Galatasaray Coming To Town

Today’s post by Bradyesque7

I wasn’t in Copenhagen that night. Neither did I feel the anxiety of having a loved one over there when word got back that there was trouble afoot. It would be wrong of me to suggest how people should feel about prospect of coming face-to-face with the Galatasaray fans again. I completely understand that the very idea of them being invited to a friendly tournament at our ground is unacceptable to many. So with what has gone on in the past, why would the club entertain the idea?

In my view, there is no way that the club aren’t mindful of the tragedy which befell some of our supporters and their families in Copenhagen. To me, this must be a bridge building exercise. It simply must be an attempt to put the past behind us and try to create a more peaceful and prosperous environment.

As an Irish person, I am only too aware of how tragedies and bad blood can last for decades. Were it not for the brave work of a few good men and women, relations between my country and our nearest neighbour would still be fraught with fear and resentment. On both sides, there have been many casualties of that particular conflict but I don’t believe that holding on to past beefs can serve to honour the lives lost.  In the name of progression and peace, a line must be drawn so that people can begin to find some kind of normality without fear.

It is for those reasons that I am encouraged by the actions of the club.

Please understand that I am not telling anybody to simply get over it. I know first-hand that for every life lost in such circumstances, there are many more which are completely devastated.  I firmly believe in trying to build bridges and creating an environment whereby future generations know nothing of such fear.

Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Thanks for reading.  Up the Arsenal!

24 comments on “Galatasaray Coming To Town

  1. Extremely well put! While not everyone will have have suffered first hand, the affinity among supporters should lend it self to empathy. Hopefully this will be a beginning of the Turkish fans being known for loud support and not an extension of the violence of which they are currently tainted.
    Eboue can help in this


  2. With you B7 – got itself a very bad reputation did Turkish football after the Leeds stabbings in Istanbul which rolled into Copehagen – the boot was not however on one foot – 13-14 years on is long enough


  3. Bradyesque, that’s a very positive, hopeful and decent way to look at the situation. I hope you are right and that it can be a way to heal and move forward. But if it is the club’s intention, it should accompany some acknowledgement of the painful history and some organized tribute or coming together of supporters in some sort of forum or ceremony preceding the match. Something that addresses this. Is anything like this planned, has there been any mention in club announcements, advertising, or communications surrounding this match? Probably someone from the press will pose a question about this history at a press conference, but a proactive approach by the club would certainly be worthwhile and suggest it was a conscious purpose of the club rather than a reactive response to supporter unease.


  4. I trust it will be peace and love all round over the weekend as a friendly tournament should be. I am a bit cautious about making too much fanfare in respect of past incidents with other clubs.

    Good eye contact, firm handshake and a game of competitive football seem preferable to chains of scarves and bouquets of flowers concerning a riot that both clubs’ fans got stuck into.


  5. Laudable sentiments there Bradyesque7 and surely the right approach.

    But Galatasaray are a living example of the idea that enviable reputations that may have taken years to develop can be torn down in a matter of hours. Leeds are another example from way back in the 70’s when the activities of club and fans now means that even today few observers of a certain age who are not Leeds fans struggle to look back on them with any fondness.

    None of which negates your essential bridge-building point, but I can’t say I’m especially looking forward to seeing Galatasaray at the Emirates, truth be told.


  6. I think we’re all about building bridges. My parents always told me that I need to be concerned about who had wronged them in the past, but always had to create my own point of view about everything and let my own experience teach me what was right and that I never had to like or dislike anyone to please them.

    I believe the same to be with Arsenal, with regards to most things.

    And i.e. with people such as Piers Morgan, the fact that he was a **** then and is a **** now. Should teach people to stay the hell away. It’s hard to build bridges with a ****.

    I’m sure Galatasaray will want to build a better impression on us and us on them. Its a friendly affair after all. A family event.


  7. I wouldn’t mind building bridges with Piers

    Or a flyover


  8. He would make good foundations,like Jimmy Hoffa


  9. Insert *whether or not people change speech here*. With groups of people I don’t know how this works , but if the club is hopeful , there must be something to it.


  10. I was in Copenhagen & I’m going to Saturdays Emirates Cup,all I’ll say is,I think it’s a terrible idea to have invited Galatasary to a tournament at our place,my brothers bringing his young kids,can’t say I’m not a little worried for their sakes,however you dress that up-you shouldn’t have to feel that way about bringing kids to football in 2013,fuck Galatasary,I won’t forget their antics in and around that game.


  11. Have to say I have every sympathy with Mel’s point of view.

    For my part I’ve made no attempt to buy tickets for these games; the prospect of Galatasaray leaves me stone cold.

    I hope both days sell out and the games pass without incident; the very fact that there is unlikely to be trouble may end up being the best form of bridge-building that we can realistically hope for at this stage.


  12. I agree with Mel (and Andrew).

    I’m all for building bridges, and I’m sure it will pass without any trouble, but I know people who were caught up in all that. They won’t be extending the olive branch anytime soon.

    Bad idea imho.


  13. Maybe, Anicoll. I don’t know what’s the best acknowledgement. Since it was the supporters who had the conflicts it won’t mean very much without engaging them somehow. players who weren’t there, execs who weren’t there, shaking hands? But perhaps it should all just be studiously ignored and absorbed into a saccharine corporate celebration with the hope nothing happens to mar the family event. It may seem best to you but how about victims on both sides? They might think it crass. Others nay fear it could be dangerous–is the club taking any special precautions? Isn’t there an opportunity to remember them or to acknowledge allusively at least the troubled history and to support the positive meaning of inviting Galatasaray for this friendly, the meaning bradyesque hopes to impute, if that is in fact what the club means to accomplish? I went to look for any statements or mention by the club about this, but I couldn’t find one. At the time, the supporter who was knifed the day before was invited into the director’s box for the match itself! I’d be proud of the club for showing both that it cares about its supporters and that it means to overcome the history of bad blood with a positive effort through this friendly. That I think is my main point. However it is done, I don’t know what would be best. If you don’t like scarves or bouquets, you might be clever enough to come up with alternatives. But I don’t think any cleverness can demonstrate that just ignoring the history is the best approach for all the supporters. Bradyesque wouldn’t have written this post if it wasn’t a question among supporters about how to regard this match. Even some statement about the invitation that addresses the goal in bradyesque’s terms ahead of the match would be appropriate and welcome, I think. Or let’s just not pretend it is a factor in the invitation– it’s just a commercial opportunity and the rest is not relevant from the club’s perspective. After all, it’s not 2000 anymore. But that suggests this is a genuine mistake or at least rather insensitive toward Arsenal’s support. I don’t know what to think. The disquiet makes sense. If there is a positive interpretation to be made, I think we need more from the club to think so.


  14. I believe it could be a better idea to play them in a friendly now.
    Because if we play them in a CL second leg quarter final in Istanbul with a lot of tension, it would be better if the last meeting between the two teams is a friendly where everybody ended up with a happy smile.


  15. Well you’re a fine writer Brady, to be sure. Certainly leaves me wanting more. However I’m kind of with Mel & Andrew on this – it keaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Also as LG says, to not acknowledge it at all is strange and disrespectful. But… you are A LOT younger than me and perhaps don’t remember it as well. And you’re full of peace & love which is truly admirable and the only way forward. My hubby always says “forgive and forget” to which I reply “I’ve forgiven but not forgotten”. “In which case”, he says, “you haven’t forgiven.”


  16. Let me be clear – if there Arsenal fans who consider it appropriate and proportionate to fuck up any Galastaray fan they can get hold of then I respect their choice

    Me – I think it’s over done behind gone

    To be fair I should probably say I will not be within a 100 miles on Sunday

    I do not need Arsenal Football club to put on any ceremonies, linking of hands, singing of Abide with Me, or expressions of eternal friendship

    If it is not bleeding dont pick at the scab


  17. Cos if you do it just bleeds more


  18. I hate to come across as a Mardy arse, I know this is Positively Arsenal & number 7 knows I love him to death but I just can’t be having Galatasary,best we can hope for is an incident-free couple of days and our first trophy!


  19. Indeed Mel

    (I suppose the Guard of Honour idea is on ice then)


  20. Thanks all for your comments.

    I can’t agree with some of the views, however. I accept that if the club are thinking the way I believe they are, they could, and probably should, have addressed it somehow.

    I don’t think it is in anyway helpful to hold on to these grudges. Emotions are running high but if you can’t step back a little, you can’t make a measured judgement. Where would we be if all grudges were maintained?

    The club mottos are very pertinent here.

    Victory Through Harmony.



  21. I remember a certain level of hand-wringing when Rangers visited a few years ago, hopefully the fact that it’s just a friendly game it should pass off without incident as that game did. It would certainly help if people do not go into the stadium with this attitude:

    “Let me be clear – if there Arsenal fans who consider it appropriate and proportionate to fuck up any Galastaray fan they can get hold of then I respect their choice”

    It’s hard to be sanctimonious about thugs using football as an excuse to perpetrate mindless violence and then condone such behaviour. I still remember the 80’s when I was too scared to go to a game and I would hate for those days to return.


  22. I hope we hear from ZimPaul soon. Voting is reported to have been fair in Zimbabwe…..


  23. This silence is deafening. Most blogs are going into negative overdrive…..Just listened to the Amy Lawrence piece. As far as I can tell everything she said about the board and IG versus the manager was supposition….but for fucks sake AFC do something……I’m succombing to the pervading zeitgeist….


  24. Jimmy Hoffa helped 100,000’s of thousands Americans through his work with the teamsters, please don’t liken him to piers Morgan or make jokes of his demise.


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