Arsenal’s Biggest Asset: Us.
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to write blogs these days. I think my sense of humour has been taken roughly from behind once too often. It's getting hard to write satire or parody, with a positive, zennish slant; to see a half empty glass as half full when it is quite obviously half empty (and leaking like a used Julian Assange condom.)
Also: the gallows humour seemed okay whilst the executioner's black hood was still in its Walmart wrapping, and the possibility of last-minute rescue by a timely posse still held its candle-flame to the impending hurricane.
But then there was Villa, and Bradford, and Swansea and Southampton. And Man City: the latest in the series of dubya-tee-effs that have made Arsenal-watching about as much fun as a seal-clubbing festival for PETA die-hards.
In short, the straws one found oneself grasping at during the course of this fuster-cluck of a season, have slowly soggified and dissolved. The Emperor was still bearable in his diamond-crusted adult diaper – but now even that vague veil of decency has been stripped away, and we find ourselves gazing upon frankly puke-inducing geriatric dangly bits.
As an AKB-leaning pragmatist, I mined the vein of humour that lined the often-hysterical clamorings for Wenger's ousting. But, with the transfer window's legs halfway-crossed, the new-signing birth-canal re-virginizing, and not the slightest sign of January reinforcements for our tired, injury-prone and impotent squad, I'm starting to wonder whether the WOB and BSM camps have got it right…
We're supposed to have the money to spend, the will to spend it, and one of Football's finest scouting teams out there finding fresh blood. Instead, we're wallflowers at the Bi-annual Talent Harvest, watching the usual suspects engorge themselves on the finest fruit.
As I mentioned in a previous blog: I'm not a financial investor in Arsenal Inc.. Perhaps if I was, I'd be thrilled that we're 'building the brand', expanding into new territories, profiting from new kit, sponsorship, naming right, television deals. Whoop-de-do. We're rich and getting richer. Keeping up with the lottery-winning, sugar-daddy-supported mega-clubs that are dominating the Football Market.
Perhaps if I lived in an oak-panelled, leather-lined corner office, and followed Arsenal via stock-ticker – plotting its success on a graph with currency on the y-axis – I'd be cheering the £62 away-team tickets, the over-priced pies and the corporate boxes ringing our plush, state-of-the-art stadium. Maybe I'd worship the economic prowess of a board-owner-manager cabal that keeps Arsenal (barely) competing with the (bare) minimal investment in pitch personnel.
The sale of our most treasured talent to our most loathéd competitors might look very different through gold-tinted glasses. (For fuxake! Through gold-tinted glasses everything probably looks different. Golden…)
Nope. I don't have shares in the business. Not financial, at least.
I've invested far more than that. I've invested my time, my energy, my emotion, occasionally even my spiritual and mental health in this club. I've stayed faithful during the lean times. As a foreign (Muppet) supporter, I've shown my commitment by watching every broadcast game live, at ungodly hours, sleep-deprived and hungover. I've paid membership fees, knowing full well that I'm unlikely to get to a live game, this year or next.
It is people like me that are the lifeblood of Arsenal. We ARE the red that courses through its veins. Players, managers, board-members, owners – heck! even stadia – they all come and go. They're mercenary. Hired hands, most of them. Financially invested. Sub-contractors.
We, on the other hand, have chosen (or inherited) life-long loyalty to the Club, and we are part of its DNA. We are the fuel that drives the engine. We are consistent, faithful, dedicated and committed. And it is our emotional and spiritual commitment, our devotion, that has made the Club the success that it is today. We are the mountain on which Arsenal Inc. have established their headquarters.
We've given our worth, our value, to the club for free for a long, long time. One might argue that our payback has been the many years of entertainment that Arsenal have given us in return. I disagree.
Arsenal needs us. The long-haul Gooners. We are the backbone of the club. The singers of the songs. Engagers, not spectators. Highbury was a fortress because the fans fortified it. And this fortress of fans protected and propelled the team; we played a huge part in making Arsenal a profitable investment for journeyman financiers.
The powers-that-be have neglected to pay for the most essential material in the building of their Emirates Empire.
They better start soon. Before it's too late.
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“Arsenal’s Biggest Asset: Us.”invinciblog.com/?p=684Payback time? Please R&RT&Enjoy.
— invinciblog (@AFC_Invincibles) January 16, 2013