by George Sezer
‘YET AGAIN THE ARSENAL ARE ‘THE STORY’
With the second unprofessional piss poor performance by our team and management in 5 days, our AGM has certainly arrived with explosive timing.
The BSM (http://www.wherehasourarsenalgone.co.uk/) were there to welcome the attendees and the press with their very own statement on our clubs direction.
A Frenchman, a South African and an American sit at the top table of the AGM.
It’s not the start of a joke. It’s reality.
Our fan base is splintered, some supporting this visible show of discontent, many abhorring it and others at a loss how to constructively express their feelings. REDaction is again reporting Gooner on Gooner fighting within the stadium and it seems the fragile peace fostered by a confident start to the 2012-2013 campaign has been shattered at the re-emergence of the same old issues on the pitch. Dismayed by the obvious squad shortcomings and murderous at the lack of effort, many of our number are starting to get off the fence and into the political debate. Topics furiously discussed on social media are the ticket price to team investment ratio, selling mentality, Silent ownership, cash in the bank, financial fair play, injuries and also, undeniably, the most controversial issue within the Goonerverse – our manager.
Her are the questions and the clubs responses to them. Please bear in mind the questions had to be submitted and vetted.
SUMMARY of AGM OCTOBER 2012
(Thanks to live tweets by @johncrossmirror and @Gingers4Limpar)
“Kroenke is in the room… The silence is deafening”
• Quite a few empty seats at the back as PHW starts
• Gazidis starts by asking us to applaud the latest silverware, won by the Ladies team
• Gazidis opening as expected: ambition, self-sustainability, stadium move, vision…
• Gazidis says ambition is competing both domestically and in Europe. Hails ‘bravery and ambition’ of move to Emirates and ‘off field journey’
• Gazidis takes a swipe at “some” who “take for granted” Arsenal’s qualification for CL every season and position in UEFA rankings.
• Gazidis says club ‘increasingly well positioned’ to take advantage of growing global brand. He’s confident of new commercial deals in 2014.
• Gazidis: “FFP principles are gaining ground… as a result I’m able to state with confidence that AFC will have the financial resources to sit and compete among the leading clubs in the world.”
• Gazidis: “Within 2 years we will be able to compete within the success. Financial success relevant to our football because funds.”
“10 years later in the last phase of stadium move to provide commercial growth.
Were we ever told about a 10 year journey?”
• Gazidis: “The money we generate is made available to the manager.” And insists CL qualification other height of Wenger’s or club’s ambition.
• Gazidis: “I believe we can take this club back to winning trophies. Standing together we can make Arsenal one of leading clubs in world”
• Gazidis being criticised in this question for putting profits before trophies. Gets big ovation after questioning RvP sale.
• Gazidis now answers question directly. “Our target is not profit, it’s to have success on the pitch.”
• Question on cash reserves to Gazidis and more money being available on transfers: “We certainly do make money available in every window. Within certain constraints, we make all the money available. But it’s not a supermarket. A lumpy market where a small number of clubs compete for a small number of players.”
• Gazidis: “Often you’re faced with the choice to buy someone who’s not top quality or to keep your powder dry [and wait for next window]…”
• The greatest name in Arsenal history. Sir Chips Keswick is re-elected.
• Gazidis also up for re-election. There were quite a few hands against. Hill-Wood says ‘same lot’ suggesting usual faces disagree.
“Hill-Wood patronising and dismissive towards supporters who pay thousands.
That answer really bugs me.”
(John Cross – Daily Mirror)
• Gazidis: “Over the past 7 seasons we’ve only had two increases [in ticket prices], both in line with inflation.”
• Gazidis says ticket pricing is not simply a case of supply and demand. Cites waiting list. Says they aim for a “responsible balance.”
• Gazidis: “Dividends are a board decision, and we have a record of reinvesting in the club… Kroenke has always followed that approach.”
• Kroenke has refused to guarantee that no dividends will be paid in coming years. Says it’s a board decision.
• Stan continued: ‘we’ve never put a debt on this club. This is 6th AGM and my only regret is I didn’t get involved earlier’
• Stan Kroenke says he’s met with AST and supporters. @timpayton interrupts and says he’s not carried out a legal promise to meet fans
• Getting nasty now. Kroenke says he’s ‘surprised’ at @timpayton for interrupting as he’s met with him ‘numerous times.’
• Regular heckling from the floor now towards Gazidis, Kroenke and, in particular, PHW. ‘You’re chairman – it’s your job to know that.’
• Gazidis repeating that “issue for the board is fan *engagement*” – in short, they’re not going to create any more shares for Fanshare
• Man from the floor describes Arsenal’s business plan is a “one trick pony” due to reliance on FFP.
• Another AST member Nigel Phillips questioning the club/RvP ambition.
“This is by far and away the ugliest, rowdiest AGM I’ve attended.”
(John Cross – Daily Mirror)
• Gazidis: “we’re losing a bit of order here”. Asks for return to pre-submitted questions.
• Gazidis: ‘We believe in FFP but doesn’t mean we’re reliant on it. We’re advocates of it, our fans believe in it, can’t abandon it’
• Gazidis says conflict between the board and Red&White is “overstated”. Says their last letter said they’re not seeking a place on the board.
• Wenger starts with apologising for last night and says: “I’d like to publicly thank Pat Rice’ for 16 years of service.”
• Wenger: “We hit the wall in the last two games in a little bit unexplainable way… but I’m optimistic we’ll have a good season”
• Wenger: “We anticipated that we might lose Van Persie… that’s why we brought in Giroud and Podolski”.
• Wenger: “I understand the frustration but it’s important not to go overboard…” Cites 43 game unbeaten home run in Champions League.
• Wenger: ”I believe this team can deliver. I’m optimistic that we can have a good season & I’m confident the players can prove us right”
• Wenger says Arsenal compete for 5 trophies, one being Champs League qualification. ‘A new player doesn’t want to know if you’ve won league cup’
• Wenger: “our first priority is to win Prem. But environment is challenging and we must be united to achieve that.”
• Wenger: “All clubs should spend (only) the cash that it produces, says he’s happy to only have to spend what the club produces.”
• PHW said: ‘I think we’ve had enough questions, if you don’t mind. Otherwise we’ll be here all day.
• Wenger has just shown supporters due respect. Top man. Hill-Wood makes another snide remark. What a contrast. Totally unacceptable.
• PHW: “Thanks for your support and your interest in our affairs.” That sentence shows why PHW must go ASAP. Out of touch, disrespectful
“PHW clearly think AFC is his private members’ club and the fans are an unnecessary inconvenience. Shocking!”
PIDEGONS COMING HOME TO ROOST?
The unrest and unhappiness is not merely a knee jerk reaction to the last 2 games as some may paint. These issues have been seen in our squad and in the stands for at least 3 years. Here are a selection of pieces from GunnerTalk that discuss the situation further. We at GunnerTalk embrace all opinions and points of view while respectfully expressed.
I Found my Arsenal
It’s a Business
Trouble at The Grove
Pre March Buildup
Arsenal Political Roundup
United we Stand
Related Gunner Talk Episodes
E16 part 1 – The Walk
E16 Part 2 – The Money
E07 – Keepers weepers
So what’s your perception of our Arsenal right now? How do you currently feel towards the board, the club, the managers, the players, the prices and your fellow fans? What if anything would you change? Please get involved here…………….