Arsenal score multiple own goals at once in their biggest error yet

Arsenal Football Club and BT Sport have today extended their partnership for a further two years.

Yes quite unbelievably that is the headline on at the moment I write this.  Of course they might realise just how much this is going to annoy a lot of fans, and take it down, but it is there on the afternoon of 27 July.

According to Arsenal the partnership “enables BT Sport to continue to promote its football coverage, including exclusively live Barclays Premier League football, through the club’s digital channels in the UK and Ireland.

“In addition, the agreement will give the broadcaster access to Arsenal’s first-team players and manager to create unique and exclusive content to support and enhance BT Sport’s Barclays Premier League coverage.”

They could then have added,

“Because of BT Sport (known quite widely now as The Sprout, because of the intelligence level their commentaries showed when attempting to make fun of the Emirates Cup in 2013, and their obvious and persistent anti-Arsenal bias, many Arsenal fans are pulling out of their subscriptions, and looking at their advertisers with a view to avoiding their products.”

But they didn’t.  Instead the commentary on goes on in a most unbelievable fashion.

“BT Sport’s new season ad campaign highlighting some of the unmissable moments shown in the channels’ football coverage last season”.

Or to put it another way, they give succor to the AAA with pictures of Arsenal’s worst moments from last season. hide this point however telling us that The Sprout will now show pictures from the cup final.

The site continues…

“Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: ‘We are pleased to extend our relationship with BT Sport as an official partner for a further two years. We will continue to work in close collaboration with the team at BT Sport to deliver benefits for fans and exclusive content which will add an extra dimension to their coverage’.”

“David James, marketing director, BT Consumer said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Arsenal Football Club. Our long-standing relationship with the club helps us to deliver an extra level of insight for our viewers. Arsenal had a great season last year, bringing back silverware to Emirates Stadium, and our latest ad recognises that fantastic achievement, which we were delighted to show live on BT Sport.”

This deal is clearly done in utter isolation from Arsenal fans, and shows a complete lack of understanding of many of the people who pay the players’ and managers’ wages.

If you want to see what the Sprout think of Arsenal, just take a look at the way they are publicising their games from the coming season.  It is yet another anti-Arsenal poster.

Now of course it can be argued that this poster is taken from a match that happened and therefore can be used.  But that is not the point, it could equally be taken from a match in which Arsenal did rather well, or for balance one in which Arsenal did poorly and one in which they did well.  But no.   Arsenal were a team who were top of the league for a long period last season, and in the calendar year 2013 were the most successful team of the year.  You wouldn’t know this from the Sprout.

Instead the Sprout glorifies Liverpool, a team whose owner openly boasts about his lying to Arsenal, a team whose star player started and ended the year 2013/14 with a ban for disgraceful behaviour, a team who last won the top division 24 years ago, and a team whose fans utterly disgraced themselves last season by their dangerous behaviour and their deliberate policy of blocking the gangways and access points to stewards.

It is as wholly unacceptable for Arsenal to deal with the Sprout as it was for them to employ S Robson.  And I repeat I am not against a wide spread of opinion – I am against getting endlessly biased opinion.

Arsenal have made a series of mistakes of late – I have written a little in the past about the total failure of stewarding at the Emirates when it comes to fans of Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool.  It seems these errors are continuing, and it is not only time for them to stop, but also time for them to start putting right past errors, not making further mistakes.

Vinai Venkatesham, you owe us an apology.


The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.

43 Replies to “Arsenal score multiple own goals at once in their biggest error yet”

  1. I couldnt agree more,i cant stand Robson,Owen,and have stopped my Sprout subcription!!!

  2. Spot on and I couldn’t agree more. Any suggestions as to what we can do? I am cancelling my BT subscription now but I would like to find a way to let the club know we are simply disgusted by this whole thing.
    Please keep up the good work. You are the only blog worth visiting these days Kudos to you guys.

  3. This unceasing bias against Arsenal could well have a lot to do with AFC doing nothing to combat it and this deal goes even further. I can’t imagine united or pool taking in on the chin for so long and not doing something. Time to react?

  4. I too can say that I am disgusted by the Arsenal’s dealings with BT. Ritual humiliation does not make for a viable business model to promote the interests of the club.

    To look at those adverts concentrating on our failings last year is painful at best. To rub our faces in it with that mini mafia trio of owen, mcmanaman and james not to mention the inextricable inclusion of that hateful man mourinho is ridiculous. I’m sure mourhinho will be his “usual” impartial self despite managing a side in the premier league and is given license to mock us by commenting on games..seriously this is an absolute joke. Awful!

  5. This is certainly an insensitive (even provocative) way to behave with a commercial partner. I like your balanced poster suggestion (if we have to be featured at all). It’ll all back fire on them when we start winning and see how quickly they change it then.
    Who pays to watch football on TV when you can get it free on streams.

    Ziggy. Well done. You may have an option to contact BT when you cancel & Arsenal also have a “contact us” feature on the Dot Com. Might be a good idea for people to email them anyway, imagine if thousands of complaints were in their inbox tomorrow.

  6. They have signed the extension with something in mind. We need to find out what this is…if we can. Most likely its a financial angle.
    what bothers me more is the fact that Remis deal has fallen through due to medical. Harry came and endorsed their medical procedure and i am sure new Newcastle also did a rigorous medical. So did the deal fall through due to his wage demands.

  7. It is almost as though the board at Arsenal is actively trying to support the media anti Arsenal bias. You never see a word from them standing up for us despite the obvious and repeated bias shown from ignorant talentless journalists and football “experts” whose only expertise seems to be in bending the truth and mangling the English language. Now we have this bizarrely worded communication from Venkatesham in which he praises one of the main perpetrators. I’m struggling to work out why the board at best show no concern for the media attitude towards us and at worst downright collude with it.

  8. Some questions: –

    To extend the “relationship” with BT, Arsenal must be getting something out of the deal – do we know exactly what or how much they receive?

    Can another company provide the same service and remuneration as BT but without the inane anti Arsenal adverts and commentaries?

    Has Arsenal looked at other providers?

    Does Arsenal Vinai Venkatesham understand the high level of disgust in which BT is held?

  9. Just what is the club thinking of, lining up with Sprout again? They hate us! I couldn’t stand BT as a company, before they began their scouse love affair. Their adverts over the years are sick-making. What exactly is this ‘extra level of insight’? Bigots like Gray? Dimwits like Owen? No way would I subscribe to their dirty channels. This has been a very disappointing decision by AFC.

  10. BT can only promote what they showed last season – and to be fair to them they have to show what Sky didn’t have. That is, if you didn’t have BT last year – here’s what you missed.

    I agree that they have probably gone over the top with this, but I’m still more annoyed at the manager and players for allowing the results to happen in the first place – especially the Chelsea one.

    I go to almost every game home and away – and that’s partly to avoid having to listen to rubbish that is spoken by people like Michael Owen.

  11. With luck it will inspire the players somewhat to hopefully avoid such defeats in the future. We were really bad that day and any hopeful winners surely cannot lose games in that fashion. COYG.

  12. I wrote to them complaining about their ad campaign and overly ant-arsenal bias, adding I’d be taking my business elsewhere, and they could stick their Michael Owen where the sun don’t shine.

  13. Does anyone have Mr Venkatesham’s Arsenal email address? I just tried, but my email bounced back. The only one on the web site is for the box office, which might be my last resort.
    It’s no good just complaining on here about it, positive action needs to be taken.

  14. Already written to BT and told them why I have cancelled. Hope AFC get the message.

    Banter is two ways… Bullying is when there is constant one way attacks.

    Done with the sprouts.

  15. One last try to get this into a proper perspective ..
    Two years ago Rupert Murdoch and Son were in charge of the News Of the World, and responsible, if not found guilty of, the most disgraceful phone hacking scandals.scandal of all time. No, not just the hacking of the dead girls phone, but the fact they had a self preservation mode that stopped them from passing on the information to the police at the time. They are the people in charge of the only viable alternative to watch Arsenal games ‘live’ if you live far away and have no hope of getting to the Emirates.

    … and you are still going on about something BT happen to be running at the moment????

    Perhaps if you had the same faith that Walter has about Arsenal’s future, you will realise at some point their presenters will have less things to slant against us over the next season? Gary Neville for example … Yes, he is at Sky, but he would have been one of the last people I would have expected to say complimentary things? So there is hope that M Owen and co will have to think again. No hope for Stewart Robson though.
    After all, they do have do have Martin Keown at pitch side, as a ‘balance’ to the David James angle. The Scottish commentator has often said he wants Arsenal to do better. Let’s face it, there were times last season when we did not help ourselves. But it is a passing phase. Follow Walter’s blueprint and all this will be forgotten.

    As for streams. I do not no how you can compare streams with a professionally produced broadcast. Not only are the connections unreliable, but they leave your computer with a whole host of unwanted ‘search engines’ and the like. After opting out of wiziwig’s indemnity clause, I tried a couple of others. Both were stopped in their tracks by ‘MalwareBytes’ finding malicious content hidden in their setup.exe
    So you can go down that route if you want to?
    I also went through the Sky chat line to find out the comparison between them plus, BT Sport, rather than what I am planning to do in having BT, plus Sky Sports 1 & 2. What came pretty apparent from the Sky chat was the would not give the final figure until they have gone through all the extras they can flog you. On the BT one I asked two questions; How much for BT Infinity 2(an upgrade in my case, as it is now available here), plus Sky Sports 1&2. The answer came back straight away. The second question, how long for delivery/installation. Again, full reply in seconds.

    The problem with Sky is you cannot have Sky Sports (admittedly all Sports channels)without having a TV package. When I was doing my running total in my head, I quickly realised that it was going to cost another £30 per month more than BT. Think on that Ziggy?
    This is not a promotion for BT. Just what I have found out today.

  16. “Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Sales and Marketing Director”.

    This gentleman is a Director of Arsenal Broadband Limited.

    There are 6 Directors in all, 2 names will be familiar, Ivan Gazidis and Tom Fox, the latter signs the Directors’ Report!

    ALL 6 Directors are unpaid!!!!

  17. Here’s an idea, it might seem strange, but MAYBE, just MAYBE Arsenal shouldn’t capitulate so badly against big teams… Would we complain if it was a game we won 5-0 or 5-1, I doubt it! Maybe, just maybe, this will be the motivation the players need… every time they watch BT they are reminded of their pathetic attempts to beat the top teams…. Just think about this, if we beat or drew just two more of the games against the big four (united, city, liverpool, chelsea) it is likely we would have won the league….

  18. Looking forward to watching TV coverage of the Emirates Cup this coming weekend, by BT.
    Because it’s the only way millions of us can watch Arsenal FC in action.

  19. nicky

    There are other options if you have a very good download speed. At least 20mbps will do to get a streaming site, and it’s free and not illegal to use. And you can also watch cricket on some of them.

  20. @oldgroover,
    When you attain your 91st year, switching on a light becomes a positive achievement.

  21. Try not to get so worked up.

    Maybe BT Sport will see sense this season.

    Soothe yourself with some nice photos on the Arsenal web site of the team doing a double training session in Austria.

  22. nicky

    You’re in good company then as Leonard Cohen once said that working the buttons on the lift (elevator) was the extreme of his technological expertise.

  23. Quite correct guest , the BT CEO is a Liverpool fan

    In this game, Seems all roads lead north west.
    That is one of the qualities david dein had, he always put arsenal first….some would say to a fault, others might say to our long term detriment as he made a serious enemy of mr scudamanc,but if he were still on the board, for his occasional faults, think he would be using his considerable influence against those who constantly put the club in a negative light.

  24. I wrote to…. and this is the response:

    Thank you for your recent e-mail and taking the time to contact us with your concerns around the recent BT Sport adverts promoting their coverage of the new Premier League season.

    As you may have seen, the channel has taken the step to apologise for its content in these adverts should it have caused offence with Arsenal supporters.

    As a Club we were not involved in the planning or creative process for the adverts, and naturally wouldn’t want supporters to be disappointed by their content.

    We can assure you that we have a strong working relationship with BT Sport as an official partner, and hope that their apology helps in respect of your concerns.

    Thanks again for getting in touch.

    Kind regards,

    Now:::: Has anyone seen any apology?

  25. @ Paddy Gooner 12.17am

    The answer to your question is No,I have spoken to No one who has heard or read an apology from BT Sport therefore my suggestion is ,Keep writing to the club this Channel and most of their Pundits / commentators’ are total Anti Arsenal F.C.

  26. Maybe Arsenal is just keeping the “enemy” closer. Arsenal will probably end up buying BT anyway. We all know Arsenal is building up it’s own Media system, and having seen Arsenal’s way of doing things, i am not worried about BT, but i understand it is annoying (i do not listen to commentary) to others.

    Arsenal is just going to have to perform in a way that there is no room for them to “throw their poison darts” AND Arsenal’s skin is now added protection with a “force field” energised with the energy of the FA win.

    In the end, there is not much choice(in UK), Sky and BT, BT or Sky, unless you have your own media system.

  27. OT: Penalties

    Someone asked The Guardian about Aston Villa’s futility in taking penalties. Part of their answer, is that Arsenal(14) and Chelsea (10) are the best in taking penalties.

  28. Mandy @11.16 – I don’t mean to be picky, but ‘Dein always put Arsenal first’ … Really?

    Wasn’t this the guy,who after being caught out delivering the backhanders in order to achieve his transfer deals, which in today’s era would probably have us slapped with a 2 year transfer ban. Who, when ‘relieved of his duties’, promptly flogged his shares to the Russian billionaire, and thus created a big split in the board, not to mention feeding the ‘short-termist’s’ to keep up with the barrage of ‘Spend the F*cking Money!’ during the difficult years, and if we had have gone down that route and said billionaire had his assets frozen(as might happen any day soon?) we could be in serious financial difficulty right now. Did he not just take his money and run, but leaving his son to damage us further, in manipulating RVP’s exit in the way that he did?

    I think there is something of a romantic notion that Dein was some great hero that took care of ‘business’, but it is best left in the past where it belongs?

  29. Gerry
    When did Dein get caught “delivering the backhanders” and who were they to?
    I must have missed this episode in his Arsenal tenure. Was he charged with anything?

  30. Wasn’t aware of anything like that Gerry. More referring to him putting Arsenal first all the time on all the various committees he sat on, eventually becoming unsustainable as it pissed off other clubs, and scudamore. As I said in the post, dein had his faults, but he always put arsenal first… his mind at least, and I think he would not have stood for anything against the club from his position of power.
    Having said all this, times are maybe different, and I think Ivan is also doing a very good job

  31. I agree with para. There’s gotta be a good and justified reason for Arsenal FC to do this. We as fans should wait and see how it goes. Arsene himself knows about the media bias and numerously voiced out in the public. Maybe there is a hidden plan in all this.

  32. @Micheal Ram
    July 30, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I tend to agree with you, as surely Arsenalo can not bbe ignorant of the sprout’s attack on the club.

    May be its a case ‘if you can’t stop them join them’, causing them to change their adverse publicity to positive publicity if they wantthe Arsenal money and link.

  33. @Paddy Gooner

    Thanks for giving us this reply.

    I think the very fact that Arsenal obviously got in touch and BT Sport said they had issued an apology, even if none of us has seen it, means Arsenal has some influence. This can only be a good thing.

  34. Not only apologies should BT Sport be giving, but also the posters they have in the tube stations. Baker Street have the smug Mourinho saying something about the unpredictability of football game and at the bottom show Chelsea 6 – Arsenal 0………

  35. I think this is the 2nd time the Arsenal marketing team has made the fans unhappy by not thinking things over.

  36. I do appreciate the points made on both sides here. What I would say though is that because Untold picks its arguments with the club carefully, and doesn’t weigh in all the time, when we do have a point to make, it can have an impact.

    I’m not kidding myself that little Untold on its own will make Arsenal change its mind, but rather that our efforts and annoyance can make them think, and perhaps apply a little pressure behind the scenes.

    If nothing else, it might make them think twice next time.

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