Overseas Gooners Are True Fans Too

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Nov 15th, 2012

Over the past week or so I’ve seen comments on twitter and forums regarding the validity of overseas fans that have really wound me up.

Amongst some fans there is this asinine delusion that certain fans are superior to other fans. These irrational halfwits have come to the conclusion that season ticket holders or native North Londoners are more “Arsenal” than overseas fans and to an extent, non-locals and “armchair” supporters.

I have seen comments such as “foreign football fans buy a few tops and that’s it” bandied about, retweeted and fervently lauded by troglodytic morons, you know the types, the cerebrally challenged ones who hide behind their keyboards and avatars frothing at the mouth, smashing their keys in a near orgasmic state because they’ve found other morons who share their views.

This notion is plain stupid and shows very little understanding of not just how the business of football runs but also the heart of football.

There are only 58,000 season ticket holders at Arsenal (actually 40k but I’ll use the home capacity to make my point) and if they alone were considered as Arsenal’s fan base then Arsenal would have the equivalent to the total fan base of a conference team at best.

Better than overseas fans? Not for me

It seems that, for these people, the criterion for Arsenal fandom is attending live matches, purchasing memorabilia, sustenance and other match day concessions at the grounds and a smattering of replica kits, official merchandise, ArsenalTV subscriptions and membership to Junior Gunners for the little’uns.

I think this is ridiculous in the extreme. Football, as many will try to tell you, is not about money, it’s about the passion, the excitement and the belonging. Sport is very unique in the sense that fans speak about their chosen teams efforts in the collective, i.e. “we did well today” “we should have won”. They didn’t participate in the actual sport but the team belongs to them and they the team, hence the collective.

Apart from tickets, match day programmes, food and beer etc foreign fans and “armchair supporters” offer the same support, both financial and emotional, that season ticket holders and locals do. In some circumstances, many overseas supporters actually spend more money supporting the club they love than season ticket holders do.

We know from Dave Seager’s excellent “Global Gooner Passion Tour” in the summer that we have incredible overseas support from Europe to Asia to Africa to North and South America and Australasia. Many of his guests save up to make their pilgrimage to N5 to watch Arsenal live and this can cost an absolute fortune.

A season ticket holder could pay £2000 to watch Arsenal play up to 26 times a season at home and maybe £500 in programmes and food etc. An overseas fan can drop the equivalent in just one trip. Take for example our huge Russian following. Russia is a very big country and many areas suffer grave poverty but I’ll use Moscow in this example as the average wage is one of the highest in Russia. Muscovites earn an average of £7800 per year based on 2011 figures. Now the average UK wage (which I’m using as it’s significantly lower than the London average) was £21,236 in 2011. That is almost triple. Our Brazilian friends in Rio de Janeiro earn an average of £7000pa.

Proportionately spending 26x more than the average ST holder

Recent figures show that the average amount spent by overseas fans coming to watch EPL football live is £785, roughly a third of what the average season ticket holder at Arsenal would be spending over the course of the season. Bearing in mind that some of our overseas supporters earn roughly a third of our GBP salaries and are only getting 1/26th of the football that season ticket holders are getting I think it is safe to say that our overseas fans give greater proportionate financial support to the club we all hold so dear. And that is before they’ve even “bought a few tops”.

All of our fans, local, national and international want the same thing, Arsenal success. Overseas interest is the platform for success in this era. Without a global fan base it is impossible to compete financially unless you have a sugar daddy but then again aren’t most sugar daddies from overseas?

Every year Arsenal make millions from TV broadcasts and if all of the fans are in the stadium who the heck are we broadcasting to? I don’t hear these “true fans” complaining about the foreigners they pay to watch play every week. Imagine an Arsenal that didn’t have the Cesc’s, Pires’, Henry’s and Bergkamp’s of the world in our history? In fact, we wouldn’t even have the likes of Liam Brady because he is also a foreigner.

On the subject of TV, not every season ticket holder watches every single game we play live. I would be willing to bet my house that less than 100 people have seen every Arsenal game, home and away, for the last 5 years straight. Even if we said we had 3000 away fans every week who are season ticket holders we’d still have 55’000 people who aren’t watching those games. How can they support their team if they aren’t watching them? Many of our overseas fans watch every single game home and away on TV and probably watch more games than most of our season ticket holders. Every Arsenal fan around the world makes sacrifices to watch Arsenal play and many of our overseas fans have to get up at ungodly hours to support our team and some walk for miles just to get to a bar to watch Arsenal play. Where do you local fans go? Round the corner, 5 minutes walk away. Local fans don’t know how easy they have it sometimes and have no grasp of how much some fans have to give just to see their team play. If it weren’t for the contributions of foreign fans and the wider non-season ticket holding fan base we’d have never moved into the best stadium in the country and we’d be trailing light-years behind the rest of the top 4 in financial terms.

Malaysian Gooners with a rare chance to watch Arsenal live

Foreign fans are often derided for being glory-hunters but then again aren’t we all? Do we not all want success? Many of our local fans will also watch other leagues and have affinities for other clubs and I’m sure that when they watch La Liga they cheer on Barcelona or Real Madrid instead of Tenerife or Malaga which I find odd considering the esteem in which they hold local support and the affinity that Brits have with holidaying in those locations.

Success is what attracts new fans outside of hereditary support. I support Arsenal but I could easily have been a Crystal Palace or Charlton fan. On my mother’s side of the family there is a historical connection with Woolwich Arsenal but when Arsenal moved north of the river her family loyalty to Arsenal faded a bit and to this day her side of the family hold no strong connection with any one football club but “look out for” Arsenal, Charlton and Crystal Palace, the historical team and the local teams (no Millwall thank you very much).

However when my Dad moved to London from Scotland in the 60’s he was taken to Selhurst Park to watch Crystal Palace play Arsenal with his neighbours and sat with the home support. He was instantly hooked on football and were it not for Arsenal decimating Palace and my dad declaring “Palace are rubbish I think I’ll support the other lot” I could well be a Palace fan today. I’ve been an Arsenal fan all of my life and so has my dad but we’re not from Islington. Does that make us lesser Gooners? No it doesn’t and I’ll challenge anyone who says it does.

I’m not smiling because it’s my wedding day. I’m smiling because thank God Dad chose to be a Gooner! – James Stokes will give me unbelievable grief for this photo!

My dad chose his team and stuck with it despite there being a lot more dark times than there were good times in his football supporting formative years and our overseas fans share this excellent trait.

Our overseas fans should be celebrated for their unwavering support for the club over the past 8 years because as “plastic” fans it would surely be easy for them to jump ship and buy a different shirt but they don’t. They tune in, they buy shirts, they blog, they tweet, they save up to fly over and they support out team week in week out just as much as the rest of us.

If you cheer on the Arsenal wherever you are and a result can make or break your week then you are a true Gooner. If you clutch your season ticket in your hand, thump your chest and proclaim yourself superior because of it then you are a prick and need to grow up.

Big love to all of my readers and fellow Gooners but especially to our passionate and loyal overseas fans for being there for our team and for visiting my humble little site.

Thanks for reading! Please comment on this post, subscribe by email, share with friends and follow me on twitter (@thedanielcowan).

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About "" - 491 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

52 Responses to “Overseas Gooners Are True Fans Too”

  1. Harry says:

    Captivating write up. I actually renew my DSTV subscription beginning of every season and don’t bother about it when it expire at the end of the season until a new season is about to begin, only to watch ARSENAL play live!.

  2. Florida Gooner says:

    Thank you very much for writing this. Sometimes I am really hesitant to try and engage the greater Arsenal community on twitter and the like due to the very sentiment you point out, i.e. I am a Yank and therefore my opinion is irrelevant and I am not a true Gooner. It’s good to know not everyone feels that way.

    Great blog by the way-read it religiously!

  3. Lagbasco says:

    I love this post, never could anyone have written better
    “if u cheer on d Arsenal and a result can make or break your week,then you’re a true gooner”… I tell u what buddie, u just made my day. From a nigerian gunner of almost 20yrs, Arsenal by Heart not by Choice. Keep d Guns Blazing.
    Wud definitely follow u on twitter. *winks*

  4. @LarryMbaco says:

    Thank you for this brilliant post. As a South African Gooner who has only ever watched Arsenal on TV, and who dreams of being able to see the team live one day, I really appreciate a post like this. Its good to know that the foreign fans are appreciated.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      By most of us you are. There are a few small minded people who like to think themselves superior because they’re lucky enough to have a season ticket but they’re just idiots and often the people who don’t sing at home games.

  5. Pat Onaji says:

    In the 2005 FA cup final, I had an exam which to start 30min after kickoff. Failing that exam would have caused me an extra year in the university but I watched the first half along with several friends who chose to risk failing that exam than missing the entire match. In recent times here in Nigeria, being an Arsenal fan is getting more frustrating than you can imagine. You already know why. But despite all that, we love Arsenal like never before. I always tell my friends ” If u dont know how to ask your girl to marry you, take her to an Arsenal match and she’ll say yes” Keep the faith

    • Funshogooner says:

      True talk bro…. My week is determined by how well Arsenal did in the previous match. Supporting Arsenal is embedded in my DNA. We are in a class of our own. Nigeria beats for Arsenal..

  6. Excellent article and thanks so much for bringing our voices to many local Gooners.

    Arsenal has a huge following in Kosova. There are many bars and pubs which are dedicated to Arsenal games only. You’ll never see them showing any other match. On matchdays, these places are packed, you have to reserve your seat at least 4 hours in advance and the atmosphere is rocking.

    I’ll never forget the feeling and the massive joy when Arshavin scored THAT goal against Barca.

  7. Top_gooner says:

    Appreciate this write up more than any for a while. American Gooner here, one that spends tons of money, energy, and time focused on the Arsenal and it is super demeaning to be considered by some as not a true fan. I’ll be at the pub at 725am on Saturday for the NLD and have friends in California that will be up at 425am to watch the match live. As committed as we can be…

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      As committed as anyone else if not more so. Kudos for doing what you do to watch the games. Some don’t realise how easy it is for them to show their support. Fingers crossed you have the right sort of excuse to start drinking before 10am on Saturday!

  8. enunciatesportsSabrish says:

    Big Up to this write up mate! It’s kinda funny when people say we are not true fans.. The thing with Arsenal is when you start supporting it you just become part of it and it’s a feeling only Gooners can understand. Once a Gooner always a Gooner! Thank you for writing this.

  9. A good read. Sums up the sentiments pretty well.

    I’ve been supporting Arsenal for 6 years now and I’ve never seen us win a trophy. Now am I a bad omen for the club, I dont know, but I am satisfied with the fact that my support for the club will not be swayed by the more successful clubs. Its not the trophies that hooked me to the club, but the club itself. And am sure there will be numerous examples of overseas people actually supporting the club through thick and thin rather than being fair-weather fans or those who become fans because many generations have been fans.

  10. Gabriel says:

    Excelent post mate. Im a south american supporter (Venezuelan) and some of the things I do to watch the mighty Arsenal are amazing. There is no other thing in my life that takes this energy I put to this team. Im a 29 y/o Lawyer, and when we have CC/CL/FACup on midweeks, (wich always are at 3:15 PM Caracas time), I miss my duties and always find an excuse to miss my apointments only to go as fast as I can to my home, turn on the TV (or the computer, for that matter) and watch our guys play against whoever – In fact, Im at my office at this very moment writing this words :D. Such is my love for this club that even though I dont know any other gunner in the country I live, I dont miss any game, so you can imagine how difficult to me to take all this years of frustration, one defeat after the other by myself, with no one to talk about, just the other gunners around the globe in forums, twitter, etc, but with nobody to go out, sit on a bar and talk about The Arsenal stuff. One of my dreams (apart from a Champions League or PL trophy) is to, one day, go to the Emirates by myself and watch the only team that I love, live and direct. I’ll do it, and I dont care how, but that is one of my dreams since I started watching this team (circa 1999), week in week out. Cheers to all of you guys, and keep supporting the team, wherever you are! COYG!

  11. Crownz, Die-Hard, Nigerian Gunners says:

    I love this. How I wish I can make you see the mad love people have for football clubs, especially the EPL clubs, in Nigeria. We pay to subscribe for cable TV in order to watch foreign stations and most of us subscribe solely to match Arsenal matches.. We have fans that dedicate all their passion for Arsenal, and, everything ARSENAL. I never miss an Arsenal match, for anything. I’m an ardent Arsenal lover and I shed tears when we are on some of our recent fumbling period, that I can never do even when shot. #justsaying. I love your piece, bro. Keep it up. @cancade4u

  12. FB says:

    Great post!

    I couldn’t agree more with you! I don’t feel less gooner just because I live on the other side of the pond. Last year I went to the Emirates Cup and the plane ticket alone cost me about £ 850, £ 150 accommodations, meals souvenirs and other things about £ 200 … This is not about your location and much less about the money, but the passion you feel for the team.

    There’s a large Arsenal comunity here in Mexico, I know some people who are seasons tickets holders and try to fly to London at least 6 or 7 times a season to see as many games as possible, but because of the distance and the cost is almost impossible to go to all, but even if we are not in London, we woke up every Saturday or Sunday at 5:30am just to see an Arsenal match. That for me is to be a true gooner, to support your team no matter where you are and regardless of your resources.

  13. mex gooner says:

    Loved it man, arsenal has got an impact on me, emotionally, every week for the past 20 years, first as a kid in mexico and now while living in madrid. not a chance i feel any less of a gooner than a ticket holder , not by a long shot.

  14. ArsenalMartyr says:

    An fan in Kenya hanged himself after Arsenal lost 4-1 to Manchester United in the CL. Doesnt get any more passionate than that does it? http://www.goal.com/en-india/news/221/champions-league/2009/05/06/1249621/kenyan-fan-commits-suicide-after-arsenals-champions-league-defeat

  15. DG says:

    Excellent post, I’ll be settling into my ‘armchair’ at the most luxurious time we get for Arsenal games here in Aus, 11.45pm on a Saturday. Spot on.

  16. LynJa says:

    This is a brilliant post! I’m a HUGE Arsenal fan from Jamaica. My father lived in England between 1968 and 1983, and has always supported Manchester United. But there’s just something about Arsenal that has always drawn me in. I’ve supported the Gunners (much to the chagrin of my Dad) for as long as I can remember and a loss can completely throw out my day. My dream is to one day go to the Emirates and see our team play in their home ground.

    It really does hurt when I hear some of the local fans refer to us foreign ones as “plastic” and so it was great to read a post in defence of us. 🙂 Thanks for this.

  17. Ojeh says:

    This is a masterpiece. I have read it twice over with tears in my eyes. I have never felt so appreciated as an Arsenal faithful. I have been a die hard Arsenal fan for about 18yrs now. Some good times, many bad times. But the Arsenal blood will continue to flow in my veins. I’m married to Arsenal and divorce is not an option. And I know that a great percentage of the Arsenal faithfuls in Nigeria share the same view with me.
    Thanks for making my day with your write up. I’m really proud to share the same passion with you.

  18. GunnerYank says:

    Thanks for an entertaining blog which made me think about what ‘being a fan’ really means. My wife & I used to live in London nearly 15 years ago. I was never able to get to go to a game while I was there – but I hope to go one day to a match as a tourist. Since leaving London, I watch every one that I can on TV or on web streaming video (thank you ESPN & Fox Soccer!). I go to the local Arsenal fan group gatherings to watch at the pubs in the city. When games are on television, I sit with my kids, all wearing Arsenal paraphernalia to watch together. I began following Arsenal in the U.S. from the age of 8, even though it was tough (mostly just seeing highlights or reading about games in the paper), and today I still rejoice the wins as much as I suffer the losses. I am 100% an ‘overseas Gooner’. Before reading your blog, I never really focused on whether there could be a perceived ‘fan hierarchy’ among Gooners (I believe all overseas Arsenal fans appreciate that you have issued a defense on our behalf!)… and while I suppose I would take offense if someone told me I don’t count as a ‘real Arsenal fan’, I know that I love watching & supporting the team…. in the end, that’s all that matters for me!

  19. Johan says:

    Very good piece! I guess bad times, in most subjects, build rasism. I’ve seen on Twitter lately where fans from Asia been abused for their nationality when people disagree with their views, when Arsenal are on a winning streak you see this very rarely. The paradox is of course that some of the fans who abuse also screams for AW to sign players like Cavani, Llorente, Fellaini…

    Me myself is from Sweden and I’ve been to London twice this year, and Gelsenkirchen last week, so should not complain about my geografical situation in that sense. I’m impressed by people from Malaysia who’s up at ~5 AM every Champions League- game to see the Arsenal, that’s true fanship!

  20. weedonald says:

    Excellent post Daniel….as an overseas Gooner I envy the lucky lads and lassies that get to see Our beloved Club in person!

  21. AmrutsAmrut says:

    Nice one Mr D

    I didn’t know , there was this resentment or division. I hope and in a way I am sure they are minority.

    I did think about this a long time back. Why support a club/franchise which is in distant England? I have no answer for that even now. I spent 6 years watching Arsenal, without interacting with any other fan. My love/passion for Arsenal has not diminished in all these 8 years. Sport transcends countries and continents. Its part of the global appeal. Arsenal have something unique. A quality , a class or as I said an appeal.

    The true test is when we lose a game. I am not kidding, I have had times when I have not spoken to people for a length of time when we lose games. I know quite a few gooners who feel the same. At the same time , the joy of winning is something special. Henry’s goal against Leeds had three huge screams in my apartment block and we talk about that even today. Arsenal is not life, but yes its a big part of my Life.

    On the commercial side, whatever you have said is absolutely 100% true. I have ordered stuff from Arsenal.com (I am actually wearing a polo to office today ) and I know quite a few Indians who are crying out for proper merchandise stores in India. United have made a huge headstart. They are increasing their base through these efforts. I hope Arsenal step up these efforts. One very important thing. There are quite a few games, league, FA and CL games which are played at unearthly hours. A plastic fan wouldn’t stay up late night or get up early morning. For me that shows quite an amount of commitment.

    Just random thoughts 🙂

    PS : Super photo dude !

  22. Akash Deep says:

    Daniel this is excellent .I’m from India and have been following the Arsenal for 13 years now. Nothing in my life matters more than the Arsenal , as a matter of fact i’ll be skipping my brother’s wedding tomorrow as it clashes with the derby. I did have to take a lot of stick from my family for it ,but it is always worth it ,when it is for the Arsenal. I had tears as i read through this excellent piece. Indeed overseas fans show the same amount of passion if not more ,just as local Gooners. I can vouch for that. We do have our own supporters trust here in Bangalore ,called Bangalore Gunners (BangaloreGunners.com) ,where we gather for screenings every weekend and cheer for the team. Life is just totally incomplete without Arsenal.One bad result is enough to ruin the whole week ahead.OOOH TO BE A GOONER.

  23. Thanks gooner for understanding our heart.I’m from india and i support arsenal from 2003 the day i started watching football with some senses and the day we had ESPN,STAR-SPORTS in our tv.And now I always keep my weekends free.I cancel everything for arsenal’s matches.When we play at night the matches in india starts at 1:15am…we all stay awake till 3:30am at least for those matches only to see our arsenal play live.and when espn broadcasts manutd or chelsea matches instead of arsenal match because of same time kick-off(ex-sothampton match) we protest and if we fail then watch in net.So, I dont think we support arsenal less than any londoner.You can see arsenal’s official facebook page has 11million likes out of that only 58k are season ticket holders.

  24. @jbasko says:

    … im a proud gooner from czech, not thanx to R7, but thanx to arsenal’s win in Cup Winners Cup 25 years ago – had picture from this in my wallet for 25 years … Daniel, looking 4ward to see your dad in his Prague’s pub. Every two years im going to London to watch gunners … had some arsenal friends around London, met them every two year … love it

  25. Freddy says:

    nice article..am gooner from Tanzania-
    East Africa

  26. REB says:

    where did you get the brazil picture from ?

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Google – I’ve asked Arsenal Brasil for another if they’re not happy with that one being used. I wanted one that had people at Arsenal to show that overseas supporters do go to the Emirates.

  27. naz says:

    Nice one. I am from South Africa and ever since I started watching football I have supported Arsenal. And yes we do watch every game including league cup, emirates cup and all other friendlies!!!

  28. Afzal M says:

    Love this post mate! Just because we’re not local, that doesn’t mean we don’t support Arsenal as much as they do. In fact, I believe that sometimes we even support Arsenal more than they do. Coming from Malaysia, it’s pretty hard to just head over to London to watch Arsenal play (unless I’m filthy rich, that is).

    However, I am pretty blessed because I manage to watch The Arsenal play not once, but 3 times in Malaysia. The first time was way back in 1999 (I was 17 then, and only manage to get the cheapest ticket on sale after making a pact with my mom to get me the ticket in exchange for 2 months of doing household chores), then the year before, 2011 and just recently, back in July. I still remember the most recent match between Malaysia XI and Arsenal, the game was scheduled to start at 9.45pm local time (an hour later than the usual kickoff time due to the Muslim fasting month), but I was already there at the stadium by 5.20pm, even though I myself was fasting. I just can’t wait to watch my beloved Arsenal play (and to get better seats, of course haha).

    I still have the dream of going to The Emirates to watch Arsenal play (when I’m financially able to), and I will always support my beloved Arsenal, no matter near or far.

  29. Siddharth says:

    What a wonderful article. Huge fan from India and trust me I used to hate being called an “armchair fan” by many gooners who reside in London. Bought flashbacks in my mind when I saw Arsenal lose the CL final and how I couldn’t get out of my bed for the next few days and people laughed upon me. Thank you for appreciating our support.

  30. Matthew Warner says:

    i am from london being watching arsenal at high bury since a kid now live in gold coast oz bit pissed shit at typing isee more games than i ever saw in london over a season due to fox can show more games and setanta even league cup games know its the capital one cup fuck it coasts me shit loads over year and lots of late nights i still think i am a supporter come on arsenal beat the scum still love you commentary on esp is yank shit

  31. Fall River Gooner says:

    This Gooner from the States thanks you! My “bucket list” Holy Grail is to make it to the Emirates later this season or next. Me and my mates from the RIArsenal Supporters (Rhode Island) get up to meet 7:30am or 10am to meet our “home” pub to watch the Arsenal

  32. DanAzz says:

    Being an overseas fan, and not the rich one, an additional reason why I looked for a scholarship in the UK is to watch Arsenal live. I got one, and now I live in Edinburgh. It is quite far but it is still in the UK. Ticket has been hard-found and scarce on general sale.
    It was like a dream come true this April. The first time I watch live in The Grove, and the lads lost 1-2 to Wigan.

  33. Spot on Dan,
    ive seen these comments coming up lately and couldn’t believe what i was reading…
    alot of these fools will have supported Arsenal Just cos they were born there whereas we overseas fans chose the team ourselves,for what it stands for,for the players, the fans, the quality of the club,even though there were many other options available to us..
    Like here in Ireland when i was growing up you were either Liverpool or Utd, depending on who was winning things at the time or who your friends supported…
    Personally i was having none of it…
    All my mom’s family are based in London, One family are Spuds,even a cousin playing underage levels for them, another family of Hammers, and another uncle a QPR, and when we visited of course they all wanted to get me on board…
    So on a midweek night,with no games on they all brought me to their stadiums,but Spuds,Qpr,or Hammers wouldn’t allow the little Irish lad in past the doors. So they said ah sure we’ll spin past Highbury on the way home to Ealing, i as a 8 or 9 yr old entered the marble halls and my mind was blown..
    Then went walking around the outside of the ground to one of the side-gates where a groundsman was leaving for the night, my cousin’s asked would it be possible to get in for a photo,to which he said,not really.. but then asked me where i was from as i peered thru the gates, i told him i was on holiday from Ireland so he said ok, i’ll sneak you in for 5 mins, so i got to the side of the pitch, and got photo’s taken and left the happiest little NEW gunner ever, and from that day on thru thick and thin ive been with our great club..
    Everything from the hallway entrance to the groundsmen were quality, and even though we weren’t winning anything at the time,it didn’t really matter,cos i wanted to be a part of this amazing club..
    so for 28 years my weekends/mood of my weekends have been based on how we have played.. So for these pricks to say that we don’t count really pissed me off…
    These no doubt are the same ones who spend their time wanting everyone sacked,and booing our players, and wanting our board to spend millions on FOREIGN players…YES FOREIGN players…if its not ok for their supporters to be outsiders then why didn’t they complain when Thiry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp were strutting thier stuff, cos the last time i checked, neither were from the Islington area…
    anyways i ramble.. but totally agree with you mate, and well written.. and looking at the comments i see there’s an awful lot more that agree too
    Keep It Up

  34. Saad Noor says:

    Great Article, here in my country you rarely find spu*s fan and we Gooners had to deal with man united, chelsea, real madrid, barca fans etc and they all have something to show. They all question why we watch Arsenal? Why we stay awake till 0300 to watch Arsenal? and my answer is “Bcz I love my club” and one day I will be there in Emirates

  35. It is sad that other people have such narrow minded frame of thought. I am from Zimbabwe and I have been supporting Arsenal for the past 19 years. Like every Gooner worldwide it is a dream of mine to see the team up-close from the Emirates. Watching the team and supporting passionately from the TV screens does not make me less of a true Arsenal fan. I am well traveled and everywhere I have been there is a great legion of Arsenal fans. I once went to Zambia and this Arsenal fan wanted to buy a brand new replica jersey I had off my back. You could see in his eyes how passionate and serious he was about it, he kept bidding up him offer and his wife was also pleading with me saying how much he loved the club. I kept saying no since it was a present bought for me by my aunt in London. He had gone as high as 150 U.S.D, the I just took it off and gave to a fellow Gunner, for free, one proud moment of the brotherhood fostered by our love for this our dear club. So for anyone to suggest that Arsenal is only for the 58000 is not only ignorant but regrettable. I invite those people to go anyway in the world and see how much love the foreign gooners have for their club.

  36. have been supporting Arsenal since 2002. Love the Arsenal. Proud to be one. I am from India. Even though i myself have never faced that sort of criticism of “foreign football fans buy a few tops and that’s it” but I have seen it happening to many. We try to support from the outside as much as possible and the reason we put on those tops are because thats the near maximum support we can provide. I dont think any middle class foreigner will visit London every two weeks to see Arsenal play at the Emirates. Its just too costly.

    But someday I am going to do that. I am going to visit the Emirates someday and hopefully on a regualr basis. 😀

  37. manilagooner says:

    Hi, I’m a gooner from Manila, Philippines! I learned to watch football when I was in graduate school in Singapore back in 2007. I know I’m relatively new but to be supporting from South East Asia is a big deal because of all the ManU and Liverpool fans all over. Amazed at how Arsenal is by far one of the most well run outfits in the PL- imagine? Champs league (while playing beautiful football with youngsters) every year despite having liquidity problems due to a stadium move? Amazing. Wenger has set the foundation for the club’s future success. Up the Gunners!

  38. Coming from Nepal. I started watching arsenal play since 1999 and am still with the best team I have seen play. If we were plastic fans, we would have moved to City or Chelsea for we do not have a hereditary or local connection, but we have stayed awake at mid night to support our team unlike guys there who get to see it in their convenient time even with nearly 8 years without trophy. For the love of the game, lets kick hatred out of it.

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