The Arsenal Board Betrays Our Trust – Where were the Opponents?

To be totally truthful, today I did not want to write the blog at all. Doing the round of newsfeeds like we all do, today was one of those days where you feel so betrayed, so angry, so…totally lost and bereft of hope that blogging felt nigh on impossible.

Dramatic? Far from it. Try this for dramatic – every one (count them: every single one) of the Premier League clubs (ignoring the thoughts of any potential promotees, mind you) has agreed to the most stupid, appalling, blatantly-capitalist money grabbing swindle known to man, in agreeing to an additional ’39th league fixture’ to be played outside of England, in far off places like Tokyo, New York, Sydney, and who knows, Dar Es Salaam.

Third-Gen has prided itself in a way on avoiding the use of the ‘c-word’ on the blog, not for any prudish reasons, but simply to make ourselves a little different from many blogs who do use it quite frequently (before anyone thinks I’m being snide, I love these blogs…).

Today, I have discovered someone so brutishly stupid, crass and infuriating, that even Third-Gen will be joining in the swearing-fracas. Richard Scudamore: You are a blithering Cunt. There, I said it.

The bigwig suit from the Premier League has confirmed that ‘all twenty clubs’ agreed to the venture, which will see a league encounter potentially deciding the entire season being played overseas. 3 points up for grabs, with Team A having 1 point ahead of runners-up Team B, having to play……Chelsea in Tokyo, while Team B get Birmingham City in Sydney. Lottery, much?

What I cannot believe, for the life of me, is that every single one of the clubs’ chairmen agreed to this baloney. Teams like Aston Villa, the relegation fodder like Derby County, and maybe Newcastle – these caliber of teams can be expected to maybe give the odd nod – and of course, Chelsea, may all want to increase their ‘brand power’ in places that have nothing to do with the English league apart from fake shirts with names on the back.

-{What baffles me is that teams like Arsenal, Liverpool…and West Ham have not even raised a peep of protest.}-

I can be allowed to say this – I own many fake shirts myself. If I wanted to see Arsenal and enjoy the Arsenal experience, I would go to the Emirates, not Suncorp Stadium. Liverpool? That would be Anfield for me, thank you. Ditto the rest of the clubs and their old stadiums. It’s not like we’re giving the league to people that cannot afford to travel to England and partake – the tickets in Australia, by my estimate, would cost up to $400 for a seat, such would be the demand. That’s approximately £180 or US$320, off the top of my head. Not exactly Marxist equality, there.

Why it has to be part of the league season, and playing for points, I do not know. What baffles me is that teams like Arsenal, Liverpool (while the fans will no doubt protest, the new American owners may not be that surprising to have been at the forefront) and West Ham have not even raised a peep of protest. On Arsenal.com, the report is made without a whisper of discontent.

-{Gone are the days that we can yell ‘We Won the League in Your Backyard’.}-

How I will laugh at Tottenham when they go on about how they help the England team so much when they too signed up to an agreement that will stuff up the England team majorly. We are not exempt from this. And the fact that we are not, infuriates me to no end.

Gone are the days that we can yell ‘We Won the League in Your Backyard’. Now some team will be lifting the trophy in a foreign city with fans who frankly do not care as much. As much as I love Arsenal, how can you compare to someone who has been present at the same ground for fifty years? They’ll need a concord to get the trophy there on time, anyway.

-{I am livid, I am betrayed. It is a miracle I wrote this blog at all.}-

Now, I have been very patient with the current Arsenal board. I have stood by them and for them when both Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov were trying to buy the club out. I stood by their decisions, I stood by the sacking of David Dein – Third-Gen was very much a ‘Pro-Arsenal Board’ website…

So effectively what they have done is thrown away many fans loyalty, spat in the face of all of Arsenal’s “Class”, kicked so many local fans in the teeth, and made a great, great league into something that we might as well have a large-breasted blonde girl standing by a machine calling numbered balls flying around.

No opposition fan can come on here and bag me out for rubbishing my club. The fact is, every club and their board deserved to be ridiculed to the ground for an obnoxiously bad decision, a crass decision, an ill thought decision that will see the silly powder-puff continental leagues like Germany, Spain and Italy overtake the English fast and furious quality. What is a league worth when it will nearly always be decided by a loaded-fixture at the very end? This will not be Anfield 1989. This is a perversion of a league many have held dear for over a century.

The Arsenal board have some explaining to do. As far as we can tell, they were a party to this, and for once I am curious as to what David Dein would have had to stay were he still around in the Arsenal halls.

I am livid, I am betrayed. It is a miracle I wrote this blog at all.

To Arsenal the club, and to all the clubs out there – I await your response with a baited breath.

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35 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, English Premier League

35 responses to “The Arsenal Board Betrays Our Trust – Where were the Opponents?

  1. Clock End Gooner

    Top, top post mate! I’m absolutley disgusted by propsal! WE (THE BRITISH & LOCAL FANS) BUILT THIS LEAGUE, TO WHAT IT IS! YOU CAN JUST PICK IT UP & FUCK IT OFF!
    AS MANY BLACK WOMEN SAY TO THEIR LITTLE KIDS WHEN THEY STEP OUT OF LINE:
    “I BROUGHT YOU INTO THIS WORLD! I CAN TAKE YOU OUT OF IT…”

    JUST FUCKING REMEMBER THAT, PREM. LEAGE, F.A. & ALL THE OTHER CLUBS IN THE LAND.

    ANYWAY, I E-MAILED THE PREM. LEAGUE YESTERDAY, WHEN THIS STORY BROKE… HERE’S THEIR REPLY & MINE BELOW…

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    To: info@premierleague.com

    http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,2483_3117111,00.html

    Please, for the love of god, tell me this story is not true?

    I have been an Arsenal season ticket holder for 11 years and I already pay through the nose for this ticket. On my own accord of course, which I can just about accept, but I can not just sit back & accept this proposal.
    This is just another case of screwing over the working class loyal paying fan, for a some money making gimmick!

    IT’S THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE!! Not a Rolling Stones tour!
    You already have pre-season premier league tours in the far east & abroad.

    Please, do not disgrace our national game with the proposal, because I assure you… all you will do is push more & more fans away and you will see a hell of a lot more empty stadiums, than you are seeing now.

    Please reply, when your thoughts on this.

    Thank you.

    _______________________________________________________________
    THEIR REPLY:

    Dear Stephen,

    Thank you for your email regarding the Premier League’s plans for an international round of fixtures.

    Premier League Clubs have agreed in principle to support plans to create a new round of 10 competitive fixtures to be played overseas beginning season 2010/11. This ‘international round’ will be in addition to the traditional 38 home and away matches each of the 20 Premier League Clubs currently play.

    The ‘international round’ is an exciting and innovative proposal that needs careful consideration before being introduced. We believe that an ‘international round’ of matches will enhance the strength of the Premier League as a competition; create extra interest in all 20 Premier League Clubs at home and abroad; and allow increased investment in talent development and acquisition, facilities as well as our football development and community programmes.

    The globalisation of sport is both an opportunity and a challenge; one that needs addressing in a responsible way. We are a better competition for being a cosmopolitan league and have benefited from our increased international reach. Nonetheless, it is critical we retain our English character by improving our efforts to produce home grown talent, deepening our commitment to community engagement and continuing our investment in the grass roots.

    Please be assured that we do take all feedback seriously. We appreciate the concerns of supporters and will be taking all comments on board and consulting widely before the plans are finalised.

    Kind regards

    Communication Team

    THE USUAL RED-TAPE SIT ON THE FENCE, BOLLOCKS HEY?
    ________________________________________________________________
    MY REPLY BACK:

    Thank you for you reply.

    I can see the reason why you think this would benefit the Premier League with more revenue & bringing the game to the people in other countries! They have a right to see our teams… etc
    But to be honest, you’re forgetting the one thing that’s made this league, the league is it today… THE LOYAL HARDCORE FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS!!

    Without them, without us… Football in this country would not even be HALF the game it is today.
    Thousands of football fans, each year are already turning their back on the clubs they’ve supported all their lives, because of spiraling ticket prices & constant changes to kick off times (i.e. Can’t get to a mid week or a Sunday game, because of work the next day).
    And these are the 2 main factors, that will effect the loyal supporter, if a game is staged in America or The Far East.

    I’m sure you have already heard the up roar about this on the net & radio stations… literally a few hours after announcing it.
    This will not die down! This is people’s football club’s we’re talking about! Their lives! My life!
    Football fans in this country will never accept this ruling.

    I appreciate the fact you are taking these comments on board. So please show this comment to who ever the final decision lies with:

    IF YOU APPROVE THIS “OVERSEAS” PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH PROPOSAL… I GUARANTEE YOU, THERE WILL BE MASS WALK OUTS & THE GAME IN THIS COUNTRY COULD NEVER RECOVER FROM IT!

    Please head my words.

    Thank you,

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. G10

    Hear! Hear!

    I would’ve thought our board – who are so keen to espouse the virtues of keeping the club’s tradition and soul – would’ve dismissed this crazy idea out of hand.

    I can only imagine that we – the fans – are getting ourselves into paroxysms of rage because we’re being kept in the dark while the board consult Arsene Wenger before expressing their opinion one way or another.

  3. Danish Gooner

    That is just another circusification.Bloody hell they must be mad to think we buy in to this !!!!

  4. gazzap

    G10 I wouldn’t be so sure. Stan Kroenke was one of the key men behind all of this and he is an Arsenal man. Arsenal are in no position to protest.
    we will end up losing wenger and the best players – and the PL will be considerably weaker for it.

  5. Danish Gooner

    And the Arsenal Ruski will meet the Manchester Yankees in Dar Es salaam to decide the Premier League.

    Beer and Soft drinks 20 dollar each,Admission 555 dollar,Merchandise 1000 dollar

  6. steve

    I’m an American Arsenal fan and I think this is an maniacally ludicrous plan. If I want to go see an Arsenal match, I’m going to travel to London to do it.

  7. Eddie Hooper

    My understanding of this crazy proposition is that the extra fixture will take place in January. This will follow on from the already congested Christmas programme and of course the involvement of Premier League clubs in the FA Cup. The 39th fixture(which would actually be the 23rd or 24th) makes sense doesn’t it, would be arranged on a draw basis with clubs being seeded.

    This fact in itself makes the whole proposal unfair. The very fundamentals of a league are that the clubs play each other twice over the course of a season and variants such as injuries, international call ups, bad decisions, lucky decisions all even themselves out over a period of time. To throw an ad hoc fixture into the mix destroys these fundamentals.

    It is the very reason that, although many teams aspire to win the Champions League (really its a cup competition) or the FA Cup, the big one will always be the League, as this is the only system that comes any where near close to fairly determine who is best.

    To impose one round of what is really cup football, can only serve to devalue and tarnish the whole thing.

  8. T-buzz

    This is slowly becoming American Football or WWE(wrestling), where the hold some games/bouts abround. The FA dont care, as long as theyre making money, the fans and footballers are their puppets.
    If that happens, football is doomed and knowing the FA they are a stubborn bunch of arrogant twats.

  9. I’m a Arsenal fan from Singapore, been supporting the Gunners for the past 13 years.

    I must say that this is the most ludicrous and idiotic plan by those asshats at the English FA Premier League board. The boys need a break in winter, not another match to be played around the world. They are not machines who can be strutted out around the world for another quick buck or two.

    I loved the EPL for what it was, the saturday afternoon kickoffs, the English grit and the lovely singing on the terraces viewed through my television.

    Granted, I’ll probably have to save up for my trip to London and watch them play, but that’s the way it should be, ( exhibition matches aside ).

    I’m with all you fellas on this, and as a overseas fan, I say NO TO THIS DEBACLE.

  10. GoonerGeorge

    As much as I love the Arsenal the rampant comercialism and sheer greed of the game has got out of control, even our great club, the only club never to have had fences when all the rest did, and it was always good value at Highbury has lost the plot. Nowdays Arsenal charge more then even Chelski or the Spuds.
    The solution is actually quite simple. Sky run the game with the billions they givr the clubs, we pay Sky. If enough fans cancelled their subscriptions to Sky for just one month you can be sure that the views of fans would be taken into account rather then at present where the policy seems to be “lets fleece the fans” .

  11. Irish Gooner

    I’m not even English!!!!!!!!
    I don’t think it needs to be said but I’ll go ahead anyway.
    Revenue is the only reason for this proposal. If this is to allow supporters in foreign countries to see their teams it seems ridiculous that the F.A. would agree to using a competitive fixture. It’s our club – shouldn’t they be coming to us? I travel to London to see Arsenal. Why would I want to go see Arsenal in Croke Park against Wigan with 80,000 people who’ve never been to a game in their lives, and for whom the game nor the club essentially means nothing. The type of people who don’t lose any sleep over a bad defeat.
    This is just another example of english losing its soul to money. First it was abramovich, then Shinawatra (who made his millions off the back of robbing his own people of everything they had), sky-rocketing prices, now this!
    For years the English league was able to snigger, while sitting on its moral high-horse, at the corruption of the Italian league in 80’s and 90’s……….Oh how the tables have turned.
    Surely we can’t allow this happen!

  12. Keith

    I’m also an Arsenal fan in the US. This plan is an outrageous money-grab, which makes the EPL look like it’s run by a bunch of pimps who want to sell their wares on every street corner. The EPL earned its outstanding reputation by the class of its teams and the quality of the football played on the pitch. The EPL has a huge world-wide TV market, which is all it needs to keep its marketing and recruiting abilities (and its finaces) strong. The class and quality of the league will not change for the worse if the EPL remains a domestic league. I have a rapacious desire to see Arsenal perform live on the pitch, but I want to see them in London, not NY. More importantly, if the last game is going to decide the champion, who which team gets a Champions League birth, I want it to be decided before the home fans (i.e., the faithful people in England who fork over their hard-earned money to go to watch “their” teams). I am a huge “soccer” fan, as are many people around the world, but we should have no illusions about where we fit on the EPL fandom scale when compared to born and bred Englishmen (and women) — we are mere pimples on that beautiful arse. I would much prefer that the “E” in EPL remain “English” and not “Excessive.” Long live the EPL.

  13. goonermax

    Agree with you all, but if the truth be known, all us gooners & all fans who REALLY know what it’s like to LOVE your team will still be going to all the games we can and i bet there’s plenty who’ll do some travelling for an ‘Intrnational EPL’ match!!!!
    I think we must come to terms with the fact that our league has now become a WORLD WIDE product, the clubs get made offers ‘they cant refuse’ That’s not sport…………. But it certainly is BUSINESS!!! ONE WORD SUMS IT UP…………… MONEY!!! It’s just too much to turn down for ‘Businessmen’ IT’S THE PRICE WE PAY FOR SEEING THE BEST FOOTBALL, YOU GET ‘OWT FOR NOW’T!!!!

  14. Rainham Red

    This is the biggest stab in the back since the Japs bombed Pearl Harbour without first declaring war.Scudamore must be sacked (or more preferably hung,drawn and quartered) together with every Premiership Director who votes for it.

  15. MagicHat

    I never realized what a bunch of reactionary wankers a lot of our supporters are — including you jammathon. This post is wrong wrong WRONG. And I am a card-carrying Anglophile who loves the old country, makes the pilgramage from America to London as often as I can to see my beloved Arsenal. What is so horrendous about the idea of our WORLDWIDE GLOBAL SUPPORTER BASE getting to see one match a season closer to home? I for one think its a blood brilliant idea. Of course I realize the experience won’t be the same as at Ashburton, but that’s not the point, is it. What happened to the old British empire/ stiff upper lip/indomitable spirit?? Why have you become so reactionary and Little England-ish? And don’t you fancy the idea of a short holiday once a year to a different place each year? Sort of like a European night, but just a bit farther. And if you don’t want to/can’t afford it… DON’T GO.

  16. chris GOONA10

    Im a life long Arsenal fan who moved abroard to Cyprus a few yrs ago. Ive been to countless games at Highbury, but i still havnt had a chance to go to the Emirates to watch a game.. Point is if I want to see a Cyprus league match i walk down the road, if i want to go to an English League game i have to go ENGLAND.. its as simple as that!!

    I know that every1 around the globe luvs to watch Premiership games.. my local pub supplys me with every single Arsenal match and many otha premiership matches, people abroard can make do with Television. Why should the our clubs turn into Football Circus circling the globe for extra cash!!?? As far as ive heard we are quite comfortable financially and it hurts me that the Arsenal board have agreed to this after all the principles we have stood for.

    I luv watching Arsenal play and i never miss a game, and i dont know what it will take to push me away from following the club? but the Premiership is turning into one MASSIVE CASH POINT and its a shame, because we are starting to lose the values of the english league that has made it the best League in the World..

    THIS PROPASAL IS VERY SCARY TO US SUPPORTERS WHO FEAR FOR THE FUTURE OF THE LEAGUE.. what arte the FA doing…???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. LB

    MagicHat, you have to see beyond this immediate plan. Soon it will not be one game but two, then three, then four. Then Spanish La Liga will follow, then the Portuguese and then the Germans. In my country we could have a Portuguese team, that’s how may Portuguese people we have.

    We kove the EPL more than our own football because it’s passionate. How passionate do you think it will be in Sydney??

    My question to anyone who cares is: what about us??????

  18. Malaysian Gooner

    I find that the English Premier League is pushing the supporters more and more away from the clubs they support. As a Malaysian supporter of Arsenal Football Club, I’m disgusted by this move. I find that nowadays the money, the bank balances, the richest club “title”, the most shirts sold records, and etc. bothers the clubs more than its supporters. I believe that all this factors should be part of the game but SHOULD NOT determine the game itself. I’m really sad that the people who supported the clubs from the start in England are neglected and I’m sad that the ticket prices are way high, which pushes the normal supporter (especially from the working class background) out of the club they support. Even as a foreign supporter of this club, I’m sad that supporters from the North Bank are gone due to the new stadium, which are not “supporter friendly”.

    Yes, we would like to see our club in person here, but we would see it even if Arsenal does a training session here. That’s how strong we support Arsenal. But I believe the English Premier League should make its league a globetrotting tour. Instead of focusing on how to make more money and reap profits from other parts of the world, I hope clubs in England treat their home fans better. I’m already sad to see bullshit Russians, Americans, Chinese, & Thais holding stakes or owning this clubs. So I hope English clubs learn from their Spain, Italian and German counterparts one thing or two on how to treat their fans (e.g. Barca, Real, Dortmund, Munich, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter still allow their hardcore supporters to sing, dance and shout all they like, wave flags, stand during the whole match, and bring in aa lot banners!).

  19. LB

    ChrisGoona10, I’m with u. I cannot believe there are people who think so little of us supporters. Admittedly, I have never seen an Arsenal game live but it’s not because I don’t want to. They are actually offering to bring it to me in Johannesburg but no thanks. I want to go to Emirates, even if it’s once in my life. I’m saving up for it and some asshole wants to mess up my plan!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Rich

    MagicHat – if you think that the only thing wrong with the complaints is that we don’t want it to leave England then you need to think a bit more about what is actually proposed.

    The whole integrity of the league vanishes along with the principle of fairness if this goes through. How can one team win the league by picking up 9 points (home, away and God knows where) against the worst team in the Premiership (Derby for example) whilst those others challenging get harder fixtures? The playing field will be skewed and we’ll come out of the season feeling cheated. And that doesn’t even take into account the jet lag implications which will be far worse for the 4 teams in Australia compared with the 4 in Dubai.

    This is a very sad indictment of where football is in this country and comes at a time when attendances at grounds away from the top 4 are plummeting and viewing figures in England have stagnated. Most of all its in complete contradiction to everything that has been said before on a winter break and reducing the club calendar.

  21. gogogunners

    Guys don’t be so greedy! It is just one more game and your 38 games remain intact for you to enjoy it there! THis is a great proposal and i hope it will be introduced soon!

    You guys seem to have no idea how passionate are supporters outside uk! if Arsenal lose one game over the weekend; my beautiful weekend would be ruined and nothing would cheer me up! you have no idea how depressed i get over arsenal’s defeat! just don’t tell me that i am not (foreign supporters) passionate enough!

  22. It’s heartening to see so many of our fellow international Gooners speak out against this debacle.

    By all means have exhibtion matches. But do not mess with the santicity of the League by having it played outside it’s home nation.

    It’s the ENGLISH Premier League. Not the WORLD Premier League.

  23. I kind of disagree with you in a way. I wrote a long blog about it today. I’m from America, it’s not easy for me to get to London and I’d give my left arm to see the Gunners. I just don’t think it should be a 39th game. That’s too many. You can read the rest of what I wrote if you want to disagree with it.

    http://arsenole.com

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  25. Simon

    For starters, I’m an overseas gooner. And if there were games to be had in sensible traveling distance of where I’m at, I’d be there. Villa and Liverpool have had pre-season games here in Toronto, and those certainly tempted me. Gunners pre-season… I’d be there at the drop of a hat. There is no need (let alone sense) in have real league matches to pull in local interest (and of course local money)

    My only hope is that the ‘all twenty clubs agreed’ is code for ‘a majority wanted _to_explore_, and as a sign of club to club solidarity, no clubs rejected _exploring_ the possibility’.

    That all said, this won’t happen.

  26. Dear all

    I am an Arsenal fan who is based in South Africa. I think the UK based fan are under-estimating how popular the Premiership is now outside the UK.

    I do welcome the idea of bring the premiership to the its global fan base

    I support the motion and just cannot wait to watch Arsenal live in South Africa!

    Gunner for life!

  27. antss

    ridiculous idea. Im from Singapore and this is bull. A 39th game upsets the blanace of 38 home-away games, disrupts the rest-train-play routine of the clubs through travelling time and jet lag, and also causes the problem of differential fan support from the traditional grounds. How about pitch and stadium seating issues, and pricing issues that can favour particular countries or clubs? Imagine watching arsenal-united only at a mega stadium, which would obviously have an effect on the performances of the top few teams compared to, say, a sp*ds-blackburn one where supporters come in the hundreds. It is certain this would affect the mentality of coaches and players, and ultimately the dynamics of the game. Not that i give one crap abt sp*ds or those fags from blackburn, but hey, has anyone come across a greater potential for travesty in football?

  28. Antss, good to have a fellow SG Gunner here too. I am opposed to the idea as well, see my above posts.

  29. Damien

    If they have to do it why don’t they make it a FA CUP match or something? Having it as part of the league is stupid

  30. the artist formerly known as eboue's hand

    one point about all this that I haven’t heard anyone mention is how detrimental this touring circus shit could be to local football in the varoious countries it decides to visit. Countries such as Australia and the U.S. do have functioning, competent, competitive leagues of their own. their standard is obviously not as high as the English league but they are still respectable and would be massively devalued by this hideous plan.

  31. Pingback: Flamini’s Return Essential, but Gunners’ Injuries should only be analysed after Blackburn « third-gen

  32. Well, Mohammad Bin Hammamm, the Asian Football Confederation President has vowed to block the Premier League from playing in Asia.

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