Watching Football Isn’t A Crime – Ban The Bans!

Oh my. The hits just keep on coming on the injury front. Emmanuel Frimpong is the latest victim. He’s unlikely to see any action this season following his cruciate injury picked up in training in Ireland at a reserve team tournament over there. It really doesn’t ease up, does it? I’m starting to think we need to perform some sort of exorcism to drive out the injury gremlins infesting the club.
Frimpong has looked really promising too. Such a pity for the lad. Get well soon mate.
Arsenal Fanshare, developed by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust with the full support of the board and chief executive Ivan Gazidis formally launched two days ago this past Wednesday. The scheme has generated completely unprecedented and unanticipated levels of interest and traffic to the scheme website. The interest has exceeded the most wildly optimistic pre-launch projections. If you’re one of those who’ve been frustrated trying to get onto the site to sign up then sincere apologies from AST. They’ve had their technical people working literally around the clock to increase server capacity to cope with demand that has reached four hundred hits A SECOND at times. AST is working as hard as it can as quickly as it can to increase capacity.
AST will continue to add capacity and is monitoring site traffic closely. One tip is to use either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your browser (a browser is the bit of software you’re using to view this blog). For technical reasons that I won’t bore you with Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7 both load the Arsenal Fanshare sight a LOT slower than Firefox or Chrome. Internet Explorer 8 is better but still not as good as the other two browsers.
To get further information and/or to join Arsenal Fanshare. Unfortunately membership is restricted to those who have a Sterling bank account in either Great Britain or Northern Ireland for reasons I won’t bore you with. AST will work to open up membership to all Gooners everywhere as soon as they can once the scheme is fully underway.
Completely changing the subject our new coalition government has pledged to scrap unnecessary and “nannying” laws which restrict our rights here in Britain. Here are three that those NICE people at the Football Supporters’ Federation propose should be scrapped:

  • The ban on standing at football in the top two divisions
  • Drinking in sight of the pitch at the match
  • Having a scoop (or two even) in a coach on the way to or from a game

The ban on standing areas in the Premier League and Football League Championship was introduced after the Hillsborough disaster. Lord Justice Taylor’s report did NOT blame standing for the deaths. He blamed poor design and maintenance, poor policing and stewarding and the fence which prevented fans escaping the crush by going onto the pitch.
There is NO evidence that standing is more dangerous than sitting down to watch a game. If it were standing would be banned in the bottom two divisions, the Conference and further down the football pyramid. It isn’t. Neither is it banned in any other sport or event.
Likewise having a libation whilst watching the action isn’t banned at test matches at Lord’s. Good grief! The average MCC member would go puce at the thought! Their faces would match the red in their blood and custard ties! Why is it that I can cheerfully drink at Headingly whilst I watch a test match on one side of the ground or a rugby league or rugby union match on the other side, but not at Elland Road whilst watching a game?
Tens of thousands will be supping at Wembley Stadium in August. They won’t be football fans though. Oh no. Perish the thought. They’ll be rugby league fans attending the Challenge Cup Final. But tens of thousands of football fans WILL be imbibing whilst watching a match at Wembley in October. Really? Yes. Unfortunately they’ll be American football fans watching the San Francisco Giants play the Denver Broncos in a National Football League game.
Likewise why is it OK for me to have a can or bottle on my way in a coach to or from any form of sport or entertainment OTHER than football? Another unjustified intrusion on my rights to do what pleases me as long as it doesn’t affect others. I find some men’s neckwear offensive. I don’t call the fashion police to demand they not wear such offensive garb without due care and attention in a public place!
I mean, if I went around grabbing bow-ties off men’s necks because they wind me up I’d be put away, wouldn’t I? Likewise I should be stuck on and put up the steps at the local magistrates’ court if I behave like a plum due to having had one over the eight. Absent such behaviour I expect to be treated by the law in accordance with my age, not my shoe size, as a citizen of a free country, not a totalitarian gulag.

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