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The Delivery Was On The Money

The next door neighbour must have been on something of an Amazon and general online shopping bender judging by the number of parcel deliveries that she had received just before the Christmas week. Or more accurately that we've received on her behalf as she'd managed to be out when many of them turned up. Still it's a neighbourly enough act and it's never a bad idea to build a bit of credit in the neighbourhood goodwill bank.

The UPS deliveryman spied my official Arsenal merchandise carpet slippers, a gift from Secret Santa the previous Christmas, as I signed for her latest bargain.

"Nice slippers, rubbish team" he declared

Bristling a little indignantly at having my allegiances questioned my response was a little politer than my thought that he was probably another southern based ManU or newbie Chav/City glory hunter.

"By far the best team the world has ever seen" I grinned

"Not at the moment we're not!" he confidently asserted

"You`re a gooner too then?" I enquired

"20 years .....but you`ve got to agree we`re rubbish" UPS man insisted

"The team isn`t in great shape at the moment but the club is. We will rise again. Don`t worry" I encouraged with seasonally appropriate good cheer.

"I don`t like that badge" he announced, failing to follow my attempt at good tidings as he renewed his interest in my slippers, "The cannon is facing the wrong way!"

Fearing that at any moment he would break into a chorus of We Want Our Arsenal Back while waving his black scarf I said "Now you`re just being picky" and bade him a Merry Christmas as I closed the door. I'm not sure that I heard him mutter something along the lines of still being a rubbish team as he made his way back to his van but clearly the festive mood hadn't yet hit him.

I can't say that the badge in its modern version has ever figured greatly in any concerns I have had about Arsenal but for some it seems to represent the commercialisation of the club and an unacceptable idea that it is being run in order to generate a profit. It is of course. So it should be as ever since top flight football decided to break away from the Football League and form the Premier League 20 years ago in order to take advantage of the liberalisation of broadcasting rights, football has become primarily a commercial enterprise.

While there might be many things to regret about that change it was only one further step in what has been an ongoing process of commercialisation ever since property tycoon Henry Norris (originally no more of an Arsenal man than Kroenke) having failed to merge us with Fulham decided he could make more money shifting the enterprise into the previously barren area of North London starved, as it was then, of top flight football. While some early 20th century supporters were unhappy at that 're-branding' of the club, and others doubtless might even have shown some concern at the later addition of white sleeves to the red shirts, a greater number probably never gave it a thought and many more since have come to enjoy the changes. Rather more than any 'love' he had for Arsenal it was Norris's desire to make money during a time that footballs local appeal and popularity was burgeoning that brought about positive changes in the fortunes of the works club that current supporters might have cause to appreciate. The club we see now was founded on its commercialisation.

That's history of course but history is being made all the time and while individual former shareholders might have benefited from the rapid growth in broadcasting popularity which has magnified the market appeal and income of the modern game, for the club to maximise the benefit calls for the same desire to make money that Norris displayed many decades earlier. While some are unhappy about Kroenke's interest in Arsenal, which is clearly about the perfectly laudable ambition to profit from his enterprise (though with greater convention and more scruples than Norris) I think that's more beneficial to the long term health of the club than either patriarchal philanthropy in keeping the working classes entertained or as a plaything in a billionaire's poker game. As long as the expertise that Kroenke brings is rooted in building businesses that can make money, which in turn is dependent on sporting success, then hopefully my nit picking pre-christmas delivery man might find some greater cheer in the not too distant future.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 3 2013

Time: 8:20AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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You might also have told the delivery man that the original cannon on Dial Square's shirt faced upwards, then the club changed it to face east, then west, now east again. Same with the away kits, yellow wasn't our full time away colour until 1969. We'd used blue and white decades before that. People always want things to stay the same as they were when they were kids. Understandable to a degree, but they shouldn't confuse that with an idyllic ideal of what Arsenal always was. It's the paradox of the traditionalist, all traditions started somewhere and, usually, superceded some other old tradition.
Little Dutch
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03/01/2013 08:49:00

I don't like the badge, got nothing to do with the way the Canon's facing more to do with the cartoonesque look of it, it's not a football badge - the old badge was a proper badge. still thought it's not as bad as a chicken on a basketball. There are more important things to worry about at Arsenal at the moment.
Report Abuse
03/01/2013 10:03:00

I like the badge, that's not to say I don't prefer the older variants, because I do, much much more, but this one is alright.
Report Abuse
03/01/2013 11:46:00

It's all about marketing and in marketing a simple logo is a more memorable logo. I can draw the one on my 2012-13 home kit from memory but would have to consult my 2000 Dreamcast home kit to draw that fussy old thing ; ) Actually the old one was kind of elitist when you think of it - not a lot of latin scholars in the stands.
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 01:03:00

I did hear, not sure how true it is, that most all football clubs changed their badges because anything containing latin is not copyrightable. Hence the reason our motto is now inside the shirt and practically nowehre to be seen anymore. Amos, you know things, is this true?
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 01:32:00

I vaguely recall something about copyright now that you mention it, but not because of the latin phrase but because they had never copyrighted the badge in the past so it was in the public domain, forcing them to design a new one to hinder bootleg merch. Amos?
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 02:26:00

There's a potted history of the club crest evolution over on the arsenal site Copyright reasons are given as the primary reason for change. I guess the old one might have been a bit too fussy to put on slippers.
Report Abuse
04/01/2013 07:01:00

I believe we could have copyrighted the previous badge had we wanted to, but that it would have been very expensive. I think there's a "statute of limitations" with these things. If you use it for 15 years you then have to copyright it. I think that deadline was looming and the club plumped to change it.
Little Dutch
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04/01/2013 08:14:00

It's a shame we didn't stick with it, it seems a bit more classy to me, but like I said, I like the "new" one too .... just not as much. I like the "old" style football badge much more, like the older Everton Nil Saints crest, but as Amos says, there would have been a point when that "Old" crest became the new crest and the older generation of that area will have been whinging about it. Just as the older/middle aged Arsenal fan loves our last crest I'm sure the ones who were born into the current one will be just as fond of it as we were of "ours".
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04/01/2013 09:27:00


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