Referring to Arsenal as Bumnal ‘not witty’, insists Gazidis

Arsenal Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis has expressed his dismay at the growing tendency among British media outlets to refer to Arsenal Football Club as ‘Bumnal’, rather than using their official moniker. “I don’t understand why they’re doing it” he burbled in an impassioned telephone interview with Radio Five Live, “I mean, if there was some genuine word play there, or a proper bit of Swiftian irony, or a delicately poised instance of zeugma in the manner of Dryden or Alexander Pope, I’d probably take it on the chin and say ‘fair play to you’. But this ‘Bumnal’ thing is just bloody silly, and frankly rather juvenile.” Proponents of the witticism have vehemently rejected Gazidis’s remarks, contending that referring to Arsenal as Bumnal draws a humorous association between the football club and the human rear end in a way that can provide hours of mirth and joviality. Henry Winter, Football Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, which adopted the convention in November, explains: “Since we’ve been referring to Arsenal as Bumnal, it’s cheered the office up no end of a Monday, especially when Bumnal have lost at the weekend. No-one around here supports Bumnal – why would you, unless you were a stupid bumhead? It’s just sort of put a spring in everyone’s step and made the winter nights a little cosier, somehow.” However, Winter admits his continuing frustration at being unable to truly harness the comic potential inherent in the extraordinary coincidence that the name of Bumnal’s head coach also begins with ‘arse’. “We’ve been racking our brains trying to make comedy gold out of that situation for going on twenty years now”, he laments, “but nothing really cuts the mustard. ‘Bumne Wenger’ just doesn’t work.”

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