Monday, September 29, 2014
Arsenal AGM 2011 report

Arsenal AGM 2011 report

Arsenal’s AGM took place today. Hayley Wright was there for Arseblog News.

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If you were expecting open-mindedness, concessions, and illuminating answers from the Arsenal board in the wake of a relatively poor start to the league campaign then you would have been sorely disappointed. Upon entering the meeting hall we were categorically told to leave all food and drink behind – presumably because the PR machine thought it possible that a Garibaldi hurled in rage may seriously compromise the immaculate appearance of Stan Kroenke’s moustache – were it to make it that far.

Ivan Gazidis kicked things off with the usual overview of the club’s objectives, achievements and finances, taking care to reassure the shareholders that whilst monetary sustainability is integral to our success, competing for titles and being a force in Europe are the main ambitions to which the club aspires. If you were playing Arsenal board bingo at this point, you could have easily had a full house.

It was then the turn of the formerly “Silent” Stan Kroenke to take the mic and attempt some humour relating to the issue, as he claimed he had no idea why anyone had asked him to speak. He went on to briefly explain how he became involved with the club after considering similar opportunities with other teams in Europe and the EPL, whilst reaffirming his commitment to Arsenal and the team’s current direction under Arsène Wenger.

Unfortunately, the following Q&A session was somewhat marred by Chairman Peter Hill-Wood’s defensive, borderline indignant responses to perfectly reasonable questions coming from people who are arguably the most justified in issuing a grilling, and even more deserving of honest, uncensored answers. This was the first AGM in which only pre-submitted questions were sanctioned and Peter Hill-Wood exhibited a shameful lack of respect for the shareholders’ entitlement to answers, which were either avoided altogether or robotically recited from the piece of paper that he held in front of him. The atmosphere in the room turned tangibly sour, with various heckles and jeers from the audience prompting Kroenke to pipe up in an attempt to calm the rebels.

This made Wenger’s call for solidarity and support all the more galling for some, as his closing speech focussed on the need for everyone to be united behind the team. Endeavouring to give a fair assessment of last season’s performance, he pre-empted the questions that probably would have been asked of him had they been allowed, and his admission of the team’s shortcomings appeared to be welcomed by all in attendance.

Alas, due to the very guarded and almost disdainful nature of the meeting, there is very little of interest to report. However, below are a selection of bullet points that may help to elucidate what happened.

IVAN GAZIDIS

– Significant change at the club in terms of ownership. Stan Kroenke has vast experience in sport and isn’t new to Arsenal. He has a good understanding of the club and its values. He brings us security and stability. Danny Fiszman was confident in trusting Stan before his passing. The board share his confidence.

– Close season saw changes on the pitch. Nine new additions. Busiest ever transfer window. Continued investing in youth plus experienced players. Bound to be a period of adjustment with such extensive change. Started strongly in Europe and now regaining momentum in the league.

– Acknowledgement of ladies team who won the treble this season. Reassures that competing for titles and being a force in Europe are the main objectives. Fourteen consecutive CL appearances matched only by United and Real Madrid.

– Club has repaid all bank loans and all property paid off. Club’s remaining debt is fixed at affordable long term rates.

– Visit to Asia was a big step forward for the club. Asian fans have extraordinary passion, knowledge and commitment. There will be further presence in the region.

– New commercial partnerships with Carlsberg, Indesit, Betsson and Thomas Cook.

– Renewed partnership with Citroen.

– Nike and Emirates are still the main sponsors. Excellent relationship. Will continue to work closely with them.

– The new Arsenal Player is enhancing programming and is distributing all over the world. Big step in communicating with fans around the world. Arsenal members have free access. HD programming reaches 110 million households in 88 countries. Club to have over 10 million followers on Facebook.

– There has been more investment in the stadium – stories of fan tributes to Arsenal legends, fan flags all round stadium. December will see the unveiling of iconic additions to the Arsenalisation. Dramatic impact for 125 year anniversary.

– Improvements at the training ground. We’ve built a state of the art medical centre. Cutting edge of sports science and rehabilitation.

– Arsenal’s community work continues.  We define standards that others seek to emulate.

– Arsenal’s charity of the season is Save The Children.

– We have added to our staff who all care passionately about the club. Obsessed with seeing the club succeed.

– Kudos to our fans. I’m proud of our style of football, and proud of our manager –  he acts with responsibility and vision, always putting the club first. Not only proud of the club’s success, but how it achieves its success. Everything was built by extraordinary individuals. Vision, commitment and responsibility – qualities that are in short supply in the modern world, but more important than ever. Fizsman and Friar have been incredibly influential.

– Club is about far more than football. Unity, class, always moving forward.

STAN KROENKE

– Not sure why I’ve been asked to say things. People seem interested.

– Tribute to Fiszman.

– We had lots of opportunities to involve ourselves in lots of clubs around Europe and EPL. Became involved with Arsenal in a commercial undertaking. I became very interested in Arsenal.

– Arsenal has all the elements for success. Tremendous management at the top. Wonderful manager on the pitch who makes great decisions in regard to personnel. Tremendous following from the supporters. It was an easy decision to continue to get more involved. That’s how we ended up here today.

– We’re happy with the direction of the club and we’re here for the long term. Love London. Better get used to seeing us.

Q&A

Q: Ticket prices increasing, no silverware, big players leaving… is the sustainable model the most important thing?
Peter Hill-Wood: CL 14 years in a row, remains the focus. Sustainable model is the right way forward for the club. Future is in our own hands – providing funds to invest in the team.

Q: Will the club plug the gap in equity with new commercial deals? We need to remain competitive.
PHW: Not considering an injection of equity capital. Convinced it’s the right way forward for the club. We will we not match some of the vast sums of other clubs, but it does mean that we’re not reliant on any one individual. Confident we can keep and attract young quality players and compete at the highest level.

Q: Season ticket prices continue to rise while CEO bonuses – such as that of Tom Fox – remain. Will they be stopped as the club is stagnating?
PHW: Renumeration committee set targets for Gazidis. He’s passed them. Don’t want to go into details about Tom Fox’s bonus. Commercial opportunities are extremely good. Five new commercial partnerships this year. Fruits of those labours will come through in the next year.

Q: How will you continue to act in the best interests of the club with Kroenke coming in?
PHW: Legal duty as directors to act in best interests of club and shareholders. Will do so and continue to do so.

– At this point PHW thanks Ken Friar for his contribution to the club. Bust of Friar to be placed in entrance of Emirates. Unveiled. Applause.

Q: Season ticket prices increase. Replaced two world class players, with two who clearly aren’t. Will board reduce ticket prices if we fail to qualify for CL?
PHW: We will not accept second best. We never have. Will strive to maintain the performances that we have in the last 14 years. I think Arsène is getting it right again. During close season we brought in nine players. We will continue to strengthen the squad as Arsène thinks best.

Q: Man City and Spurs have got stronger in the past two years, whereas we are weaker. Not sure if we’ll quality for the CL next year. PHW should stand down. Bring back David Dein as chairman – the man who got Arsène. You are so out of touch with this club. He is the man who can bring trophies back to this club.
PHW: I have no intention of standing down. This is the decision from my board colleagues also. I regard it as an honour and privilege to be chairman of this club. I am also a fan. I want us to be successful. We have the best man for the job in Arsène. Stan and Ivan can take the club forward off the field.
Kroenke:  “We’re all fans. Peter has our support. We’re with you. We’re fans too.”
[Heckling from the crowd]

Q: Fanshare Scheme just over a year old. Great success. Over 2,000 supporters own a bit of the club. Want to play a part in club’s future. As result of takeover, it’s harder for scheme to buy more shares. Will board reiterate support for concept of Fanshare? Review how it can provide support to the scheme?
PHW: Fanshare scheme is highly valued by its members. Complexity recognised with new shareholder environment. Will further consider the matter in due course.

Q: Why are you refusing to allow Red and White Holdings (Usmanov) onto the board?
PHW: We’re all comfortable with the constitution of the board. We care deeply about the long term success of Arsenal. We all bring expertise to the board.
Heckles of “Answer the question.”

Q: Arsenal infrastructure in terms of personnel has changed little. Suffered since David Dein left. Too much centralised control. Wenger has to carry a huge burden. Who gives assistance to Wenger? How can he delegate like Fergie?
PHW: Infrastructure has changed significantly. We ensure that all parts of the club operate in an effective way. Wenger works closely with Gazidis and board. Manager given all the support he wants and needs to take the team forward.

Q: Positive perspective. Same number of points for equivalent fixtures last season bar one. Can the board and team travel in one aircraft to away matches? Cost consideration seems fairly irrelevant to you.
PHW: Board and players travel separately sometimes but not always.

Q: How many season ticket holders did not renew? What’s the length of the waiting list?
PHW: I don’t want to disclose the actual figures. We can assure you that it’s relatively small and tens of thousands of people are on the waiting list. Loyal supporters.

ARSÈNE WENGER

– The media don’t always reflect what I say, so I’m happy to speak to you.

– Grateful for the confidence in me for such a long time – 15 years – applause.

– This is a special club. I knew always that I would be loyal and committed to this club. I’m not always right. But I knew it was privilege to be here because I’m free to work the way I want.

– I hope in many years people will look at this period and think we put the club on the right track and defended the right values.

– We want to do things with class, be ambitious and brave. I believe that this club has always been brave in its decisions. Courage is a quality that I admire.

– I can see a lot of fear and discontent amongst you. I can understand that. We live in a world where people have high resources. We must compete by being intelligent. We have been more consistent than anybody else in the world for the last 15 years. To stay at the top we must be united. Doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be criticised. To the outside we must be united. It’s the only way to survive at the top. If you’re not united, you have no chance.

– We are self-sufficient but we lost world class players. Don’t judge the players we bought too quickly. We had a very difficult start, under tremendous pressure. Last season was the most difficult to accept with its end result. Sometimes I thought it was completely my fault because I convinced the players we could win all four competitions. We had a very good season performance wise despite finishing very badly.

– Overall performance last year was much better than what happened at the end. We played 27 games in Nov, Dec. Jan…. we paid for it in March and April. Lacked the petrol to get over the line. Also, not lucky with the injuries we had last year but still managed to qualify for CL.

– Emergence of world class players like Wilshere was positive. He has shown straight away at international level how good he is. I was also under pressure to buy goalkeepers. I kept faith in the ones that we had, and now we have sorted the problem out. We have top level, world class keepers. Potential of our team is great.

– I’m much more positive than other people. Team has fantastic attitude and spirit. Frankly don’t know where we’ll finish at the end of the season, but we’re ready for the fight. Not many people are behind us at the moment. Let’s stand behind this team.

– People have been skeptical at The Emirates. If you don’t get behind the team we have no chance. This team has the right attitude and the right spirit. During the last two home games the fans were behind the team, which was very different compared to the end of last season. We can be successful if we stand behind team.

– We will fight and can still look back on this season with pride. I think we can still quality for the CL.

– Ticket pricing was discussed a lot. To accommodate players’ wages we had to do it.  I understand that you feel punished.

– Number of skepticis surrounding the club is too high. Trust us. This team has quality. This team will fight and if you support us we have every chance to succeed.

Follow Hayley Wright on Twitter and catch her video blogs on her YouTube channel

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91 comments

  1. By all accounts Wenger came across very well and PHW came across like the massive cunt that he is.

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  2. i was so against the board and wenger after the blackburn and utd results but the city result against utd has given me some perspective. what the club has done (manager & board) over the years competing against utd, chelsea, liverpool, spurs and city, who all spend more money than us, is nothing short of brilliant. we are the only club in europe who don’t spend bucket loads of money who compete on a continual basis. wenger should be celebrated for this.

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    • Dear welly, the trashing from Manu is a sign of more things to come. We are in CL as a result from the previous year. Let’s see what happens next year before you make this assumption that we can compete in Europe.

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      • Dear Very, what about the trashing from Man City to Man Utd? Are you saying they won’t come to Europe either?

        How about you stop spouting offensive shit like a dickhead and be a little more considerate?

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  3. Did PHW even answer any of the questions properly? It just seems that he answered with irrelevant rubbish imo.

    Like the question in regards to Man City and Spurs getting stronger, and us getting weaker; He didn’t really address that part of the question.

    Or even the first question, no silverware, tickets increasing, big players leaving..
    His answer was not what I wanted to hear; Champions League place has always been the priority etc
    Seems like they’re trying to pull the wool over our eyes if you ask me. Clearly the most important thing to that board is the money, with the team coming second.

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    • “Q: Season ticket prices increase. Replaced two world class players, with two who clearly aren’t. Will board reduce ticket prices if we fail to qualify for CL?”

      If he actually admitted that Arteta and Benayoun were players who ‘clearly aren’t’ world-class, you’re making yourself drink poison. Can you imagine a manager who calls his players shit in a press conference because he really thinks so? Conversely, what happens to players who do this to their upper management? Oh right, Joey Barton.

      So I don’t really fault PHW for his answers. You can’t go on full critic mode on your own company, lest you want a full-scale mutiny on your hands.

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  4. Is Wenger trying to imply the fans were to partly to blame for the end of season collapse? Fans react to what they see. Trust has to be earned – or re-earned in Wenger’s case. He had it due to his initial success, but the same mistakes have been repeated too many times now. He needs to demonstrate anew reasons to be trusted, if he can. Why should anyone in any job expect unconditional trust.

    His answer to the price rise question was also untruthful and inadequate. Why then is there £60m sitting in the PTA.

    The overall message from the executive seems to be – we have no strategy beyond trying to quality for the CL and make a profit. Don’t question us, just keep funding us.

    Nothing learnt, but maybe some good can come of it if PHW ends up going. He’s such an old clown, the stereotype posh old buffoon.

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    • RE the fans; What Wenger was talking about was the lack of support from fans at the end of the season. If you were booed everytime you went into work and were told you were crap and they should get someone else in for your place, would you come in everyday smiling while whistling a happy tune?? I doubt it. Just because they get paid ridiculous amounts of money doesn’t mean they are going to be immune to confidence bashing.

      RE the 60m; I take it you’ve seen their bank account then. That money would buy you one world class player in this day and age. As i stated on another thread, if you pay a player 200k a week over 5 years, it will cost you 52m. So now you only have 8m after buying one player. Really strengthen the squad to give it depth and to deal with injuries with that wouldn’t we….

      Until we can compete financially with the ‘sugar daddy’ run clubs, then i’m perfectly happy to get into the CL consistently and challenge for the title even if it does burn out towards the very end. How many years have Spurs, Liverpool, Aston Villa, etc…. got into the CL and challenged for the title while spending a lot more than us? Liverpool have done it once when they got second, spending well beyond their means and look what happened.

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  5. Wenger does come across very well but this made me throw up in my mouth a little bit:
    ”Ticket pricing was discussed a lot. To accommodate players’ wages we had to do it. I understand that you feel punished.”
    Don’t really know what to say about that statement. Tells you everything that’s wrong with the game today.

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    • When have paying players wages not been a part of proffessional football?

      On one side we have people complaining about players leaving, the poor commercial performance of the club, and our relatively poor wage ceiling.
      Then we have people like you “throwing up” because the club admits that ticket prices impact club finances.

      Sure, it’s not perfect, but would you rather we reduce prices and lose players to all the clubs in Europe that can beat us on wages?

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      • You’ve raised some interesting points Mashad. I think you’re a little confused though. You state ”Sure, it’s not perfect, but would you rather we reduce prices and lose players to all the clubs in Europe that can beat us on wages?” Erm, has this not been happening already? My point is that Arsenal fans pay for some of the highest season tickets in world football but we still can’t compete on player wages. We still can’t compete on transfer fees. I’m not for one minute saying that i want us to start spunking 50-60 million on transfer fees, I don’t think anybody expects that. I’m a big fan of the way our club is run, in fact I’m proud of it. However, when ticket prices are so high, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for the wage ceiling to be increased a little, enabling us to keep our best players. Don’t you agree?

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    • Well we know it didn’t go to Arteta who had to take a pay cut to come to the club. Unfortunately at this point i don’t believe anything that comes out of the mouth of Arsene, the board or Kroenke.

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  6. wow. the quality of Wenger’s comments if light years ahead of others’.

    In Arsene We Trust!

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  7. Clueless AGM. No direction, no questioning of the manager, just excuse after excuse after excuse. They’re limp and weak and as a result Arsenal are limp and weak on the pitch too.

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    • Ahahahaha cunt.

      They have questioned the players, and the questions were not served. They question the manager and they’re definitely ignored.

      And the most insulting part is, the AGM is not a place to criticize the manager. It’s there to talk about internal club policies, performances on the pitch and other things. Right now the performances are improving, and yet you want more people to question him?

      How is the AGM clueless? How exactly? Answer me that. Would they be ‘cluefull’ if they answered and adhered to every question and request for PHW to step down or Usmanov to join the board? Would they be cluefull if PHW agreed that Wenger was a fucked-up mess?

      I seriously wish dickheads like you were banned from commenting.

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  8. Pretty standard stuff you would expect from The(keep everything close to your chest)Arsenal.

    Ps.. I’m sure the acronym EPL is wrong. Shall we ask Swansea and Barclays?

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    • Actually Swansea joined the English leagues as their weren’t any welsh leagues to accomodate them at the time, same for Cardiff. So the ‘English’ Premier League would be correct as. Same as the old English League One, English League Two, etc….

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  9. A joke an absolute joke. The club and by that I mean the board treats fans with total contempt. So only fans that renewed their season tickets are loyal? What a total prick this guy is. Has he seen the empty seats at the grove of late?

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  10. Reading some of the questions I can see why PHW got testy. Its obvious there were some cunts in the room. Surprised those questions even got read out. What the fuck is wrong with people. I seriously don’t see the fucking point of this AGM shit. Fuck it all.

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    • COMMENT DELETED (personal abuse) – read the comment policy

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    • The club pay huge wages to the staff and have millions sitting in the bank. There has to be transparency and the AGM provides that. The board need to know that the fans are not happy. Wenger is a great manager but he also needs to know that 4th place is not good enough. I like the idea that the board have to answer the fan’s questions. PHW does not live in the real world. He has never had to scrape for food and living. He thinks everything is just fine. What a joke he is.

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  11. SF Gooner

    What was wrong with the questions? They all seem perfectly reasonable to me and PHW “let them eat cake” way of answering them shows that he is out of touch. As for the AGM it is a legal requirement of being a plc.

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    • It was certainly all kinds of retarded to ask why he doesn’t resign. And did people really expect an answer to the Red and White holdings question.

      Stupid questions ellicit stupid responses.

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    • Arsenal are not a PLC

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  12. I was at the AGM and would like to add to Hayley’s report

    IG – Kept repeating that he was proud of our success, he didn’t clarify if he was referring to the success before or since he took over at the helm.

    SK – Spoke about “our involvement” rather than “my involvement”. All sounded a bit corporate and gave nothing away.

    PHW – Answered questions from audience like a drunk bulldozer. Forgot to call the resolution to re-elect SK, and when passed by a majority (there were two dissenters) he tells SK “well done, you’re still the owner”. Bizarre. Refused to say if ticket prices will reduce on non-qualification of champions league.

    AW – Acknowleged the diiscontent amongst supporters, said we need to stay united. We can compete at the top with the current model, don’t judge too quickly. He also said that the performance last season against Barca was the best ever by an Arsenal team. He doesn’t know where we will finish this season but was very assertive that team ready for a fight and asked all the fans to please get behind the team. “Trust us and help us” .

    It was an impressive and inspiring performance from AW, whether or not you agree with him is another matter.

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    • My problem is once again the board are hiding behind Wenger. He defends the players to within an inch of his sanity but then his bosses do nothing and he has to take all the flak, disappointment an criticism.
      The board need to grow a pair and start protecting their staff. At no point did anyone say that it was theor fault Wenger did sign the players he wanted but all the fans will blame him as the board put their fingers in their ears and go “la la la la, i can’t hear you”.
      Time for a younger board who will stand up and be counted while letting Wenger be a manager and not a baby sitter who has to wipe the dribble form PHW’s mouth while he’s snaffling his truffles.

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  13. Michael,

    Are you serious? In one of the questions to PHW it says that he is “so out of touch with the club” and that Dein should get back in. What the fuck is that? What answer would you expect? I wouldn’t have even picked that question, so for people to bitch about them cherry picking questions, they should quit moaning. I’m sorry, it’s my opinion that we have a bunch of moaners for fans at the moment. You pay to support a team. Go and “SUPPORT” the team. It doesn’t mean people aren’t above criticism but give me a break with this line of questioning. It’s infantile.

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    • So what do you do ? Sit on your hands or clap politely like some Politbureau hack who just goes through the motions.

      I’ll give you a clue. It’s questions and answers. So what if the questions are sharp ? If the person giving the answer – in this case Hill-Wood – was on his game he would have the required response. The fact that he can’t answer says little for him,

      And in case you haven’t noticed we’ve been selling our Captains and best players with monotonous regularity in recent years. We’ve had a dire start to the season – now improving thankfully. And we’ve won nothing for what will be 7 years come next May if we fall short again.

      Arsenal should be about winning matches and winning trophies. Not providing a cushy number for the Chairman and the Chief Executive.

      ‘Organic Growth’ my foot !

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      • Boo fucking hoo. We sold Nasri cause he doubled his wages. You’d move for that. Cesc wanted to go to the best team on the planet right now. Chelsea and Man City have changed the game. Arsenal should be about competing in the league. No team has the God given right to win something every year or every other year. A bunch of grown people throwing their toys out of their prams. Really shameful.

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      • I don’t have a problem questioning or criticizing the club and the board, it’s just the manner that some “supporters” do it. I would expect supporters of other fans to insult PHW and call him a c*nt, not our own.

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      • Rob, do you understand the term “No offence”?

        Here, I can clearly see some cunts wanted to write the word “no offence” at the start of those insulting questions.

        No matter how honest you want to be, it is important not to offend others. I do it with regular ease and without knowing, so I’m usually branded as a little tactless in real life, but I can see tactlessness when there is one.

        I criticize my teacher back in school, but I don’t go calling him a cunt, I criticize him while phrasing my sentences in appropriate manners. Here, the questions are totally out of line and should not have been read. Even though I do question PHW, some of the questions were extremely rude. I am actually ashamed that some of them were read aloud.

        If you want to say ‘No offence”, it’s better to actually put some effort into phrasing your sentences into a less-offensive one. If you fully intend to offend, then fair play to you, you’re an arse.

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    • That was one TOKEN critical question – and you fell for their idea of fair questioning. If it was so unbiased, why were the questions pre-picked by the board? And more importantly, I’d love to know what questions were rejected.

      All the board’s speeches are on arsenal.com – but why not the questions, like last time?

      This was nothing but a soft soap PR exercise – and sadly it seems some gooners fell for it. If you didn’t know anything about the club and listened to this crock, you’d think all was well with the club.

      The only admission/concession was that the board ‘feel our pain’ – yeah, right – that’s why they sat quiet at the end of last season, through the summer and at the start of this season – the only people that were openly concerned about the way the club was going were the FANS.*

      *With the exception of the board/Wenger ass-kissers who blindly follow them and lap up the board and Wenger’s lies (e.g. Wenger stating that the reason that he wasn’t buying players when all the other teams were was because he only buys ‘Super quality’ – then buys Jenkinson and Mertesacker…

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      • I still believe Per is quality.

        Wenger might say that, but do you seriously believe he will say anything otherwise? Again, if he did he might well be trashing all over Denilson by now.

        I am worried for Arsenal, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t have faith. Look at Liverpool, they didn’t enter Europe but right now they’re on the up again. It isn’t impossible for us either.

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  14. SF Gooner

    You are entitled to your opinion but I don’t think many will share it, PHW acted like a pompous fool basically saying : ‘I’m in charge and I’ll do what I want.’ maybe look at that before attacking other fans.

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  15. PHW is what he is. Etonian old guard who I believe is more of a figure head than anything else. So I take everything he says with a grain of salt. But this doesn’t change the fact that a big portion of our fans are just moaning. It’s their right to moan, just as it’s my right to call them out for it. With cunts like Le Grove and Myles in the audience it’s no wonder that place had a bad atmosphere. So instead of piling the blame all on someone whose family has been involved in building Arsenal up for decades, some of our fans need to look in a fucking mirror once in awhile.

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  16. To be fair to them they picked quite a few controversial questions but I did wonder why bother if PHW had no intention of answering them.

    I don’t wish to sound ageist but PHW really doesn’t inspire confidence, my dad said the same thing after he attended last year. You have to see him in action before you appreciate quite how bad and out of touch he comes across. AW had his head in his hands during a couple of PHW’s answers.

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    • It stands to reason that the ones they didn’t read were worse.

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    • It’s not ageist. He is a doddering old fool, has been for awhile, and you do wonder why he’s up there answering questions. It’s past time to ease him out.

      He is who he is, and no one can claim to be surprised by anything he says or does by now. The fault lies in whoever decided to let him be part of the public face of the club at the AGM.

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  17. what is the point of this AGM? Q&A practically is just Q. at this rate the board will increase the ticket prices as much as they want knowing that there will always be a arsenal supporter on the waiting list. apparently we fans are paying for the clubs financial failures while the squad is getting cheaper every season and not winning any silverware every season. what is the point of juicing our fans wallets when the club is going to keep on buying cheap players. we dont need extra revenue to buy big players cos we arent going to. it makes me wonder is the 6% increase going to go back into the squad (lol yeah right) or the pockets of the boards. PHW is also trying to say those that renewed their season tickets are loyal supporters. WTF?! he surely doesnt understand the words crunch time since he’s so busy counting the cash hes getting.

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    • How long is it before you understand that the 6% increase was in line with inflation & the VAT increase?? Therefore the club’s bottom line didn’t improve in real value by the fans having to pay more. Simple.

      That said, the ticket prices were pretty obscene already. For almost anyone it’s a big hunk of cash to take the family these days..

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  18. @SFGooner Is he not out of touch with the club when he calls fans silly people for questioning the manager?

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    • No, from his view Wenger is doing an amazing job and can’t understand why fans don’t get it, and from his point of view I would understand that, I wouldn’t vocalize it like he has but I get it. He doesn’t understand how we go up and down and how much of a strain it is on families to fork up the cash to go see them. Like I said before it takes two.

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    • Well said Olumide!
      The problem with SF Gooner & PHW is they believe any criticism of the club means we’re not true fans!

      PHW is a moron, regardless of what he’s done for the club historically.
      Ironically his honesty gives us all the insight we need for what’s happening at our club!

      Without Wenger we would be midtable at best!!!

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      • Horseshit. I didn’t say you don’t criticize. I said it’s the way you do it. You don’t go and ask a stupid dipshit question where you tell the chairman that he’s out of touch and you want fat and orange back in the club. That’s just plain fucking stupid.

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  19. You tell a guy that he’s out of touch and should step down so David Dein could replace him, and you expect him to say, “Yeah, sure. Why don’t I resign right now?”

    Utter rubbish. I don’t understand how David Dein has become some sort of messiah for some Gooners. Sure, we had some good years when he was Vice Chairman, but wasn’t he around when GG was taking bungs too? And for all his “insider knowledge” he couldn’t get elected chairman of the FA, could he?

    David Dein sold his shares for £75m to the fat Uzbek ManUre supporting c***, and somehow he gets a free pass everytime, but the board gets slammed for selling to Kroenke.

    Gimme a fookin break!

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    • usmanov isnt manure supporter, his business partner is. Whats the reason of so much hate towards usmanov i don’t understand what has he done to you or the arsenal?? He speaks sense whenever he says something unlike the twisted phw who has been collecting paychecks for doing f**kall. He was employed because of his father not on merit.

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      • http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7cce6a7c-7205-11dc-8960-0000779fd2ac.html
        Read FT article

        Usmanov wanted to take money out of the club when dein first sold to him.

        “Arsenal strikes back at Usmanov demands

        By Roger Blitz, Leisure Industries Correspondent

        Published: October 4 2007 03:06 | Last updated: October 4 2007 03:06

        Arsenal hit back on Wednesday at Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire metals magnate, saying his demands for an independent board and dividend payments were unacceptable.”

        I think thats why the boards suspicious of him.

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  20. Wenger may be erudite-but that is all. Overall,very sad the Board members behave like a private gentleman’s club-typical old boys act-each pissing in each other’s pockets telling the world how wonderful they are-treating fans as if they are powerless stupid idiots-its inappropriate in a modern democratic world.
    The skepticism around the club-is about the Board, its direction and the performance of the team-they are all related- and is fully justified-just look at our declining performances results and playing resources this year.

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  21. I think the fact that Arsenal offers its fans more of a question/say etc. to the owners and more of an interaction with the club’s management than practically any other club in the world is being abused.

    If indeed those were the actual words used in framing questions (“so out of touch”) and if people were heckling for answers, then that’s disgusting. Yes, more disgusting than 8-2. Because there are well-framed, interrogative, intelligent, yet polite questions to be asked. Unfortunately, all of them have the same answer – there are 5 other clubs who have bottomless pockets. Next question – why don’t we have bottomless pockets; answer – we’ve chosen a different route. End of. That’s Arsenal. If you’re still questioning why we don’t favour silly spending owners, then you probably haven’t caught on to what Arsenal is about yet.

    Since that is the scenario, there is very little to be gained by doing this aggro merry-go-around in public ad infinitum. Get behind the club.

    PS: If someone actually asked why we have brought in two players who “clearly are not” world-class, what is wrong with you? Who says this about their own players at an AGM? After 5 positive results? Do you have a medical problem? If it’s just Hayley’s phrasing, thank god.

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    • I think that question must have been asked, considering Wengers response ‘not to judge our new players too soon’
      I guess the frustrating part is that we all know this self sustaining model is basically accepting 2nd best!
      It’s beginning to feel almost impossible that we’ll win a trophy anytime soon & we have 2 billionaire shareholders!

      If any of you had a billion wouldn’t u spend a lil to improve our team???

      I know I would 

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      • I don’t think any billionaire, even ones who are passionate fans, are willing to sink money into a club forever. We need to realise that this is a fad. Much like the global securities market was a bubble, the global housing market… all of it. People swore that these things were the gospel truth in a modern economy and now three continents are tottering because people couldn’t think even slightly long-term. Abramovich is already cutting back and has to face some tough decisions very remniscient of us (have you seen his failed bid to buy the Chelsea pitch so that they can start on plans to move to a bigger stadium?). Mansour will get bored. Inevitably.

        There is very little sugar-coating here. From “can we do the double this year?”, we’re now aiming for top 4. We have to ride this period out. I know it was just a throwaway comment, but to hear Wenger say “I hope a manager stands before you in 1000 years…”, it does give you this certain pride in the durability of the club. The rest (bar maybe Man U and Liverpool) are really just pretenders.

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      • hm.. im abit more optimistic on winning trophies such as the carling cup and fa cup. we were close last season so i think its actually achievable. however the premier league and champions league is definately out of our reach. with our model we cant compete with rich owners with bottomless pockets unless of course we improve our revenue but thats the thing that bugs most fans. do we really dont have enough money to buy even 1 star player at the moment? would the board actually spend on star players if we do have the money? or does the board want to stick with the current transfer policy no matter we are rich or not. last time i checked we had enough funds to buy at least 1 star player and not breaking the bank at the same but of course we didnt.

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    • 1. thw14 says:
      October 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm
      I think the fact that Arsenal offers its fans more of a question/say etc. to the owners and more of an interaction with the club’s management than practically any other club in the world is being abused
      Why bother offer this kind of session if the questions are sensored and they only choose to answer the questions they feel like answering….bullsh!t if you ask me:and just a stunt that makes people like yourself think the club are being inovative ….and they are not.By your reckoning arsenal supporters should only ask polite questions that the board can answer………again bullsh!t .Ok I will try a question for you .If arsene puts the cllub before anything else and only does what is best for the club and so do the board why did they not get the best possible price for there captain and why was it left to the last minute to seal the deal and then get replacements who are not of equal quality or even close.why are players who show a distinct lack of effort and who also make elmentary mistakes being rewarded with the captaincy in the next game they play .why is the arsenal squad no where near good enough to compete for titles or cup compitions with the actual ambition of trying to win the competition we are in .Yes these are more difficult questions to answer but in reality these are the questions that need answering for the team to get back the respect of the fans and for the real fans to get behind there team as the performance of the team at the end of last season was not exceptable for any premire league team .We are told the team will give every last drop of blood to do there best by the manager and then after the next bad perfomance the players them selves tell you directly they did not try hard enough.The amount of money being paid to these so called prefessional s is obscene and for them to then turn around and say they did not try hard enough should tell you all you need to no ….the winning attitude has long left wenger ,the board and the current team it is as if there current level is exceptable as they cannot compete with the finacial might of other clubs and that is just not exceptable to the majority of fans as arsenal as a club are not doing all they can and trying as hard as they can to win trophies as the top four seesms to be there goal ps- if some one publically told me I was out of touch ,so be it might be bothered for five minutes but that would be it .I am still furious we lost by 8 goals to any team and yes that was truly disgusting.we live in the real world where real questions need to be answered not some pussyfooting about crap which is exactly what the AGM was and a complete waist of time

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      • You need to press the enter button more

        “and they are not.By your reckoning arsenal supporters should only ask polite questions that the board can answer………again bullsh!t .”

        I’m sorry, if you’re civilized, you would actually try your best to ask polite questions — questions that are not offensive, but also has the point that you have wanted to ask.

        Instead of saying that PHW was out of touch and David Dein should replace him, a more polite question would be “We’ve seen that Mr. Peter Hill-Wood has often been too disconnected from the general attitude and feeling of the fans, so with concern in regards to this, would you agree that Mr. David Dein could do a job for the board, or even replace you?”

        “why did they not get the best possible price for there captain and why was it left to the last minute to seal the deal and then get replacements who are not of equal quality or even close.”

        dear Illogical,

        What is your definition of ‘best possible price’?

        If you said ‘best price’ I would have left it off as it is, but with the adjective ‘possible’ it’s a whole other dimension. Face it, Barcelona didn’t have the money. To get the best POSSIBLE deal, we’d have to compromise. The only POSSIBLE deal we can accept is a compromise of Cesc’s valuation. Seriously, if we did not compromise, we would not have sold him.

        “I am still furious we lost by 8 goals to any team and yes that was truly disgusting.we live in the real world where real questions need to be answered not some pussyfooting about crap which is exactly what the AGM was and a complete waist of time”

        Get over it, we’re getting better. We may not be at our best, but then that’s what Wenger has pampered you into, a fan that consistently expects us to win everything or lose by less than 8 goals. 8 goals is humiliating, but it was just a game and we lost. I’m guessing you would have been less furious if it was 2 goals? Does that make a difference? Other than Goal Difference and psychology NOT AT ALL.

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  22. The thousand year Reich scenario. Frankly that was and is embarrassing. How about the next 18 months – on the one step at a time scenario ? Leave it for someone else to worry about Arsenal in 3011.

    The idea that any of the questions might be pertinent rather than subservient and that this is an outrage, is pathetic beyond words. Not every Arsenal fan or shareholder has the mindset of a medieval serf, or a North Korean peasant.

    Nor is everyone suggesting we break the Club with borrowing or that the two main shareholders subsidise us. As Blogger has said, maximising our own resources is the the way forward and vast amounts of cash in the bank with gaping holes on the pitch is a poor imbalance to what we really need.

    This current set up with City, Chelsea and quite possibly others doing what they do, is here to stay and the predictions of their respective owners getting bored and walking away doesn’t look like happening to me. And FFP is meaningless as City’s new ‘sponsorship deal’ has confirmed.

    So we’re going to have to use all the weapons at our disposal to compete. And if we don’t it isn’t City and Utd we will have to worry about so much as Spurs and a resurgent Liverpool.

    I fail to see how expressing concerns about that makes you a traitor to the Arsenal cause.

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    • spot on. we are not asking the club to do the impossible or to gamble all of our funds. people say rich owners will get bored but when will they get bored? 5years? 10years? ok lets say roman and sheikh does get bored within another 5years but can guarantee that even if they leave, the current club they own wont stay competitive and go bust? or yet another rich owner comes in and buy another club?

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    • Expressing concerns doesn’t. Snarling at the Board during an AGM does. Writing off players who are working diligently to get us back on track is nothing less than base treachery. As much as we have a quasi-democratic right as fans to criticize, we also have a duty, as fans (as opposed to rag journalists or opposition) to temper the language of that criticism with respect for the club and people who represent it.

      As for the 60 million in the bank, can you seriously allege that they didn’t try? We had bids in for Gotze, for Hazard, for Mata. Significant ones, from reports, figures which would’ve broken our records. And yet, no go. What does this tell you? That if we have 60, someone else has 600. Then comes the argument – are you telling me in alllll of footballdom, we couldn’t find two players…. except, we did. We found 9. Arteta, Benayoun, Gervinho IS where we’re shopping at the moment, not for lack of effort, but because we are obscenely out-muscled financially. And they’ve come in and performed.

      They are talking about updating FFP to match Man City’s tactics. Their wriggling doesn’t make it any less likely that they’re going to get called out sooner or later.

      But apart from all the more detailed argument, my larger point is just that it is a sad, sad scene when ‘fans’ feel justified in spewing aggression at an AGM.

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      • i know we didnt sign mata cos we cant compete with wages chelsea was offering. but as i know hazard was available during the summer with no real offers/competitors from any clubs the player himself expressed he would love to come to arsenal as well.

        i agree with u that sayinig negative things about our current squad is not for the benefit of the club but i do feel expressing concerns wont change anything with the answers they are giving at the agm. i dont think the board will change anything unless theres a mass protest or something.

        in truth though there is little we fans can do. lets be honest do we really think we can change anything with these meetings?

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      • How do you “know” Hazard was available?

        You don’t. And frankly, he wasn’t. After selling a couple of players and getting a shot at Champions League, Lille were never going to sell him. End of.

        One season in CL and another good season in France and his price will sky-rocket. Lille don’t need the money so why would they sell him right now?

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  23. Stab John Terry in the Face Foundation

    Is it me or unveiling a bust of someone for lifetime service or achievement at a ‘ceremony’ whilst still under employment, where you’d expect quite a few disgruntled natives, albeit in slightly shitty circumstances is just the shittiest PR for a club that lately it must be said, has the most pathetic out of touch PR.

    Where the fuck has my Arsenal gone?

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  24. Yet again aw comes out with dignity. Phw and his family have been great for years at arsenal and we thank for this but unfortunately his views albeit as a figurehead as mentioned are extremely dated and have been for a while. He has made many public boobs over the years notably telling the world our captain at the time wouldn’t get in Barcas team. In my view the final straw in cescs commitment to our club even though I admit it was inevitable he was going to leave. Gazidis typically talked about the financial model arsenals new fashionable word to cover up failure. If we are going to move forward as a club we need to stop dreaming about financial fair play rule being our saviour as city are going to milk the crap out of that rule. The fans are massively within there right to question this board as they are under achieving. Not financially but in sporting terms. I know I don’t support arsenal the business I support arsenal the club. The football team. Is it the way football is nowadays greedy players greedy board members and unhappy fans. Let’s be honest the last time arsenal signed a marquee name/ player to long to remember. Unfortunately nothing is going to change as our board are very old fashioned and cautious. Manchester united owed 600/700 million but that manage to continue to buy a big signing to revolutionise there side in each because there club is worth loads more in value. We owe a mere 100 mill. When we moved to the emirates we were told it was a mortgage and it won’t affect the playing staff and our ability to compete at the top. Well we have gi e from being champions to not winning a trophy for six years and accosting now that getting in the top FOUR is the be all and end all and for a great club like ours surely that has to be wrong.

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  25. The guy sf is everything that is wrong about arsenal right now. You settle for second best mate if you like. Not asking to compete with city or Chelsea in the transfer market but we could at least conduct our transfers in a better more professional manner and spend the money that we have received in player transfers to enable us to compete with the other also rans like spurs and Liverpool etc there is nothing wrong with wanting to win things.

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    • Precisely. And whilst we are about it the “we have no right to win things every year” is the proverbial straw man to end all straw men argument.

      No Arsenal fan I’ve ever heard of, has made this exact point.

      But ‘every yea’r or ‘every other year’, does not equate to ‘every six or seven years'; or eight of ten, or seventeen years for that matter. So let’s hope we can land our first competitive trophy for said 7 years in 2012. That might be the one thing we can all agree on.

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  26. I don’t think the self sustainable model is what is pissing off the supporters. What is pissing us off is not resigning your top talent, not spending some of that 60 million sitting in the bank and not taking more overseas trips to generate marketing money.

    Arsenal have built a great stadium, academy and training grounds. Our team is really set up well moving forward. Let’s see if they will buy a Cahill, or Goetze. That is what we are waiting for. We love the fact Arsene gets a Santos and Mertesacker for so cheap. Of the fact he finds Koscielny, Viera, Anelka for practically notthing. But that will only get you half way there. You have to keep your best players and were not doing a good job of doing that. Also because of the penny pinching we’ve missed out on Mata, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Cahill and now Hazzard. The fans see 60 mil in the bank and us in 7th place and it drives us crazy.

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    • Mata and Cahill were severely overpriced. Phil Jones is a United fan. We havnt missed out on Hazard yet but i reckon he’ll be overpriced too.

      I’d prefer to not buy anyone at all than waste all that invaluable cesc and na$ri money.

      Young world class players will become available at the right price. Wenger is waiting.

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  27. I like the question about wenger if he is able to delagate, shame it wasn’t answered so clearly he is doing too much. Ticket prices are probably the highest in the world so that Arsenal can fund kroneke’s US sports clubs during this economic climate? Hmmm

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  28. A reminder of football afterall is about business.

    As for Arsene, is it just me or has he been using “as well” alot lately?

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  29. “Young world class players will become available at the right price.”. And when they realise they will win fuck all with us because we prefer banking the money rather than spending it they will fuck off like the others have.

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  30. Like someone said on Twitter, it seems that some of our ‘fans’ really want us to fail. I guess it’s all opinion and like the saying goes a lot of assholes have them. I think that”s how the saying goes.

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  31. You lot are mostly cunts.

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  32. 3 league titles, 0 champions league in 15 years and Wenger says we have been the most consistent club in the whole wide world in the last 15 years.

    I’m insulted. Do we look tat stupid to fed this iece of crap? This club is just something else. I tell you, they’re just too old. tooo old. Out of touch!!!

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    • If you turn that around to read: 15 years in the top 4 of the toughest league in the world (that’s what they all say) and 3 league titles to boot = Very consistent! Of course when he said that he wasn’t including ManU or R.Madrid in the equation and like it or not, other than those two no one else has been in the CL for 15 consecutive seasons while also occaisonally winning the league and almost always putting up a fight in all competitions (as bad as we’ve fallen away…there have been many times with about 10-12 games to go, we could have quite easily won the league).

      It is fun to call the club out of touch, and easy, that’s why people do it. Other than PHW and to an extent the PR team (if one exists) I think most of the others are quite alright and do their job.

      Before Chelsea won the league in 2005, they hadn’t won it for 50 years!!! Liverpool have not won the league for 20 years? So if you take Man U out of the equation, our place as consistent is hardly up for question. BUT and it’s a huge one, in another 2-3 years if we still haven’t won anything…the other teams would have caught up with our 15 year record and we won’t have much to write home about!

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  33. I like football. This agm shit is pure bollocks as far as I’m concerned. Wake me up for Chelsea.

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    • Of course this article is about the business side of the club which is indeed very important but it begs the question whether some fans care more about success or rather, more about money. Obviously those are generally two connected concepts but it appears that some fans just want Arsenal to be rich and powerful like other, ahem, ¢lubs. I’m not saying that’s impossible to achieve but some fans only seem to want what they can’t have. Plus, tough as it may be, I’ve only read one poster actually mention anything about winning something this year, and the most recent poster actually acknowledge the next game which in all honestly is the only thing us fans can focus on. Maybe I’m being too pedantic or idealistic but like it or not, we don’t run the club, we support the club and I’m confident other clubs have been and are in much worse circumstances than the Arsenal are now.

      Come on you Gooners!

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  34. Does anyone know if frog who posts on here often does a podcast?

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  35. Nice to see everyone remaining so positive and united…

    Remember we’re all Red & White and not blue or sky blue with black oily stains on. Let’s all harness the spirit of Diaby and kick the ‘definitely not racist one’ n’ co in the face on Saturday.
    Refuse to be divided and we shan’t be conquered.
    Up the Arse!

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  36. I have to believe Dein and Red/White had plants in the audience and questions. It’s just that hard for me to believe anyone else would ask those questions and then heckle around them. Seriously, you want a guy on the board who is pretty much a criminal and publicly pushed for dividends? And you want the guy back who personally profited by selling to this guy? And whose son makes a truckload of money engineering huge contracts for our players or moves away. WTF?!
    And then the comments on here because of our lack of ambition because we didn’t buy Cahill?!?!?! Seriously… He is definitely a rock at the back of that Bolton defense… I wouldn’t be against getting him, but the price was wrong and I still wouldn’t think he is world class just because he has the “right” passport.
    But my comments must be because I don’t have the vast knowledge of the inner workings of the club and what players are thinking like some supporters. I wish I had their sources to know that arsenal didnt try to sign x and y player. Or that there was any chance Cesc was ever going to play for us again (because he loves us so much) and thus didn’t force our hand in getting screwed by Barca and late at that. If we had done our business early, would you have been happy with the crap money they were offering us then. Doubt it.
    Aw screw it. I agree with Wenger. Lets get behind the team. Remember, those other clubs are the cunts. Not us or the board or own players or the manager.

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  37. The internet is a great thing. It has also given ‘voice’ to a bunch of right cunts.

    I like arseblog, I think i’ll go back to reading the posts each morning, forming my own opinion, as ever, about things and leaving it there. The arseblog ‘brand’ unfortunately is sullied by the vast majority of tail-wagging, wide-eyed cheerleaders who post on the news site under the articles, which are well-written, timely, informative, and usually funny.

    A cursory glance of ANY seemingly ‘negative’ (ie not toeing the party line) comment will reveal a deluge of thumbs down, usually resulting in the apparently awful text being hidden, presumably to protect the delicate eyes, and feelings, of the majority.

    It’s a joke, it used to amuse me, now it’s just depressing. There’s no point getting into a pissing contest over who on here is actually a ‘true’ fan, and who isn’t – I know I can hold my head high on roots, history, attendance, and any other metric you want to measure such things by. But being a fan, in my opinion, doesn’t mean automatically accepting everything the club/manager does as right/gospel etc. The AKB/IAWT stuff is infantile and embarrassing, and those that spout that inane, ill-thought out rubbish without backing it up are appealing to the lowest common denominator, and are really tiresome to sift through to find the few insightful, considered opinions.

    Anyway, great blog, will continue to enjoy reading it.

    I’ll be at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, and I will support the team as vocally and forcefully as I always do. After that I’ll continue to spend the majority of my ‘disposable’ income on following my team, as I have all my life.

    And I will always reserve the fundamental right to criticise when I see fit, and praise where it’s due, and I raise a glass to all who do the same.

    COYG.

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    • I also hate the invisibility of comments. It takes away from the discussion. It’s the only part of this site I dislike. I give the invisibility thing a thumbs down.

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  38. Good point Rich! Being a fan is not all about being hunky-dory with whatever happens at a Club! Another way to look at frustrated opinions of fans is to consider the fact that their anger also goes on to show that they truly feel for the club and believe that the club has potential to be much better subject to certain organisation handling practices which clearly seem to be lacking right now. Maybe calling PHW a cunt isnt right, but seriously theres not much to possibly defend his shoddy performance at the AGM. Arsene as usual was polished and sophisticated and we can see how loyal and emotional he is towards the club. He may have made wrong decisions in the past few years, but lets not forget who hes dealing with every day! And that for a man who is 62, is incredible! Up the Arse and stop bickering at each other like a bunch of gonad gloryhunters! Call for some maturity here, stop behaving like Adebayor!

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