National Flag Ban Dropped, Villareal And Transfer News

We all know now the cost of European football – in the case of Villarreal away, it’s £72 a pop – ouch!
Unfortunately this is, believe it or not, the price fans of El Submarino Amarillo (the Yellow Submarine) are paying as well. There are only two price categories as El Madrigal, category 2 behind the goal and in the corners, category 1 along the touchlines. In the knockout round of sixteen the club charged €70 and €140 respectively. This time round it’ll be €75 and €150.  With Sterling in the toilet against the Euro this makes £72 about right for €75.
Credit where credit is due. Villarreal provides free season tickets for those become unemployed. Interestingly players contribute to the fund which makes this possible. So, it appears, do those attending Champions League matches! There’s no getting round it, these prices are a rip-off. They even exceed our madly high prices for category A games at the Grove. Unfortunately, Villarreal has followed the letter of UEFA’s regulations which require a minimum away fans’ allocation of five percent of capacity and for visitors to be charged the same as home fans.
I’m stunned that Villarreal is getting a crowd in Champions League matches at those prices. Unemployment is high throughout Spain and wages in the Valencian Community, the autonomous region of Spain in which Villarreal is situated, are a fraction of those in Greater London. Whichever language you express it in – Spanish, Valencian (which is close to Catalan) or English, it’s a rip-off.
Not much Arsenal news this week as the training ground is like a ghost-town with sixteen players away on international duty. The summer transfer rumours have already started. Those seekers after truth at the Daily Mail are suggesting mega-bids for Emmanuel Adebayor (£35 million) and Gaël Clichy (£12 million) from Milan. I have to say I wouldn’t believe the Daily Mail if they reported grass is green and the sky is blue. Make your own mind up.
Arsčne is having to plan for our next vital League game against Manchester Citeh at home without knowing what condition the players will return in after the upcoming pair of international matches in the next six days. That’s the price of having a squad of international class players. I can remember not so long ago when Arsenal sides would regularly feature no current international players at all. How times change.
My last blog on the international flag ban at the Grove stirred up some debate on the political situation in Cyprus. I suppose this was inevitable as the “kicker” for the ban was complaints from Greek Cypriots about the display of a North Cyprus flag at the Grove. I can only imagine how intensely Greek and Turkish Cypriots must feel about this issue. I’m the last person to want to close down debate on anything. I’m a political animal myself. That said, this is an Arsenal blog and I try to stay on topic.
Most of those responding to the blog were against the ban.  I am pleased to give you all some  breaking News!
It would appear that messrs Beattie and Ivan Gazidis have seen sense. My sources tell me that Arsenal Football Club are going to announce on Monday that the ban on National flags is going to be dropped.
Well done Arsenal Football Club may I be among the first to publicly congratulate you on having the courage to make  a change like this.
I must say that this turn around bodes well for future interactions between fans and the club, more of it I say!
Keep the faith!

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