by Tony Attwood
That headline comes from the story in the Guardian, following a decision by Chelsea to introduce a control system from this weekend so that only those who are vaccinated twice or have a recent test are allowed into the ground. It is reported that the government is planning to make the scheme mandatory.
What is missing however is any description of the practicalities of how this is going to happen.
If you’ve been to Arsenal you’ll know that entry is normally through the use of one’s membership card – with no person at the gate checking any sort of ticket in the traditional sense.
That in turn suggests that somehow the fact that one has been vaccinated will have to be electronically merged into the membership card – for anything other than that means that there will have to be human checking of tickets as one goes in. Put that in place and then even greater queues and delays than we already see near kick off will occur.
As it happens, I’ve experienced this checking process already since one of my other passions alongside watching football matches is also facing this issue of entry into events. As I have mentioned on occasion, I enjoy dancing (modern jive if you are interested in the detail) and the dance clubs have been very varied in their approach to regulating who can attend.
Many clubs have no restrictions at all, while some require a certificate of double vaccination or a recent test. And as is obvious, where the person on the door has to check a certificate as well as take the money or swipe a card, it takes two or three times as long to gain entry.
I know that Arsenal are seeking to make the red, silver and gold cards more than just entry cards, so that they will allow fans to use them as debit cards to buy food and drink in the stadium, but I do have a worry about this. Especially if any aspect of my medical records goes on that card as well, because once one has got that far, we surely have to have a pin number on the card for protection. And that is going to make it take four or five times as long to get into the ground.
It really will be interesting to see how Chelsea cope with this, this weekend. Although the trouble is football journalists normally go straight into the media entrance and don’t actually see what happens to us normal people.
Meanwhile ahead of Sunday’s game it appears that only the lower tier is going to be open. Or at least that is the implication from many supporters who report that they have been moved from the upper tier to the lower tier.
That is in contradiction of the notion being circulated in some quarters to the effect that the ground will be nearly full. We shall of course see on Sunday.
Meanwhile on the transfer front we seem to have entered Phase 2, which we always see in the summer window. After virtually every possible player who might be transferred has been tipped to be on Arsenal’s wanted list, we are now told that players who Arsenal wanted are not coming because Arsenal’s offer was far too low. Or too late.
It’s obvious that with well over 100 players tipped to be coming to Arsenal the vast majority of stories are fake, but the “too slow” and “too late” story will at least keep the tales going for another month.
However the tangled web of tipped players not actually arriving is never the fault of those who report the stories of course. So we get headlines like “Carnevali claims ‘right offer’ needed for Locatelli, weeks after claiming Arsenal were ‘pushing hard‘ to sign ace” which, even after I’d read it, leaves me uncertain what it is suggested that is going on.
Ruben Neves, whose name has been on the lists since before the window opened is popping up again and Bruno Guimaraes‘ name is one of the current favourites for a mention (although that probably has nothing to do with a transfer).
And it appears that Harry Clarke will undergo a Ross County medical tomorrow, “Football Insidercan exclusively reveal.” Described as “Arsenal ace Clarke” it is a loan deal. Or so we are told. Anyway it is not an exclusive any more since I’ve mentioned it.
If you are interested there is a full list of all the players who have been tipped to come to Arsenal this summer across these two articles…
- The 116 players coming to Arsenal, part 1: Patrick van Aanholt to Tenu Koopmeiners
- The 116 players coming to Arsenal this summer part 2 Jules Kounde to Piotr Zielinski
I wouldn’t bank on too many of them being true however.
Finally, we’ve gathered together the main stories we’ve run this summer which look at how Arsenal’s change in tactics last winter transformed the club. There are links from the home page.
- Injuries Time to sack Tierney accordinig to one part of the media
- Next season starting lineup and the new Financial Fair Play rules
- The huge bias of referees is proven. PGMO and media fight back.
- 93 players rumoured to be going to Arsenal. Are the journos getting lazy?
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?