Arsenal chairman: “A Champions League spot would be nice”
And if that Messi chap asked to join us, wouldn’t that be super too?
With Garry Cook no longer at large, it feels fair to generalise that most football club suits favour a policy of either taking out restraining orders on microphones or only stepping in front of them to deliver cautious sound bites about “improving the global visibility of the brand going forwards”.
One exception to this trend, and by extension perhaps a symptom of the antipathy for the board that Arsenal fans seem to feel stronger than most rivals is Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood.
The fact that he shuns more acceptable methods of issuing statements like via the official website, press conferences, shareholder meetings or even standing on the top of the Clock End in his boxer shorts with a megaphone in favour of chatting to the Daily Star probably doesn’t help matters.
His latest comments appeared to have been designed to calm fears that missing out on Champions League qualification would bring financial Armageddon upon the club, prompting them to somehow find a way to spend even less money and sell even more stars.
However, he doesn’t make it too challenging for his critics to identify a more negative interpretation. See what you make of it:
“We are hanging on in there, no more. From a financial point of view, not qualifying for the Champions League is quite a blow. We have been planning for not qualifying every year, so it is not a disaster, but it would be nice if we could.”
Surely that could also be read as: “Listen lad, I can barely believe we got into the Champions League this season, or last year, not to mention the one before that. Still, it’s jolly good fun while it lasts isn’t it?”
Are we being a bit harsh on poor Pete? After all, it is textbook football fan mentality to moan about no communication between club and supporters, then slaughter the brave guys who do speak up…