It’s been rumoured for a while that Arsenal are in the process of organising a couple of friendlies in the USA as part of next summer’s pre-season preparations, but it appears the Gunners have other options on the table.
A report in the New Zealand press claims Kiwi side Wellington Phoenix are keen on inviting the Gunners for a match in the off-season with the club’s managing director David Dome recently travelling to the UK to try and lure a big name Premier League club Down Under.
While Dome refused to name the sides with whom he has been talking, he did drop a hint that Phoenix’s sponsorship deal with Huawei – who last week announced a commercial partnership with Arsenal – could play a role.
“One of the things that’s been brought up is our Huawei sponsorship,” he is quoted as saying by the Nelson Mail.
“It is a significant relationship. Huawei have made a couple of announcements in that area over the past couple of weeks.”
The report claims Auckland’s 50,000-seater Eden Park – venue for the Rugby World Cup finals in 1987 and 2011 – would be in the running, as would Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, which could fit about 38,000 with extra temporary seating.
Arsenal have focused most of their marketing efforts in the Far East over the last three years with tours of the region deemed a great success.
It remains to be seen how big an emphasis the club places on global gallivanting this summer, but given much of Arsene Wenger’s squad will be away at the World Cup in Brazil the boss will likely want to keep things low key.
In that respect New Zealand – 12,000 miles away from the Emirates and with a population half that of New York – seems an unlikely destination.
Personally, Arseblog News is well up for a jaunt to New Zealand, if only to see the BFG doing the Haka.