are worrying about Sillent Stan spending money on his house rather than the Arsenal team, but the people banking our money at the moment are the players!!
I’m sure I’ll be told I’m an idiot or retard or words to that affect by the BSM twitter account! Classic tweets include a tweet during the Reading Match, arguing on twitter about not arguing on twitter.
It is a free world, you can walk, but it’s not for me, the focus of the walk is negative towards Arsenal, maybe not the team but still negative and the press will 100% twist it come Sunday. I expect a back page to the Sunday Sun with a chel$ki fan with a paper made banner and an Arsenal fan carrying a black bin liner. Brilliant! Embarrasing!
My walk tomorrow will be the same as any other and I will cheer and support no matter what. Will you?