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.
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.
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