My hatred for the elitist feel in the Barclays Premier League

4 04 2010

It was Wolves' first visit to the Emirates after Arsenal moved there in the summer of 2006.

Despite the huge disappointment at yesterday’s result, the overriding feeling about the whole away day at the Emirates was the elitist feel it oozed.   

The official coaches rolled up to the backstreets of Holloway at 12.30 leaving about 500 Wolves fans who travelled on them with at least an hour to fill before the turnstiles opened.

The choices were limited; you could either go and venture into the ghetto of Holloway which didn’t look desirable or head towards Arsenal’s old Highbury ground to find somewhere to watch the crunch game between Manchester United and Chelsea.

So over the white bridge we went and after a five minute walk we reached a pub but they announced it was only for over 21s. One man even had quite a heated altercation with the cocky stewards who wouldn’t let his daughter in.

After that, due to our lack of local knowledge we headed back to the area surrounding the stadium to find some grub. Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t mind spending big amounts of money on occasion but £6.90 for a frankfurter hotdog and a medium coke is insane.

At any other ground, you would go to another burger van to find something cheaper, but that was the problem. Unless you went to an official Arsenal refreshment bar you could have nothing else. Obviously they are trying to quell all other competition but it offered no choice. I mean who really goes to a football match to buy a salmon bagel???

Half the food advertised they didn’t even have ready to serve. From outside the stadium you could see inside the immaculately polished glass windows to where all Arsenal’s corporate customers were being served a buffet lunch. To the naked eye it almost seems as though Arsenal have disregarded their standard fans and just put all their effort into caring for the prawn sandwich brigade.

Anyway…we went inside and it was everything you could ask of a modern stadium, potentially the best i’ve been to (i.e. better than Wembley). Large concourse, several HD plasma screens showing both Soccer Saturday and Man Utd vs Chelsea and each and every seat was padded with plenty of leg room.

But it’s just not real in my view. Yeah fair play, Arsenal can now fill their ground with 60,000 people each week but it’s the same experience as I’ve had at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford this season, the fans are turning up and just expecting their team to pick up three points. The place is soulless and lacks atmosphere to a worse extent than Highbury did when I visited a few years ago.

Don’t get me wrong I love going to the big cities like Liverpool and Manchester every other week for away games. It beats going to Scunthorpe and Blackpool but there’s something about those clubs that’s just more welcoming. Yesterday the Londoners just seemed so arrogant about everything that it really annoyed me. They felt they could just turn up each week and just sit there expecting something to happen from their team. They have got into a comfort zone which now with a new ground they cannot get back out of. In stark contrast, Wolves fans were relishing their first ever trip to the Emirates and stood singing all game. Furthermore, an appearance from striking legend Steve Bull in the away end prompted numerous old school chants much to the delight of the 3,000 travelling fans.

Undoubtedly Arsenal have got a hardcore following – evident by the fact they filled their allocation at Molineux in November but you could tell just walking away from the stadium that day trippers and tourists made up a fair percentage of the crowd. Loads of people (mainly foreigners from the accents I could hear) were having their picture taken in front of one of the Arsenal banners plastered on the stadium.

It may seem like me along with other Wolves are a bit hypocritical  after moaning that we should be in England’s top league for so long but I just prefer the down to earth feel of going to places like Barnsley, Sheffield and Nottingham where you are always received well by the locals. Everyone loves having a bit of banter with the opposition fans but on the three occassions I have visited the capital this season, home fans have talked to Wolves fans as though we are scum of the earth. Almost with the view of why should anyone come inside the London bubble! Idiots!

Anyway not a bad result for Wolves and my rant about the elitism of the Premier League is now officially over.

*I don’t think I can let the weekend pass without mentioning the on loan Stefan Maierhofer. The giant Austrian had to go in goal for ten minutes during Bristol City’s match with Nottingham Forest yesterday. Afterwards he was quoted as saying that he was ready to take over from Edwin Van der Sar at Old Trafford.

*Lastly one small note – I’m going to put it out there that Burnley are the worst team in Premier League history (yes that’s right – worse than Derby a couple of years ago).

Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said – leave your comments below.


Wolves bites

31 03 2010

Molineux's current capacity stands at 29,303.

Wolves have secured a 999-year lease on Molineux Stadium.

Wolves are looking to expand the capacity of Molineux to around 40,000 but they are yet to announce any formal redevelopment plans.

Councillor Neville Patten said: “Jez (Moxey) has praised Wolverhampton and said Wolves are looking to spend £40m. I understand they’re in talks with the University over buying some land at the back of Molineux as well.”

Wolves owner Steve Morgan bought Peal House, the former Carillion building on the corner of Waterloo Road, in January. The city council last night agreed to extend the lease to 999 years from 125 years.

Patten added: “This means any developers who may want to put money in know that their investment will last. It also prevents the stadium from being moved out of the city centre.”

Wolves are looking to expand the capacity of Molineux to around 40,000 but they are yet to announce any formal redevelopment plans.

*Wolves have announced an open training session at Molineux on Friday April 16th.

*Beverley Knight has been booked to perform at the end of season dinner. The event takes place at Telford’s International Centre on Tuesday May 4th.

*Wolves have sold out their 2,900 allocation for the away game vs Fulham.

Arsenal ticket news

11 03 2010

So far this season at home Arsenal have W12 D1 L2

Details for Wolves’ first ever trip to the Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium have been released today.

Supporters will be suprised to hear that tickets are not as dear as expected.

Saturday 3rd April, 3.00pm

Allocation: 2864

£33 adults

£14.50 seniors (65 and over)

£13.50 juniors (under 16)

Away Coach Travel

Departure 10am, £18 adults, £15 concs

Available to STH’s with at least 1060 loyalty points*

Saturday 13th March, 1 ticket per supporter number, subject to availability

Available to STH’s with at least 1030 points*

Tuesday 16th March, 1 ticket per supporter number, subject to availability.

Available to STH with at least 1000 loyalty points*

Friday 19th March, 1 ticket per supporter number, subject to availability

General Sale

Wednesday 24th March, 1 ticket per supporter number, subject to availability

My Verdict: It should be a good day out for Wolves fans at one of the country’s newest stadia. We could get passed off the park on Arsenal’s immaculate pitch but Wolves will undoubtedly ‘park the bus’ and try to catch the Gunners on the counter attack.

*Wolves have today sold the remaining tickets left for Burnley on Saturday. A sell out of 2,300 will be backing Wolves at Turf Moor.