arsenal

The vilification of footballers, in particular Arsenal players, is starting to get a little ridiculous and some perspective is required, however, that does not mean that the players should not do their bit for the club that employs them.

The main reason that football clubs are held to a higher standard than say a pub empire like Weatherspoons or airlines worth five times as much as Arsenal is that they are integral to the local community, they are in effect the centrepiece of the local community.

Arsenal fans have almost zero choice when it comes to choosing an alternative team to support and that is the hold they have over the fans, you don’t like Weatherspoons or BA choose another pub or airline to use, not so easy when it comes to supporting a football team.

Fans invest far more into their club in terms of emotions, money, loyalty etc than any owner, player or manager can ever hope to, at the extreme, a manager could manage a club for a maximum of 25 years, a player maybe 15 years max, whereas fans can invest as much as 90 years into a club, again, that is extreme but you get the picture.

From being a very young boy or girl until they day they die a fan will support his club through thick and thin, they buy the merchandise decade after decade, they pay their TV subscriptions or season tickets year in year out, they watch their team even when the players are performing terrible, they attend games no matter the weather, no matter the cost, they are the club.

Players come and go and for the most part, their overriding aim is to earn as much money as they possibly can with winning silverware only important when they are already very rich and money no longer such a driving force.

There is nothing wrong with that, each individual is entitled to earn as much as he can when he can and the sooner the fans accept that reality the better.

Arsenal football club and not the owners, players or managers is where the fans loyalty will always lie and the survival of the club has to be the priority.

If that means players wages slashed, so be it, if it means staff being furloughed, then so be it. Who cares about the bad publicity if the club survives. Imagine if Arsenal went under because they did “the right thing”, fans would soon be screaming at the club demanding to know why they did not take every single step required to keep the club afloat.

For now, Stan Kroenke can inject some cash, the players can agree a cut of 12.5%, staff paid fully without using the Governments retention scheme and fans refunded for season tickets etc.

However, if the season gets cancelled and the suspension of football continues for an indefinite period then the funds from Kroenke will dry up and then the club will have no choice but to take extreme methods to ensure that Arsenal survives as a going concern.

Arsenal is a business and they have to act like one, this is the real world, not some fantasy land where the club and its owner will forever dip into their pockets. Arsenal can go under, they are not immune and I would rather see the top players fired, season ticket prices raised and staff laid off on 80% of their wages paid for by the Government than see the club fold.