Next season the stadia will be empty, so we’d better enjoy the noise now


According to the chitter chatter of a million journalists trying to catch up with last year’s stories, up to one in four season ticket holders at EPL clubs  are considering not renewing for next season in a bid to cut costs, according to a survey published today.   And Manchester IOU are going to put their season ticket prices up yet again.

Unfortunately for anyone thinking of trotting in to see the greatest example of Positive Football the world has ever seen, this is cobblers.  A few hundred people might see their dream of a season ticket come true this summer, but they will have been waiting ten years.   A few more will pick up silver memberships, but they too will have been waiting nearly as long.

But hey, why bother with facts when there is this thing called Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Inflation Index and that tells us that everyone is doomed.  4% of season ticket holders are not planning to go any more games and 21% intend to buy tickets when it suits them.

That of course is fine if you support Blackburn or Bolton where support is so thin on the ground that half the ground now seems to be shut.  But it doesn’t make much sense if there is a season ticket waiting list of 10 years.

However with the ball rolling this is the moment when all the old stories about Arsenal come out.  Apparently (so the stories say) you can now go up and choose where you want to sit in the ground if you buy a season.  Like hell!  I am trying to move as far away as possible from the cretin who spends the entire matches screaming abuse at Bendtner even when he is not playing, and Wenger, and I’m finding it tough just to transfer my seat.

But never mind, let’s contemplate stories about Manchester IOU and their price rises.  Even before the price rise was announced it was said that 15% were giving up going to games entirely and 44% will only buy tickets when it suits them.

Virgin’s index (what a funny name – I wonder if there really is an Index of Virgins?  You go on holiday to West Ham or somewhere and as you get off the tube they offer you an Index of Virgins…. Sorry – time for a cold shower… )  the Virgin Index shows that the cost of attending games has fallen by 6.8% in the past year.

Lower ticket prices and reduced costs for replica kit means the match-day cost has fallen to £89.09 compared with £95.60 in January 2009.  Which is  14.29% higher than the cost when the index was launched in January 2006 but is substantially lower than the all-time high of £106.21 in October 2008. Average match tickets across all leagues peaked at £27.38 in July 2009 but have now fallen to an average of £22.59.

Here’s one amusing thing. The supporters least likely to give up season tickets are those of Liverpool and Stoke City.  I guess that can only mean that they see things differently in the frozen wastelands.

And here’s another…  The Glazer Regime has put up ticket prices by half in five years.

But of course this is all hypothetical.  It is people who are “considering” – not people who have.  According to the list 14% of Arsenal fans are “considering” – but this doesn’t tell the story.  They are all doom and gloomers who can’t stand the success of the wonderful team that we have this year and going on for the next ten years.

Indeed, contemplate for a moment the sad lot of the doom and gloomer.  They sit there, supposedly Arsenal fans, desperate for us to lose against WHU in order to prove themselves right.

But just in case we win the league or the Champs League or both they are sitting there with their excuses…

1.  It was a fluke and we certainly won’t repeat it next year.

2.  Chelsea and Man U will never be this rubbish again and will be reinvesting heavily.

3.  Have you see the long list of kids that we are bringing in?  Not only with AFC not win anything for the next 20 years, we will probably be in the third division south quite soon.

4. We are ripe for a takeover so we will collapse then.

5. All the kids are off anyway, going to Real Mad, Barca Barca BlackSheep and the KGB

6. If Bendtner hadn’t got that winner against Stoke we would have not won the league, and since Bendtner is an idiot we can take it that really he didn’t so we didn’t, and that’s what we told you all along.

7. We will fail the new financial rules

8. Everyone will now ask for double pay, and Wenger won’t pay up, so we will lose the whole team.

9. No one is renewing their season tickets in protest against Wenger.

10. The programme is naff.

In case you missed it, have a look at the list of kiddies that we have got coming through. All the kids that will break through next season.There’s billions of the buggers, and half of them are English.

Anyway, here’s the list of the number of people are not going to renew their season tickets, for what it is worth.

  • Manchester IOU 59%
  • Wolverhampton Wobbleyou 54%
  • Burnley Wurnley31%
  • Fulham up and I’ll have a pint thank you Billy 29%
  • Ever felt like giving up and just cashing in on the ground for flats? 28%
  • Blackburn Rotational 28%
  • Portsmouth Bankruptcy 28%
  • West Porno 27%
  • Aston Hold Your Head 24%
  • All and sunderland 23%
  • And Wigan 21%
  • The Tiny Totts 19%
  • Manchester Arab 18%
  • Birmingham lets sue West Porno 17%
  • The KGB in Fulham 17%
  • Hull Spitty who will be bust so it won’t matter 17%
  • Perfect Football 14%
  • Notlob 13%
  • Liverpool Owned by You and Me (via RBS) 9%
  • Dont bet with 365 they pay Shawcross’ wages 9%


For an index of recent pieces about Arsenal and football (as opposed to an index of virgins) click somewhere around here please.

To look at the details of “Making the Arsenal” – a book so magical you won’t be able to believe you existed without it, do the same, but here.

To make a cup of team, turn on the kettle.

22 Replies to “Next season the stadia will be empty, so we’d better enjoy the noise now”

  1. Rotational fouling on Messi :-D. If we’re ever gonna do it, nows the time surely. Lol! That’ll be the day.

  2. Diaby could snap some legs, certainly the Spaniards would understand – I mean, he would never hurt a fly now would he?

  3. anyone know when ticket will be in sell for red member (Barcelona match)i know silver member date but they don’t say for the red member.i want ticket 🙁 me nice boy, me ticket 😀

    Pat the problem even if you stop messi they ve got iniesta,xavi,Pedro,titi,Swedish dude with a long name that i can spell (ibracadabra or something)But they ve got a major problem ,we ve got a secret weapon,master Eboue 🙂

  4. I would luv it, just luv it, if I was proven wrong and Arsenal win the league. Trust me, I don’t want to be right about this. I love that we’re right in the title race at the moment. But if you ask me honestly whether I think we’re going to win the league this year, I’d have to say no. Injury-prone players, crap ‘keeper, not enough tactical nous to defend clean sheets – these aren’t things that have disappeared in a couple of months.

  5. Tony, why have you deleted my earlier post.

    You have no freedom of speech or what?

  6. I heard that the Fulham boys and girls are blowing next season’s season ticket budget going to trips in Europe. Not been before, might only go again if they win the thing. And if they do, Rafa’s only gonna be happy on Giro day……

    But hey: there’s at least 6000 Toon fans who stayed away this year, so maybe they’ll cough up again next if they get promoted. And there’s lots of rich tourists who snap up tickets at agencies, so maybe the glass boys will put 15000 tickets out that way? I did hear English language teaching in Sichuan went along the lines of: ‘Build a bonfire……..’, as they must pass a singing lesson before being issued with an OT ticket. Or Roy Keane will set his dogs on them…….as they liked prawn sandwiches so much that they scrounged the lot last week.

    I think the index of female purity is being set up in South Africa in liaison with all the global pimps who’re shipping prostitutes to the World Cup this summer. 40,000 was the number being quoted unofficially, so I’m sure that at least 1000 of them will be sold as once-in-a-lifetime experiences at a suitably higher price. No-one in the FIFA hierarchy will be going anywhere near them and nor, officially, will any of the corporate supporters. Which does make you wonder whether the composition of all the true fans is dirty old men off on holiday to Bangkok lite? The Germans did this a bit better: they built an enormous new whorehouse in Berlin for the 2006 World Cup. Oh for a more relaxed attitude for once in Britain…….for God’s sake, there’s more Escort Agencies in London than financial products companies now, it’s hardly like it’s not going on………..just ask how many hotels charge out rooms by the hour now! I hear there may be a few more in the East End in a few years time……

  7. @lordgunner
    March 19th, 2010 at 10:40 pm
    you put it just as i would this is a tie that the MASTER: OUR ANSWER TO MESSI aka EBOUE WILL RELISH!!! ….and i can already see him dancing past that maxwell and feeding andrey at the farpost and a THE ASSASSIN doing a shut it at the barca fans at the emirates .
    BUT FRANKLY WE HAVE TO BE AS OPTIMISTIC AS barca are at this tie just think of that midfield battle lets take the best five mid of both teams : yaya,xavi,busquet,iniesta,messi aginst the potent :-SONG ,CESC,DIABY,NASRI AND ARSHAVIN ALL AGAINST EACH OTHER RSPECTIVELY !!

  8. 8 inch I have not knowingly gone back and deleted anything once it has appeared – at least not for several months. When I did do it, it was only because an article was found to be a copy of something that had appeared elsewhere.

    This site has undergone two major upgrades in the past 10 days, installing a lot of extra RAM on the servers and the like, and it is possible that we lost some posts in that. Also we are under constant bombardment from spammers, and I am trying install better anti-spam software, so maybe something happened there.

    But as a person I am completely against censorship, and the only censoring I do here is…

    If something is a copy from elsewhere
    If it is racist or otherwise grossly offensive
    If it looks illegal to me (a non-lawyer) or likely to land me in court as the publisher

    Otherwise – no censorship.

    Leaving aside issues of upgrades etc, once a message has appeared it stays on the site. If I were to want to take it down for any reason above I would do what I have always done in the past – leave the opening few words, and then explain why the message is down.

  9. im quietly confident, about facing barca, only thing that worries me is gallas still being out and sol filling in, our midfield and attackers could def get at barca, the other night hleb got through the midfield and opened them up, basically on his own, we have cesc diaby nasri ashavin rosicky and pheo, that can all do what hleb done,
    lets hope bedtner takes his chances and puts us through, we wil definately get chances,
    0-0 or 1-0 win first leg will be game on at the nou,camp, barca will be scared off the away goal, which will get,
    song may have to go center back iff gallas is out

  10. Vermaelen will be fresh when we face Barca. His red card is a blow for Arsenal but Song just stepped in as if it was nothing special.
    Great to see.

  11. Wow, pure heart and guts. The mental strength is great. We will win the league.

    Can we appeal the red?

    Good night everyone!

  12. I think we can only appeal the red in cases of mistaken identity. It’s a shame, as it was a joke, but we got the three points. It’ll most likely be Song and Campbell at the back for tne Birmingham game, which messes up our preparations for Barca in the midweek, as Sol can’t really play well twice in such a short space of time.

    Not ideal, but we will keep overcoming these hurdles.

  13. Oh ok, 1 match ban. Heard it was 3 before, and nearly sh%t in my pants…stupid commentators.

    Don’t stop believing!

  14. We can appeal as far as how long the ban is, but not the red card itself. So TV could foreseeably get off with a 1 match ban if the referee genuinely thinks he made a mistake. My guess would be 2 matches and back for the Spurs match.

    What a performance though. Anyone doubting this teams spirit and determination can well and truly put on the dunce cap now and sit in the back corner of the room. Every single player out there was fabulous. Eboue was my man of the match. He is in tremendous form. And Almunia, for all his stick, has now singlehandedly kept us in the Championship race (today and against Sunderland recently).

    Bloody fantastic. Come on you Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool Scousers!!!!!!

  15. About the red card my view.

    It was like against Hull. The striker looking for any contact to go down. The way the ref was handling the game I felt that he would take any chance to give West Ham a helping hand. In fact it was the assistant who waved his flag for the penalty. Once you give the penalty you have to give the red card. It was a goal chance, last defender, not much room for the ref.

  16. Agree with you Walter. It was a weak penalty, one you would expect to be waved away more often that not, but these things happen, and thankfully it didn’t cost us.

    As long as it’s not three matches, we should be OK (even then, the Spurs game is likely to be rearranged so it’d be Wigan away instead).

    Tomorrow is huge. United are the more likely to drop points, their supporters are very pessimistic. Rovers have a solid home record though, Chelsea are a little shaky away and the X factor is how they handle the champions league exit.

    It’s nice to be able to just kick back and relax tomorrow, hoping for dropped points

  17. Tim,

    Are you serious? Please don’t raise my hopes for nothing. Anyone else certain TV is only out for 1 match? I think we can survive Birmingham without him but Spurs will be tricky. We need our TV back soonest!!!

  18. Violent conduct, resulting in a straight red is a three match ban. A straight red doesn’t equal a three match ban, it depends on the offence. So I’m certain Walter is right, no doubt he’s checked his rulebook too 😀

  19. Just to sort things out a bit. A ref only gives the red card on the field. Then he has to make a report to the Fa to tell why he gave him a red card.
    In this case it should read something like: last defender and it was a goal scoring chance.

    It is not the ref who decides how many games you get suspended, but it all depends on his report off course.

    In the hope that the rule book is applied like Blatter tells us the same for everyone and every where my own personal expierence tells me that for a last defender red card it normally is one week. It could be two weeks if the foul was a very hard one like a tackle from behind when the ball is 5 meters away or so. But this was just a light contact between the striker and Vermaelen and he even didn’t make any challenge on the striker, he just touched him. So if it would be more than 1 game I would be ver dissapointed. It could be that the law books and the punishment are not the same in the EPL but then we have to ask Blatter.

  20. We’ve had 2 very iffy penalties given against us in successive weeks with one man red carded after Hulls manager complained last week that Campbell should have been sent off. This red card seems suspiciously like a policy decision made by the EPL refs. Nevertheless, it is a ridiculous disproportionate punishment for what was at worst a scruffy challenge. This last man interpretation is nonsense-Vermaelen was not the last man when the ball was initially played forward. What is a defender supposed to do let the attacker through unchallenged? Are EPL referees going to make a similar policy decision about Manchester United”s immunity from conceding penalties at Old Trafford?

    Did anyone else clock the foul count in this game-24 to 7 and we had the man sent off!

  21. I agree on the softness of the penalty’s Gerry, but the thing is that the instructions to the refs are rather clear in thise.

    One could see that the attackers waiting for the contact and then go down.
    I really think that on the other side the ref would not have given a penalty for us in case of such a challenge. In fact, I saw a lot of similar fouls made by WH where the ref did not react at all. Cesc was treated, once again, very bad by the WH players and the ref gave him no protection at all.

    And about your remark on the hand of Brown in the red card I can agree on the fact that when Arsenal complain about the kicking, the next game the ref lets even more kickin take place. But if manager complain on something against the Arsenal, you can bet that in the next game the FA or the refs do as the complaining team/manager/who ever asks them to do.

    And if every player would be treated in the same way, we would not complain but I bet that you can see maybe even in today’s games a few incidents where the ref would decide not to give a red card.

  22. Thanks for the insight, Walter. By the letter of the rulebook, is it fair to say a one match ban is the most likely outcome?

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