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What you should know about Arsenal Independent Supporters Assn

On a day when that wonderful organ, your soaraway Sun, which apparently has reporters who are all nine feet six tall is reporting (and its amazing, I’ve never heard this before) that Barca are mounting a bid for Cesc (and indeed – and here I quote – Arsenal are “sweating on the deal”) it is worth contemplating reality for a moment.

Reality – you know, the real world.

Reality comes in many shapes and sizes. It comes in terms of our readers who travel across countries to get to matches. It comes in terms of the excellent analysis here yesterday on Denilson.

But reality is eternally under threat from the doomsayers who, in response to 1000 words of carefully argued reviews of one player think it is a good idea to write two lines in capitals which basically say “he’s rubbish” (although not so politely). (Actually I really liked the one which in response to the revelation that Denilson has captained Brazil at all junior levels simply said, if he was any good he’d captain the first team).

So in order to stay sane it is necessary on occasion to know that one can take the word of (and indeed mix with) the true fan. Which is why (for my own sanity) I am a member of Arsenal Independent Supporters Association.

And from that very biased position I want to recommend membership to all readers this soaraway organ: Untold Arsenal.

Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association was formed in 2000 and built its reputation on effective campaigning in support of the Club’s application for planning permission for the new stadium. That was how I got to know them – real activity on a real issue that I felt strongly about. Not just chit chat, but getting down and doing something.

Since then it has worked tirelessly (often in co-ordination with the “atmosphere” group RedAction), to improve the Ems stadium for supporters – a campaign the results of which we will all see through the coming season, as more and more parts of the stadium take on more and more of a truly Arsenal flavour.

AISA is a vehicle that all true Arsenal fans can use. It works constructively with the Club, with whom it has genuine consultations, and aims to ensure that supporters comments and opinions are presented and listened to by the Club, its contractors and other agencies.

AISA has a substantial membership base and regularly communicates with over 8,000 Arsenal supporters, spread throughout the UK and abroad. The infrastructure is growing to meet the needs of those fans.

If you join, what you get is a weekly email with news and information, The Arsenal Supporter newsletter, plus meetings and social events

AISA also campaigns on issues that potentially exclude and alienate supporters. Both with the Club and the Kick It Out organisation AISA has taken a number of initiatives against racism, raising individual issues on behalf of ordinary fans as well as broader concerns, such as ticket pricing and allocation.

Membership of AISA is open to every Arsenal supporter; and for me, personally, the strength of the organisation is that it represents and articulates the views of all Arsenal fans, of all ages (important to me as I am getting on a bit) and from every part of the UK (including the village of Great Oakley – again important to me) and across the world. It welcomes new supporters and those who sit just behind you at the Ems and who go on and on about how their grandfather attended the first ever matches at Highbury.

AISA is a voluntary and democratic organisation (unlike Untold Arsenal): officers and committee are elected at our AGM and all AISA meetings and activities are open to all members.

One other benefit that you might like to note is that AISA runs its own ticket exchange, allowing those without a ticket to pick up a spare ticket at the normal price, even if one is not able to get one through the Club itself. Obviously such numbers are limited, but it helps ensure that season and members tickets that can’t be used by the owners do find a good home – and that those looking for tickets are not going to use the touts.

The web site is http://www.aisa.org/ where there is a huge amount of info available. Adult membership is currently £10 per year and you can join at http://www.aisa.org/join-aisa/join-online

As a reader of the definitive pro-Arsenal pro-Wenger web site I do hope you will consider joining me as a member of this excellent and very positive supporters club.

Want more? Do take a look at the excellent piece on Denilson below – and do read through the comments – well worth a look.

Or click here for the article “The Arsenal approach looks like being the only answer, as rest of big four discover problems”

Tony Attwood 2009 Warning, this piece contains irony. Ooops. Should have put that at the top.

4 comments to What you should know about Arsenal Independent Supporters Assn

  • Marc

    Hi Tony, Sorry to go off topic but have you checked out the Official Membership Yearbook 09/10? It has a breakdown of each match last year with all sorts of stats. One of which is the average height of the Arsenal team and their opponents. I certainly found it surprising, expecting Arsenal to field teams who are 3’5 and the opposition to often be 7′ plus. It’s definitely worth a look.

  • LRV

    Hi Tony, One question about the AISA. Will they query the CEO about a functional Arsenal TV channel?

    Why should Arsenal fans be forced to sit in front of a monitor to watch exclusive Arsenal events? Man U, Chelsea and Liverpool fans do not suffer this. Look at the pre-season games; the fans of the other three watched them on their respective club channels. Why is it difficult for Arsenal to run a proper TV Channel, not a 4:30pm to 2:00am Setanta nonsense? They can keep the ATVO for fans abroad if they like, but a properly functional TV station in the UK to start with.

  • James

    LRV – Liverpool TV was also hosted by Setanta and like Arsenal TV they were left in the lurch by Setanta’s collapse. Chelsea TV is a joint venture with Sky (and as far as I know, not available on cable). I’m not sure about the ownership of Manure TV but it obviously relies heavily on Sky.

    Liverpool TV used local production facilities and so have been able to keep going while they made new deals with Sky and Virgin – which has cost Liverpool a lot of money to keep broadcasting while they had no subscription service. Arsenal TV was completely reliant on Setanta’s London facilities and that’s why the service has disappeared – hopefully temporarily. Relatively few people anyone actually paid for Arsenal TV in the UK as it was usually included with existing bundles – both Setanta and Virgin were keen to use it to attract new subscribers. Sky have no such interest. They also have Arsenal over a barrel – setting up new production facilities all over again won’t come cheap.

  • Hi LRV

    AISA’s most recent meeting with Ivan Gazidis took place before the collapse of Setanta which means Arsenal TV wasn’t on the agenda at the time.

    Arsenal invested a lot of money to get Arsenal TV off the ground so I can’t see them throwing in the towel that easily even if means investing again. Selling Arsenal as a global name is very important to Arsenal and the TV channel was a big part of the plan.

    AISA is in contact with the club on various issues on a regular basis, including quarterly meetings with Mr Gazidis. AISA is happy to listen to any issues raised by its members and where appropriate discuss them with Arsenal staff. If no news appears about Arsenal TV within the next few weeks I’ll suggest AISA consider this for the next meeting.