Damon popped by yesterday and delivered his gospel. And bloody good was as well…
I come from a strong Christian upbringing, but my family are in no way whatsoever evangelical. My ethos is very much in tune with “if you think that, hey, that’s great, but I’ve done my reading and wondering and please don’t take my indifference to all-comers mindsets as an invitation to try and bend my head to see the world through the eyes you do”
Football fandom is very close to religion in the feelings, senses and passions it can and does evoke. Just like religion, though, it can start to morph into a rather ugly beast. It’s our responsibility to stop, think and evaluate ourselves and those around us in simple human terms, within the parameters of what we personally and collectively perceive to be “decent” in the here and now.
There is no point trying to take something that was relevant 5000 years ago, and applying it word for word today. Nor assuming what was “right” in football a hundred years ago, could be wholesale applied today.
Moving from Highbury was probably the single most damaging thing that happened to this club in decades. It has brought many benefits, some vast, but for me, the negatives are beginning to outweigh them
Heat And Soul, One Will Burn
It didn’t start out with that intention, but we are where we are and it should be assessed on face value.
The board and our own fans say “you don’t know how lucky you are”; the only ones I’d listen to would be fans of other clubs. I must sound like an utter prick to a host of fans who aspire to Champions League football. Not just once but every season in living memory and a 60k all seater stadium in the heart of London with every comfort you desire. So, to them I say, yes, I am arrogant but be careful what you wish for
I was in favour of moving to The Emirates. A dream of more affordable tickets that were more easily available, whilst helping the club to compete for European glory was sold. I bought it and who wouldn’t? The idea was pure and a good one
Has it brought any of those benefits? Not one. In fact, all three points are further away from being realised than when we started
The atmosphere in the stadium is poor at best; always has been and probably always will be. Perhaps it’s the rose-tinted glasses but can anyone imagine going to The Emirates on their own, as a one-time visitor (i.e. not sitting in a seat they regularly attend) and feeling a sense of comradery?
I’d venture that unless you made a better than average effort yourself, no one would even speak to you throughout the game. Sing??!!?? You’ll be lucky! It won’t be an amusing one either, probably the horrendous monotone of simply “ArsenalArsenalArsenal”. The witty songs that were made up almost game to game have been replaced with huge flags that are waved behind the goal when someone scores. Hurrah!
The Gift Which Keeps On Giving
I challenge anyone who has visited Highbury once and The Emirates just once to tell me all the benefits they feel the move has brought them. Personally, and collectively to us, AFC fans. Then the negatives. I’ll happily engage in that list making today or any day from now
Some of the fans have been blinded by the stadium. It’s become bigger than the club, the team and the game.
In part, it has divided the fan base, possibly irrevocably which is dreadful to even think possible.
Some will say that it isn’t the clubs fault. That since the idea of the stadium was born to take us to the next level, the game changed. Sponsorship and television money dwarfs match day revenue, with oil money mixed in there too. In part, I’d agree.
AFC has been too slow to adapt to the shift in the landscape, to the point of being left behind. Now we’re hiding behind the mantra of doing it the right way, but in reality, we’re not doing it at all
If you’re here and reading this site, you care about AFC. Therefore, I ask each and every one of you, where is your line in the sand on this? When we get there if we haven’t crossed it already, what are YOU going to do about it?
The board must be over the moon this morning. They have built a sterile concrete monolith bowl that is the gift that keeps on giving.
Take Me To The Promised Land
After relocating from Highbury to what was previously a rubbish dump (literally – you couldn’t make this up) they didn’t know what to call it, so they let an airline pay them millions to name it after their global brand. No doubt some other brand will pay an incomprehensible sum to call it something else some day, but The Emirates will stick. A bit like Boris Bikes will always be called that.
The concrete altar brings in another £30m a year as the serfs traipse back and forth, back and forth, to kneel and worship every week. The overwhelming size and enormity of the bowl are sold as a dreadful burden to carry every week, so the serfs scrape their coppers together and offer them to the collection plate. They’re happy to help, as the Promised land is close now.
So close. Just a few more pennies and a little more hardship. Tomorrow is coming and it’ll be wonderful. Tomorrow will be wonderful!! Just make sure you pay today – we now take all major credit cards – for your convenience, of course.
And when other circuses roll into town and deliver the promised land today, not tomorrow, they can turn back and say, but don’t forget The Concrete Bowl!!!!!! It must be paid for!!! Those others are merely circuses, not a true place of worship!! They are sinners, snakes and charlatans. The truth shall be known on Judgement Day. When the Bowl delivers the promised land, we shall know that it was done the holy way. The right way. The only way!!!!!!
It’s All Watered Down
During that long, long wait and worship, your patience will be tested. But only those who truly pay and believe will earn their right to celebrate in Club Level. It might cost £5k a season, but you can jump the season ticket waiting list. And you get a “free” pint at half time
Everything is, except the prices. The beer, the football, the passion, the pride. Even the winning has been diluted to “4th place is a trophy, as it pays for The Bowl”
The Bowl is always full. Even when it’s half empty. Bums on seats are no longer the barometer. Seats that are paid for is all that counts. And they’re all paid for, every week
The march towards organised religion is complete. Pay your money, get nothing back while the priest screws hordes of wild hookers sozzled on the finest brandy in every waking hour, barring the one a week when he must deliver the sermon.
Victoria Concordia Crescit
The serfs are too terrified to question it. They must keep paying the pennies for The Bowl or Tottenham might leapfrog us into the 4th place trophy. And the bowl would collapse and everything you worshipped would be gone and tomorrow will never come. So, don’t let it happen!!
It’s the ultimate board members wet dream. They know the serfs know it’s all a sham. But they’ve bought enough of it to be too scared to turn away now, so better to stick with what they know
All hail the mighty concrete bowl. 4th place – it’s a prize! It’s pure! You can worship it and worship in it. It’s a wondrous pile of fucking concrete full of tourists. Can’t get there? Pay money to stream the services into your living room LIVE!! You too can see The Bowl and help its holy guardians, Arsenal PLC, with their righteous struggle to maintain it, for your benefit, for another year, so call our toll-free number to make your donation now!!!
So, in summary, please ask yourself this question.
Do you support a concrete bowl that sits atop an old rubbish tip or a football club, whose motto is Victoria Concordia Crescit?
4th place, in-fighting and worshipping false idols? Or VICTORY GROWS OUT OF HARMONY above all else?
Look around, stop and have a think about it and choose the right path while a wonderful game teeters on the brink of eternal damnation