Baku is a total balls-up, and I blame blundering UEFA bigwigs

Henry Norris Banner

Henry Norris is the football correspondent of the Bugle newspaper and an ardent Arsenal supporter to boot. He has had somewhat of a sabbatical but he is back in business. He is advancing in years but those who don’t know him very well at all insist his mind is as sharp as a sharp thingy and he is ready, willing and able to bring you his forthright views on all things AFC…please be advised, it is not for the faint-hearted! And, yes, he DOES hit the bottle early…

Baku end of nowhere…

Bugger Baku! That seems to be the rather blunt message from the Arsenal fans as the glorious Gunners head for that far-off outpost in Azerbaijan ahead of the Europa League cup final later on this month. Unai Emery’s men head out there to face Chelsea in the showdown that, apparently, no one wants to watch. At least in person. I am told that both clubs have struggled to sell their allocation of 6,000 tickets each and the principle reason for this is that no blighter can seem to get there without going around the houses and spending the best part of £1,500. My old chum Squiffy McAndrews (like me he watches all of the Arsenal home matches from a rather nice spot in the Diamond Club at the Emirates Stadium) says that we shouldn’t be so surprised that UEFA have ballsed this up royally. After all, he says, if the great and the good of the football world can sanction a FIFA World Cup in god-awful Qatar, anything is possible! Spot on, Squiffy!

Bust of both worlds…

The gals kicking a ball about has never really been my thing but you have to admire just how professional the game is now in this country. Our Gunners girls are the toast of the game, of course, but going back a few years things were very different. The women’s game was quite competitive in England just after the Second World War but there were certain aspects of how it was played that would never have been allowed in this day and age, what with all the utter nonsense espoused by various PC brigades. For instance, I remember going to a ladies’ match at Highbury in 1947 which saw Arsenal host Yeovil Town. So what, you might think. Well, when I tell you that there were more than 43,000 fans watching you’ll have an idea of the attraction. Back then, though, the fillies went topless during matches — and Yeovil, with busty farm girls in their ranks, were always an extra special watch! Spiffing fun – what, what!

Game of Thrones

Before I close, let me let you in to a bit of a secret. Had word last night from Sir Edward Wilmington-Ponsonby, an old chum from Eton, that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is heading to north London for the Emirates Cup; the line-up for the July 28 occasion is Arsenal Women vs Bayern Munich before our chaps get stuck into the Frenchies of Lyon for the main event. What you might call the Royal seal of approval for the Arsenal. Pip, pip!