Courtesy of yet another television induced change we play Blackburn Rovers away at tea-time today in our penultimate game of the season. The travelling Gooner Nation (at least that portion of it which resides in London) faces a long trek back from the North-West and work the following morning. Needless to say there’s no sort of concession or recognition of this support from the club or the League. Yet another example of football’s mind over matter trick. They don’t mind and we don’t matter. There’s just one motto in the Premier League – SHOW ME THE MONEY! Thus it will remain until enough of us stand up and say VERY loudly and VERY clearly that we refuse to be taken for granted any longer.
Fans are treated like turnstile fodder with no concrete recognition of the inconvenience and additional costs imposed by a fixture list that should really read “games will be played somewhere near the date set down (probably), but we reserve the right to mess travelling supporters about with absolutely no compensation no matter how inconvenient a fixture change is. If you don’t like it – tough. Some other mug will have your seat.” I for one am so sick of it I only go to a handful of away games each season now. A combination of sky high ticket prices for poxy seats with a poxy view, ever rising public transport fares on the railways (and petrol prices if you drive to games). Nearly £50 for a seat that can afford an excellent view of the players’ knee-caps if you’re in the first few rows at places like the Boleyn Ground – do me a favour. Rant over.
A win this evening would be a real boon. It would decisively nail down third spot. A point will almost certainly do that. Two will put the issue beyond any mathematical doubt. Let’s go for the win. Then we can relax and enjoy the last game of the season against Fulham. We can give a few of the youngsters a game and rest a few who’ll be heading to the World Cup with their national teams.
All the Premier League games on the last weekend are on Sunday. If you’re at a loose end and are looking for some Saturday football I’d recommend an afternoon at Underhill next Saturday. Barnet, who’ve always been one of my “second” teams are at home to Rochdale. Barnet is facing the drop back into non-league football if they lose next weekend and Grimsby Town wins. We’ve had an increasingly close relationship with Barnet with our reserve matches played there and what’s now become the annual pre-season ritual of a friendly there which is always a good day out. I’m sure Barnet would welcome as many Gooners who fancy a “roots” afternoon out as want to turn up.
You can buy tickets in advance via the Barnet website. Adult seats are £20 in the main stand (£12 for over 60s, full-time students and 12-17 year olds), £16 (£12/£8) for a seat behind the goal and £15 (£12/£8) to stand on the East Terrace. Standing on the North Terrace costs £13 (£12/£8). I will be there with a few mates. I know you’ll get a warm welcome if you decide to go along too. Your cash will be very welcome in supporting the game’s grass-roots. There can’t be a pyramid without a base.
Keep the faith!

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