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Gunners To Visit China Again

Arsenal have confirmed a lucrative pre season friendly with Manchester City, to be played in Beijing`s opulent Bird Nest Stadium. The match will take place on Friday, 27th July at 8pm local time. (If my understanding is correct, that translates into 12noon GMT). Last season marked the first time Arsenal had given marketing priority over footballing preparations for the season ahead with a three match tour of China and Malaysia.

This summer will see Arsenal return to Asia as they plan to boost their global profile with all important commercial contracts to be renegotiated in 2014. You have to believe a match with Manchester City- themselves keen to boost their commercial operation in deference to FFP- will constitute some part of a tour. Rumours were rife of a summer tour of Nigeria, where Arsenal apparently have more fans proportionately speaking than they do in the UK. But civil troubles in the region may just have put the kybosh on that for now.

Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis said, "We enjoy huge support in Asia and by playing a match in Beijing, we will once again be bringing the Club close to our loyal fans in China. The players and staff had an amazing time in China last year and we are all looking forward to visiting this great country again in July.

"The match against Manchester City is sure to be an exciting spectacle, with many great players from both sides playing in front of thousands of supporters in the wonderful 'Bird`s Nest` Stadium."
Which, roughly translates as, "We hope this tour will see us earn a fat stack of cheese." Arsenal`s tour of the region last summer is thought to have earned the club in the region of £3m, but the legacy costs will probably yield sufficiently more. LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 29 2012

Time: 10:39AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
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29/02/2012 10:53:00

I'm not sure why you're posting that here when there's a perfectly good "Bale is a cheating gibbon" thread to post it in. But I'll humour you. That video proves absolutely nothing other than Bale is a cheat. For Gibbs to clip Bale enough for it to be a foul he would have to move Bale's foot in someway that would warrent him losing his balance. It doesn't move at all.

Back on topic. I'm all for these money making tours if it stops us needing to sell our best players.
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 12:34:00

The upside - increased commercial revenue. The downside - player fatigue which could cost us a slow start to the next season.
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 13:19:00

The legacy is the most important thing because itís a huge market. I still think thatís why we bought Park to get some interest going in the Far East. To make the most of all this exposure though we have to start winning things again.
Sir Henry
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 13:41:00

Not sure I buy the fatigue argument. Chelsea and United have been doing these tours longer and it doesn't seem to hold them back.
Little Dutch
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29/02/2012 14:09:00

L.D, are you certain about the cancellation of the summer tour to Nigeria? What civil unrest? With the following the club has here, the last thing that can take place will be anything to cause any harm to the team. Anyway, I still look forward to the tour because I am looking forward to it and already received some correspondence from the Organizers of the tour (3 days ago). Kindly re-confirm.
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 14:44:00

*still hope it's on because*
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 14:46:00

On the other hand, maybe the club has deduced it may not be that much of a commercial success than Asia, despite the strong followership. Fact is, the game in Nigeria (and the harnessing of derivable benefits) is not properly organized and is in a state of transition/development so it is just possible that the expected commercial gains were not articulated as expected. One thing I am sure of is that the market is large and it will be a mistake to ignore Nigeria. But, better late than never, I guess.
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 14:58:00

Bloody hell, when the hell are they going to come to US. :(
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 16:27:00

@ Sajit. When the Yanks learn that football is not oval...:D
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 16:51:00

Wouldn't call it a cancellation as such. I know there were talks, the word I'm getting is that the club thought better of it after the disturbances in Kano. Whether they'll review that, I've no idea.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 19:00:00

There's been something of a poor security situation in some states in Northern Nigeria with some sect trying to make itself heard and felt. I doubt the club will need to visit the north given that the more vociferous followership of the game in Nigeria is in the South. We wait to see what they come up with.
Report Abuse
29/02/2012 22:40:00


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