Baku Flights & Arsenal Big Screening

Morning all.

What beautiful weather today. Proper cricket weather. Bright sunshine – unlike Wednesday at the Oval where I got to see just 19 overs of play.

Today is the last game of the season and there is still plenty of play for.

If The Arsenal win by loads and Tottenham lose by loads; Arsenal are 4th. It is not going to happen.

Our form in the last month has seen collapse out of top 4 contention. Even just a single point against Everton, Wolves, Crystal Palace or Leicester would see us having a glimmer of hope today. Had we won 1 of those games it would be in our hands.

The only silver lining is at least when we finish 3 points behind Tottenham, idiots on Twitter will not be abusing Aubameyang for THAT penalty miss.

There has been plenty of talk over the last few days about ticket allocations for the Europa League Final.

Whilst 6,000 is a disgrace on paper; I would actually be surprised if that many travel from London in 2 weeks time.

The real crime here is playing the game in Baku – an incredibly hard place to get to from most of Europe.

UEFA announced that the reasoning behind so few tickets was because Baku does not have the infrastructure – hotels, flights – to accommodate more people. Maybe they should have thought about that before handing them the game over Seville and Istanbul.

You have to wonder if some money has changed hands somewhere for Baku to end up the Europa League final.

I am not going.

Guaranteed a ticket, I do not see a logistically sensible way to get there.

3 flights over 15 hours is of no interest to me. I would rather save my £1,000+ for a couple extra Euro aways next season – or finance Cape Town for some cricket.

Reality is most of us are spread thing financially.

Whilst football is important, there are other life experiences that take up money. Whether it is going on holiday with the other half, getting an extension done, going cricket, or one of the many other things money can be spent on.

It is now shame to say “I can’t afford it” or “I just don’t want to spend £1,000”.

When you follow Arsenal up and down the country, it is a huge cost – I estimated I spend £5,000 a couple of years ago on tickets, trains and beer. Sometimes you just have to say no.

For many of those moaning about ticket allocation, I have a simple question: Are you going to Burnley?

Chances are you are not. How about do some domestic aways before moaning about final ticket allocations for a game you probably wouldn’t go to if there were 40,000 tickets available.

We move on.

I have seen a few people say that it is a disgrace that Arsenal will not screen the game at the Emirates. There is a simple reason.

Construction at the ground began just after the last home game of the season on May 5th. The final is on May 29th. It would have been impossible to delay the work for 24 days and have it completed before the beginning of next season.

Arsenal could have applied to play a couple of games away from home next year, but that would not have resolved contractual agreements with the builders.

They would have known for months that work was to start within the last week. They would have scheduled their work force, ordered in materials, etc. Arsenal would have been breaking contractual agreements if, on Friday, they told the contractors that they were unable to start work for another 2 weeks.

Materials would have to be stored, men put out of work. It would have cost thousands.

You would have had builders who would be looking to pay for summer holidays based on the work they will get over the next 2 or 3 weeks. Delay to the start would have meant no money for them.

Sometimes we forget that there is a world beyond football.

I have seen some call for a big screening at Finsbury Park.

This could be a very good option. I am just unsure if the club could get it organised in time.

It is a big operation setting up Finsbury Park for Wireless. It is something that takes a few weeks, not a few days.

They need to erect the stage, big screens, toilets, beer marquees. They need to fence the site off and recruit the stewards. Need to get council sign off and sell tickets. It would not be an easy operation.

It is a good idea, but a logistical nightmare and probably a pipe dream.

Closer to the game we will collate the pubs in the area, who is showing it, how much tickets are, etc.

Until then, enjoy the sunshine.


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