Emirates Has No Atmosphere but is Fantastic Business Model / Suits To Football Matches? / Time For a Change

By Bilal Zaidi

Anyone at the match on Saturday? It was beautiful for me to start off this season with seats in perfect view. I was blessed with 90 minutes of viewing pleasure from the middle tier, third row from the front and central right position of the half way line. Just like my position in the stadium, I couldn’t help but notice that I was in the stand which was also ‘centre right’ in more ways than one with only four or five people (including myself) wearing an Arsenal shirt.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like suits and shirts as much as anybody else. I also respect that people pay with their own money and can do as they please and wear what they want to an Arsenal game. The Emirates is a remarkable business model which has been segmented into several sections to accommodate the diverse range of people that a club like Arsenal would attract. Families now come to watch a football game, have a nice lunch and ‘bonding time’. Great to see.

However, it was clear to see from the noise levels that segmenting with priorities has meant our beloved new stadium is awfully quiet and lacks atmosphere. We have one of the best stadiums in the world but our atmosphere doesn’t come close to what it could be.

This is my plea to every Arsenal fan who ever attends a game to try their best to get behind the team and create some atmosphere. Clapping is jolly good and I am not saying one has to be colloquial in their approach in getting behind the team. A good old “QUIIIITE RIGHT…ENCORE…SPLENDID” would be a great improvement on what I heard and felt on Saturday. In the same way, let’s not rule out a nice “FUKIN GET IN THERE FELLA…COME ON SON” etc etc. Arsenal is a London club with fans from all over the world. In such a diverse and cosmopolitan city it is inevitable that the support and fan base should represent this too. Gone are the days of the old so let us now look together to the future. We all come from different backgrounds, different mentality’s and from different parts of society.

The main point I am trying to make is that we have one thing in common and that is a love for Arsenal Football Club. I am not trying to be Gandhi-ish on you all but let us collectively improve the atmosphere, noise levels and support of the team. Every individual in that 60,000 stadium can make a difference and express it in their own way. Don’t be afraid to try something new, sing a new song or support in a new way. Be innovative and we can all rejoice together and help our team with the support they deserve. Let’s not judge others, who they are and their attitudes as well as their method of support. Instead, let us all come together and utilitarian-ize (yes I made this word up) our strategy for support to make sure jointly, we all gain.

  • Ben

    Totally agree. Last season I sat in lots of different parts of the stadium, and nearly always I felt I was the only person to make any noise, or even get that excited by what happened on the pitch!

    This season I now have a season ticket in with the Red Action boys, and blimey is it good! Got through half a packet of Fisherman’s Friends to keep my throat in singing form…

  • Sue

    Red action arent all that either; they were so quiet on Saturday. I sit in lower tier blue quadrant where the stewards were busy running around telling people to sit down. Now the height of stupidity is telling a person in the back row to sit down as the wall behind him cant see – unbelievable…. but I witnessed it. The blue quadrant were also singing if Arsene can stand so should we. Apart from the it was very quiet.
    Far too many s/t have been sold on this season to the prawn sandwich bridage. I think its going to take The Arsenal to finish mid table before the real fans come back.

  • Anonymous

    Quite agree.I sit in the centre block upper tier on the east side and the number of people who sing or make any kind of sound is miniscule.
    When Liverpool came for the Champions League Quarter Final last season we needed to intimidate them with a wall of noise when in fact the loudest sound was the ‘tap tapping’of the man in front of me on his blackberry.
    Come on gooners make a difference!

  • aseb

    its time now to make an official song for the gunners, so that everyone can sing together there.

  • Anonymous

    The atmosphere on Saturday was very dissapointing. I like to sing but am not confident enough to sing entirely on my own. We need to start singing together. To all those people who turn up and arent willing to sing or give others a look of surprise when they sing, you should be ashamed of yourselves! you take Arsenal for granted, support the boys throughout the game!!

  • Anonymous

    very good article bilal. I agree with what you have said and hope things improve soon!!

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree – i’m a Gooner from all the way in South Africa. i travelled 10 000 miles to see the game against liverpool and i was very disappointed that the mugs were making more noise than us! i think that noisy support can give our boys that 10% extra in motivation.

  • Anonymous

    there was’nt much to shout about!!!

  • Anonymous

    Same prob here, sitting central top tier just to the side of the tunnel.

    Will Try ENCORE SPLENDID. You never know….

    As people around me don’t sing (except for the ubiquitous WHO ARE YA), probably cos of the embarrassment of the chant dying around them mid-line, I just shout out a commentary……


    By doing this all game, I did get a few people to shout out the occasional bit of encouragement to their favourite players by the end of the match, along with a few COME ON THE ARSENAL / YOU REDS etc

    Not exactly the North Bank in full voice, but a little bit better than nothing.

  • Ben

    Sue – no, indeed Red Action aren’t all that, but it was a refreshing change to not feel like a pudding for singing on my own, and being the only person in hundreds to ‘stand up if you hate tottenham’. The RA folks seemed to be doing a little too much ‘welcome back chatting’.

    A friend of mine in another part of the lower tier felt he’d gone to the library by mistake it was so quiet.

    The shame is that even the ‘good’ ‘new’ songs we’re coming up with like the “Eduardo Silva, Arsenal’s number 9” are just such a ripoff of Liverpool songs that people could mistake us for scousers.

  • Anonymous

    We are the Arsenal my friend.
    And we will keep on fighting, till the end.

  • Anonymous

    I love Arsenal I spend hard earn money on sharing a season ticket in block 114 Upper (I am thankful I got the opportunity). But it needs more Red Army chants some one should be let in with a Drum or something or band. There should be unofficial rousers in each block flag should be waved. We really can’t take this team and stadium for granted. The Baggie boys where give us the shssssssssssss to us and we had no response on Saturday. I am going to Twente game and Newcastle game on the 30/08/2008. I hope the later kick off will allow our fans to get a pint or sherry down their neck so they shout there heads off. All we fans have a responsibility to make The Grove a fortress. What about the millions around the world that would gladly pay to be in our lucky positions in the stadium with the best young talent in the world. Come on Gooners share chants and songs bring a drum be the odd one that makes the noise f**k the boring rest that don’t want to stared at. Because the Grove really really needs it.

  • Anonymous

    I have a season ticket and sit in block 124 upper stand, near the away fans. And it has come to a point where it is embarrasing!! The Baggies were all making noiuses of SSSHHHHHH! with thier fingers on thier lips, trying to say how quiet it is. They even sangf a song saying, “shall we sing a song for you?” It was really embarrasing. I took my friend with me who is not a huge football fan, and it was really embarrassing guys. We need to do something about this. A few season back when I went to watch the Arsenal and spuds carling cup semi final, some lady told me to sit down. Of course, I was pissed by the time, and shouted back, “if you want to go to a theatre, go to central london!!!” I am not normally like that, but when I am trying to get behind my team, and my passion has taken over me, it really hurts when people tell you to sit down. I mean what is the point in going to a game and just watching it like an eastenders program?

    Get behind the boys, we are becoming a laughing stock amongst the fans up and down the country!!

    Come on you Gunners!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I dont disagree about the noise, but the ground was a mass of red, 80% were wearing the replica strip. I sat on North Bank Upper looking at the South End, it was one mass of red on the lower tier.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the majority of the comments, very quiet mostly and the only noise seems to be coming from section 6 where Red Action sit, and they all group together and stand and sing. We need the whole ground to be doing that together. I went to see Sheffield Utd game in the last round of the Carling Cup and I actually felt like an idiot for standing up and encouraging people to shout, coz they looked back at me like I was a freak! I’m going to be in block 27 for the Wigan game on the 11th Nov. I’ll be in the back row, and shouting in front of me and hope to get people going!!

  • Anonymous

    Guys, a question.

    I am a Roma fan and I have been offered a ticket for the Arsenal-Roma game in the Red Action zone.

    I have never been to the Emirates, so, looking at the map, could you tell me where it is? And do you think that there is any danger of real trouble, I mean I don’t plan to go out and sing but I am obviously italian.

    Any suggestion? Thanks!



    Your probably going to be the only italian in red action area mate and you support the opposition, i’d advise not to come at all if you wanna get out alive!!!


  • lord ming

    ive been a lifetime Arsenal supporter (my grandad actually worked in the old Woolich Arsenal and was a lifelong Gooner) and I have fond memories of Highbury as a kid. I live in Oregon now, on the west coast of the U.S and made the trip over to see the Arsenal play middlesborough. first time at Ashburton Grove.. there was no singing and even the atmosphere at the pub beforehand was dismal.. Our second division side (the portland timbers) have more atmosphere than you lot.. and believe me, they are SHIT and play on an artificial pitch! ..it was shameful to see what big money has done to ‘reshape’ English football. Where has your passion gone gooners?
    even these yanks are having a laugh at me over here when we watch you on telly at 7 in the morning..