Yesterday, Ivan Gazidis came out on the clubs website with a statement announcing his “disappointed [that] many of our supporters and also those of Hull City will be unable to get tickets to the cup final.” In what was an attempt by him to show he is on the fans side, fighting the corner of The Arsenal fan, the common fan, the fan on the Clapham Omnibus. I, however, feel different.
In my eyes, Gazidis has taken on a battle he knows he can not win. By coming out against the allocation of tickets for both sets of fans, he appears to be sticking up for us. In fact, he is playing a good game. Gaining some good press. Talking up for the fans with a topic he knows he has little chance of affecting, despite him being a member of the FA Council.
Ivan Gazidis likes to be seen as saying the right thing. Alongside yesterdays statement, he has also come out in favour of Safe Standing. All well and good. Backing the fans. He has our best interests at heart. Or so he would like you to believe.
The fact is, Gazidis has spoken out on two topics which he can not affect. His statement will not get us any more tickets for The FA Cup Final. Nor will just words get Safe Standing into the Premier League. And Gazidis knows this. Speaking about topics which he can not control is brilliant politically.
He gains favour from fans stupid enough to believe he is truly against the current policies, whilst also being able to stand there and say “I don’t agree, but its out of my control.”
Meanwhile, there most important topic for fans at the moment, that of ticket prices, Ivan Gazidis is mysteriously quiet. Where is his backing of the twenty’s plenty campaign – an argument for cheaper away tickets? Why has he not spoken about £100 tickets for home games at The Emirates? The common fan being priced out?
Gazidis can effect these. He could get involved in twenty’s plenty. He could talk about the rising costs of football. He could charter trains to ensure all fans have a way to get home at a reasonable time and cost. But he doesn’t. Why?
Because he is not interested in topics he can effect. He plays lip service to topics he can’t affect in an attempt to pull the wool over peoples eyes. The man is a charlatan.
For a man apparently speaking for the fans yesterday, where was his statement about the disgraceful moving of the Hull game this Sunday? 8 days notices, thousands of pounds down the drain for fans. Surely this is a topic the mighty Ivan Gazidis would be interested in. But no. He does not want to upset Sky. He knows that he could easily solve the problem by offering refunds, arranging free coach’s anything. But he has chosen to remain quiet. A clear indication that when it is a topic he can actually act upon, he has no opinion.
Ivan Gazidis has also spoken out in favour of safe standing in the past. A campaign which is completely out of his hands. Yes, his views might ‘add weight’ to the argument, but let’s be honest, it is very little weight. Why not actively petition Islington Council to allow Safe Standing at the Emirates Cup – a competition outside of the FA’s control – to highlight that it is safe?
More likely is the fact that Gazidis’s words are hot air. Are shallow. He is speaking about a topic which he has little control. Making it look like he is on the fans side, when in fact he is not.
Ivan, if you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the fans, speak out against our own clubs ticket prices. Join the twenty’s plenty campaign. Let it be known to other clubs that if they offer our away fans tickets for £20, we will make a reciprocal offer.
No matter how much he might pretend to, Ivan Gazidis does not speak for me, he does not speak for you, he only has his own self interests at heart. Sit down Ivan and Shut up.