We are considered a big team, not just in England but across Europe and the world. Our turnover is increasing year on year but we are not really cashing in our worldwide potential.
We offer our supporters Arsenal TV Online, we have a host of Asian language websites, but apart from a couple friendlies in Europe, what are we doing to give our worldwide fanbase greater access to the team?
Every team in the Premier League has undertaken at least one tour to the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the USA or Australia. Every team that is apart from one… Arsenal. For many years, with Bergkamp in our ranks long trips were not one the agenda. Arsene said he did not like the long trips to China or America as it did not give him the opportunity to train with the players properly and the long flights between venues meant players were constantly tired.
The evidence from Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool does not back Wenger’s theory that players are tired after this money making tours. Manchester United are the past masters on there globetrotting tours and it has not harmed them in terms of trophies.
It is obvious that these tours are undertaken to make money, sell shirts and expand the fan base. By refusing to go on any such tours we are allowing every other club, from Bolton, Tottenham, Manchester City and Everton right through to our big four rivals to lot only steal a march on us, but leave us in the dark ages.
Arsenal should undertake a tour to these far flung corners or the world every other year. We only need to play two or three games in these countries and our support will rise immensely and the money men will be more than happy with the increase in merchandise sales. I cannot see these tours hurting us in terms of fatigue if they are planned out properly. It is time Arsenal started to sell the Arsenal brand and bring the team closer to our worldwide fans.