Following on my blog at the beginning of the week, which suggested that some at Arsenal Football Club might like to treat their fans with more respect, I have decided to call a truce after delivering my final acidic observation being served today. That is of course to do with the award winning website at Arsenal. Com. There are many good things at Arsenal Football club, and being a loyal supporter does not mean that we are supposed to remain silent when we have justified grounds for criticising our club.
So far from being a party pooper as a Blog editor, I actually do rely on the official club website to be kept abreast of breaking official news and updates. I happen to appreciate the efforts that have been made with the site. However what I find more and more frustrating, is the allocation of news that I wish to read rather urgently has now been siphoned off to Arsenal TV online. You will recall that I attacked the change in status of Arsenal TV on ATVO, which I suspect was due to circumstances beyond the clubs control and may have something to do with the Digital broadcaster.
But if Arsenal Football club cannot be bothered to let us know why the live TV feed can no longer be viewed by UK and Eire subscribers, I suppose they have no-one else to blame for my speculation about the possible reasons. My blog entitled Is someone at Arsenal TV taking the piss, Should we start a boycott? on the 7th of March must have been a bit annoying for them to read. But my stance as good Samaritan for Gooners is based upon the premise that the majority of Arsenal fans cannot afford to continue paying out increasing sums of money to finance this self sustaining club.
Have you noticed how many decent articles are now ONLY obtainable via ATVO? All of Arsene Wenger’s press conferences and pre match comments. Following the Roma triumph I looked at the articles and found that out of 11 articles relating to that game and the ensuing comments by players and the like, only five i.e less than half the content was directly accessible upon the official website.That content was pretty miserly apart from the post match report, so for the rest of the information and in order to learn of detailed comments, one had to be a subscriber to ATVO. This is in effect depriving many Arsenal non subscribers of official comment from club sources.
Now this may be ok for those like me who can afford to pay £3.99 every month on top of programmes, season tickets and the like, but with regard to breaking or up to date news is it therefore any wonder that the majority of fans are left scrabbling around the blogs to try and find this news about THEIR club? I understand the need to improve revenues, and perhaps the club might decide to write up transcripts of these interviews and make them available in the Club match programme which can be brought at the ground or on mail order? As it also award winning the details for purchasing the programme being according to the website…

“If you’re still not a regular buyer of the country’s best matchday programme, it’s available from sellers on matchday priced £3, the Club Shops or can be ordered through Home Shopping on 020 8342 5858.”

Perhaps these are matters to be brought up at the next supporters forum. When I feel sure that recent events affecting the fans supporting this club could also very well be aired. Such as…the fluctuating standards in the catering provision at the ground. At a couple of early kick offs this season, the provision of lunch at half time, has been less than woeful… Mr John Beattie Stadium manager please note. Again if you have Chef provided “A La carte” meals in the Club level restaurant, you would really not have a problem. But for those fans who thought, you know what? I will get lunch inside the ground this time, they were left wanting. Some of us recall the night that we couldn’t get Hot Chocolate at a couple of stations, on the Upper tier again hardly the Club’s fault, but its begs the question about good planning and resources.
I love Arsenal Football Club and what it stands for, the heritage, the tradition, the respect for values. So it pains me to have to criticise it yet again in short succession. But I do so because I care. I care for the Club and for the fans, and we the fans deserve better. Especially if we are expected to be patient and await the benefits of this self financing and sustaining Club, which in effect means no big name buys in the transfer market, and inconsistent results on the field. The powers that be might then at least have the decency to insist that the other areas like the official website which are freely available for all fans irrespective of their financial status should be given a little more decent detailed content and not just acting as a billboard for ATVO.
Finally we are told that Arsenal fans who buy tickets and merchandise do not pay the players wages. I have to say that following the announcement of tickets for sale on the local radio stations and on general sale prior to the Hull City game next Tuesday, I am beginning to have my doubts…
Fabregas the king.