Premier League Join UEFA In Contempt for Arsenal Fans

How do you like your football, sir? Saturday at 3pm? I’m afraid not; that is just too ‘old skool’ for the modern game.

Sky and BT mauled the fixture list this morning with 33 games moved from their traditional Saturday afternoon slot to a long weekend, anywhere between Friday 8pm to the same time on a Monday. Tell me, grandpa, what was it like in the days before television killed football as a spectator sport.

This is the same conversation we have year in, year out. Suits sit around congratulating themselves every few years as they screw a few hundred million more from television companies but each time, they hammer another nail into the soul of football’s coffin. Fortunately, the soul is big; too big to be completely dead or buried yet despite their best efforts. But how long before permanent damage is done? How long before the golden egg is overcooked and turns into a burnt omelette?

They are giving it a good go for matchgoing Arsenal fans; yes, I know we’re not the only ones but this is an Arsenal blog FFS.

So far, none of our 2019-20 matches kicks off at 3pm Saturday afternoon with only Aston Villa’s trip to the Emirates moving because of the Europa League. Television wrought havoc on our fixture list without one shred of concern, instead revelling in its contempt for fans.

The standout fixture in that mess is Manchester United, which is now on a Monday night with an 8pm kick-off. The shrill peep of Mike Dean’s whistle blows at around 9.50pm; good luck to anyone hoping to get back to Manchester Piccadilly in time for the 22:28 train to Euston. That’s the last London train until 5am on Tuesday, by the way.

Won’t Anybody Think of the Fans?

Arrogance isn’t the sole preserve of English football administrators. Arrogance or contempt – it’s hard to work out which is the greater threat to fans – pervades UEFA as well. The AST announced their six tests against which any changes to European football must be judged in a letter to the club last month. It’s going to the Football Supporters Europe AGM with support from other clubs’ Supporters Trusts:

Good luck with that but Arsenal’s sphere of influence is more limited than you think to judge by comments attributed to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin regarding the Europa League final. “Arsenal complained [the most]. That was probably because of the fans,” he moaned. “They just complained.”

So, we made some friends in high places ahead of Baku. Men in suits who probably enjoyed our humiliation and who answer the phone to us, “Raul…no”.

The only way to make the suits sit up and take notice is fans boycotting matches AND watching something other than the live television coverage. Hitting them in the pocket is the only way to effect change but for many people, a breaking point hasn’t yet been reached.

Talking of money as I was – let’s face it, most things in modern football come back to money – Arsenal added £3.5m to the coffers yesterday when David Ospina made his move to Napoli permanent. Ismael Bennacer could add a similar sum if he moves to Milan thanks to a sell-on clause we inserted when we sold him to Empoli.

And that, according to this gem, will make Enos very happy indeed…

’til Tomorrow.

15 thoughts on “Premier League Join UEFA In Contempt for Arsenal Fans

  1. Anthony Ikpo says:

    Welcome Back YW. I didn’t think I would miss you so much but then what do I know!
    The UEFA President is correct. We complain about everything it gets boring. I guess that’s a fallout of the continuous success of the Wenger years. We have developed a sense of entitlement to everything.
    I am an Arsenal fan who lives in Nigeria and if the FA allows TV executives to tamper with fixtures so I can watch it live, good. I feel for the fans who attend live games BUT they are NOT the only fans. The interest of others matter. Live day atmosphere is important in creating more excitement but the monies we contribute which eventually gets to the clubs, help them grow. Let’s all live and let live. can we?

  2. Dukey says:

    You’re not pissing about now Yogi. Two posts in two days. Yeehaw.

  3. Wavey says:

    Welcome back YW.

    Anybody else wondering what our goal keeper back up situation looks like? Who is our cup keeper for the coming season?

    I’m not keen on us having to make do with what we have in some positions, but it is what it is. Getting rid of supporting players for some positions really doesn’t make a lot of sense though. Is AMN now back-up to Bellerin? That means he’s first choice for the start of the season with some difficult early games lined up again. And who is back up for AMN, Jenks? It can’t be Jenks, he’s the player that Palace want so badly that they will do a cut price deal for Zaha.

    It sometimes feels like the club are so desperate to get out of the Europa League that we are willing to finish out of the European places to avoid it.

  4. C says:

    Wavey,

    Martinez will probably go into it as our Cup GK especially after impressing at Reading last season. While most think he is young, he is actually 26 years old so he isn’t young. I do wonder if Emery will go with Leno in the PL and post-group stage matches EL.

  5. Pete the Thirst says:

    Good old Premier League. They’re going to squeeze every last penny out of this game. Saturday games will be a distant memory soon.

    Why don’t the Premier League just televise the lot? Friday – 1 game; Sat & Sun 4 games; Monday 1 game. They could strike a deal with the lower leagues by bunging some of their filthy lucre to cover their losses (although not sure it will make much difference to the crowds). At least that way there could be some Saturday football.

    I read the Matt Scott post a long time ago. He may be on the money there. Just had a quick look at the AFC website for the updated fixtures and the links aren’t working. That website is about 5 years out of date. Progress…

  6. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Good to read you again YW. Stay well!

    To be fair, I wouldn’t make an exception for Zaha, either. Haven’t wanted us to miss out on a player so much since Vardy.

    I live abroad now and usually watch only on TV and I don’t find the Mon / Fri kickoffs convenient either! I’m glad they work for someone.

    I’m fine with Martinez being given a shot at number two.

  7. Brian says:

    Like some others here I too live overseas and benefit by seeing more Arsenal matches on tv. If they play on Saturday there is no guarantee they will be shown, as was the case for the last fixture of the previous season. However I do sympathise with the fans who attend matches and are forced to pay more to watch one game than I pay to watch 4-5 games, they seem to be treated with contempt at times.

  8. Blue Yonder says:

    I record most of Arsenal’s games due to time difference. That said, I am completely on-side with the view that stadium fans are being treated egregiously. How long before a game is played in an empty stadium because fans either couldn’t afford the price or because it was scheduled at a time that was beyond reason?

  9. nicky says:

    The day when football’s financial bubble bursts approaches ever nearer, IMO.
    Then, fees and players’ wages will inevitably return to a more sensible level. As will the price for watching live games.

  10. Wavey says:

    C,

    Gunners legend David Seaman has urged Arsenal to sign Joe Hart to challenge German stopper Bernd Leno.

    The Burnley keeper faces competition from Tom Heaton and Nick Pope – leaving Hart’s future in doubt.

    He told Football.London: “I think they should be trying to get a more experienced keeper in as [Bernd] Leno’s number two.

    “I know they’ve got some really talented young keepers in Emi Martinez, Deyan Iliev, Matt Macey and Arthur Okonkwo, but I just think they could do with an older number two.

    “Those lads are real talents but they’ve not got an awful lot of experience at the top, top level.

    “It would be a big step for them to come in and be Leno’s number two in the Premier League after being on loan or playing for the U23s.

    “I don’t think they need someone like Schubert as Leno’s number two either – why not look at Joe Hart or Jack Butland as a number two?

    “They have loads of experience. That’s the sort of quality they should be looking at as the club’s number two at the moment.”

  11. Wavey says:

    nicky,

    We can dream, but I suspect that time is still a way off.

  12. Dalm says:

    Pete

    I think that there is a good chance that the part of the Arsenal website to do with selling ‘merch’ is absolutely up to date.

    Football has no soul at the top level – and I wonder whether we should be aspiring/engaging with that any more ???

    Match attending fans are being priced put of the market – but nothing new there, been going on for years….similarly players are obscenely over paid – there is NO sane justification for it…..Kits that cost pennies to make we pay hundreds to buy (WTF is the matchday kit?)

    Not able to travel to matches much so lost count of the number of matches over the last few years that I have succumbed to the urge to ‘pay per view’ – and almost always been disappointed and charged through the nose for.

    Feckit, rant over, come on you gunners

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