It's Fathers Day today (19th June) and I found myself being taken to The Emirates Stadium for an Arsenal tour. As a QPR fan you may question why I'm blogging it, but as a football fan I figured it may reach people who won't have the opportunity to visit, just hope that doesn't come across as arrogant!
I had been there several times before and it is a pretty impressive sight that awaits amongst the North London Streets, tho it was eerie to be so quiet as opposed to matchdays!
In the foyer there is a bust of Wenger, whose resemblance is uncanny, and must say my Jasper got a little excited seeing it - I know I know!!! From there went up in the lift to the Directors box, walked through their lovely bar area out onto overlooking the pitch, with their lovely padded seats. The guide told us that tradition for the last 70+ years dictates that the areas is filled with flowers in the opposing teams colours! Can't wait to hear about he QPR ones then!
We were then informed that directly above us is the Diamond level! This level is restricted to 84 members, who pay £25,000 non-refundable down payment, followed by £25,000 for the next three years. So for £100,000 you get 2 seats, with free programmes, food and booze and a locker for your bits. Might get a bit more than that, but hey made me feel a bit better about QPR's ticket pricing ;) I particularly liked the flooring in the lift, feel free to admire the pedicured Birkenstock foot and white jeans (such a girl sorry), shame I didn't get the full Woolwich Arsenal bit in!
At car park level we saw the time capsule, which was lowered by Henry and Vieirra under the watchful eye of Wenger. They haven't decided when it would be pulled back up but has some fantastic things inside including a list of every player to play for the side, various players socks, Adams Captain's band, Vieirra's boots etc. Personally I think they should have set a date but hey! Loving the slogan about "the deeper the foundations the stronger the fortress"!
Next we headed to the dressing room. I spotted Seamans pic on the way and tweeted Splitter, as you probably know he was a Hooper before being a Gooner!!!! I also took a sneaky pic of the treatment room which we spotted on the way to the dressing room! Amongst the amazing equipment they have a spa pool which is maintained at a constant 40 degrees, this ensures that the players don't suffer from lactic acid problems and after the games they are already getting their bodies ready for the next game!
In the dressing room itself, they explained that the shirts were always laid out in order of defenders, midfielders, strikers, subs bench, with the Captain being firmly in the middle. I also enjoyed that it was the Captain's decision whether they wore long or short sleeves. Tony Adams ensured that every game was played in short sleeves, irrespective of the weather, can't see this suiting a certain Taarabt!
We were also told that there was no Clichy on the new Seasons shirt??? Shhhhhhhh
Next we went out through the tunnel onto the pitch, of course had to get Chris to do a run though :) Chris's tunnel moment! And his preferred pose for the test of Wenger's seat :)
We went on to see the press room and press's facilities. I love that they have a free bar and restaurant before, during and after games, but still manage to slag the team off next day!
I haven't actually revealed everything we saw, in case you take the tour yourself, but at £15 per adult thought it very reasonable. Jasper (7) was £6 and Scarlett (3) was free! Obviously afterwards went running back to West London, and booking a QPR tour as we speak, but I hope you enjoy and forgive me this blog!