Henry Norris is the crusty football correspondent of the Bugle newspaper and an ardent follow of Royal Arsenal to boot. He has had somewhat of a sabbatical but he is back in business. Each week he’ll bring you his forthright views on all things Gunners. It is not for the faint-hearted! And, yes, he DOES hit the bottle early…
In a stunning move, smacking gobs throughout the world of the Premier League, it can be revealed that a revolutionary initiative has been given the go-ahead and that the top flight’s Boxing Day fixtures will be contested by fans.
I have seen leaked documents that confirm supporters from each and every Premier League side will replace players for the Christmas time match. The powers that be have made the move in what is being seen as a two-pronged attack on the stupifying festive schedule which induces tiredness in over-privileged footballers, and as a way to engage more fully with fans.
But managers of the respective teams won’t be getting an extra day off any time soon. For the LMA has triple-confirmed that their members WILL take charge of the fan squads.
An edict winging its way to Premier League giants such as Arsenal, and sent to minor clubs also (think no ground, no top flight title since 1961) explains that another aspect of the reasoning behind the controversial decision is to give continental recruits time off to enjoy a family Christmas.
It is said that one of the main reasons Alexandre Lacazette agreed to sign for Arsenal from Lyon is that he will get Boxing Day off. A source close to Lacazette, though definitely not his cousin Romuald Lacazette, said: “Er, one of the main reasons Lacazette agreed to sign for the Gunners is that he will get Boxing Day off.”
Fans are now eagerly anticipating being chosen for their respective supporter squads. One such hopeful is Londoner John Williamson, a former Southwark Council employee, who travels all over the globe to watch Arsene Wenger’s men.
He said: “I’ve heard it called the ‘Lacazette Law’. It’s a novel idea but a fantastic opportunity, especially for someone like me. I see perhaps more than 100 games a season from the main team to the Arsenal youth teams and ladies. The next step for me is to actually play for Arsenal. Ok, I am in my 50s but I still have a turn of once, a good amount of ball skill and can damage opposition in and around the box. I just need to buy some boots if I get the nod.
“I should get in. My track record is impeccable. There aren’t many Goobers out there who went to Richie Powling’s testimonial game at Barnet. If selected, I am really looking forward to playing for Arsenal in the Premier League game at Crystal Palace. I can’t see how I can let the team down. Come on, I’ve got to be a better bet than Sebastien Squillaci, and he played for us with a pay packet each month.”