Lord Arse-Wipe: Highbury calling, Highbury calling ...

Last updated : 26 September 2007 By Artie Fufkin
For someone who has just presided over a dive in pre-tax profits of
65% year-on-year, old Harrovian Dennis Hill-Wood is remarkably smug
(but aren't they all at Arsenal 'Holdings' these days - failing to win
trophies must be good for the spirit).
Hill-Wood, a one-man Ordinance Survey map, is the louche cannon
routinely trotted out by his club to splutter the unthinkable and
controversial - Islington's very own Lord Haw-Haw, or perhaps Lord
While slagging off a club, Chelsea, that has been a London attraction
for longer than his former Plumstead Common mob, Lord Arse-Wipe
suggested "Our fan-base probably started in the thirties and it's been
handed down from father to son and so on. It takes a hundred years to
build and about a hundred minutes to destroy."
Of course, his main targets were Usmanov, Kroenke and anyone else
flicking their tongue at Arsenal's turnover (which still includes
property sales, by the way). Arsenal's shares rose £250 in value on
the back of this latest financial statement, which normally suggests
the city expects a takeover bid anyway.
But poor old Arse-Wipe simply doesn't know his history. In 1935, when
he says his club's fanbase started, Chelsea were already able to
attract a record 82,905 for Arsenal's arrival. The same season, only
42,000 came to Highbury for the return fixture.
Lord Arse-Wipe might also like to know that as early as Easter 1906
Chelsea attracted 65,000 for the visit of Manchester United. Crowds of
60-70,000 were regular pre-war occurrences.
The fact that this was achieved without the enticement of regular
silverware surely makes such figures all the more impressive. God
knows we've trudged to the Bridge down the years more in hope than
But, you know, there is something in what Arse-Wipe revealed at that
press conference: it takes 100 years to have a history of great
support, and several glasses of Chateauneuf du pape at a media lunch
to conveniently forget it.
What do you think of Artie's carefully-researched reposte to Mr Hill-Wood?
Have your say in the messgeboard, now.