Arsenal. A Unique Footballing Club.

As always, there is a lot going on in the World of Arsenal – today saw members day take place at the Emirates – a large crowd went down and Cesc returned to the club for the first time since the media speculation has been so strongly linking him with a move to Barcelona. And as I watched parts of the buffering Arsenal TV Online, watching the players run around and do some training, it dawned across me what a unique club Arsenal are.

Every football club needs money to survive, and we’ve all seen the likes of Sp*rs and Man United go on gruelling far away trips to cash in on lucrative money spinning pre-season tournaments. We, on the other hand go to Austria, where we can get ready for the season in a relatively quiet and focused atmosphere. You can see that ‘Arry Redknapp and Roberto Mancini were struggling to motivate players for meaningless friendlies half way around the world, with both teams losing most of their friendlies so far. Meanwhile, our team were training in Austria and focused on getting their fitness back, playing a few friendlies when they were out there.

When they all arrived, we kicked off the annual Emirates Cup – and I have to say, what an excellent tournament it is – it’s been designed in the style of the club and in the manner of the ethos of attacking football. For me, it’s a mainstay, it will happen every season, and the attendances are absolutely amazing – to see 120,000 tickets sold over two days for what are in effect, two pre-season friendlies is amazing. The revenue generated by those two days and the fact that the fans of the club can go down and get some game time in is amazing. The fans come first, and the club finds other ways to make money. When Sp*rs and Man City are playing in America, I doubt they have a whole load of fans there at all.

Looking around the stadium, it’s beautiful, it’s an excellent stadium and it’s just simply brilliant to review what we have now and where we’ve come from. The Emirates is simply an excellent football stadium. In contrast to Wembley, our pitch is solid, and we’ve won awards for it. But for me, it’s the little touches – the ability to add your name to your seat if you’re a season ticket holder – the ability to have a stone with your name planted just outside the stadium – yes, they generate revenue for the club – but I’d prefer that we did it this way then sell out to America or the Far East and knacker our players out.

But it’s not just that – it’s the whole community aspect to the club – something that we’ve been proud of ever since we moved into North London – and we give back a lot to the community around the club. And this summer, we announced that we reached an amazing total of £818,897 for the Great Ormand Street Hospital last year. Reading Arsene’s statement about our efforts, it does put a smile on your face doesn’t it?

“It is absolutely fantastic and we are delighted to smash our target of raising half a million pounds for this hospital. The dedication of everyone involved with the Charity and the hospital has been phenomenal and all should be proud of the amazing delivery of fundraising initiatives Great Ormond Street Hospital have introduced to our supporters over the course of the partnership. The fans have been superb with their generosity yet again for our Charity of the Season, and it is thanks to them that Great Ormond Street Hospital patients will have this state-of-the-art Arsenal Lung Function Unit once built.”

You’ll be glad to know that through the site, WOA has raised £203 towards GOSH – through banners, ads etc – it’s a small amount, but it all adds up – so thanks for being part of the community of the site helping to raise money.

Another thing which is extraordinary is the way we blood our youth and bring them into the first team – a whole crop of players, such as Clichy, Djourou, Cesc, Song, Denilson, Carlos Vela, Ramsey, Walcott were bought in their mid-teens, some as young at 14, some brought in at 17/18. In addition, the likes JET, Frimpong, Wilshere are the next crop of players to come into the first team – I don’t think you can really say that about any other team… Yes Man United has a few good players come in about 10 years agi, but that was more down to luck than anything else – whereas down at the Grove, we’ve got a system in place from the under 14’s upwards.

The financial situation, even considering the fact that we’ve bought a brand new £400m stadium, is excellent and the projections for the future of Arsenal in terms of finances will eventually see us as the richest club in the world. It’s amazing to see considering so many clubs are in huge debt and / or invested in heavily, without having had the burden of such an expensive stadium.

And finally, the style of football we play is second to none. We’ve got a brand – “the Arsenal way” – and it’s a delight to see football played the way it’s meant to be played. Quick passing and movement, on and off the ball – when the players are on song, there really is no better team to watch.

Arsenal – we’re a unique club.

  • walter
  • Kodjo

    Good post Dev…
    but take it easy on spurs and man city (lafs)….

    regarding the following in your post..i beg to differ…

    “Yes Man United has a few good players come in about 10 years agi, but that was more down to luck than anything else”

    I’d say that it is very difficult to say the players coming/came out of man utd is/was down to luck. Every team needs its slice of luck.

    In my opinion the beckham-scholes-neville-butt group played a certain way which cannot be attributed to luck alone. Clearly they came into the first team and replicated the system in the youth team.

    If your reference is to the current batch of players coming through…then i can’t say much cos i really do not know much about them.

    All in all a very good post…excellent perspective which brings to light the values of the club.

    Just hope the ownership situation is resolved once and for all!!!

  • Goonerman

    I know as arsenal fans we are always going to be biased towards our cub but i truely belive that we are eaily the best club in this country in terms of the way the club is run financially and how we help the community and charities, my brother and sister spent a long time in GOSH when they were young and they are an amazing hospital but at arsenal a target is set for the amount of money aimed to be raised and it seems we all know the target will be smashed because everyone to do with the club puts their full effort into the project!

    nice to see cesc get an amazing reception today and it will just remind him of the love we all have for him at the club, i really hope he comes out and commits to the club over the next couple days becuase this saga crap needs to be put to bed and he is the one person to do it!

  • Deen

    When Sp*rs and Man City are playing in America, I doubt they have a whole load of fans there at all.


    They do. It’s a huge country.

  • walter

    I dont know where everyone is getting this ‘he’s down, or he’s sad’ – a whole load of websites have just said:

    “A smiling Cesc Fabregas lead out his Arsenal team-mates for a special fans’ day at the Emirates Stadium today. The Spain midfielder is under pressure to publicly commit to the Gunners after pushing for a summer move to Barcelona.” Daily mail

  • devday

    @ Kodjo:
    What I meant by that comment about United is that it was down to luck that these players came through at the same time, but not down to luck the way they played. They took their opportunities well.

  • devday

    @ Deen:
    I meant…

    When Sp*rs and Man City are playing in America, I doubt they have a whole load of [their own] fans there at all.

  • Kodjo


    Thanks for the clarification…

    any one has pixs of the training session or any website that carries them?

  • jeffvip

    Seems like Barca have make a mess in Asia. They are charging Koreans 5x their normal match ticket yet no star is showing up. Messi only play a small part of the 90 minutes. Koreans media and fans is totally upset bout this incident. They are losing rather than gaining fans in this Asia Tour. This is such a great news for us. (>v<) <–"evil grins"

    Maybe we can sign up Honda and play in Japan next summer to gain some Japanese fans…

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Apparently we are looking at Mexes from Roma as CB. That is a good shout as he has experience and can play both Right and Left side so could partner anyone. Not sure how much he is worth though?

  • theusualsuspect

    There was no comments from Cesc regarding his loyalty to the gunners – pretty shameful i think – to all the members that turned up and he couldnt even be bothered to say a few words

  • theusualsuspect

    Gooner Get Ya says on August 6th, 2010 at 9:06 am : you’re living in complete dream land if you think we are going to sign a established CB OR A GK. Wenger has lost it completely and is now resigned to signing players from leagues unheard of.

  • theusualsuspect

    The problem here still seems to be that if anyone dares to voice an opinion that all is not quite rosy at the Emirates, we have kids writing in that you are an armchair supporter or that you are a glory seeker. Hopefully, by next month when the schools go back, they will not be so here so often- we can but hope. I’m looking forward to how our captain explains away the nonsense he’s created by privately admitting that he wants to go. Now that his beloved Barcelona have failed to stump up enough cash he’s had to put up with staying here for another year. I wonder how he feels seeing Almunia and Fabianski still here, let alone the lack of defensive midfield and central defence cover. The Standard said a few days ago “When Fabregas looks around, he sees youthful potential and high technical ability, but not a squad capable of winning the Premier or Champions League.” I can’t disagree with that, much as it pains me to say it.If we start the season without a new goalkeeper, Wenger stands charged with negligence that borders on being a sackable offence. He’s had enough years to sort this out and failed dismally. When I saw that buffoon, Almunia, say on Sunday “I don’t need to convince anybody, I’m an Arsenal keeper and I’ve got two years left on my contract”, it made my blood boil. How dare he come out with such an arrogant, complacent remark, no doubt comforted by the fact that Wenger seems incapable of addressing this issue. Maybe he thinks he’s worth his place, when in truth he’s the worst keeper in the Premiership.I also wonder why Fabregas and VP seem to be “short” for the Liverpool game.The former hardly played in South Africa whilst the latter had five months off before the World Cup. Why have they not been back in England before? A bad result at Anfield is not what we need.

  • vj

    Jermaine defoe must be high if he thinks spurs are going further than arsenal. Weve reached the quarters at least efor the last 6 years, spurs are going to struggle to get out of the groups. And i really hope we sign a defender before the liverpool game. I don’t think wenger will sign a GK untill after hesees how Almunia does in the Liverpool game

  • walter

    I see that Defoe has come out to say that Tottenham will go further than Arsenal in the Champions League. I imagine that to be the limit of Tottenham’s ambitions, always trying to beat us but failing to do so consistently. If he actually played for a big club, he would say that he was in it to win it. At least that would show true ambition from a big club.

  • vj

    well said walter

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ theusualsuspect:

    I was quoting the BBC website. I highly doubt anything will happen but I think he would be a useful addition to the team if it did.

    As for the GK situation, we can only sit back until the end to the transfer window before making any noise about a lack of signing.

    I can’t wait for this season to arrive and see how the yids fare in juggling the Carling Cup, F.A. Cup, Champions League and EPL. I hope they fall flat on their big hook noses. :-)

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Champions League play-off draw in full:

    Young Boys (SUI) v Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

    Sporting Braga (POR) v Sevilla (ESP)

    Werder Bremen (GER) v Sampdoria (ITA)

    Zenit St Petersburg (RUS) v Auxerre (FRA)

    Dynamo Kiev (UKR) v Ajax (NED)

    Salzburg (AUT) v Hapoel Tel-Aviv (ISR)

    Rosenborg (NOR) v Copenhagen (DEN)

    Basel (SUI) v FC Sheriff (MDA)

    Sparta Prague (CZE) v MSK Zilina (SVK)

    Partizan Belgrade (SRB) v Anderlecht (BEL)

    That has got to be the easiest team in the whole tournament…jammy f**kers

  • walter

    I believe that Barca were well aware that they were in very deep financial trouble (I won’t repeat it all, but there are several articles on this site showing just how dreadful their position is, and we started analysing this way before the story came out in the press).

    They therefore needed to counteract these stories – especially with a new President coming to power.

    Further, in Spain they are under constant pressure from the REal Madrid side, who laugh at them daily for not being able to hold onto their own talented youngsters.

    So they run the story.

    So, although it was not exclusively a media game, it was largely, as those comments about secret agreements etc show, a media game, stoked by Barca.

    Perhaps you would find your blood pressure a little less challenged if you chose one of the anti-Arsenal Arsenal sites that are around. There are quite a few to choose from, but those Tottenham fans have always been fairly active.