I HAVE a deep-rooted attachment to Arsenal FC. My family moved to London during the 19th century and became supporters, passing their enthusiasm on to their progeny.
But this bond with the Gunners is being stretched to breaking point. Exorbitant salaries are matched by exorbitant ticket prices, excluding the club’s working-class base and alienating them from a distant, aloof cast of players.
Now, shockingly, we see these wealthy young superstars ‘taking the knee’ and wearing shirts promoting the neo-Marxist, anti-British organisation Black Lives Matter.
Do they not realise – does the club’s leadership not realise – that they represent Arsenal, and with it, us, their supporters, both past and present?
I can’t quite believe it: Arsenal Football Club supporting a group that openly strives to destroy Western civilisation. Incredible.
They’ve taken a proud, rooted, historic institution, sullied its reputation and traduced its history. We can surely fight racism without supporting Black Lives Matter, can’t we? We did in 1939.
In an ever-changing world, being connected with the reassuring continuity of the sporting calendar and a football club anchored in tradition and community is for millions an antidote to the angst born of life’s transience and mutability.
This was perfectly summed up in the 1997 film Fever Pitch, when fanatical Arsenal supporter Paul Ashworth, played by Colin Firth, mused: ‘And the great thing is, it comes round again and again. There’s always another season. You lose the Cup final in May, well there’s the third round to look forward to in January. And what’s wrong with that? It’s actually pretty comforting if you think about it.’
Sadly, with the BLM antics, the Arsenal comfort blanket of semi-permanence and kinship that swaddled Paul is fraying.