Posts Tagged → Arsenal
Last month the Scottish Premier League relaxed the rules on standing and has allowed for safe standing areas to be reintroduced. Currently Rangers, Celtic, Kilmarnock and Motherwell are all currently exploring the option of installing safe standing areas in their stadiums. The key difference between English clubs and Scottish clubs is the Scottish clubs are not bound by the Taylor Report and English laws so they have one less problem to over. The Premier League has said in the past it doesn’t want to introduce safe standing back into the Premier League but now certain English clubs are exploring the idea. Aston Villa is one club to have plans in place and is seeking support at the next Premier League meeting from other clubs. Arsenal and City have also been rumoured to be interested in safe standing areas. The type of standing that would in place would be very different from the standing areas you see at many lower league clubs or the type we saw in the past decades before standing was banned. If reintroduced Scottish and English clubs would follow the Germany system of fold up seats and bars where a stand can be converted to either safe standing or seated if required under UEFA regulations.
Villa is one of many clubs where standing takes place for long periods of time even though it is banned. The same can be said for most other clubs. The Kop at Anfield, K Stand and the Stretford End at Old Trafford are all areas where no one will sit down for 90 minutes. Manchester United have been warned in the past by the local council for persistent standing but it still carries on. Much of it is over looked. Even at away games clubs like Liverpool have admitted persistent standing isn’t a problem, so a question needs to be asked. Is the current law 15 years out of date? It would seem so as much has happened. Hooligans aren’t anywhere near a big a issue as they were 20 or 30 years ago. Football is safer, new technology and techniques have been developed. Its also been proven standing in seated at Premier League stadiums isn’t dangerous. It happens at every away game up and down the country every Saturday and Sunday. When was the last time there was an issue because fans were standing? The Germans have also developed a very successful and safe standing system. I believe its time for the Government, FA and Premier League to allow Villa to install a safe standing system as in Germany which can be monitored. It will prove ‘standing’ wasn’t the issue. It was everything around it and everyone knows it. Everything has to be managed if it isn’t, problems will occur.
Another problem with the current Premier League system is the ticket price and everything that goes with football. Its about money and many clubs have lost a certain type of supporter over the past 10 years to do the huge increases in price of a football ticket. If you’re a fan of Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal etc ticket prices are normally £35 to 50 or maybe more. At Bolton, Blackburn and City it’s more like £25-35. Standing tickets would not only bring the price down, they’d increase the attendances, capacity and the type of people attending football matches. Those priced out could now afford to attend games. For clubs like Bolton and Blackburn, safe standing areas could improve the atmosphere and bring back a community feel to being a fan. It should in theory improve the atmosphere at any ground it was introduced. I’ve not really heard any argument against it and there is a lot of support, its time the law was changed but changed with regulations on how standing is managed. Managing the system and the type of system is the key to success.
After Stan Kroenke comments on American owners and the Glazers which can be seen here…
…. it’s time we looked at a number of the American owners who have been and are involved in English football clubs. I’m looking at just how trust worthy each owner is and how that relates to me and you the fans.
First off the Glazers. The list of issues and problems could go on for pages but Kroenke as ever, misses the major problems. If United make £50 or £300m, do or should I really care? No. What I do care about is where that money goes. He makes the mistake of mixing what happens on the pitch and off the pitch together. It either goes on the pitch or into investment in the stands, anywhere else and its a complete waste. Its pretty clear that the Glazers costing the club £535m has had no benefit for the club or the fans. My last blogs shows how even the British Government has now accepted this view.
Next is Hicks and Gillett at Liverpool. These are two Americans who tricked the fans and everyone else into thinking they could solve all Liverpool problems. They said no debt would go on the club, that was a lie and at the end they even tried to block the new takeover with more debt by taking out a massive payment-in-kind loans like the Glazers used. This would have basically crippled the club. A big issue has been the new stadium, the new owners promised to build it but it never happened. They were welcomed with open arms at first and left the club in a right state.
Following on from those two con men is another con man called John W Henry but he’s just the face of NESV. If I was a Liverpool fan I would seriously start to question the motives this group have because there are a lot of similarities to the Glazers and to the past Liverpool American owners. There is a lot of information that is hidden and that has not been made public. Just like Uniteds ultimate ownership, NESV ownership and ultimate Liverpools ownership is in Delaware. In 2010 Uniteds ultimate ownership was moved there and just at the same time the PIK debt was ‘gone’. We say gone but as Andersred put it on one of his past blogs “It is virtually impossible to get information on Delaware companies” We don’t even know who the Directors are, let alone what the accounts look like. The most likely position thats accepted is the Glazers PIK debt was refinanced behind closed doors. I can’t see any other way the Glazers could find £250m over night.
This leads on to Liverpools real position. Most Liverpool fans believe they are One. Debt Free and Two. Now Loaded. Henry and the like have refused to say what NESV debt consists of or how the takeover was really funded. They have also refused to say they won’t put debt on Liverpool. They sound to me just like Hicks and Gillett but just without the promises.
Heres a some quote from John W Henry on the matter..
“LFC discloses its financials annually, so monies going in and going out are disclosed. But I’m not going to disclose NESV financials or financing information.”
“But NESV has always had debt, from the first day we purchased the Red Sox.”
“£218m was partly raised from the NESV partners personally and partly from borrowing.”
So just like the Glazers and just like Hicks/Gillett, NESV has debt and they’ve admitted they’ve taken on debt to fund the takeover. Hidden in Delaware, has taken on debt, won’t be open nor truthful to provide the real figures. Where have we seen that before? It’s clear why no commitment has been over a stadium. They just like the past Liverpool owners are going to struggle to raise the £400m needed for the new stadium and there is always a possibly debt could be moved onto the club. I don’t see how the club has really moved on.
Next is Stan Kroenke. If you’re an Arsenal fan and you believe his comments about the Glazers, you are a very naive person. If he has no problems with what the Glazers have done at United I’d be very worried. It sends out all the wrong messages. I’d be very worried about debt and I’d be very worried about him increasing his shareholding over the next few months. I’d hope the new licensing rules are already in place before he could mount a leveraged takeover and if he’s going to mount one I’d expect it to be sooner rather than later. At one end of the scale we have Chelsea and City but at the other end these American owners who believe putting debt on clubs, increasing ticket prices and increasing turnover is the way to go. My view is neither are good for the game, the fans or the clubs.
You might have heard about this and thought nothing of it but I’m going to put it another way and after you’ve gone part way through this, you should stop reading, then start writing your own email or letter to United. If you’re a season ticket holder and you don’t start writing one, there is something very wrong with you.
Here is the email address for Manchester United Ticketing and Membership services.
Most season ticket holders pay over £1000 a season for the privilege* to apply for away tickets and most of the time the chances of a ticket are very slim. Unless theres a large allocation of 5,000 or more tickets which is very rare, the chances are almost zero. I’ve already covered the reducing of allocations to our supporters but what happened last weekend against Bolton is another level of boiling blood. Bolton had reduced Manchester United’s allocation and then decided sell a selection of tickets to an Irish Travel firm to sell on as away tickets. This was also true for another unknown group of Norwegians who were also sold tickets as away tickets. This is another kind of low and it has to stop right now. We knew this went on last season at Wigan but today this has really started to get noticed after a number of us started investigating it.
These are sold as travel packages to so called Manchester United fans who have nothing to do with the club. They gave United the lowest amount of tickets 10% which was 2,771 tickets out of the 28,000 capacity and then technically upped it again by selling more away tickets to Manchester United fans. Where they came from doesn’t matter, how they were sold does. Manchester United Football Club should be the only ones given the tickets and they should be the only ones allowed to sell away tickets to Manchester United fans. All Season Tickets Holders have an agreement with the club on domestic away tickets. They are the first ones who are allowed to apply for these tickets but an Irish Travel firm as we speak is selling away end tickets in the Manchester United away section. By buying a season ticket you get certain rights and applying for away tickets is one. If other Manchester United fans regardless of where they from are allowed to buy the away end tickets now but other the fans who have paid a lot of money for the privilege of applying officially through the club will never get the chance of getting a ticket, there is something very wrong here. If tickets are being sold outside of the agreement to any Manchester United fans, this must for one break a number of safety regulations. They are Manchester United fans in the away end, in the stadium under Manchester United’s name but they have nothing officially to do with the club. The safety panel have said the number of Manchester United fans in the ground must be reduced and this clearly not the case. This must also break the agreement in a number of ways between the club and the season ticket holders. Clearly the action of selling away tickets only to season ticket holders is not the case and it’s not correct. These agreements for away tickets must question a number of, safety regulations, FA rules and Premier League rules. If something was to happen with the Manchester United fans, Manchester United Football Club would be blamed and they wouldn’t even know who was in the ground.
It’s not only Manchester United Season Ticket Holders who will suffer but Wigan and Bolton are doing the same thing, selling away tickets away from the clubs of Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. They will do the same thing. Give allocations of 2,700 tickets or there about, then try and sell the remaining to tourists away from those clubs.
If at this point, your blood isn’t boiling you need a kick in the face. Write your email at this point and if you aren’t happy with the response send it me on twitter at @wewantglazerout You can also send your stories to @barneyrednews who will be very interested.
*Based on a 3rd tier season ticket for 19 home games and 10 cup games at £34 a game + champions league ticket price increases.