Arsenal have left Sydney with one last parting gift, after bringing a very successful tour of the city to a close.
The Gunners received good reviews throughout their time in Australia, with the club praised for the classy way it has conducted itself, showing a lot of respect for their hosts.
Arsenal arrived early, ran coaching sessions for children, hosted a fan party, held lengthy press conferences and brought almost all of their best players to show off in front of crowds of more than 80,000 fans.
So a lot of good points, but the question around these sorts of tours, highlighted in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, is whether these cities and clubs see any lasting effects. Once the big name club has left, and the 80,000 fans in the stands have gone back to their occasional following of the domestic game, if they follow it at all, what else remains?
Well, other than the fees brought in through ticket sales, Arsenal gave Sydney one last parting gift by allowing Sydney FC to unveil their new kit alongside Arsenal’s third kit announcement. The combined event brought Sydney much-needed publicity, praised locally. It also showed respect for their club and their league. Arsenal didn’t consider themselves above sharing the stage with the Australians and that, understandably, mattered a lot according to the press. Arsenal, they write, helped start a legacy.
If Sydney can take full advantage of this publicity boost and prove that they deserve this kind of respect, the Australian game has a chance to grow beyond it’s current standing.