Perhaps the highlight of last week was the cross-club support by football fans for the Villa supporter-funded surfer flag that the FA needlessly banned from Wembley for the FA Cup final. Essentially a handful of marketing and events managers had decided the flag would provoke Arsenal fans and thus banned it, yet they didn’t actually take the trouble of actually asking proper Arsenal supporters their opinion on it.
MOMS did. For all we knew, they could have told us to get lost or for the sake of winning the battle of the Wembley surfers simply exercised gamesmanship and supported the ban. They didn’t though, because being football supporters they had empathy with the ridiculous situation we were facing and also knew that while the flag had their name on it, it was simply part of the design and not really about them.
MOMS would like to thank all football supporters who signed the petition, and would like to encourage anybody who hasn’t to still do so to make sure the point is put across. Sign petition here
The Arsenal Supporter Statement
The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Black Scarf Movement, REDaction and The Gooner Fanzine, would all like to show support with Aston Villa fans over an issue they are having with their club and the FA. Villa fans have raised money to design and produce a crowd surfer banner for the FA Cup Final next Saturday. The banner design details have been provided to our groups – it is a humourous design, which name checks The Arsenal – and it appears it is the fact that our name is included on it which is causing the FA some concern.
We are flattered that the Villa fans consider us worthy of being included on their banner and see absolutely no reason why Arsenal fans should consider it anything other than what it is, a well designed idea with no intention to cause any offence or incite bad feeling between the fans.
In fact, we find it quite concerning that the FA should have such a poor opinion of Arsenal fans, feeling that a banner of this type would cause any kind of unrest or ill feeling from us towards our opponents. It would appear to be another example of the sanitisation of our game by the authorities; trying to remove any aspect of friendly rivalry between the clubs competing in their flagship game.
It seems a shame that the FA are spending so much time trying to stop Villa fans from bringing a banner – surely time and resource that could be better used looking at why the competing clubs are only allocated 51k tickets in a stadium holding 90k ‘fans’. Or maybe investigating why so many tickets are being sold on the black market for upwards of £800, most of which have come from their purported ‘Football Family’. Perhaps this is a matter of greater concern.
In the true spirit of football, we urge the FA to see sense and look forward to the Villa fans unveiling their banner at the final.
The main image is taken from a report on the issue by Fox Sports TV report (worth a watch)
Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid