As on this site a while back everyone was debating the 3%, I’ve just found a letter I had written to the club but never sent, It goes along with the sentiments of the Black Scarf but without criticism of the manager. Once again it brings in to focus the disconnect some of the fans have felt over recent years and maybe I should of sent it but to be honest I wasn’t expecting it to be read and once I had written it I had come down of the ceiling.
“Dear Mr Gazides,
For the first time in many years I have no official association with Arsenal Football Club. Please let me tell you my story.
Since I was a small child I have followed Arsenal loyally, I am now forty six, I have sat on the north bank terracing because there was so few numbers at certain games. I paid for my entry into Highbury as a boy through a paper round and money I got from odd jobs. I was crushed and nearly killed when Kevin keegan returned to England and we played Southampton first home game of the season . I ‘ve been lost in Glasgow looking for Charlie Nicholas’s pub on a pre- season tour. I ‘ve had a pigeon crap on my head in front of thousands of Arsenal supporters at Villa park at the mercantile credit final win against Utd. I felt the unbelievable elation at winning the league after years and years in 89, a skin tingling feeling that I really felt part of and something the money men and money fans will never feel and of course the mind numbing depression of coming so close and then having our European dream snatched away in Paris and then getting on the wrong train when coming out of the stadium and ending up being slapped on the back by a train load of Barcelona supporters.
So you can see I have paid my dues , anyway back to why i’m writing to you. This year you have made your case that after trying to keep prices down you are having to increase prices by a small percentage and this I have no problem with. The difficulty I am having is the massive increase my family are facing and the professionalism of your customer service team. When my sons came into my life I decided to give up my season ticket and just buy my tickets ad-hoc, this wasnt a problem because this was 1994 and entry to games was not ltd. I did make sure that I collected a junior gunner form the east stand and as soon as my boys were born sent it off so they were immediately affiliated . I myself joined the members scheme when it was conceived and this automatically turned into silver membership when the scheme was split into two.
This year someone has decided to include the tv online package into the membership (a service have previously had and quite frankly was not very good ) and increase the membership massively. On top of this my oldest son has turned sixteen and now goes into cannon club and apparently this is considered a new membership and under a very strange rule ( to increase revenue ) has no opportunity to secure lite membership and has to pay full price. He will have to do this again when he naturally progresses to silver membership and this will be the same for my youngest son. I find it amazing that after all these years they can considered new members.These are not the words, my sons and other supporters I have told about this, are using to describe your actions. I find myself having to pay over one hundred pounds to renew our memberships which include a service I do not require and although we all live in the same household are charged multiple times for it. All this before I do the one thing I want to do, buy a ticket to watch my beloved Arsenal.
I have met you briefly before when my family was invited to a game after my youngest son received a knife in his junior gunners pack. I hope that my letter conveys that I although I love the Arsenal I cannot let this cloud my judgement and be taken advantage of in this way. An old and wise Arsenal fan once told me that clubs wanted all suited stadiums and not all seater such was there drive for money over real fans ,it is hard to disagree with this cynical approach if it continues to treat fans this way. when I rang up to renew the memberships and was told my son was a new member I asked to speak to a supervisor only to be told by a clown named Sean ” this is what is going to happen i’m gonna talk and your gonna listen”. I deal with customers everyday and I have never heard such appalling customer service this is totally unprofessional and is not conducive to the traditions and image of the club.
Going forward I will get continue to watch the reserves (the ones that are not behind closed doors) and a friend has joined me Fulhams membership so I can see Arsenal at least twice a year. I understand that myself and my sons are pretty insignificant when you have thousands of people on your waiting lists , however if you continue to scam and disengage the hard core fans you will eventually lose money, but before that the atmosphere, a resource you can not buy or replace with your plastic fans .
In conclusion players will come and go, things will change, but the real fans are the core of your business and so as I said at the top of this correspondence
FORGET CESC AND NASRI YOU’VE LOST THE SEABROOKS”
This post was given to me by Seebs ( @ ) In the hope that we can all get back to being friends and show some respect to each other.