AGONY AUNT Day: The BSM March – Should I march if I only partly agree?

Today I launch my “Agony Aunt Day”: As part of a new series I created because I have been deluged by questions that I receive from Twitter followers and comments on my blog, I have decided to use these questions as “teachable moments” for the rest of my followers.

So, as the first in this 0n-going series, here is a letter I received from “Perplexed of Islington:”

Dear Poznan In My Pants,

I have admired you for many, many years. Your wisdom inspires me every day. You are a visionary, a man before your time.

It is for these and many other reasons that I came to you with my perplexing dilemma which is tearing me apart:

The Black Scarf Movement is having a march. I am very conflicted. I don’t know if I should march with them. Should I march with them?

If I march, then people will think I fully endorse their platform.

But if I don’t march, people will think I disagree with their full platform.

What should I do if I agree with 4 of their goals completely, and I half agree with 3. Should I march?

If this helps you understand it, here are the stated aims for the march.

“The objectives of this walk are to heighten the Board’s awareness in the following areas:

  1. We want Stan Kroenke’s commitment not to take money from the club.
  2. We want Peter Hill-Wood off the Board. He has become an embarrassment to the club and its supporters.
  3. We want Red & White Holdings to be offered a seat on the Board. Ivan Gazidis called for us to all come together and work in the same direction but how does this work when a 30% shareholder in the club doesn’t get to have a say? In what other large business would this blocking of a major shareholder happen?
  4. We want action from the club to stop poor allocation of our money. From wasting money on players we have to write off a year later, to handing out huge contracts to players who we can’t then sell on because nobody will match what we pay. It’s mismanagement and it’s the fans who get hit in the pocket because the club fails in other revenue generating areas such as commercial deals.

Finally, we want the club to deliver the initiatives we’ve previously put to them, which would greatly benefit match going fans. These include:

  1. A ‘lite’ version of a season ticket with no cup credits
  2. A short-term staged repayment scheme for season ticket renewals
  3. The ability for season ticket holders to downgrade to Silver membership
  4. Move away fans to the upper tier, thereby providing cheaper seats for Arsenal fans
  5. Introduce season tickets in the Clock End at Emirates; recreate the atmosphere of the famous old stand at Highbury and improve the Emirates atmosphere on matchdays.
  6. Introduce safe standing. This continues to be investigated by more and more clubs across the country but continues to be ignored by Arsenal.
  7. Cheaper tickets at Emirates Stadium. If you can afford to sit on £70m of cash in the bank, you don’t need to charge fans the highest ticket prices in football.”

So those are their demands, or maybe suggestions.

I have mixed feelings on some of their points. And I disagree with some.

For example, on Usmanov, I’m not so sure I would want a ruthless oligarch in my boardroom. But as LBJ once said about J. Edgar Hoover: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

But I don’t know if that would apply to Usmanov. He strikes me as the kind of guy who, when you let him into the tent, would thank you by pissing all over the inside of your tent.

Also, regarding paying for bad players with my season ticket, I would like to try and recoup £76.43 for Squillaci and  £42.78 for Park Chu Young. Chamakh helped us qualify for the CL in 2010/11, so we’ll call it even on him.

Hmmm. Maybe I’m more of a 20% supporter of the BSM. Should I march? 

Please, please help me.

Perplexed of Islington.


Dear Perplexed of Islington,

Ok, I would give you a total score of 5.5/11. Therefore, you agree with them 50%. So, I would definitely recommend that you do join the march. But, you should hop on 1 leg alongside the march. When they start their chants, sing every 2nd word. Your facial expression should look “somewhat” angry. Also, feel free to shout out that you want part of your Arsenal back with a non-specific tone, but that you’d also like to keep part of this current Arsenal.

If, on the other hand, you agreed with 80% of their goals, than that’s a completely different matter. Obviously, you must walk, but with a pronounced limp, you should look “pretty” angry, and you should sing along with all the chants but not know all of the words, like you’re singing your national anthem.

If, on the other hand, you agree with, say, 20% of their goals, arrive a little late for the march, have a generally bemused look on your face, and hum along with any of the catchier chants.

Or, if you find it hard to decide where you stand on most of the issues and you tend to change your mind depending on who last persuaded you, try marching with a mincing walk.

Yours sincerely,



Now onto my next letter, from Stabbed In The Back of Highbury House:

Dear Poznan In My Pants,

I read all your blogs. They are efficient and top, top quality. 

Some “guys” I don’t really get on with (in the media) told me that some people who I thought were “my friends” have been slagging me off little bit…