Arsenal Supporters’ Summer Checklist

How do Arsenal supporters know it’s July?

Easy:

1. £100m+ war chest available – check
2. List of overpaid deadwood leaving the club published – check
3. Core players tell everyone how we need a big summer in the market – check
4. Stars long-rumoured to want to leave, leave – check
5. Stars you would have back go somewhere else – check
6. Arsenal linked with every big name until Arsène says it’s not true – check
7. Playing squad down to approximately 18 including Diaby and 10 other midfielders – check
8. Dick Law not seen since April – check
9. Actual new signings so far: zero – check
10. Personal bank accounts emptied for football’s most expensive season ticket – check

Yep – it’s July.
Twitter: @AngryOfN5
PS: Yes, I know, still time, window open till the end of August, etc etc.
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36 thoughts on “Arsenal Supporters’ Summer Checklist

  1. This is what the A.K.B.’s and Wenger apologists wanted. Three more years of this same shit every time. We have sycophantic masochists for supporters. They certainly aren’t true Arsenal fans. If they were, they’d have run this fraud of a manager out of town long ago. Spineless losers who deserve what they get.

    ” In Arsene we rust.”

    • Absolutely right Spectrum. Too many fools at the top end of the club while our spiritual leader is prancing around Brazil in a pair of speedos . To busy talking waffle on French TV to be bothered about signing players. Now City and the scoucers are closing in on Sanchez. If we lose him its time to lose Wenger.

  2. Blah blah, negative narrative, blah blah. In spite of the fact that we have plenty of time still to go there are still sh!t-stirring protagonists looking to whip up discontent unnecessarily. The transfer window is not a competition in itself, it’s about Arsenal making the additions they require, not signing more players than X or spending more than Y. The important thing is that the squad is sufficiently strong enough to win the games in August and thereafter strong enough to compete at the top for the rest of the season. If it isn’t then criticise. Until that time, maybe get a hobby to tide you over the summer and keep your anxiety in check?

  3. Phil, you have a consistent theme on here, broadly speaking, the powerlessness of true and loyal Arsenal supporters. AST is a voice, nothing more. And yet, if fans act together, they have absolute power. The problem is that any action against the regime – such as a boycott – is seen as disloyal. And, in truth, it is. But there is another way which is by no means disloyal, in fact the very reverse. An Association of Season Ticket Holders. If this summer transfer window turns out to be a fiasco (like last summer), then the formation of such an Association is the only sensible course to take. And the focus of action should be financial, because it is in his pocket that the WalMart Man can be hurt most. If real money is not spent on signings this summer, a 50% reduction of ticket prices should be demanded. Otherwise season tickets will not be renewed. People who would be mean enough to buy them can be easily discouraged. The threat alone will do the trick – provided the ASTH comprises the majority of season ticket holders. And no mention of Wenger – for or against – because that might be divisive.
    Meanwhile, I live in hope that none of this will be necessary.

    • I agree with you that the only way to really get change is for all fans to act together, and season ticket holders in particular because they make up a lot of the crowd and put a lot of money into Kroenke’s pocket. However, I don’t see it happening in reality. The problem with it is that a lot of people who were season ticket holders and would take such action have given up their tickets already in relatively small numbers each year, and been replaced by new people with a higher ‘tolerance level’. If there had been no one in the queue to replace those who gave their season tickets up, then the club would have taken notice by now, but as it is they don’t need to. If the stadium is full then the club can say that fans in general are happy, and it’s difficult to disprove that.

      • So far of course very little money has gone into Kroenke’s pocket and much has gone into Arsenal coffer’s providing the resources needed to continue spending at a similar rate in the 3 seasons since Kroenke took control which is as much as in the previous 8 seasons combined. Maybe most of the fans generally are happy hence the stadium is usually full. Maybe we should have an association of happy season ticket holders with the objective of discouraging many of the constantly negative whinging, whining naysayers from renewing theirs? Then again maybe them having something to whine about is what makes them happy?

      • Some people will always have ‘Angry Man’ syndrome. They feel inadequate and helpless so their reaction is to shout as loud as they can about how hard done by they feel. Whenever I’ve seen these “mass protests” at Arsenal they turn out to be c.80 half-drunk knuckle-draggers with just about enough wit to string a sentence together on a banner. Until there’s a more intelligent and cerebral approach it’s hardly a surprise that most fans will just ignore them. It’s not that most fans are more tolerant or blind to the failings of the club in some regards, it’s just that they appreciate nuance and intelligent discussion rather than knee-jerk rhetoric. And this is a good example – we should all protest because the club hasn’t spent every last penny it owns for the sake of it.

      • You’re so good at missing the point that I’m not going to waste any more of my time refuting anything you’ve said.
        Have a nice day.

  4. How do Arsenal supporters know it’s July?

    1) 24 hours after the transfer window opens some supporters get anxious because the club still has money in the bank – check

    2) When players some wanted shot of finally go the same supporters will still complain – check

    3) When Arsene says transfer rumours that are transparently invented by tabloid reporters 12 year old kids are not true someone complains because he tells them they are not true – check

    4) When, so far, only one ageing regular first team player goes some blogger portrays it as a mass exodus – check

    5) When core players tell everyone we need to sign players this summer just as Arsene has always signed players in every single summer transfer window some neurotic will suggest that’s a worrying sign – check

    6) With two months to go before the transfer window closes panicky paranoid posts appear on some Arsenal blogs complaining that the Sky deadline day countdown clock is only about 60 days away – check

    7) When invitations to accept season ticket renewals are voluntarily accepted some supporter will pretend that somehow they are being forced to hand over their money involuntarily – check

    8) Neurotic posts portraying Arsenal supporters as helpless victims appear in July just as they do throughout much of the year – check

    9) 44 days after winning a trophy some supporters will bleat that we’re not doing enough to win a trophy – check

    10) With no Arsenal football to complain about supporters will post lists of negatives lest anyone should think there is any joy to be had out of following the club – check

    Yep – it’s just another month in the Arsenal Chicken Licken calendar and it’s always possible to insist the sky is falling.

    • Fact number one mate: the transfer window has been open since midnight on the last day of the season. Read the Premier League website.

      • Wrong fact mate. Fact is that registration periods (or transfer windows as they are popularly known) under FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Player are set by the national associations affiliated to FIFA not by the Premier League hence the transfer window officially opens on July the 1st.

    • Amos – the most sensible comment on this site in 6 months, bravo.

      I’d like to add to it, however – you also know its July when:

      11.) People start calling for spending for the sake of spending. “Better that we spend money on Fellaini than Flamini because then we’ll have less money” is the perceived wisdom.
      12.) People conveniently forget the amount of money that was spent in previous windows.
      13.) People genuinely begin to believe that they have better judgment of players than people who’ve been around the game for decades based on a small percentage of knowledge they’ve garnered from reading the papers.

      • “Amos – the most sensible comment on this site in 6 months, bravo.”
        Bit of a backhanded compliment – doesn’t say much for all his others.

        Anyway, “the amount of money that was spent in previous windows” – as Arsenal are consistently at the bottom of the PL net spenders chart, that isn’t going to be very much.
        You seem confused between ‘spending for the sake of it’ – which I certainly don’t advocate – and spending to try and improve the team – which is surely the purpose of raising money from fans?

      • I’m not saying I have no issues with Arsenal; there doesn’t appear to be a justifiable reason for the further increase in ticket prices (and the manner in which that was communicated was grubby at best). I also hanker after signings that will improve the squad and would love 5 world class players on our doorstep on 1 July. But i’m realistic enough to know that top players don’t grow on trees and that Arsenal are often competing with clubs in a different league when it comes to signing them – that’s inevitably not an easy situation nor one that will often bring quick results. And its noticeable that you rarely name these wonderful players that you presumably think were/are easy to buy and will improve us.

        The bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter when Arsenal sign the players they require – it could be 1 May, 4 July or 8 August – you don’t get extra points for buying early, it’s the squad and the quality of it come the start of the season that counts. I’m sure there were many Arsenal fans looking enviously at Sp*rs last July but look how that turned out.

        One final point – you regularly use the net spend figure as a soundbite but you overlook the obvious point that 16 or 17 clubs have pretty much always finished below Arsenal despite a considerably higher net spend. This in itself is clear and strong evidence that you aren’t necessary more successful with an empty bank account. Whilst I want to see Arsenal bringing in the players that I think will improve the squad, i’m proud that we don’t think that buying ready-made products is the only answer – our net spend reflects how well we developed players like Fabregas, Van Persie, Nasri, Song and Adebayor and were able to make significant profits on them. We’re victims of our own success when it comes to the net spend figure, but the wage bill is a better reflection of how we do genuinely compete.

  5. Not a different subject at all Phil – just one it seems you don’t fully understand. A transfer is a transfer of a players registration and a transfer isn’t made until registered with the FIFA affiliated national association. The window for doing so doesn’t open here until the 1st of July though it is possible to transfer registrations within the same national association from the end of the previous season provided national association rules allow it. Transfers from one national association to another cannot be made before 1st July and as most players contracts run until 30th June even those within the same national association aren’t usually made before the opening of the international transfer window.

      • Indeed. It must be tiresome when your petty negativity can be confounded by fact. Then again petty negativity is pretty tiresome stuff in itself. You’ll feel a whole lot better if you can get rid of your victim mentality. 🙂

    • Phil’s right on this one Amos. Registrations can be transferred from 1 July, but transfers can be done beforehand – Fabregas being a pertinent example. The window does technically open at the end of the season, although this is a bit of a red herring because there’s technically nothing stopping a club from doing a deal earlier, a la Podolski, it’s only the exchange of registration that would wait until 1 July. In reality, the dominoes don’t tend to start falling until June/July (always later in a World Cup year).

      • You can agree to buy a player at any time so in that sense there is no window at all but a player isn’t ‘transferred’ until he’s registered to play within a national association. There’s no need to wait until the end of the season to buy a player but you can’t play a player who isn’t registered. I think you’ll find that Cesc was a Barca player until 30th June and a Chelsea player from the 1st of July therefore he was ‘transferred’ from the one club to the other on the 1st July. Players moving between clubs within the national association in England can be registered before the 1st July after the end of the season. If you’re going to insist that a ‘window has been open since midnight on the last day of the season’ then it’s as well to know what it is you are able to do in that window.

  6. Consistently at the bottom end of the PL net spending chart? Even though our gross spending is as much in the 3 seasons since Kroenke took control as the gross spend in the previous 8 seasons combined then it’s worth also noting that the net spend in the 3 seasons since Kroenke took control is as much as the net spend in previous 9 seasons combined.

  7. Why are Arsenal fans charged higher prices than any other fans? A simple question – but how would the Great Gatz answer it? Would our CEO tell us that the product we are getting is superior, Harrods quality at Harrod prices? Hardly! Would he tell us that the seating is more comfortable, the view better, therefore we should pay more? Again, hardly! Then would he quote the reason trotted out by many Arsenal fans: the Emirates debt. I should love it if he did, but there is not a chance, he is much too smart. The Emirate debt is not the fans debt – it is the WalMart Man’s debt. He paid a lot less for the Arsenal shares because of the Emirates debt. So how would Ivan answer? He wouldn’t, not directly – he would beat around it. The simple truth is that the stratospheric ticket prices can only be justified by either (a), the product is superior or (b), the money is being used to make the product superior. Thus far, neither has happened, thus far Arsenal fans are being taken for a ride. Are we happy (as one poster seems to think, because we still turn up)? Certainly not. Not happy, but we remain hopeful. At any rate, until the close of this summer transfer window.

    • The CEO wouldn’t have to answer such questions. The answers are given by those attending on match days. If he were though I think he could at the very least argue that the seating is more comfortable and the view better than at many PL grounds. The Emirates debt isn’t Kroenke’s debt at all – it is the debt of Arsenal Holdings plc – Kroenke just happens to be the majority shareholder but as Arsenal Holdings plc carries net debt he has a direct vested interest (and the fans an indirect vested interest) in ensuring the business is run in such a manner that the debt is ultimately discharged. The simpler truth is that ticket prices are justified in the same way as the price for any other commodity – by the willingness of buyers to pay the prices. Arsenal supporters are not victims here so it’s about time they gave up on this victim mentality.

      • It seems you are overjoyed that Walmart Man is over-charging Arsenal fans to pay off his own debt. Bully for you! I see ‘explanations’ in what you say, but no ‘justifications’ – and even your ‘explanations’ don’t stand up. How come Bayern Munich charge half the price for their tickets yet have a team twice as good? And please don’t tell us (as the Great Gatz did), that ‘the system’ is different over there. The system is the same – it is the motivation of the people who run the club which is different.

  8. @englandsbest. You’re right that there aren’t any justifications in my post – I wasn’t and wouldn’t even bother trying to justify an increase for any product or service. It’s rarely ever justifiable for anyone having to pay higher prices for anything. There aren’t even any explanations just observations but if you don’t think where the debt is held for example stands up then simply asserting that it doesn’t stands even less chance of ‘standing up’ if you intended to dispute the observation. The suggestion that Kroenke is overcharging Arsenal fan’s to pay off his own debt is frankly quite silly to any serious observer. Bayern’s matchday revenue is about 90% of ours not ‘half the price’ – they just have different ticket options. Partly because they have up to 15% more capacity in their stadium which can include standing options. They also have almost twice the broadcasting income and three times the sponsorship revenues. It isn’t possible for oil sheikhs or oligarchs to buy clubs in the Bundesliga as they can here so when it is claimed that the operating environment (or ‘system’ if you prefer) is different then it is because it is indeed different. All you need do is look beyond the superficial headline arguments and you may find you’ll feel less like a victim and may even begin to get some joy out of following the club!

    • Whichever way you cut it, you pay more, you expect more. Otherwise we would all dine at McDonalds. The product on offer is the same at all football clubs: football. So if you pay more to watch football, you expect to watch better football. And we Arsenal fans are not getting that. Yes, I know I am being simplistic, but I am trying to distance you from regarding people who complain as victims. I am certainly not a victim because I no longer attend. You have still failed to justify why those who do attend pay more than others pay at other clubs for better football. And justifications DO apply in football. How many ‘justifications’ have we been served by the owners? A whole bunch of new ones every year, to freshen up the old ones!

      • I don’t think that those who complain are victims at all but many do have a victim mentality. You needn’t attend games to demonstrate such tendencies. Whether you’re getting what you think you’re paying for (or in your case not paying for) is just a personal opinion. You’ve decided that you’re not and no longer attend but you can’t speak for Arsenal fans generally because many of those of us who do attend believe we’re getting enough value to warrant continuing to do so. I haven’t failed to justify anything because as I’ve explained I haven’t tried to justify why those who do attend pay more than they might at other clubs. Frankly it doesn’t matter very much as such justification as is needed is shown in the attendances.

  9. Your viewpoint makes perfect sense if you regard the Emirates simply as a place to go for entertainment – like the cinema down the street, for example. Many of us, though, have a far deeper attachment to Arsenal Football Club, something (I am going to exaggerate a little) akin to worship, whereby attendance is synonymous with religious attendance. And implicit in such a view, is that those running the service are totally devoted to the well-being of the institution. Now all this may sound daft to a non-believer, but how else can one explain the behaviour of fans, the money and effort they pay, the discomfort they put up with, the disappointment they suffer? As worshippers, none of us complain about this – provided the regime are dutifully fulfilling their side of the deal. Thus the only satisfactory answer to the question ‘Why are Arsenal attendees paying more than any other football fans’ is that the money is being used to improve the squad. Not the WalMart Man’s pocket. In fairness, Kroenke may yet turn out to be a good ‘un. But so far, on record, he seems to be a very bad ‘un. Particularly to older fans who remember the multiple voices on the BoD which gave our club a uniquely (in this country) democratic flavour.

    • As you’ve stopped going to ‘church’ your attachment doesn’t appear to run all that deep! It also seems conditional on how much you’re being asked to put into the collection plate so maybe your commitment to your ‘faith’ isn’t all that strong. Arsenal has been part of a family theme for me, having been born and lived near the ground, going back 3 generations and extends to my own children so while it is entertainment I fully understand the religious connotation at least in the devotion sense. As for money being used to improve the squad you should bear in mind that since Kroenke took control we’ve spent more on transfers in the last 3 seasons than in the previous 8 combined (or if you prefer Phil’s net spending marker then as much in the last 3 seasons as the last 9 combined) and that we have the fourth highest player budget (wages and transfers combined) in the PL. The only clubs to consistently spend more have been those clubs who have had more to spend. The old patriarchal Bracewell-Smiths/ Hill-Woods dynasty was fine for it’s time when football was just Saturday afternoon entertainment for the working classes and Dein/Fiszman did at least shake up a stuffy boardroom as the game become more commercial but theirs became a divided boardroom riven with conflict. At least Kroenke resolves that conflict and enables the board to pull together with a strategy for the long term. While I’d join most choruses of regret over football’s commercialisation the philanthropic old days of Bracewell-Smiths and Hill-Woods would lack the commercial expertise we now need leave us lagging behind even the devotees of lesser gods – and our ‘church’ pretty empty.

  10. I am not one for polishing badges: I take it as axiomatic that everyone on here who says he is an Arsenal fan IS an Arsenal fan, whether he is able to attend or not. As a non-attender (and thus a non-payer), my basic problem with high ticket prices should be clear to you by now. It’s not about how much, it’s about how the cash is spent. It should be used to improve the squad, not to clear the Emirates debt. Now that may turn out to be the case, it may be that the majority owner shares fans ambition, that all surplus revenue will be devoted to the benefit of Arsenal Football Club – but despite your claims of how much he has spent on transfers and wages, there is no indisputable evidence yet. During his ownership, many of our best players were sold off, the proceeds more than was spent on signings – until last season, and the purchase of Oezil. It may be a sign of what is to come, and surplus income, from now on, will be spent in the way fans want. Let’s wait and see – at any rate, until 31st August.

    • You were the one to attempt to make a distinction between those who attended just to be entertained and those with a ‘deeper attachment’. The irony is that your discontent seems to be rooted much more in commercial objections (i.e. you don’t think you’re getting what you’re paying for) than it is in any spiritual considerations. Of course income has to be used to clear the Emirates debt (albeit at a rate the club can manage) before it can be used to spend on anything else. To suggest anything else is possible would need a belief in fairies rather than any divine spirit. There’s indisputable evidence enough of what has been invested in the club over the last 3 seasons and as the net spend transfer figure also shows it has been invested and reinvested at a faster and higher rate than it has been for many seasons. Last season, and the purchase of Ozil was in fact at a lower level of spending than either of the two previous seasons. There’s also evidence enough of increasing wages budgets so while a degree of cynicism is always healthy the present board and ownership seems a whole lot more fit for purpose than what has gone before.

      • Cynicism plays no part in my judgement: on the contrary, I would welcome a benefactor owner if such a man brought glory to Arsenal Football Club. My hope remains that the parameter set by our current majority owner is that all revenue is devoted to the benefit of the club. Anything less than that ought to make him unacceptable to any devoted Arsenal fan. As for ‘fairyland’, the current landscape is scattered with Clubs with benefactor owners (like Man City and CFC) – so I guess we ARE living in ‘fairyland’. Kroenke is an enigma: nobody knows his motive. But one thing he is not, is a democrat. By all the basic precepts of democracy, Usmanov should have a seat on BoD. If it weren’t for the Russian, the American would own 100% of AFC. Multiple voices on BoD has always been a mark of pride for the Club. Would it have been so outlandish of Kroenke to have invested some money in the Club, to keep the quality players, or replace them adequately. Common procedure at most other elite Clubs. Do I believe in fairies? No. But nor do I believe that Arsenal Football Club is a ‘business’.

  11. You seem a little confused englandsbest! Kroenke is not a democrat but you favour a benefactor owner in the Abramovich/Mansour mould? Kroenke is not a democrat but we should have someone like Usmanov on the board? Thankfully it’s because of democracy we don’t have to endure that bloated criminal as an executive of the club. I don’t think there is anything enigmatic at all about Kroenke. His motives are far more transparent than those of Abramovich, Mansour or Usmanov. His business is in making money out of sporting enterprises and their related activities but in order to do so successfully the club has to be successful. In order for the club to be successful, especially in the climate of FFP it has to be a successful business. There’s nothing more transparent, honest and open than that.

    It’s not outlandish at all to expect the club to invest just outlandish that you can’t appreciate that’s exactly what has been happening and is happening because of the way the club has been managed. It should be reassuring to you that it seems the trend of the last 3 seasons since Kroenke took control, where we’ve spent more than the previous 8 seasons combined, seems set to continue based on the summer so far.

    The more ‘businessmen’ and fewer oligarchs or sugar daddies we have running the clubs the better sport it will be. We’ve had enough of fairyland football over the last 10 years.

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