If Arsenal fans are feeling that the club at board level don’t really seem that bothered about football, chairman Sir Chips Keswick has reportedly thrown a gallon of petrol on that fire.
Speaking at Newton Abbot on Saturday, Sir Chips was speaking to Sky TV when he was asked about his patience with racehorses. He replied, “Let’s rejoice in racing. I much prefer it [to football] at the moment.” The interviewer then made a quip about it being a good thing Arsenal weren’t playing this weekend, to which he replied, “Exactly.”
The appointment of Sir Chips to replace Peter Hill-Wood as chairman at the club caused irritation amongst the fan base who wanted to see younger blood injected into the board instead of another man the wrong side of 70.
Allegations have been made that the board are out of touch with both football matters and the fan base, accusations that have much merit. Sir Chips’ refusal to even issue press statements leave fans clinging to snippets like this to try and gain insight into what is going on behind the scenes at the club.
He did, however, break his ‘no statement’ stance after Arsenal’s hammering by Bayern Munich in Germany last season. He said, “Everyone, including Arsene, our players, board and staff share our fans’ disappointment at our first leg result against Bayern Munich but we will approach the second leg with professionalism and a desire to reclaim pride. [Arsenal also lost that game 5-1].
“Unity has always been one of Arsenal’s strengths as a club.
“We are very focused on producing a positive and exciting closing run and with the support of our fans I believe we can achieve a successful and memorable end to the season.”
Winning a third FA Cup in four years was certainly ‘a successful end to the season.’
However, handing Arsene Wenger a new deal, failing to secure new deals with Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, selling players without replacing them, not making the Champions League, and starting the new season like a bunch of circus monkeys on acid means that that success is pretty much forgotten already.