Stan and Baku

On the owner and last Wednesday evening’s final

Stan and Baku

Pick your seat at this year's Europa League Final

Many have felt a disconnect with the club since the move away from Highbury.  

Such feelings have grown and been shared by others as the purpose for leaving the wonderful old stadium moves further and further away from being justified.

The new stadium needed memories. There haven’t been enough games that have meant something. There’s fewer people at the game who genuinely care about the result.

The extra capacity at the Emirates and the apathy of long standing fans has opened up more tickets for tourists.

One tourist popped over the pond once or twice and was so taken by the cash cow of the Premier League that he took a selfie, vlogged a penalty and bought a half and half scarf before spending his dollars buying the whole f***ing club. 

Arsenal’s billionaire hasn’t invested a cent into the club itself, just its shares. An owner without ambition, happy standing still long enough until we fell away into Thursday night and Sunday afternoon football. 

An owner who doesn’t give a f***. While Stan is in charge, more and more fans will feel that disconnect. 

It becomes harder to care, to pull up the money, to invest the time and emotion into supporting the club when the owner doesn’t do anything of the sort and can’t even be bothered to attend a European final.

So whilst Stan couldn’t be bothered to make the trip to Baku, I turn towards those who did. 

Cousin Bill was disappointed even before the game. There was no sense of an occasion with “the UEFA family out in full force” at what felt like a trial for the 39th game. He sat watching a European final next to a local fella wearing a John Terry shirt, the pitch another mile away and empty seats everywhere. 

And then the second half....  

There was plenty of time to dwell on the embarrassing capitulation on the coach back to the airport, the four hour wait in the terminal and the six hour flight home.

Too much time to question the efforts you’ve made compared to Ozil. The money you’ve spent getting there, compared to an owner who didn’t deem it important enough. 

There are just ten days between the farce of Baku and the deadline for Season Ticket renewals. In that period, Spurs were in the Champions League final (although at least they didn’t win it). 

It’s enough to make even the most committed of fans think “f*** it”, joining many others who reached the point long ago. 


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  1. markymark

    Jun 04, 2019, 8:04 #114050

    Hi Ron - my thoughts are that at this current time . We appear to be appointing Edu who has managed structures from club to national level and will have good South American contacts plus this guy Cagigao ( I’m wondering if he is the man Sven sacked ). Raul is not therefore trying to do the DOF role. Both appointments if true appear sensible . UTD have Woodward who can develop growth brilliantly but seems to blunder around transfers and a side kick who is involved in marketing. They attempted to recruit Rio as a DOF who never managed structurally and seem inhoc to the UTD old boys . In that regard they are behind us as it’s not structurally correct. Van Gaal complained , Mourinho complained, Ollie is too much of a patsy to complain. I think with them it’s more than a manager issue . You could argue the same with us of course

  2. itsRonagain2

    Jun 03, 2019, 23:01 #114049

    Hi Marky. Yes, either it’s as you say or alternatively the Club is groping about for suitable staff and hoping for the best. I suspect it’s the latter more than the former and Dick seems peripheral to what they do and who they bring in. The whole set up seems as lacking in stability now as ever it did under Wenger. I hope I’m wrong. On Dick , though I’m sure he s got another 12 months at least I can’t help but wonder if he s only ever been a short term expedient. Can’t shake this feeling that I’ve had about him from day 1. Without knowing anything about the clubs inner sanctum dynamic though we can only speculate. It makes me wonder who advises the Kroenke s about these potential appts like Edu and whoever else they seek? You mentioned Man U s situ in a post earlier and said you feel we’re ahead of them. I don’t think so. I think OGS is defo short term there and that they have their Coach in mind who ll take their project fwd. I think Poch will be their man soon as soon as he can wriggle free of the Spuds and the Spuds get their fee for him. With us, I wonder who might follow Dick. It ll be somebody the same or lower calibre for sure. We can’t inject our recovery with cash as Utd can. As an aside though, is Poch really a top man merely awaiting the right club for him to flourish? It remains to be seen I think.

  3. markymark

    Jun 03, 2019, 21:24 #114048

    Apparently along with EDU who will be DOF we are getting Francis Cagigao in the Sven position. Francis actually won an FA youth cup with Arsenal and was our Spanish scout. His wins were Cesc , Santi and Hector. Sadly he couldn’t get Lionel ( apparently he was after him ) Could be interesting in the South American department as we might divert one or two From the classic Italy / Spain European move. This is the stuff that makes me think we could be really moving forward. With or without Dick.


    Jun 03, 2019, 20:15 #114047

    I don't think tribalism has disappeared from either sport or football in particular. Rugby Internationals, this weekend's amazing Saracens v Exeter, rugby league especially & even the gentleman's game of cricket testify to that. AFC have a history of being stuffed with old public school duffers thinking they are a bit of a cut above others. Maybe we secretly loved all that! But now we have the guy whose "sort" we were supposed not to like in charge & we have a real disconnect. Appalling communication, no apparent plan & no sense of direction. Is Edu going to be the missing link? From what I have read I can't see he is going to add anything. The modern business world is tough & I don't see the Kroenkes of this world being smart or driven enough to outplay any of at least 6 other EPL owners. Stanley's history, like his Buddy The Donald, doesn't really stand up to close examination. People say Dick is a second tier owner but, imo, Stan would be Division 2 - more suited to my local team Plymouth. Joe whatshisname at Spurs may be a tax exile but he still has a real influence & drive. The Emirates could rock but not in the present culture for which, I agree, Arthur also bears a great responsibility.

  5. markymark

    Jun 03, 2019, 16:57 #114046

    The Louis Van Gaal interview in the online Guardian is well worth a read. Like him or not he is extremely tactically astute and effectively diagnoses Man U’s current or I should say ongoing issues. I think some of his points about pressing football could be very valid as well.

  6. markymark

    Jun 03, 2019, 16:07 #114045

    Hi - It’s Ron , Quite agree. I also think there is a symmetry ( if that’s the word ) between 2006 and 2019. Accept the Spuds haven’t run a recent title. The game in Spain showed I think the relative sizes of the the two clubs involved . Where Arsenal supporters are trying to work through is where we are. In my mind a miss sold product . Put Arsenal v Liverpool in Miami or New York in the Champions league final ( it would have been easier than Baku! ) I reckon you’d see a 50/50 fan split with both Arsenal and Liverpool supporters across the states converging. This is the international base that Arsenal do have along with Liverpool and UTD. Arsenal also have the largest or 2ns largest social media traffic which does reflect the international base. But football wise it’s small time, bumping up against Wolves and holding fingers crossed against Leicester. The good news is that it can just take 3-4 years to turn around. We must remember that Kronke has authorised the 3rd largest overall budget. However as I’ve mentioned before he manages by exception and therefore Gazidis makes the idiotic decision to pay Ozil 350k a week. I reckon Ivan feared a reaction that would never have happened. Disturbances outside the ground coz we moved Ozil on? Unlikely I’d say. Ivan and Wenger truly stuffed things up in their last 2 seasons together . A DOF is coming in Edu, a committee decision on players will renew and we devolve responsibilities in a clear manner. The coach is just there to coach. So in 1 year we’ve moved on 10 years from Wenger and are ahead of UTD. Question is are the people involved good enough? Time will tell buy for Unai it has to be setting out a clearly understood strategy otherwise he’ll be out.

  7. peter wain

    Jun 03, 2019, 15:47 #114044

    The swiss free transfer of last season is leaving the club. Question is how many more are coming in?

  8. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Jun 03, 2019, 14:42 #114043

    The reason so many wealthy people are attracted to the Premier League is because at the start of the season you are given millions of pounds, and as the Super Rich only want more money anyway it's a great gig to be involved in. I have never had SKY or any other pay per view channel and it is based on this logic, for every pound of my money that goes to PL league clubs 95% of it goes to teams I don't like, it would mean giving money to the Spuds, Chelsea, Liverpool Man Utd - even to Stoke City when they were a PL club - why would any Gooner want to do that? The TV companies stole the game because we let them, fancy paying good money to be told the "bleedin" obvious by a group of ex players who could never manage a football club yet tell good managers where they are going wrong!

  9. peter wain

    Jun 03, 2019, 13:11 #114042

    Kroenke has to go He is not fit to own our club. He proves it time and time again.

  10. itsRonagain2

    Jun 03, 2019, 11:58 #114041

    Colonel B - Perhaps the most apt words spoken today or any day - your point about irrelevant fans. The supporters dont matter at all as you say. For me anyway, its why AFC barely matter to me in truth. These so called 'top' Clubs have made it that way to suit themselves, so they have to accept that many supporters will reciprocate. Its a 2 way street isnt it.

  11. Colonel Blimp

    Jun 03, 2019, 11:38 #114040

    Baku is also being used as one of the stadiums for the European Championships next year. Surely it will only be for the East European qualifiers though. As for the "39th game" and stuff, the NFL are light years ahead of the competition when it comes to marketing their "product" although IMO we can do without 4 London games, what's wrong with moving one to say, Munich or Rome, they play one game in Mexico City already. The bigger problem for those "experts" who run the EPL is to put their "product" ahead of Serie A and La Liga - I can see some choppy waters ahead there especially at the poor standard of domestic football here at the moment. Let's face it chaps, football sold its soul a long time ago and we are now irrelevant. Ah well we do at least have some cricket to enjoy in the next few weeks.

  12. equalizer

    Jun 03, 2019, 11:36 #114039

    Banking large amounts of cash year after year instead of strengthening when good players were more affordable has cost us dearly and put us in the position we are in. I put the entire blame for this on Wenger. Sacked 10 years too late

  13. itsRonagain2

    Jun 03, 2019, 11:16 #114038

    PS Marky - Ozil wouldnt have last 5 mins on Merseyside under any of their Coaches down the years. The fans wouldnt have that.

  14. itsRonagain2

    Jun 03, 2019, 11:03 #114037

    Hi Marky - i think Tottenhams trajectory will mirror what Arsenals did after moving ground. They've not yet broken it to their fans yet, who rather daftly, seem to think it ll be different for them. No chance of that in my view. PS Pochetino will be at Old Trafford by October i think. Everton are the local club, very much so. Thats to be expected though as theyve not created any internationalism as Liverpool have done having made no imprint on Europe really in the past, plus Goodison Park is very ramshackle albeit a very atmospheric ground when they play well. Even their perceptions of themselves will alter though when they eventually move stadium. Liverpool people are still footie mad though. There is a football 'community' there still. Its a unique City in many ways, football and otherwise. Its a good size but certainly not a large city and its one where so many people know other people, quite parochial in fact. The Citys football heritage has to be admired, like or loathe the clubs, but its reason is very much rooted in the drive, involvement and input from the supporters. Liverpool and Everton ignore their fans at their peril in respect of whatever decisions their respective ownership makes. I personally dont think any area is like the Liverpool football area and its a very valuable engine for those clubs to have.

  15. markymark

    Jun 03, 2019, 10:42 #114036

    I regularly go up to Liverpoolon business the hotels are full of international Liverpool supporters in complete contrast to the parochial nature of Everton . But then I’ve never met a Liverpool supporting cab driver in that city. They are to a man Bluenoses. I guarantee if the Arsenal project takes off, meaning an exciting young team , driven by a great manager. You won’t here a peep about Kronke. Asa footnote I’ve just seen the incredible owners of Tottenham have given 50m net. Considering the greater income they brought in. It’s very similar to Arsenal

  16. RobG

    Jun 03, 2019, 10:42 #114035

    I don't think there's any 'irrational fear' involved in complaining about the make up of of our match day home fan base. I don't think 'fear' comes into it. It is simply an exasperation at the direction this Club - and many others I might add - have gone ; and are going. The key point from the article is that there are a growing number who seem to care less and less. A growing number of Spectators - or 'fans'. A growing number of Directors - or in our case owners. And a growing number of players judging by the likes of Ozil. Or to put it another way, those who seem to be getting an ever larger cut of the cake, seem to care about the all round quality, less and less. I used to be a ST Holder. I stopped being such in 2010. Out of the blue about 6 weeks back I got a call from someone in Arsenal's 'Hospitality' sector, trying to entice me back. My personal circumstance is such that I would not, even if I wanted to. But frankly I don't. Going became a chore. Not the match itself as much as getting there and back. So this leaves one more option for the laughing, passing tourist for whom, three points, one, or none, is an incidental afterthought. As indeed it is for our rotten owner. With that state of affairs set for the future, we have a real up hill struggle to win anything.

  17. itsRonagain2

    Jun 03, 2019, 10:17 #114034

    Just on the point of absent owners being castigated. Tottenham are being being held up as a now vibrant and progressive Club are they not?. Their owner never goes and so far as i know never as much enters the UK so Kroenkes not alone. He does open his wallet though.

  18. itsRonagain2

    Jun 03, 2019, 10:03 #114033

    The venue certainly affected that Europa Final. It was a sterile, distant and pallid affair. However im not against such places having games. The game has to be spread about, disregarding UEFA s bungs for putting it in such places. On yr main point about fans saying f--k it, i ve not been now to a home game for 6.5 years and been to 5 away games in that period. Tribalism has gone from football. Its not a 'working mans ' game anymore and the better off wont feel that way as theyve lots more to their lives than football. PL football in general has become a game where people attend and the majority are less driven or desperate about who wins these days. Stadiums in the main are akin to theatres now as theres no unity among the fans who look for' entertainment' and react badly if they dont see it. Back in the day, winning was the order of the day, the entertainment was a bonus. TV ha changed perceptions massively. Eg - the half and half scarf speaks volumes these days as to how football is experienced by those who go to games. Having said all of this Arsenal are a very colour less Club now and it has been for quite some years. We can blame all sorts, such as Wenger and the owner but they're not solely to blame. To a great degree they are products of what football has become and behave accordingly. In a cosmopolitan, commercially orientated City like London, the clubs there will feel the effects of a neutered game quicker and more obviously than in other areas, but its there with all clubs now, not just Arsenal. Its a matter of making yr choices. Do people want the modern version of TV motivated football and its shallowness at premium prices or do they turn face and enjoy other more meaningful facets of life? I took 2 or 3 years of pondering giving it up before a stopped going after so many years. I d never go back and cant think of one reason now whey ill attend at the Emirates again. The pluses for me are that i still like to keep tabs on the club and see some of the games on TV. The odd cheap or freebie away game ticket comes by once in a while which is ok if its convenient for me to go to and catch up with some old friends, more than the football part of it. Most of all, the detachment allows the enjoyment of acknowledging and appreciating some other teams too, which i certainly never did back in the day. The problem with it, is that it tends to shine a light on where Arsenal are failing, the old blinkers having been binned years ago. No regrets for me. Last Wednesday nights result further reinforced it.

  19. TonyEvans

    Jun 03, 2019, 8:55 #114032

    I agree with you Joe. I watched the EL final of course but felt little emotion either way, which says it all really when I think of the super hyped up, nervous, edge of the seat supporter I used to be watching the big games - semi finals and finals (when I really did care). I am starting to appreciate how Spud supporters must have felt during most of my 50 odd years of following Arsenal - their only pleasure gained by watching their bitter rivals losing. Unless things change fundamentally at our club that could be about all we have to look forward to in the foreseeable future!

  20. markymark

    Jun 03, 2019, 8:12 #114031

    Joe - feels like a xenophobic attack on foreign supporters. How do you think Barcelona , Bayern Munich and Juventus feel about foreign supporters ? Because believe me there will be a lot. I suspect there’s no anger directed at all . Also this approach is a rejection of Arsenal’s global presence. Even when we were really dire in the early 80’s I remember Scandinavian fan clubs at Highbury. Last game I attended against Brighton I spotted next to me an OAP. A group of season ticket holders, and two Chinese or possibly Singaporean supporters . None of us appeared happy. Who was to blame ? Yep that’s right the Chinese! Must have been. No one is knocking the Liverpool board at the moment . English I don’t think so. Whether we like it or not the Kronke’s have released fund into the club and kept Wengerists relatively happy by not sacking him 5 seasons previously . They then allowed Ivan with Raul and Sven to decide the next manager . This is managing by exception and is not inherently bad. When things went on Josh removed Wenger and probably gave Ivan a message. The issue over Stans communications and lack of presence is real. The issue over blowing 4 points at home and I believe winning 1 game in the last 6. A monumental collapse along with the Europa embarrassment is nothing to do with Stan . However bad he is. Separate out the issues and don’t just place it all under a xenophobic heading . Otherwise we might as well call it I believe Trump is one of Stan’s mates so that could make a good article!

  21. John F

    Jun 03, 2019, 7:57 #114029

    "What felt like a trial for the 39th game" was exactly my thoughts.I think football in the next decade is unfortunately going to have some major changes like games in the USA and the Middle East and the formation of a European League.Arsenal under Stan just may lose out with other clubs like Leeds and Newcastle possibly getting Middle Eastern backers.