Author Archives: goonersx

WeCareDoYou – A response to the transfer window

I would like to state that this is my personal response to the transfer window and that as one of those who arranged the orginal supporters groups/bloggers meeting and as one of those who was signatory on the orginal statement for WeCareDoYou I have full rights to express my views, but it is just that my view. I can not speak for all involved.

I have felt over the last day or so that I owe it to those who have followed me, backed me, exchanged views with me and advised me over the years that I say something from my persepctive right now, especially as so many of you got right behind the WeCareDoYou online campaign……

I’d  like to thank everyone who came to the first meeting, those who were then involved in getting a verbal agreement at the meeting and then after just over a month of compremises got the statement agreed which was put out.  It was a brilliant group effort, with many playing their part and there was no ego’s. I’d also like to thank everyone of the 105,000 people who signed the petition agreeing with its wording and backing it, you are the real stars of this. The response was staggering for all involved. It was the largest and most backed online football protest ever, not just from fans of The Arsenal but of any football club worldwide.

Did it have any baring on the transfer window ? who knows, Im certainly not so vain to claim any credit for it and no-one else should either. But it certainly shock the club so much Josh got woke up at 4am and was forced into an immediate direct response.

It was a 9 out 0f 10 transfer window for me, Raul played a blinder and is rightly getting full praise for shuffling the pack, getting in whats hopefully needed and shipping out some wage drains. Add to that getting money for the former captain who was on strike and no right minded Arsenal fan can have too many complaints about this summer, it was so much better than when Wenger/Ivan had control of the cheque book.

Of course those who earn a living from youtube hits will be slaging the transfer window off, how else can they earn a penny but from causing outrage. This is why none of them were invited to attend the orignal meeting or asked there views on how to go forwards as a unified supporters base.

From my perspective I was hoping the #WeCareDoYou would be so much more than just one transfer window, it was a big chance for the main supporters groups and bloggers to unite for the greater cause. Those who attended the orignal meeting hardly spoke about this transfer window and that was reflected in the statement. Yes everyone wanted the club to really kick in this summer, yes everyone was unhappy about Ramsey leaving for nothing, but it was far from the main topics of conversation on the night. It was never about simply spending money.

The orginal statement and petition carried a lot of points which were discussed at the meeting, to which eventually all involved did agree on –

Better player contract dealings – Which looks like its being resolved

KSE attending meetings and games – They failed to attend the last fan groups meeting

Club directors – No change in adding a younger and more diverse board

Safe Standing – Still no news on even planning a feasibilty study

Buying tickets online – Worse than last season already

Ticket prices – Dont hold your breath !

London Living wage – Still passing it off too the contractors

European Super League – Radio silence

No real statement of the clubs meduim term aims or direction.

So yeah, this is where we are. Personally whilst I feel this summer on paper has been a major step forwards on the playing side, KSE still have a lot to reply too still. We on SheWore will carry on engaging with former and current match going fans, engage with overseas fans and we will carry on the debate about the real issues. We will carry on questioning KSE

I hope the others join us.

#WeCareDoyou

Up The Arsenal

Gav

 

 

 

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RIP Steve Aka Lordhillwood

On the morning of 4th August we lost our dear Friend Steve, who was known to us and many as Lordhillwood.

Back in 1998 I bought my 1st home computer, with the sole reason to chat about The Arsenal. A few years later I found an Arsenal website called ArseOnLine.com which was on the Rivals network. You thought of a user name, signed up and chatted on the message board which was a done in threads. It was completly anonymous, It was dog eat dog, proper old skool lad terrace/pub behavoiur. I loved it.

There wasn’t loads of Arsenal using it so those on there regulary soon got to reconise each others user names and the birth of internet fweinds begain. Now a fella called Ike ran the webiste, but Lordhillwood was the regular admin on the message board, he made sure we didn’t over step the mark too much and covered our backs when we did..

Part of the appeal of Rivals was once you were regestered on ArseOnline you could then go take the piss on other clubs message boards, which we often did and Lordhillwood had to pick up the pieces. We would plan to invade the tottenham or Chelsea messageboard and all hit them with abuse at the same time. Back then it was an admins nightmare, but it passed the time at work for the rest of us.

We would spend the days at work and often nights chatting about The Arsenal and generally about life. Friday afternoon would be “weekend plans” which for Lordhillwood was always Champange, whisky and cigar nights with his friends in the UKs embassy in Poland on a Friday, Watching the game on a Saturday  in the pub and spending time with his family. He was also friendly with some of Polands finest lads which some of his more intersting stories came from…

This was long before Facebook or Twitter so it was very easy to create your own persona or indeed be taken for your word, Lordhillwood, who was the oldest of us all had the persona of a well connected, well educated upper middle class bloke, with a great job, even if he was always a bit non-discript about it. He kinda gave me the impression he worked for MI6, or indeed travelled in those circles.

As I said above this messageboard could be harsh, we all took the piss out of each other, we still do now in our whatsapp group, we constantly abused each other, we constantly fell out, but if any fans of other teams came on we would all back each other and back The Arsenal, thats how message board life was on Rivals.

One of funniest days was when we all decided to change our user names, poor Lordhillwood and Ike had no idea who was who and  as daft as it now sounds I was laughing my head off sitting in the corner of a telesales office whilst pretending to be working and we all still laugh about it now.

After Rivals were bought out by Sky Ike decided to give up AOL, Steve didn’t have the time to run a blog full time and as I was between jobs I took over the blog on a new platform and  we agreed to rename it SheWoreAYellowRibbon. Without Lordhillwood as an admin on AOL there would be no Shewore.com.

Facebook and then Twitter ended the days of messageboards but Lordhillwood  soon found his way on Twitter, with his own unqiue views. He had his opinions on The Arsenal and politics and no-one would change them. With Facebook became faces to user names and we all started meeting up for games and getting closer as mates.

About 8years ago Lordhillwood came over for a rare visit to London and we spent a few days together, Friday night beers and a curry from Brick Lane, a good old chat about bugger all and he crashed on my sofa. On the Saturday we went up The Arsenal and carried on the drinking, I think i last saw him staggering off to meet some people (women) in The Tollington.

Then came podcasts, I would love it when I was on the Bergkamp Wonderland podcast with Lordhillwood, we would often have a good gossip and catch up before and then again after. He was a popular voice on there and many would listen just for his views.

Lordhillwood was a great believer in fans rights, had a great insight into the finances at Arsenal, was fair about Wenger and above all didn’t ever need any excuse to put the boot into Gerry Payton the once goal keeping coach. He always spoke his mind and never admitted he was wrong

I know all the lads connected with that podcast became great friends with him and are really feeling it too right now.

Lordhillwood also dabbled into writing blogs and wrote some great pieces, it’s a shame he didn’t write more as he really was talented and had a way with words.

Now I can’t say its always been sweetness and light, Lordhillwood and I and the others that met on AOL have all fallen in and out over the years. We started by rowing with each other and winding each other up and that just kind of never changed. But everyome will miss the silly sod and everyone is deeply affected by this.

The Arsenal throws people together, people who have nothing whats so ever in common, people from all ages, backgrounds, races, religions, education, poltical leanings and sometimes they clash. But some people improve your lifes, give you a different perspective and are just decent people and Lordhillwood was one of those. He was a great listener as well as a great talker, he could debate the smallest of points for years and for that I /we will always respect him and miss him, even the times he was wrong and drove us nuts.

Lordhillwood had a lifelong passion for our great club, he would often tell tales of games and players before our years he loved passing on his wisdom and experences in football as well as life. We are less of a fanbase without him and he will be greatly missed.

So on behalf of  all the lads who started by typing at each other on AOL to pass the time at work, only to become lifelong mates, I just wanna say thank you Steve, love and thoughts to your family, we will miss you. YNWA.

Gav, David I, Dan, Neil, Ade, Paul T, Darren, Paul G, Richard, David H, Rory, Jon and Mark.

AKA

Gooner_sx, Ike, Keenos, CEG, Barsteward, Mouth, Romford_Pele, Nemo, Islington_Resident, Gooner1971, B’Jesus, Sicknote and Cros.

 

 

Arsenal fan groups message to Stan Kroenke

A month ago a meeting was held in a Pub on Holloway road, representatives from all the fans groups, some bloggers and some people who have been active in fans rights attended, getting everyone in the same room was a mission in itself. The idea of this meeting was to see if we could all come together for the greater good and to try and speak with one voice, Together Stronger ! We all agreed to a man and a women that the way the club is being run right now both on and off the pitch is not what’s expected of The Arsenal.

A month of talks has since taken place, compromise was made by all still involved and a lot of hard work has gone into it thus far. The statement below has been sent to the club ahead of the next fans meeting later on this month. Answers and a clear idea on the future will be expected or future actions will be put in place . This is hopefully just the start of us all working together. The message to Stan is clear #WeCareDoYou.

Gav + Keenos

Statement –

As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team’s football performances have
declined over the past decade. When Stan Kroenke began buying Arsenal shares the club
had just competed in a first Champions League final. Twelve years on, Arsenal are about to
play in the Europa League for the third year running.

Off the pitch, fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued. This was nsadly illustrated when Stan Kroenke forcibly bought out the last remaining supporter-shareholders without even a word of appreciation for their custodianship role in the club.

It feels as though Arsenal is at a crossroads. Things need to change.

What all of us as signatories to this statement want to see is meaningful action by Stan
Kroenke to reinvigorate our football club.

This requires work to strengthen the club’s board and football executive and to once again
make Arsenal a place where fans have a real sense of belonging.

Change needs to start with better leadership. In his takeover document Stan Kroenke said:
‘KSE’s ambitions for the club are to see it competing consistently to win the Premier League
and the Champions League.’

We see little evidence of how this is to be achieved. Instead our club feels like an
investment vehicle, personified by the owner’s statement that he didn’t buy Arsenal to win
trophies.

It is sad that an institution like Arsenal FC has such passive ownership. All of us want to
see a clear sense of purpose and direction. KSE should start by being more open and
accountable and explain how they intend to achieve the goal of winning the game’s major
trophies.

If Stan Kroenke is going to be absent from London he needs to make sure the board he
delegates to is fit for purpose.

There is a desperate need for some new and dynamic appointments. The addition of
independently-minded directors can act as a genuine check and balance on the owner.
Ideal candidates would have football and commercial expertise relevant to the needs of a
football club in 2019, and ideally some ‘Arsenal DNA’.

Arsenal have invested money in recent years, but their approach to both buying players and
paying wages looks uncoordinated and appears to lack strategy. There has also been a lot
of turnover in the senior football personnel. A strong board would be proactively managing
this.

On a matchday the Emirates Stadium can be a soulless place. The atmosphere is poor and
there are thousands of empty seats blighting almost every game. If Arsenal really cared
they would make sure seats weren’t left empty by investing in an improved ticketing system
and actively supporting initiatives like safe standing. The club uses the strapline ‘Always
ahead of the game’. It would be good to see action to demonstrate this.

Finally, the very fabric of football in England and across Europe is at threat from proposals
for a European Super League.

These moves are driven by the greed of a few so-called elite clubs who want guaranteed
entry into top-level European competition every year. Why care if you finish fifth or lower if
automatic qualification is guaranteed? Arsenal and the other clubs involved should
understand that fans do not want more meaningless group stage fixtures designed only to
rake in more broadcast and ticketing revenue. You could call it the ‘franchisation’ of
European Football. Arsenal should immediately clarify they will have no part in this.

As Arsenal Supporters, we care deeply. We would like to hear from our club and see
actions that demonstrate that they do too. The first opportunity comes when the Managing
Director and Head of Football speak to invited supporters on July 25th.

We urge them to
address the issues raised here. We will watch with interest.

Signatories:
Arseblog
Arsenal Armed Forces Supporters Club
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST)
Black Scarf Movement (BSM)
Highbury Library
Highbury Squad
Hugh Wizzy
Gooner Fanzine
Goonerholic
Gunners Town
Gunnerblog
Le Grove
REDACTION
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
You Are My Arsenal Blog
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