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“Pie-jacking”, ugly scenes and acrimonious controversy about the Arsenal’s new trophy

Triumph Shrouded In ‘Pie-Jacking’ Controversy

Tom Marshall of the Islington Gazette reports … After an agonising seven-year trophy drought, Arsenal had finally won something – by topping the Football Pie League.

But the awards ceremony in Brighton descended into acrimony on Friday when the club’s official caterers went off with the gong – despite the fact the hard-won victory was all down to a Highbury couple selling gourmet pies from their front garden.

Paul Campbell, 47 and his wife Nicky, 39, have become a popular matchday fixture this year with their Piebury Corner stand in Gillespie Road, which sells award-winning pastries named after Gunners greats.

Their fans lodged the lion’s share of the 8,500 votes that saw Arsenal win the league, beating out stiff competition from Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion, so they expected to pick up the prize.

Mr Campbell said: “We went up to collect the award and we were all standing on the stage together, but the caterers took it. I said ‘that’s our trophy’, but they said it’s got to go back to Arsenal.”

The Emirates caterers were at the ceremony for a different award altogether and had no idea the pie prize even existed until it was announced, yet they refused to give it to the Campbells.

The Piebury Corner faithful were outraged – with hordes taking to Twitter and Facebook to vent their frustration, some accusing caterers Delaware North of “pie-jacking”.

But the row cooled when the organisers issued a statement on Tuesday to say Piebury Corner will be handed a replica trophy at the beginning of next season.

Speaking to the Gazette, organiser Denis Sheehan accepted that the win was all down to the couple, but insisted the competition was always for clubs rather than individual sellers.

While he said it was always clear people were voting for Arsenal, he praised the contribution of Piebury Corner.

 

 

 

 

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The winners of the Pie League were being presented with the “Fans Choice Award” at the Stadium Experience Award Ceremony last week. Stadium Experience recognise Clubs for Hospitality and Catering services of which there are 18 different categories. 

Representatives from Arsenal’s catering company Delaware North collected the trophy along side us as it was being presented to Arsenal Football Club as a whole (as were the other categories) We were not made aware until we arrived at the Awards that Arsenal would be collecting the Trophy and taking it back to Highbury House.

It is now clear to us Delaware North had no idea who Piebury Corner was on the night or why Arsenal had been nominated for the award. Infact, Robin from Delaware (pictured) who collected the Trophy along side Piebury told Lady Aga he had only discovered what The Pie League was all about on the day of the awards itself and was equally bewildered as us. But as the Trophy said Arsenal Football Club on it he had no choice but to take it back to Highbury House. 

Stadium Experience has assured us we will receive a joint plaque with Piebury Corners name on it in due course. The Fans Choice Award Trophy together with the Pie League Trophy will be presented to us at the beginning of next Season as originally planned by The Pie League themselves, so we will be receiving 2 Trophys not 1.

Hopefully Arsenal FC will publicly credit, where it’s due, Piebury Corner Fans who worked tirelessly with their intelligent wit, clever banter and general Love of our PieLegend Menu, all things Pie and Arsenal.

So Yes GoonerPie Fans we helped Arsenal win their First Trophy in 7 years! Thanks to everyone who voted “It’s the GoonerPie Fans that made the difference in this years League”

2012 Robert Whetton

 

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