Our FA Cup tie last weekend coincided with Blackpool’s ongoing protest against their owner. Fans refusing to come and watch the team they love based on, where possible, not wanting to put any more money into Owen Oyston’s pocket. It should be stressed that Seasider supporters grievance against the Oyston family go beyond the footballing side of things but also a moral stance over legal misdemeanours. It wouldn’t be fair to compare him to Stan Kroenke.
Yet in a week where we have been told we can only afford loan deals, the desire for him to sell his shares has returned. Convincing 60,000 people not to go to the Emirates seems unrealistic. Even if a percentage of Gooners didn’t renew their season tickets in an act of going on strike, a greater number is on a waiting list. That’s why the American chose us as the English club to purchase. Such a huge fan base where it’s unrealistic they will ever walk away. Essentially, it’s exploiting people’s love.
He hasn’t attended a fixture this season so is unaffected by any unrest and living across the Atlantic he’s probably unaware of how he’s perceived in North London. Even if he did, history shows he’s got thick skin. We are not the only sport franchise he owns. Working in sports without promotion or relegation, his business model is to make a profit no matter how successful the asset. We are just one of many institutions in his portfolio so even if he suddenly cared about winning titles, I’m not sure we would be top of his priorities.
Just because it’s unlikely that Arsenal fans could dictate to a billionaire what he should do, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Most things in life that are worth anything you have to fight hard for. How can we complain about him not caring then sit and do nothing in response? How do we get his attention? Target what he cares about. As he is valued at over 8 billion USD he speaks just one language, money.
He would be alarmed if he found out his stadium was half empty. That’s half the usual money spent on programmes, drinks and food. But we have to fall a lot further for that to ever be a prospect. So what other revenue streams can we hit?
While it’s asking too much for gunners to walk away from match days, they might find it easier not to purchase the latest kit. How many of you have rolled your eyes for the need of 3 shirts a year with prices going up? Yet, out of duty, how many feel obliged to fork out 60 pound minimum each summer? If though we saw our peers not wearing red and white on a Saturday, knowing it would annoy sponsors, it would be worth it. Adidas are about to pay a huge sum to have their logo printed on our merchandise. How would they respond if their products were not flying off the shelves? Mr Adidas would be on the phone immediately demanding an explanation.
To boycott kit wear to me is feasible. It’s just getting the message out there, we all have to be on the same page. I’m interested how many on Justarsenal agree with this idea and would spread the word? Could we get loads of signatures then pass it on to social media and other fan groups. The odds are against us but what do we gain to lose by trying? I’m not suggesting we are going to impact change, but if every Gooner has that thought process, then Mr Kroenke gets away with it. Let’s have this has featured post for a week and in the comments say if you would agree to not buy a new Arsenal shirt or not.
Then we simply pass it on to other fan groups….