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July 2021
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Arsenal transforms its attitude towards its fans with significant pre-season changes

By Tony Attwood

As a member of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association, and through my work in running the Arsenal History Society I do get occasional snippets of information from the club which lead me to think that matters are very much travelling in the right direction.  (By which of course I mean they are thinking the same way that I am, rather than the way most of the journalists and bloggers are thinking).

Obviously I can’t repeat matters that are said in private meetings, although perhaps I might pass on the fact that a senior member of the club, in one meeting did express his exasperation in saying that he thought press coverage of the club was rather poor, given the incredible performance of Arsenal on the pitch since Christmas last year.

There were quite a few chuckles among the small group present and when the senior Arsenal person looked quizzical about our laughter one of my colleagues did point out that the esteemed gent had just repeated what Untold Arsenal had been saying for the past few months.  We were, we were able to tell him, very much on his side.

And generally I do feel positive about the way the club is heading, not just because there are people within who are as exasperated with the media as I am, but also because of the changes the club are making.

These changes are not all major earth-shattering events, but for those of us who go to games, and give Arsenal our hard earned cash, they are of significance.

For example, this pre-season, at least the first four pre-season games on TV will be available free to Silver, Red, Cannon, Purple and Junior Gunners Members, and season ticket holders who have renewed their tickets.

It’s not a major thing watching pre-season friendlies, but I like to do it to get the hang of what changes are being made – just as I always used to make a point of going to Barnet and a few other non-league grounds when we had a pre-season game there each year.

And of course there is the bonus this year that only four of our players had to risk life and limb playing for their countries through the summer in the Uefa competition, although we have also just lost Gabriel Martinelli who has been named in Brazil’s squad for the Olympic tournament. Gabriel was also called up but has had to withdraw due to injury.

What with the Uefa competition and the Olympics you might be excused for thinking that the pandemic was over, but no, the Uefa Variant is now rampaging in Britain with 32,500 daily cases, 2600 in hospital and 35 daily deaths.  But hey, who cares when there are international tournaments to be arranged.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

Anyway, back to the forthcoming, and this is normally the time of year when annoyingly we have to take out a full month or two subscription to a channel that we won’t ever watch again, and then have a devil of a job to cancel the subscription once the Arsenal games are over.

But now all four of our pre-season fixtures in July will be available to watch live on Arsenal.com for members.  A really good idea in my opinion.

The gang will travel to Scotland to kick-off the pre-season campaign against Hibernian and Rangers on July 13 and 17.  Arsenal will then toddle off to America to take part in the Florida Cup, where we will face Inter Milan and either Millonarios or Everton on July 25 and 28.

After that in August we have two games in the MIND series – against Chelsea at home and Tottenham away.

I don’t think TV arrangements for those games have been announced as yet.  Let’s hope it is not a deal with BT Sprout who will probably spend the games making jokes about Arsenal, as they did the last time they had the rights to the emirates cup.

So, a move in the right direction in my view, given that anyone can join Arsenal as a member and show his or her support.

How viral lies about Arsenal are amplified by the media on a daily basis

17 comments to Arsenal transforms its attitude towards its fans with significant pre-season changes

  • Paul Andrews

    I have just bet for the first time in 25 years. 50 pounds at 60’1 for Arsenal to win the league as no Euro games and 2nd in league ‘ last 24 games etc When I told the man in BetFred the FACTS he said but the were terrible last year. I sent a note to Talksport over this but the ignored me and when speaking to a lady researcher on the phone she put it down on me +++ Who do so many so called experts keep bullshitting about our season… Its ignorance, and or deceitfulness at work…

  • Keith

    Your headline includes a typo. It should read “Arsenal transforms its attitude towards its fans with pre-season charges.” Are you really unaware that AFC is charging to watch the pre-season matches on arsenal.com? I spend a lot of money following Arsenal via TV – my uncle played for AFC and I was a season ticket holder for 20 years when I lived in London. Since then – as I cannot physically attend matches – I have shelled out a significant portion of my income to watch every kick. I buy the merchandise. I buy all my (8) grandchildren Arsenal shirts. I was an inaugural “red member” but gave it up because there was no benefit to me. Arsenal.com is getting harder to use – I have to log in with a password every single time to watch any of the video features and, since life is short, this does deter me from clicking on things I would otherwise enjoy. I’ve always followed pre-season – but I won’t be this year. I simply can’t afford yet more expenditure for – let’s face it – interesting but non-competitive matches. I would still love to watch – and I can’t feel that putting arsenal.com behind a paywall is in any way friendly to supporters. For the first time ever, I am considering ditching Sky and BTSh*t because of the spiralling prices but partly also as a reaction to the club’s pricing of pre-season friendlies. Life without AFC is very hard for me to contemplate – it has been a huge part of my life – but I do feel as if ‘my’ club is driving me away. Arsenal is now only for the wealthy – and it feels to me very much like the club doesn’t want the support of an OAP. I used to feel it was the people’s club. You are in a privileged group not being charged for the pre-season matches. Your positive article, given the situation for the rest of us, feels very much like Marie Antoinette saying that the poor with no bread should eat cake instead. (She didn’t actually say it – it’s always been fake news – but no more fake than your congratulating the moneygrubbers for trying to screw yet more money we can’t afford from AFC’s very loyal supporters). Even to an Arsenal obsessive, there are limits. The attempt to extort money for watching very basic coverage on a tiny screen is going to prove the last straw that breaks this Arsenal-adoring camel’s back.

  • Mike T

    Keith

    Living as we do many miles away from a PL club the majority of those locals that support teams select their team based on cups won that means that in the main teams support is based on team choice made as opposed to team choice based on geography .

    Most of my mates are now settled financially and are able to fund expensive excursions to watch their adopted teams from Arsenal to Wolves, from Everton to Liverpool and yes Chelsea to Newcastle come matchday supporters travelled full of hope, expectation wallets full of £20 notes that would decline in number as the day proceeded. You would be surprised just how many travel from a town with a population of some 12k to watch football.

    I am not renewing my Chelsea season tickets this season, it’s not the financial cost it’s the physical cost of driving around 125 miles each way to a game. I am simply too old. But and here’s the but had COVID and VAR not occurred I probably would have carried on spending £900pa on my season ticket but would have incurred even more cost as I would be adding an overnight hotel cost for every game

    I am not alone in not renewing my season tickets. For instance I know an Everton supporter whose mother still lives In Liverpool and now in her 90s he visited every matchday but can longer stomach the challenge of the journey , he drove some 40 miles to meet up with a coach then spent some 5-6 hours getting to Liverpool, after a game the journey home meant if he went to an evening game he would get back just in time to go to work. The fact is he no longer gets the buzz watching or travelling to games and he tells me that he simply has got out of the routine and other than not seeing his mother so often it’s a win win for him.

    Football isn’t what it was yes that’s an obvious statement but going to a game was far more than just the 90 minutes . I got a real buzz meeting like minded people on our excursions often they supported different clubs but we shared love you would never have met and whilst you knew little to nothing about their private lives yet when you talked to them it’s amazing how there were links . For instance the chap that sat next to my wife at SB lives in Essex some 200 miles from us yet his daughter lives 3 miles from us and owns a hair dressers in our town and cuts sister in laws hair.

    Sky and BT don’t offer value for money far from it but I have to say during lockdown football provided a window to normality, well of sort. I find the pundits and indeed the commentators shallow and for supposed experts their lack of technical knowledge particularly when it comes to the laws of the game is embarrassing. That said I doubt they even grasped their lack of knowledge rendered so many of their comments as irrelevant

    Will I stop watching football? No I will still attend the odd game but I will get most of my football fix from the two channels but the game of toady isn’t the game I fell in love with but my addiction to football means I just can’t go cold turkey.

  • Thanks Mike, really appreciated your comments.

  • Nitram

    Paul Andrews

    I had my little ew a couple of weeks ago and also got 66/1. My issue is you only get 2 places, at least at Betfred you do.

    I had a different experience with the guy that took my bet, who happens to be an Arsenal fan, who knew all about the finish to the season and agreed 66/1 was miles too big.

  • Nitram

    Mike T

    “Will I stop watching football? No. I will still attend the odd game but I will get most of my football fix from the two channels but the game of *toady isn’t the game I fell in love with but my addiction to football means I just can’t go cold turkey.”

    very similar feelings. The only slight difference for me is my addiction isn’t football it’s Arsenal. They have been a massive part of my life. I used to follow them all over the place, mostly with very little to cheer about. Due to work commitments almost to the day Wenger took over I’ve only been able to go very rarely, therefore I am entirely dependent on SKY and BT, which might explain why I detest everything about football except my beloved Gunners.

    Nice to hear from you again and good to know you are well. I look forward to crossing swords once again !

    *Magnificent Freudian slip Mike

  • porter

    It’s 138 miles by road from home to Clissold Park which is about a mile from where I park. I renewed this year probably for the last time and I did it because we are not in Europe and will not be subject to so many silly o’clock kick offs on every day of the week.
    Hopefully we will see more 3 pm kick offs on Saturdays which just about gets you home before the local shuts. 8 pm midweek matches are just a nightmare.

    Somehow I could not let it go , having not been for so long due to covid I just wanted to have one last go at it , having been a regular attender since my first game in 1956.

    It will break the connection going back to my grandfather who was a blacksmith at Woolwich Arsenal at the turn of those centuries ( 19 and 20 ) so it wasn’t about cups and trophies for me , my uncles and father saw to that.
    Still I doubt that when I stop Arsenal will miss me as much as I will miss them.

  • Mike T

    Nitram.

    Yep still chugging along but as I said in my earlier post age is catching up with me. Am 65 in a week and whilst some would say that’s not old I just haven’t got the energy or probably desire to spend 6 or so hours driving just to go to a game wouldn’t have blinked about doing it even 5 years ago but so man6 other things have happened that sort of put the importance of football into perspective

    Don’t you just love spell check? Toady indeed

    I look forward to “ cross swords” because at the end of the day football really is about opinions . It’s just mine is always correct whereas others aren’t! Wink wink nod nod .

    All joking apart of course Chelsea is my team and has been since 1967 the day we can back from a place called Carey Camp ( that location mean anything to you Tony ?) it was a Saturdayin May and cup final day Chelsea lost 2-1 to Spurs. God forbid on the coach back everyone was supporting Spurs but I saw the light and Chelsea became my team much to the annoyance of my Grandfather who was born in Woolwich joined the Royal Artillery and Arsenal was his team.

    When transfers start to gain momentum I perhaps will start to post some more although in theory clubs should be struggling to get the funds together to pay for transfers so hey I guess that you wont hear a lot from me and no doubt you might feel that’s a plus. I do however find it odd that some are suggesting that KSE have sanctioned a big spend which when you factor in the extent of the charge that Barclays now hold over both the assets and future earnings of Arsenal you have to question

    I see however Artetas first signing is almost certainly a cover although I have to confess the name Tavares wasn’t one I had heard of in PL terms not an expensive signing but as they say a pair of legs.

    I don’t know about you I want to be buzzing about England but I just can’t get too excited . Of course I will watch it but I feel so little in terms of connecting with the manager and the players as to be almost embarrassed

    Be good and oh was it a slip ?

  • 65? A mere stripling!

    But really, you can’t expect me to let “football really is about opinions” go can you. Half the articles on this site contain statistics and evidence.

  • Mike T

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    Statics show that around 40% of all fatal RTAs involve either alcohol or drugs. That means 60% occur when there is no evidence of drugs or booze .

    So that means get drunk or high on drugs and you stand less chance of being involved in a fatal RTA

    Ok 5he % s might not be accurate but you get what I mean

  • Nitram

    Mike T

    I said the £250 million story was rubbish the day it appeared, and still believe it to be so.

    Contrary to what people say, including many of our own fans, we have spent a lot of money the last few years. On the face of it given our last 2 finishes not that well. BUT if the last 2 3rds of the seasons improvement is maintained then maybe it’s been better spent than it has perhaps seemed. Time will tell.

  • Mike T
    There are three kinds of comments: ones based on reality, ones based on insight, and ones based on personal prejudice. The first two are usually quite interesting.

  • Nitram – I’m with you there. A back of the envelope trotting up suggests to me that in the Premier League most managerial changes don’t improve the club’s results, so directors just go on making changes until ultimately they find themselves an Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson.

  • Mike T

    Tony

    The obvious comeback to your comment could go something like

    “Don’t be so hard on yourself I actually find some of your comments quite interesting “

    Anyways can see that we are all into pre season mode.

    Nitram

    Of course the story is rubbish but it’s amazing how it’s hooked in so many that level of spend be it nett or whatever because that level of spend would have massive consequences not just in terms of having to fund the difference between sales and purchases but in wage terms ,balancing the HG and NHG allocations and of course trying to integrate new signings which isn’t as easy as some tend to think

    It’s impossible to argue about the last 2/3 of the season but the counter of course is that a season is 38 games and not 26 and of course squad makeup will be different going into the new season and whilst I don’t think many will miss David Luiz on the pitch he was a leader off it and leaders are crucial when you have young or new players. Oh and don’t forget will the impact of supporters returning.

    As for us the surprise CL win, and yes it was a surprise has delivered a real financial bonus we will bring in two or three or maybe even four players and as already witnessed will be selling some .

    In terms of who we will bring in well I suspect a GK will be promoted from the academy so unless Kepa is off then no Gk purchases.

    It looks like Zouma is being sold so another CD is likely, in midfield one purchase and one stepping up from the academy (Tino Anjourin) Tino was born in Poole Tony.
    But it’s in the forward positions that most attention will be paid. Lot of chatter around Harland and that would be interesting but go back to my point about players settling in. I do expect another academy product Armando Broja , born in Slough, who has had an incredible season in Holland on loan to be very close to getting into the first team squad add to that there will be a forward purchased and having watched Danny Ings for several years even prior to him breaking into the Bournemouth team I just wonder if he could be a suprise transfer target for a top 6 club

    Just like Arsenal we will be trying to sell players in what is a really deflated market every club will be trying to squeeze that extra bit of cash out of the opposition so I do wonder if some clubs will be forced to sell their prized assets as we get closer to deadline day so I do expect a lot af activity in the last few days of the window

    But that’s just an opinion!

    Be safe one and all and enjoy the day

  • Nitram

    Mike T

    Regarding that reported £250 what amazed me (or did it ?) was some friends and colleagues who’s views and opinions I usually put great stock in actually believed/believe it.

    The standard remark was along the lines of “I have a great feeling about this transfer window. Have you seen who we’re in for ? ( yes all 107 actually but who’s counting, apart from UA of course 😎). If we get x, y z blah blah blah”

    What can you say without sounding like a kill joy? But guys IT AINT HAPPENING

  • Mike T

    Nitram

    What intrigues me in the £250 million is where some think that sum will come from

    Of course it’s possible that KSE might just inject money but I just can’t see them doing that indeed the way in which the stadium debt was refinanced was in some respects real clever because it immediately released the debt reserve account .

    But what intrigues me is how much was borrowed from Barclays a month or two ago and what Arsenal supporters think about the fact that as part of the security the bank now have includes future TV monies and central sponsorship .

  • Menace

    Looking forward to the Opera at Wembley. The dying and feigning of injury as is the style of this anti sport nation. I hope the official from the Netherlands stamps it out from the beginning with a yellow card.

    if football wins then I don’t really worry for the beautiful game.

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