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We all love our teams and clubs with a passion that rivals our other emotional relationships and often drives us to distraction. It often reaches a level of partisanship and tribalism that exceeds the bounds of rational human behaviour….but that, it appears, is what being a supporter is all about.

Here on UA and other Arsenal blogs, we love to ridicule and diminish our Spuds neighbours with ceaseless ribaldry and humourous anecdotes, particularly when we win against them, but also when they show such ineptness and comic relief against teams like Chelsea and Benfica (as of late).

[Up to a point Don, I do like to maintain a certain decorum, don’t you know – Tony]

However, this post is not about our hapless neighbours but about a concept that is gaining ground in the football community and worldwide family and it is one that I espouse dearly and deeply. The concept is of collaboration rather than competition off the field of play.

Here are a few basic principles and paradigms for this rather novel concept:

a) Given that ALL fair-minded supporters and lovers of Association Football need and want to see the best display of the Beautiful Game under all circumstances,

b) Given that the authorities do NOT always share the same or similar interests as the aforementioned community, but rather often have ulterior motives and hidden agendas,

c) Given that the people charged with applying the laws and overseeing the practice of football on the pitch in competition and non-competitive activities,

d) Given that the game and its management is particularly vulnerable to the corruption and manipulation which such high profile, high income generating sports invite, due to the easily camouflaged activities of criminals and incompetents,

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e) Given that the British public media and its private counterpart (the PR masters employed by its members, like FIFA, the FA, the clubs, etc,) appear to have been ¨influenced¨ by interests that are not necessarily favourable to Association Football,

f) Given that the political authorities across the globe appear to have, with rare exceptions, abandoned their responsibilities vis-a-vis the security, stability and fairness of football,

g) Given that the vast majority of voices raised against the above abuses and negligence come from the overwhelmingly numerous supporters and non-professional participants of the Beautiful Game,

Given all that…

it behoves us as a footballing family and community to unite together to confront these abuses, since the authorities and caretakers of OUR Game have failed miserably to do so, and appear even less resolute than previously to take on this challenge.

What do I mean by unite and collaborate together for the good of the Game?

A very recent example is the successful approach English Football (in collaboration with the police and government) to stamp out the hooliganism and gang violence of the 70’s and 80’s, which cost millions of pounds and many lives during its reign of terror. It was ended when the footballing public harassed the authorities and the police/politicians by threatening to stop attending football matches. These were ordinary men and women whose families suffered while the hooligans rampaged, unchecked during their reign of terror.

Lets imagine that EVERY supporter of professional football clubs in Britain rallied together to insist on the following, as a minimum for improvements to football:

1) The equitable sharing of financial resources (both business and governmental) between the top-tier professional and the rest of professional, semi-pro/amateur football to ensure that the little clubs will survive and thrive.

2) A floating salary cap on the highest paid players salaries and benefits, so that a more equitable distribution of compensation could be applied to encourage local talent, rather than spent on short-term, win-at-all costs extravagances like Rooney’s supposed £200k/week fling, as an example.

3) The removal of the management of all professional officials from the hands of a secretive cabal like the PGMOL into the hands of a publicly managed, transparent and accountable elected authority composed of Club representatives, retired professional officials, Fa representatives, and supporters.

4) The mandatory review and automatic adoption (and funding)of modern technology into professional (and if possible) amateur football in order to bring the Game into the 21st century.

5) The creation and funding (from government and pro football funds) of a British Youth and Adult Football Academy designed to develop, promote and strengthen the coaching, management, training and skill development of promising youth and national team representatives, amateur and professional coaches and managers and the national teams.

6) The creation of a special investigative body at the UK sports ministry (composed of police, Club, Interpol and current local and national government authorities), specifically for Football-related issues such as officials abuse or suspected corruption, club management chicanery and potential criminal penetration of the British Football community, including but not limited to fit and proper ownership of Football Clubs, fairness and equitable competitiveness of professional Football, proper treatment of safety and security issues in all British stadia, ticket pricing, compensation issues, media bias and corruption, etc.

There are over 30 million spectators and participants in British Football whose voices and concerns are easily and traditionally ignored by the powers that be, because we are disunited and divided by our narrow Club interests and loyalties.

There are over 2 BILLION of us worldwide! Yet FIFA,EUFA and the authorities routinely ignore our needs over their own greed and narrow self-interests. It is time that we banded together, put aside our narcissistic rivalries and provincialism and presented a powerful common front against all of the above. This will not only SCARE the offal out of them BUT light a fire under their collective butts so that football can be returned to the people! Please feel free to share other approaches and ideas that could promote the health and wellness of Football…the Game we ALL love.


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  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Don – You and I and other like minded people would love to be part of this Utopia .We may hope for this noble dream ,but the reality is that a lot of people just choose to be disagreeable and spokes in the wheel, just because they can .
    Logic , common sense , fairplay and righteousness doesn’t even come into this equation. Their reasons are myriad and manifold .

    I’m reminded of this tale ,sad ,but true .

    That’s Not My Job

    This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
    Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.
    Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
    It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

    Thanks for this article ,Don ,do hope it changes a lot of people’s perception .
    Goodnight .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Over the last week or so I’ve been saddened by certain events that highlighted shortcomings ,followed by a media circus and gross incompetence .
    Anyway , here’s the article from which the above ‘tale’ was from.

  • OMGArsenal

    BG…..My call is for EVERY supporter, regardless of their Club affiliations to band together and pressure the authorities and their Clubs’ management to undertake a commitment to making the 6 points I proposed, a reality. IF enough of us at UA and other AFC websites, were to band together and undertake an e-mail campaign to bombard the government, the FA and AFC with e-mails promoting the above points (or other pro-Football demands)then it is highly likely that we’d get a response, even if it is a F**K off or a polite acknowledgment. We need to choose a common theme and to orchestrate this campaign intelligently and target specific powers who are able to address needed changes. To simply say nothing will ever change because Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody can’t be bothered is defeatist and unhelpful, although all too often quite true. I would gladly undertake to contact supporters of other clubs in an effort to entice them to join such a process….what is there to lose?

  • Mandy Dodd,

    Great news indeed! I love it.

    You know what, I’m struggling to come to terms with what my darling club has become. We were a selling club; recall a time (latter part of the season) when this was usually a bad period for us with tales of key players leaving? Now, all I hear is news of key players extending their contracts (bar Sagna who I’m still optimistic about). No club is dangling carrots before our players and they all seem to be happy to be a part of a club with a secure future.

    For those who whined about the trophyless, player selling years: this is what financial stability means. It is better, in the long run, than a trophy because it brings about trophies for years to come.

    Thanks Arsene and the forward thinking Arsenal board.

  • bjtgooner

    Good news Mandy, Sagna next I hope.

  • Micheal Ram

    Good article.

    Is it possible to change the world? I dont know. But it is possible to create our own world.

    Sometimes we should not judge the landscape with our eyes but try to feel it in our feet.

    Dont forget to chew the food inside your mouth when looking at something more delicious.

    I would rather be a Nobody. Because when Everybody, Anybody and Somebody realized Nobody helped them, they will change. Although Everybody, Anybody and Somebody dont want to be Nobody.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hopefully Sagna next, with Wenger soon after!

  • colario

    In Arsene we have ‘somebody’ 🙂

  • jambug

    Boo and Mandy,

    Here here to that.

    Personally I think since Sagna returned from injury he has played the best he ever has for us. Immense !!

    His signiture and a couple of Summer signings 😀 😀 😀

  • Mandy Dodd

    Really like your sentiments in this article Don, and completely agree with you. Such a shame the game is run by the likes of Blatter….and previously with the likes of Jack Warner in positions of power. I wonder how much further the game has to go into the sewer before something is done?
    Blatter has been a disaster for the integrity of the game….not saying some of those before him were great either

  • arsenor

    Man will always be corrupt as long as their is money in this world!you are never going never going to change that.

  • arsenor

    I like your points though,its getting to a stage
    where the stench of corruption is starting to make me gag,Russia,Qatar,with FIFA.Shocking referee decisions that coincidently brings the favored teams further in the CL that bring in more tv revenue with UEFA.How can a man blatently
    cheat in front of a referee,in front of all these tv cameras and his actions are not questioned,I mean it wouldn`t be difficult for a governing body to impose a law where by any player that is seen to to be deliberatly cheating to gain an advantage for his team be fined or banned,through tv evidence afterwards.Why don`t they?.

  • OMGArsenal

    Arsenor…..these are just a few of the questions that desperately need to be asked and answered but the ONLY way it seems to get answers is to insistently agitate and disrupt the status quo and get those bloated stuffed suits that run the various Football associations to pay attention and act. Here is a scenario that would catch their attention and make them squirm:

    1)Worldwide, fans boycott the WC tickets until actions are taken to protect and improve the integrity and equity of the beautiful Game.

    2)Locally, fans pressure their Club management to put pressure on the FA and the PGMOL, demanding transparency, security, good governance and the rebuilding of the rapport between fans and players.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Don , sorry if I sounded negative , it was not meant that way . I for one would love to see change for the better. For the most part I’m usually optimistic,but being a Capricornian , that , “Yeah right!” , attitude often intrudes.Tell me where to sign and my ,”Brickfields Gunners United for UA ” banner will be unfurled !
    It was just that the ongoing saga that has been transfixing the world has got me down of late .Along with all manner of BS and ‘in the know’ conspiracy theorists coming out of the woodwork to muddle the waters .And I’m not talking about the events unfolding in Crimea !
    I have always followed the creed ,”Lead , follow or get the fuck out of the way!” , in all things , so here ,I will follow and support your call .
    Cheers !

  • Brickfields Gunners


    A woman comes home and tells her husband, “Remember those headaches I’ve been having all these years? Well, they’re gone.”

    “No more headaches?” The husband asks, ”What happened?”

    His wife replies, Margie referred me to a hypnotist. He told me to stand in front of a mirror, stare at myself and repeat “I do not Have a Headache; I do not have a headache, I do not have a headache..
    It Worked! The headaches are all gone.”

    The husband replies, “Well, that is wonderful.”

    His wife then says, “You know, you haven’t been exactly a ball of Fire in the bedroom these last few years. Why don’t you go see the Hypnotist and see if he can do anything for that?”

    The husband agrees to try it.

    Following his appointment, the husband comes home, rips off his clothes, picks up his wife and carries her into the bedroom.
    He puts her on the bed and says, “Don’t move, I’ll be right back.”
    He goes into the Bathroom and comes back a few minutes later and jumps into bed and makes Passionate love to his wife like never before.

    His wife says, “Boy, that was wonderful!”

    The husband says, “Don’t move! I will be right back.” He goes back into the bathroom, Comes back and round two was even better than The First time.

    The wife sits up and her head is spinning.

    Her husband again says, “Don’t move, I’ll be right back.”With that, he goes back in the bathroom.
    This time, his wife quietly follows him and there, in the Bathroom, She sees him standing at the mirror and saying,
    “She’s not my Wife.
    She’s Not my wife.
    She’s not my wife…”

    His funeral service will be held on Friday.