97 Comments

If you live outside of the UK are you really a true Arsenal fan?

@GoonerReverend reviews Arsenal fans far and near 

images (1).jpg

There has been a lot of recent debate about what constitutes a ‘real’ Arsenal football fan & in some cases this has led to the discounting the army of supporters that live outside the UK. The notion of a tight geographical fanbase might have been the case 30-40 years ago when football support was still traditionally based on local communities and in part where you were born and who your Grandfather and Father supported but that all changed with the advent of globalised TV coverage and then subsequently the inception of the internet and social media.

This has been highlighted even more so in recent times with a number of incidents on social media involving former players, TV pundits, high profile fans and fan platforms questioning the passion, footballing knowledge & the right to support of the overseas fans. In one particular incident one leading member of a fan platform stated that you are not a real fan of the club unless you followed the team home & away every week. This of course is a ludicrous statement and was quite rightly shouted down by many fans both in the UK and overseas for being exactly what it was an ‘attention seeking’ comment.

Arsenal_Sydney_001-495x400.jpg

In another case a sometime wannnabe media personality questioned an Indian Arsenal fan online stating you don’t go to games like me so you are not a real fan & as such have no right to comment. Then of course there was the ex-player going to town on the expat Brit now living in the States & calling into question his suitability to call himself a fan. Many of these fan comments are throw away lines used to taunt someone in the heat of debate or argument but unfortunately there are those in the minority who actually believe that they are superior or the only real fans because they attend games.

images.jpg

The truth is that all football fans cannot dictate where they are born and in many cases it is simply not possible to get from their home to the game every week because it is logistically & financially impossible. The over used argument from some UK based fans is that they pay two thousand pounds for a season ticket which entitles them to be recognised over and above any fan living outside of the UK. The fact is that a season ticket does not make you superior nor does it entitle you to act superior over any other fan and if anything it’s a privilege and should be enjoyed as such. No one forces you to pay for a season ticket you do it because you want to and because you can and also because AFC have afforded you the right to purchase one over a long list of names waiting for the same privilege.

The other well-worn cliché is that these foreign fans who may attend a game once or twice a year are nothing more than tourists and dilute the fan base and the atmosphere at the ground. On a recent trip back to London to watch a game an Asian friend of mine spent £1,300 and took 3 days away from work just to attend the Everton game. When I asked him if the trip was worth the money he said it was the most magical moment of his football supporting life & he will do it again in September. That is an awful lot of money to spend on one game of football as well as being away from work for 3 days but yet he said it was all worth it without question. On my recent business trip back to London I was in a pub listening to an Arsenal fan complaining to his mates about Asian fans taking pictures of themselves in the Emirates before kick-off then he proceeded to show a picture of them taking their picture on his mobile phone. When I pointed out to him that he was equally guilty of the same thing he was accusing them off he merely shrugged & said they are only tourists aren’t they. I am an expat Englishman from Fortis Green, Muswell Hill in North London. I grew up a Gooner thanks to my Grandad and Dad as was lucky enough to attend many games both home and away for many years as part of our family group. I was lucky enough to be born in the district in the UK to Arsenal loving parents and I was lucky enough to be able to attend games on a regular basis. Many fans I meet as I travel around the world have never seen Arsenal play live as distance and cost make it difficult for them to get to games in the UK yet they follow Arsenal week in week out. Some can only see Arsenal when they make one of their overseas tours which have become all the rage in recent years. In 2015 Arsenal played Everton at the Singapore National Stadium on their Asian tour and over 50,000 fans crammed in to watch their team play. The atmosphere was electric and the fans sang their hearts out for the entire evening & the place sounded like an English football ground. Many had waited years for this moment and when it finally arrived demand for tickets over the 2 days of games was frenetic with demand far outstripping supply.

download.jpg

In 2016 Arsenal travelled to Australia on another overseas tour and in the game my son attended there were over 70,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium to watch Arsenal take on Sydney FC. Again tickets were snapped up by the football loving public hungry to see their PL team in Action proving that Arsenal could sell out any stadium outside of the UK such is the following and appetite for the club by foreign fans… Football is such a global game these days and teams like Arsenal are global brands so these tours and games are essential for the clubs to stay in touch with their ever increasing global fan base.

download (1).jpg

When Arsenal are playing in the mid-week European competition many fans around the world have to set their alarm clocks to get up at a ridiculous hour on a work day to watch the game. Social media and more specifically twitter has given us the ability to communicate directly with each other at stupid o clock and very often laugh at each other circumstance online. In my mind this is absolute support from the many fans who live in the far flung corners of the world where the Arsenal and its stars are idolised. They don’t have to get out of bed to watch the game before getting ready for a full day’s work but they do because of their love and absolute commitment to their team.

Capture.png

 

The days of Arsenal being a local North London club solely supported by local North London fans is well and truly over. Those days ended with my Grandfather & Fathers era. Many of the fans calling out overseas fans as tourists and not real Arsenal fans are not from North London either so it’s all a bit hypocritical as well as being completely unnecessary. Arsenal have over 12 million fans on the social media platform twitter and the majority of them live outside the UK. If you are one of the fans lucky enough to be able to attend Arsenal games regularly then you should count yourself lucky that you are able to attend in person because you were fortunate enough to be born in the UK. In my 20 years of traveling the world for business I have met Arsenal fans from all walks of life from all corners of the globe and I have found them to be as passionate, loyal and knowledgeable as any Arsenal fan in the UK and to brand them as no-knowledge tourists who don’t understand the game is insulting, inaccurate and ignorant. Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium has a capacity of just over 60,000 & and getting a seat at a game is only available to the very few… Just because one person lives in Manila in the Philippines it doesn’t make them any less of an Arsenal Fan than the person living in Islington or Haringey.

 

Overseas Arsenal fans deserve admiration and respect because they literally have to go that extra mile to support the team many of us take for granted.

Hear endeth the first lesson 

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

97 comments on “If you live outside of the UK are you really a true Arsenal fan?

  1. Watching it Ed

    ‘We’re looking to…I wouldn’t say bully, but, er, ha ha’

    Think we know their gameplan then. Only know couple of their players, cb and cm, both powerful tough players.

    Lineup explains our u18 team for the Spurs semi. 6 of the 7 regulars missing are here.

    Not sure if we had much leeway with loans out now and anyone in contention for Thurs not involved.

    Gotta feel we’ll do well to win this one if their team is settled and same one used so far.

    Like

  2. looks like a keeper mistake and LCFC take the lead

    Like

  3. Clear already Ed we have a homer ref here. Letting them put massive physical pressure on us every time but given them free kicks each time had half a sniff of one.
    Familiar tale.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. poor defending and its 2-0

    Like

  5. yeah Rich, Ref not being even handed at all

    Liked by 1 person

  6. DaSilva shot hits the post

    Like

  7. Even the Leicester bloke saying they got a soft free kick and mentioning ones we didn’t get

    Liked by 2 people

  8. yeah marky, you know its bad when their commentators are mentioning it

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gotta laugh,Ed

    Their defenders allowed to push and kick through back of us every time. Medley has one similar tussle on halfway and they get the free kick.

    What’s with these people. It’s a youth game

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Refs just letting them know what to expect if they make our first team

    Like

  11. saw one where clean win of the ball the boy with the affro goes down dramatically ref obliges. joke

    Liked by 2 people

  12. its like pigmob finishing school

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Da Silva pretty good. Not seen anyone get better off him physically or get far with bully stuff this season.

    Couple of little glimpses of Smith-Rowe talent. John-Jules doing some decent hold up play under a tonne of pressure. Couple of strong Mavropanos headers late on.

    Gone how I thought it prob would with lineups but get next goal and we still have a shout.

    One of those games where a very English style- speed, aggression, directness, pressing and no shortage of fouls in back of players- causes us big trouble.

    Like

  14. AFC down to 10, John-Jules sent off, commentators say it should not have been a red

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Typical, one of the commentators has sounded a bit embarrassed by some of the decisions

    Liked by 2 people

  16. John-Jules been battered all evening ,not got one decision a little frustrated lost control. At 17 looks a real prospect

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hope the lad isn’t out of the youth cup because of this.

    Like

  18. Oof. Nice finish Dragomir. Not our night but we’ve stuck at it

    Like

  19. Wigan players need protection from thuggish tackles

    Like

  20. will that mean Delph out of the CC final

    Like

  21. fucking shearer saying it should not have been red, it was an awful tackle, a leg breaker type

    Liked by 1 person

  22. yesterday bbc panel excusing and condoning diving, and now the excuse and condone awful tackles, disgraceful.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yep saw the idiot Shearer condoning that. I wish he’d taken a few more of them himself the elbow slinging twat

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Good piece vicar!

    Unfortunately, I have nothing but disdain for those who even propose a caste system for fans. These narrow minded people are so stupid.

    Today’s Arsenal cannot compete without the “majority” international fan base.

    Those London-based urban rednecks are incapable of any serious critical thinking. The technical term for them is “fuckwits”. Their Arsenal would be more like Charlton Athletic…yeah… and we know where they are!

    Liked by 3 people

  25. PG… LOL. yeah… I do a lot more reading than posting…work and family obligations

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Interesting result, hope we make it a pretty crap week for city in the cups

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Funny most of the loudest don’t come from any borough in London
    Not all or most of us born, bred and schooled near The club are incapable of critical thinking.
    Home counties born and bred fuckwits seem to rule that domain.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. What, no media storm against Pep and Agueros antics? Almost as quiet as when Spurs players dive

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Wwwb,

    I disagree. I was born in Alexandra Park maternity home (doesn’t exist now) and I haven’t a fucking clue and can’t tie my shoe laces…

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Georgaki-pyrovolitis
    Luckily
    I got the gift of a Bow Bells birth .

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Media all defending Man City, pep, aguero and even their fans

    just waiting on taylor to say he got the red wrong and delph to be available for Sunday

    Like

  32. ΜċGεε
    ‏ @LaboGoon
    20m20 minutes ago

    The aftv brigade are discussing that poorly made fake recording thats supposed to be Bellerín. Acknowledging its probly fake, yet say they dont care whether and fake or not and proceed to abuse Bellerín as if its real. Thats punks need to get back in their baskets. Its too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I am afraid Aguero has a real problem there. He is on camera clearly sticking one on a fan and but for the intervention of other players and Citeh coaching staff the Argentine would have done more. There has to be some serious provocation to make a footballer kick off like that but even so …….

    Liked by 1 person

  34. And Pep is stuck with his red card for Delph. Having, rightly, complained at the lack of protection skilful players get from cloggers from referees his own player then charges in with his studs up and gets the appropriate punishment. The bloke was an idiot. I think it may be a long time before Fabian Delph ever wears a Citeh shirt again.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Thank you good reverend Sir.

    I gave myself a local moniker in order to avoid interacting with the small number of online trolls/PR Experts who would attack any and every utterance in the ether that was in support of the greatest English Football club (The Arsenal) or just any old comment that wanted to chat footy free of any Agendas. A pre-emotive strike if you like against those who insist that The Arsenal is a local club for local people.

    You are either with us. Or against us.

    I guess that these trolls are still about? Whilst we’ve been pottering about here and there enjoying record breaking FA cup runs and Cazorla and the BFG they’ve evolved like zombies on crack with the Guardiola inspired injection of AFTV (which is more popular outside the AFC fan base)?

    Ian Wrong is a pal of this crew of expert vampires that we have been blessed with, hence his coaching tips on a podcast (as opposed to…a…training ground!)?
    I don’t blame the Arsenal or their manager for people wanting to make some money off the club. To hustle.

    I don’t expect a change in the media attacks against AFC given who owns most of it, given that the Rochdale manager was quoted as saying he’d support Alli diving for England, Queen & Country. Amidst the euphoria of his bonus the Rochdale manager must’ve forgotten that Alli couldn’t manage even that much against Iceland nevermind a goal or an assist in a tournament or two or against the mighty Gent whilst playing as a ten…I’m not convinced this clogging diver is a better footballer then the chap of who scored a nice finish for Wigan last night or many others in the championship but let’s be fair he has a good agent and excellent “PR”!

    Liked by 3 people

  36. < pre-emptive

    Like

  37. < & there's nothing wrong with people hustling.

    Save the comedy that results from the very loud attempts to deny that someone is in fact hustling same as everyone else in their day to day lives.
    Yet these self-declared realists (in their own words) these representatives of the everyday fan appear to be incapable of acknowledging or admitting that their everyday needs (food and shelter) are the same as yours or mine.

    The power of celebrity.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Predictable- guaranteed even- that the morons would grow obsessed with hating Bellerin after his comments.

    The weirdness is off the charts. A ‘fan’ of a football club spending their hours twisted up in fury and hate towards a fine young player from the club because said player correctly noted poor behaviour for a fan or rather behaviour that invalidates any claim to be a fan/supporter.

    Or maybe it’s not that weird. there are a lot of twats in the world, each club will have plenty; modern football being what it is, with the new platforms for ‘voices’. Maybe it’s all inevitable.

    It would probably be a little better to navigate if you could identify the ages of the actors involved, i.e the people who are acting immaturely because they actually are immature, but there are fully fledged adults who can match or exceed the daftest things a daft kid can come up with looking for attention, belonging, daft fun, ‘banter’; through ignorance, lousiness, a not-yet-developed brain or anything else.

    Still, I think football twitter would be a bit better if the u20’s had their own platform to fuck about with.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I’ve just caught up on the last few articles. Well done Mandy, GRev and the commentators.
    This is a safe place.

    COYG

    Liked by 1 person

  40. tyreece john-jules who was sent off for our u23’s last night, has signed his first pro contract at AFC, he turned 17 last week.
    he is nephew of the cat in red dwarf

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Reports saying Aguero was provoked and spat at, but that aside, he gets away with looking like aiming a punch , whereas our Jack gets banned for giving the crowd the finger, when verbally, if not physically provoked

    Liked by 1 person

  42. New post up.

    Like

  43. I know its an obvious point and most of you will have got there miles before me, but all this Fan TV stuff and abusive stuff on social media isn’t really about the football at all, is it? The club has been identified as the establishment and Wenger as chief custodian of that establishment. Most of the players are seen like that too – far, far removed from the fans and all too willing to toe the party-line. There are one or two notable exceptions – Alexis and Jack strangely seen as more rank and file than professional class – but woe betide any of them who come out in favour of the club.

    For the club is seen as the one thing that stands in the way of all the hopes and dreams of the fan: it is, if you like, the toxic sponge that soaks up every disappointment of the working man’s life. Perhaps it always has been, but nowadays Reality TV and the internet promises a few minutes celebrity for even the most talentless – and Arsenal and all its perceived failings are the perfect vehicles. Whipped up into a frenzy of entitlement by the self-appointed and all so reasonable and common-sense voice of Adrian Durham and his ilk the downtrodden man is raised up with the stage set for an orgy of bile-filled obscenity and fact-free ignorance.

    Fan TV is truly the opiate of the people.

    And having said all of that, I was much taken with the excellent football on show at Stamford Bridge last night – but rather less impressed with the pathetically poor attempts of Barcelona to win penalties or red cards. Don’t they get any coaching? If I were in charge in Catalan-land I’d be beating a path to a certain Argentinian.

    Liked by 4 people

  44. foreverheady, it is true that Arsenal are seen by many, as the last of its kind,

    self sustaining
    rich major shareholders who do not give money to the club
    unwilling to sack managers
    unwilling to spend silly money on transfers
    unwilling to spend silly money on wages
    putting doing the right thing ahead of joining the madness
    refuse to cheat and dive

    many put all that on Wenger, and its why they want him gone, they think each and every one of those things will change when he is gone, when I see maybe one thing, that is the manager merry go round, (but that of course would depend on the new manager and how successful he is and how long he is willing to stay, as most modern managers will not stay at a club regardless of success or not)

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Fucking Savage, unprofessional twat. Openly slagging us the prick

    Like

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: