Arsenal AGM 2012 report

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

Having denied shareholders the right to ask un-vetted questions at the previous AGM, the Arsenal board must have been quaking in their brogues at the thought of being confronted blind by the pesky stake-holding minority on the back of two acutely abysmal performances. The renewed potential for unsolicited bile was facilitated by the AST who demanded that exposure to interrogation from the floor be reinstated as a statutory requirement. The poised minions did not disappoint as the somewhat inevitable stench of eau de hostility diffused into the atmosphere and heated exchanges ensued.

Gazidis began proceedings with the usual assertion of the board’s commitment to success, winning trophies and competing at the highest level with the top clubs, in keeping with the financial values to which we are inextricably linked. He spoke about his optimism and faith that Financial Fair Play will benefit Arsenal in the long term and perhaps more interestingly confirmed that we will have acquired the resources for tangible success within the next two years.

As questions rolled in from the floor it became apparent that Gazidis was shielding the indignant and patronising responses of Peter Hill-Wood and, more surprisingly, answering questions directed at Kroenke, continually asserting that the board as a collective makes the decisions that affect the club, not one individual.

When Silent Stan did speak, it was to explain for the second year running that he didn’t really know why he was there, despite being the majority shareholder. He then dodged a question concerning dividend payments which, worryingly, did nothing to rule out the possibility of him taking money from the club to line his own pockets. In addition to this, Stan denied he hadn’t had meetings with fan groups post takeover which led to head of the AST Tim Payton storming the mic. Payton insists that absolutely no meetings have been held between Kroenke and any fan groups since the takeover.

Arsène Wenger’s speech elucidated what everyone in the room already knew – that he views Champions League qualification as the third trophy. He also revealed – contrary to the club’s official line – that Giroud and Podolski were purchased as replacements for Robin van Persie, not as additions to the squad. His acknowledgement of fan disenchantment and call for a united front were nothing new, but his offer to meet with potentially unhappy fans at the end of the season was definitely a step into previously unchartered territory.

In summation, despite the tactic of using ultra smooth Gazidis as the mouthpiece, this was viewed as one of the most fractious AGMs of the past ten years. The board are still failing to convince shareholders that their joint investment is aligned with identical ambition.

Bullet by bullet report

Ivan Gazidis

  • Acknowledgement of the achievements of the Arsenal Ladies’ team, going through the whole season unbeaten.
  • Appreciation for the contribution of Pat Rice. 44 years with the club as player and coach.
  • Our emotions are raw after two difficult losses. AGM is the time to show perspective.
  • Our ambition is shared by everyone at this table and everyone in this room. Ambition all about football – to compete at the top of the game here and in Europe, to win trophies in a good way, that protects our values. Important to understand our off field journey. Must have foundation of viable and sustainable business on which to build.
  • Arsenal took a bold decision to build a new state of the art home that would elevate us from a leading club in Europe to a leading club in the world. Brave and ambitious. Massive leap forward had to be undertaken with fundamental Arsenal principles at its core. A path of independence and self-reliance is paramount. Must stand on our own two feet.
  • Hasn’t been easy journey. Many clubs have tried and failed to follow us. We can be proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve done it. Ten years later we are coming to the end of the stadium move.
  • Long term and affordable rates of debt. Time to take advantage of our successful position. Commercial revenue streams doing well. Tours of Asia in the past two years. Primary commercial deals that made stadium possible are coming to an end and now we need to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • We are at the forefront as Financial Fair Play comes into practice. In the next two years Arsenal will have the financial resources to compete among the leading clubs in the world.
Our financial success is relevant because it supports out football vision. The money we generate is available to our manager. Arsène makes the decisions about how it is spent. He has done brilliantly considering the spending of other clubs.
  • He has made sure that we have qualified for the CL for 15 successive seasons. Arsenal are a top ranked UEFA team. This is taken for granted. Not viewed as an achievement anymore. We have played some of the most attractive football in the world.
  • We can and will return the club to winning trophies. This is our shared ambition. We will achieve this if we stand together, if we keep to our values and if we continue to be brave. Standing together we can make Arsenal one of the leading clubs in the world and we can do it in a manner that will make all of our supporters proud.

Financial Questions

Q: Ticket prices. Massive impact high prices are having on all fans. Gazidis stressed that there would be less reliance on fans as commercial deals were renewed. Will you consider freezing prices again and commit to the reduced League Cup pricing?

IVAN: Approach not based on supply and demand. Long waiting lists. Try to achieve a responsible balance between revenue stream and what we need to do to compete as a club. Attempt to have pricing that attracts fans to games. Greater percentage of our revenue comes from our local fans. Challenge is for us to compete with the massive spending around us. Only had 2 season ticket price increases in 7 years in line with inflation.

Not kept us at pace with rising costs in the game. League Cup pricing gives chance to come to the stadium at more affordable prices. This will continue despite objections from the opposing clubs. Held season ticket prices flat once again. Spent a lot of time in consultation with supporters groups to regrade the categories of games. Groups welcomed this. Protecting the club’s revenue but also created 90,000 cheaper seats for games and a £25 starting price for many games. Affordability is something we take seriously. We have a responsible, restrained approach.

Q: I hear what you say and I don’t agree with a word of it. You’re putting profit on the balance sheet over success on the pitch. You sell our best players. Operating loss of over £16m has affected the transfer dealings. Was RVP sold to comply with UEFA fair play rules?

PHW: No. We’re compliant with FFP but money is available to strengthen squad as Arsène sees fit.

IVAN: We’re trying to run a self-reliant football club. Objective not profit, but to have success on the pitch. Player wages escalating, there’s new money from outside the game. Clubs going into bankruptcy in Europe and increasingly in England. There has to be a more sustainable environment. We lose a player like RVP, not because we want to, but have to make sure we are creating a sustainable future for ourselves. Football is heading in our direction. Confident that we will be able to retain our best players. It’s been a challenging time for us. Can’t deny that.

Q: You talk about how ambitious we are. I believe fans and board have different ambitions. Estimates by outside bodies say our uncommitted cash reserves are at £70m. Is this money really available for Wenger to use?

IVAN: We don’t talk publicly about the money we have available despite being transparent. We certainly do make the money we have available for reinvestment into the team. That doesn’t mean that we spend every penny in each transfer window. We have forward commitments, debt and future operating costs. Within constraints, all money we make is available to make a competitive team. The nature of the transfer market is lumpy.

There are v. limited no. of top clubs, competing for a very limited number of the same players. There may be issues with a player in terms of contractual obligations and fitting in with your team. You can buy someone who is available but not top quality, or wait and buy someone who your manager actually wants. Judge us over time by looking at league performance against spending. We spend the money we have and we will spend it all. Over time we have out performed that spend every single year for 15 years. Tremendous consistency. Arsène has managed our resources and kept us at the top of the game. Spending all the money isn’t the answer to all the challenges we face in the modern game.

Q: No plans for the majority owner (Stan) to take dividend payments? Board’s intention to release cash?

STAN: Tendency to direct these questions at me. This club is run through the board. These are board decisions. I am a majority shareholder. It’s clear that we have a record in sports around the world and they can look at our record with our other clubs and we’ve never put any debt on this club for acquisition. We’ve never said money isn’t available to spend. We’ve acquired our own resources. The one regret I have with Arsenal is that I didn’t get involved earlier. We have a record of reinvestment in other clubs and it’s there for everyone else to see.

IVAN: Dividends are a board decision. Board looked closely at Stan’s record of reinvestment. Stan has done everything he said he would do. He hasn’t placed debt on the club and he will help us be at the top of the game.

Q: In 2007 Arsenal commercial income £42m – same as United. United’s has rocketed since then, not ours. Not all down to poor deals on stadium naming rights and sponsorship.

IVAN: Easy to second guess deals. I don’t think we did poor deals. Tempting to think that you develop your commercial revenue by going and negotiating deals. You have to develop capability across the club. United’s is a result of investment in that club. Touring, digital capacity, CRM servicing and a wide range of different issues. We have also been investing in those capabilities. It doesn’t happen over night. Three years ago we had a very small commercial department.

Our commercial group is developing opportunities all around the world. Asia tours for example. Serious about strengthening our appeal around the world. Consistent values, important to partners. London location, together with our football performance make us very attractive. Grown commercial values again this year. Will see more growth soon.

Q: FFP – Will introduction actually create a level playing field where Arsenal will be able to compete again for best players? Or will bank rolled clubs still have the advantage?

Ivan: Optimistic about FFP in Europe. Not being driven by Platini as a UEFA plan to punish English football clubs. Driven by clubs themselves. Idea of enforcement mechanism to make clubs live within their means. Developed from small idea to something that today is unanimously supported by clubs. Comes from clubs, not UEFA – crying out for more sustainable environment in which to operate. Tremendous pressure on UEFA to enforce these regulations.

Pressure from clubs gives me optimism. UEFA are putting measures in place to start enforcing financial regulations. Convinced they are intending to take this seriously. Growing consensus within EPL itself that we need greater financial regulation. Strong movement – convinced this will happen at a domestic level. Will benefit game and Arsenal. Even if UEFA enforcement falls short, break-even principles at EPL level will still happen and enhance our position.

Q: Many supporters are from Fanshare scheme. 2,000 + fans given the chance to belong with symbolic ownership stake. Since takeover, fewer shares available. Stan, please will you hold your first meeting with Fanshare supporters? You pledged to do this. Talk about how we can work together to secure scheme’s future.

IVAN: Football club run through board. I’ve met with Fanshare board many times and I’ve kept our board informed. We are aware of liquidity issues. Stan has met with fan groups in the past. I meet regularly with our fan groups. Key issue is fan engagement. We believe in it and I commit that we will all do this. We do this more than any other major football club that I’m aware of and so will individual members of the board.

Q: Can we have a meeting that does include Stan please?

STAN: I have met with fan groups.

Tim Payton (storming the mic): Legal commitment in takeover document that you would meet with Arsenal supporters. You haven’t done that.

Applause.

STAN: I’m surprised that Tim would stand up and make that statement because I’ve met with him several times. I’ve met with several fan groups.

IVAN: Can I de-personalise this a bit? It’s not about any of the individuals. We run this club through our board of directors. The idea that one person makes the decisions for the club is not right.

Long pause.

PHW: Ok.

Laughter.

Q: If you put something in writing Stan, you are obliged to go through with it.

STAN: I guess I’m missing something because I thought I answered that.

Q: You talk about uniting and working together. Can you give us an update on the 30% shareholder who is probably not here. Are we working together and pulling in the same direction?

PHW: Red and White (Usmanov)? I don’t know. When were they last in touch?
Jeers.

IVAN: I’ve been very transparent. There are differences of opinion, but the basic thrust of what we’re doing is united and conflict is overstated.

Q: RVP didn’t believe club has the ambition that he has. It’s not just about money. Painful and humiliating. I don’t know how to explain this to my son.

Applause.

IVAN: I’m not sure if that’s a question or an expression of angst. We’re losing a bit of order now. Let’s get through the pre-submitted questions first and then open up to the floor.

Q: Your whole model is totally reliant on your approach of sustainability meeting with the FFP approach. If it doesn’t, you’re admitting to the room that we can’t compete at the top level. Every summer we lose our top players to people who are spending more money on players and wages. These clubs may not be stopped by FFP and everyone is cynical about it. If we’re unsuccessful in stopping their approach we have nothing else. One trick pony and you’ve said your skeptical about it.

IVAN: Even in a non-FFP world, I think we can complete. You assume that Man C. and Chelsea will continue to spend as they are now, forever. Made point about development of the revenues in our club. Other option is to outspend people who seemingly have limitless resources and that isn’t a great strategy either.

Q: Are we prepared to sacrifice winning EPL and CL for 20 years for principles?

IVAN: No, we aren’t, but we are advocates of FFP. Don’t monopolise the mic. I will have tea and biscuits with you afterwards.

Arsene Wenger’s address

Sorry for last night. I used to say to the players that our job is not to talk, but to produce performances, so I don’t really want to talk today.

Thanks Pat Rice.

A lot of dissatisfaction and I understand that because we want to win, but important that we don’t go overboard. If everyone is devastated when we finish 3rd in the league, I promise I won’t be here when we finish 15th in the league.

Not many teams don’t lose at all for 43 games. We finished 3rd last year in a season where we had a very difficult start. We had to be solid. One of the consequences of last year is that the club has been solid. During the season we didn’t have Wilshere and Diaby.We bought Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud because we anticiplated RVP departure. We lost 40 goals. I think our new players will be a success. Started in a very convincing, promising way. Hit the wall in the last two games in an unexplainable way.

Team attitude and focus is very good, particularly in training. Good to have players coming back. Always difficult after a defeat to look at the bigger picture. I am optimistic that we will have a good season.
Don’t want to go too much into financial discussion. My job is with the team. You can be proud when you produce the resources from which your team delivers. I wouldn’t be proud to take my wages from money that the club hasn’t produced. We produce our own players, have our own style of our play. Proud of the way we want to behave.

Important that 60-80%  of players come from our own ranks. The rest have to be top class players. When we speak about trophies, I rank them as follows: 1. EPL 2. CL. 3. Qualify CL. 4. FA Cup. 5. League Cup.

If you want to attract the best players, they don’t ask if you won the League Cup, they ask if you play in the CL. Anecdote to illustrate that club comes before individual manager success – priority to qualify for CL. 90% managers feel the same. I accept every different opinion.

The modern world creates smaller communities within bigger ones. Little communities have to learn to live together for the sake of the strength of our club. Even if we don’t agree. Must remain united for the same goals. The good of Arsenal. Sometimes we can forget that. I’m sure we can count on you for the whole season. If you’re not happy at the end of the season, I’m happy to listen to you and I’m happy to meet you. Thank you very much.

Applause.

PHW: Any other questions? Time for one or two. Are they going to be on the same subject we’ve had already?

Shouts of accusations of patronising.

Q: Arsenal Ladies don’t have as high profile stadia as European ladies. Over 5,000 saw ladies play Chelsea. Better stadia would encourage more fans.

IVAN: We invest and are more committed to women’s football than any other club in this country. We do things to a great standard for the ladies. A long term commitment. Good news: we are seeing women’s Super League getting more broadcast exposure. Sure we’ll put on another game at the Ems this season. Something we’re continuing to develop and remain committed to. This is something we can all be proud of.

Q: In event of 1,2, 3 teams going out in group stages of CL, will there still be 4 places for English clubs?

IVAN: Yes.

Q: Season ticket prices frozen. Club level prices are increasing. You do not choose to mention that. Says a lot that you do not include us. Not transparent at all. Disrespectful and treats us like we’re a cash cow.

IVAN: I acknowledge that this is a mistake. We’ve had a 2% increase. Reinvestment at club level has been dramatic. I take your point on board fully.

Q: £13.90 for fish and chips is indeed dramatic.

Laughter.

Q: What criteria used to raise CEO’s wages?

PHW: All renumeration from club is considered by renumeration committee. Ivan and Ken extremely valuable members of the club and it was committee’s considered opinion that they were fairly rewarded for an extremely good year. So that’s why we agreed to it.

Q: Clarify your commitment to Red and Silver members over individual ticket pricing for matches.

IVAN: Held season ticket prices with the exception of club level flat, with long waiting lists. Costs in the game have gone up dramatically over the last seven years. Instead of increasing all the time, we’ve tried to be responsible and balance the pressure we have to spend money on players and pressure we have to generate that revenue in responsible manner. We try to achieve a good balance since we got new stadium.

Q: Most expensive tickets in the world.

Silence.

Q: 23 clubs across Europe falling foul of FFP, excluded from European competitions this year. What about Chelsea and Man C?

IVAN: Different part of the regulations. This is not the part that enforces break-even test, it’s overdue payments where UEFA has enforced regulations.

PHW: Well, I think we’ve really had enough questions if you don’t mind. One more, otherwise we’ll be here all day.

Q: I’ve been coming to these AGMs for years and nothing really changes. Please tell me if there will be changes to the board in terms of age, gender, increasing members.

PHW: We’re all getting older. I think we’re guiding the club in the right direction. I’m not sure we’re looking at increasing the number of directors. Thank you. Ivan is prepared to stay and answer your questions. Thank you for your support and your interest in our affairs.

Disbelieving jeers. People leave.

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163 Comments on "Arsenal AGM 2012 report"

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BillyBatts

Has Silent Stan been on the Just for Men? I think he haaaas….

comment image

Heh

Stan kroenke strikes me as those grumpy southern American oldies who sit (rocking chair ofcourse) on the balcony of their wretched houses hymning to different equally depressing music, guitar in hand.

Only this one has a shit load of money so he just has to live the good life.

ARSENAL

I want that bastard hill-wood out.ncheap classless fuckwit

TomJ

I think you’re getting the thumbs down there for the way you portrayed it, nobody could disagree with the sentiment. Reading that after a long day at work was depressing

gabe

Just in: Stan kroenke replaces Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in the upcoming Lincoln movie!

Aitchem

Can you give us a a one word rating of the Board. As you have started to do with the players after a game.

Thank you

Dr Baptiste

Outdated

BillyBatts

Crusty

alex1609

Bewildering

Lapidarij

$ $ instead of eyes!

goontang

Disgraceful.

Thankyou to the AST representative for this. We have been waiting a long time for someone to voice the fans concerns and i am 100% behind everything you threw at those grumpy clueless cunts.

I especially liked the question about how to explain to your son why RVP was sold.

big black clock

Peter-Hill Wood is an arrogant, disrespectful, senile old wanker who is ruining this beautiful club.

Also, if Stan is seriously planning to give out dividends to reward himself and the bunch of crony old fucks in the board, then I’m gonna go all al-Zaidi and throw a shoe at him when I see him in the next Annual Bullshit Meeting

ETID

Hahahaha – exactly how is hill-wood ruining this club? he is an unpaid chairman who has a minute shateholding receiving no dividends. he chairs meetings and makes the odd media comment when no-one else is available. That is it. if we replaced him we could replace him with gunnersauras who has far more to do than him and gets paid for more for it. re-direct your anger and “get him out” statements to where it really matters – kroenke. everyone is employed by the club necause of his large majority shareholding. he has been given far too much power of this once beautiful club. hill-wood gazidis and wenger are just his puppets in most cases i would say muppets!

diefenbaker

Im all for the gunnersaurus taking over.

Bet if we’ve played terribly the 2 matches like we have , and won instead of losing, the gooners would have been holding hands singing kumbaya instead,
Glad to see some emotions taking in natural cause since the timing has caught the Board with they pants down.

god I cant go another week seeing ramsey & gervinho starting, every team must have some tolerance level of not so good players they can have, we’re a mid level team with a world class collective player salary, how do they explain that.

Der Springer

A thumbs up for the shoe throwing image. I don’t see that Stan said that he would be taking dividends; he dodged the question and did not give the ‘No’ that many wanted to hear. It would be interesting to know if he takes dividends from any of his other sports endeavors. My 90 second web investigation did not reveal any info.

nishanth

Hillwood- Embarrassing and disrespectful.

Best in the world

PHW is a cunt

Dr Baptiste

That’s a bit unfair on cunts

Goonerhea

Terry and Nasri are starting to feel a little nice about themselves, so just a quick clarification. It’s even more unfair to cunts in their case.

Ben

Can we transfer PHW?

I think that would balance our figures for Fuckwit Fair Play.

gabe

Breaking news: Stoke city offers 45,000 pounds to arsenal for PHW.

Dr Baptiste

So, that seemed to go well………

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

Perhaps one of the questioners should have said “Dave Hack, Daily Star. Now Pete, about ticket prices…?”

That would probably open him up and make him talk a bit more openly, hey.

One to bear in mind next AGM perhaps

Le sausage

What a wanker, what are they paying themselves for exactly!? A good year!? Average at best…This is THE Arsenal we’re talking about, not some mid table team. A good year equates to winning shit.

uler56

Why would Stan Kroenke so obviously lie about meeting fan groups? It is also very disturbing how much Gazidis shielded Kroenke, is he incapable of answering questions?

Still all very interesting, probably the last time the AGM will be in this format though as the Board won’t like being questioned in this manner.

R.V.FEE

I really dont give a damn about this crap. Trophies please!!!

vino

Arsenal in the midst of a bad patch of history, looks like it’s going to get a bit worse before it gets better. We are well set up for the future however, but the next few seasons are not going to be pleasant viewing.

Lundoner

I not sure when we look through the history books we can really describe several continuous years of top 4 finishes and champions league a ‘bad patch’. It’s frustrating we aren’t winning trophies and the obvious issues aren’t being addressed but it’s all relative.

GoonerEll

Lundoner – you have hit it on the head. I have said it before and I will say it again. Many Gooners have been spoilt by the “golden age” of 1998-2004 and think we can have that all the time. As soon as the mafia took over Chavski (and the oil barons bought Citeh) those days were over. It’s sad, but that, I am afraid, is life, and 3rd or 4th is success. It’d be nice to win a cup or two along the way, though.

DaveG

So pleased to see some serious and sensible comments at last on this thread.

I still dream of the 98 double and the invincibles but so many forget just how poor we became between the title in 91 and the double in 98, let alone the periods of tumbleweed prior to George Graham taking over mid eighties.

Perspective from everyone is needed. I was spitting feathers after Saturdays and Wednesdays games but we are still a team who will challenge and at least be here in 10 years unlike Rangers, and possibly Chelsea and citeh if they owners pull out.

COYG

daniel

If we don’t maintain CL over the next 2 years, things might not get better.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Translation: Third or fourth is better than winning a domestic cup.

It’s true, too. We will lose as much in one year, financially speaking, if we fail to make the CL as we are supposedly going to gain overall from the supposed Adidas deal (If I have remembered the figures correctly).

However, the serious damage would be done the following year when we start to lose players who we thought were here for the long term, and fail to replace them because, as Arsene Wenger said, footballers want CL football and they will go where it goes.

If we fail to make the CL this year then the commercial improvement we are expecting over the next two years won’t happen. Our new deals will be smaller than expected, and we could drop into the also-ran positions. (Granted Arsenal were in those positions for the vast majority of years that I have supported them, but there was never such a formidable glass ceiling to getting to the top as there is now. We do not want to slip beneath it).

I think the most important thing we should all take from this is Wenger’s call to all pull together and get behind the club. If we hammer them at each game because we’re only third or fourth in the table and boo any mistakes we are going to sink the team. I don’t care how much character we are told the team have when we win, I believe most of them are in a very fragile state of mind and have the same insecurities as we do, and if we don’t get behind them we’ll see more losses as they start to worry about getting hammered by their own fans for any mistake they make.

Pele of Romford

Honestly after hearing PHW’s comments. I’m not putting a single penny into the club until he fucks off.
Arogant Eton boy twat. Someone needs to tell him he’s a fucking custodian.
Cunt

equalitygooner

Why is the place he went to school aged 13 at all relevant? Let’s not get stroppy now

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You’d laugh at his comments if he was Del Boy, though.

I admit I was a bit upset by his attitude, but the questioning sounds like it was antagonistic from the start, so it’s not surprising somebody got upset on the board’s side of things…. or is it only fans who are allowed to get stroppy at AGMs?

I’m not surprised that they avoided discussing the actual amounts of money they make available for transfers because every club we tried to buy a player from would adjust their prices to our ability to spend if they knew what we had. They would all say “Arsenal have 70 million, so I want at least 50 million for Horatio Cuntybuttfuck, our 21 year old Peruvian keepy-uppy champion.. No company lets the competition know how much it can afford to spend to compete. Anybody expecting us to do otherwise probably still believes in Father Christmas, or believes that they are Father Christmas.

Anyway, what I want to know is “Who runs Liverpool, and why aren’t they always being criticised by their club’s own fans every single fucking day of the week like He’s-not-Silent-now-we-heard-him-speak Stan. Don’t dismiss this question with a joke, or a smartass one word answer, I actually do mean, sit down and think about that question and all it’s ramifications for a while.

Mach III

What a disgrace that PHW is involved in our club.

JamesBernthal

PHW is secretly John Terry’s Uncle

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

So the fans should be able to be aggressive and sarcastic to him and the rest of the board without fear of even a sarcastic reply?

Keyboard warriors having sarcasm thrown at them when they try it on in the real world, eh? Shocking. He’s a cunt. How dare he?

arseblood

Arsenal fans fucked in the ass….again.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

No, that was the Rangers and Portsmouth fans.

All you’ve had to live through is seven years of Arsenal performing at a higher average level than at any similar period outside 1932-1938 or 1998-2004. That isn’t being fucked in the arse, that is being successful.

Yes, it isn’t winning trophies, but it isn’t midtable, relegation fodder, or The Championship either.

nishanth

Wenger’s attitude towards the cup competetions is just plain wrong in my opinion. Yes, qualifying for the champions league is really really important to the club. But that shouldn’t stop us from challenging for the domestic cups. Or does Arsene think that our squad is so poor and weak that we can’t concentrate on both. And winning a trophy whether the FA CUP or the league cup could do wonders to this team.
I thinks its all a spin anyway. If we end up finishing 6th this season and win the league cup wenger and the board will tell the fans to be happy because we have won a trophy!

AP

If you understand prioritisation, it means objectives have got to be ranked. And the top 3 are in the right order. You don’t go around winning all trophies in sight, even if you want to. The domestic cups are important but not essential.

COYG

Very true. Although I’d argue that if winning the EPL is the number 1 target then CL qualification is redundant.

Trophyless

You’re saying this as though every single year Arsenal is winning either Premier League or Champions League. I for one would like to see any trophy!

nishanth

Okay..So we have not done a good job of achieving those objective have we???..Do we actually stand a chance of winning the champions league??..The league cup and the FA Cup are a more realistic target. At the start of every season Wenger talks about fighting for the title. At the end of the season after we finish 3rd or 4th we are supposed to be happy with that achievement.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

If we win the FA Cup but fail to make the CL this year, we will be well and truly screwed in two years time, and the better commercial deals we thought were coming won’t happen.

I fully support Arsene Wenger’s priorities, but I wish to God that he’d find somebody who could make our players fight hard through every game like the “little teams” who we expect to beat but who kick us in the bollocks and steal “our” three points at least three or four times every year.

Character is an old and weather-wrinkled face on a fisherman living in the Outer Hebrides. Fighting Spirit, Hunger To Win and a Hard Work Ethic is what we actually need, and far more often than not our team seems to lack it so underachieves in matches we fans expect to win easily. All the bullish interviews the players give are really nothing more than lip-synching to the club lyrics unless they are backed up with actions on matchday, every matchday…. and that goes for the fans too.

Fuck knows why I am so angry today. Maybe it’s the fucking team rolling over meekly to be buttfucked two games in a row while some of the fans are busy saying that they’re being buttfucked when we are actually in the middle of one of the best runs since the club was formed (current streak of two pathetic games notwithstanding).

Mach III

Imagine if there was no champions league qualification and the only thing that mattered was winning the premier league. I’d say an FA CUP is much better than not winning the premier league. The advantage to them is cash!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

An FA Cup would shut the Press up for a while, AND their performing monkey lip-synching zombie followers (that’s Joe Public, who is angry with Arsenal because the Press tells him that Arsenal are shit because they haven’t won “anything” for seven years.)

I think people too easily overlook the psychological trophy we are awarded each season on St. Totteringham’s Day. We won it again last year. Who says we never win anything ?

JSM

Although he gets slammed for it I’m 100% with Wenger’s rating of importance of league and cups. Couldn’t give a fuck about winning COC, is there going to be an open-top bus tour for it? That would be embarrassing! Winning FA Cup would be nice but it doesn’t have the draw it used to. I’d personally prefer to get back into Europe.

James Bernthal

Embarrassed to see PHW talk to the people that matter most in such fashion. You have done a shit job since our invincible’s era, where the fuck does he get the balls to talk in such a condescending manner.

Steve Williams

PHW has my full support. Can you imagine having to take questions from a group of arrogant insufferable idiots like Tim Payton and actually dignify them with a response? I think he was quite restrained all things considered.

eleanor

Eton and the Coldstream Guards.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You know fuck all about what PHW actually does for Arsenal. None of us do.

We do know that Arsene and the board (including PHW) took a team that was averaging 7th place – we have always averaged 7th place except for two short periods of Glory (1930’s & 1998-2005) and three tiny periods of Glory (early 50’s, early 70’s & late 80’s) – and turned us into a team that averages three and a quarterth place while competing with two bottomless moneypits and that scummy red Manchester team.

Because we are “only” coming 3rd or 4th each year we saw a bunch of people angrily telling the board that they don’t have the same ambition for the club that “We” have. That’s kind of like the guy blaming his dad when his girlfriend dumps him because daddy didn’t give him more money to spend on her.

In many cases I think these are the same people who recently decided RVP was a traitor for saying the board didn’t have the same ambition as he did, but they too are now saying exactly the same thing themselves.

It seems a little bit rich to call a man a cunt for beating somebody with a stick and then pick up that same stick and continue the beating.

A Gooner

For a period of time PHW’s ramblings to his pals at the Daily Star were quite amusing for us. However, I think that his comments at the AGM today just show that he is woefully out of touch with the current disharmony between the board and fans. He displayed an alarming lack of empathy or respect for fans who are paying the highest prices in world football to watch repeated failings which haven’t properly been addressed for a number of years. Utterly dismayed by his behaviour today.

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

oh and thanks for a comprehensive write up on the AGM so quickly

nice work

JackA

I’ve just read all of the above – is this 2005 or 2012?

They repeat the same old bullshit over and over. Is there actually any point of these AGM’s anymore? I don’t think they take anything we say seriously and there is an obvious show of disrespect and arrogance from PHW (what an old tosser he is).

Fans who attend these AGM’s take time out of their lives to firstly attend (which PHW clearly can’t be arsed with) and secondly think of considerate, relevant questions that ultimately don’t get answered!

Shocking, just shocking reading to be honest. Really disappointed with all of those answers. At least Wenger has been honest I suppose, but its the Board we want answers from.

We have a long, long way to go before we are even in contention of winning trophies. Until we have a united Board, perhaps with someone in there from a younger generation and understands the modern game, we’re going nowhere.

I don’t mean to be over-dramatic and yes, it is a ‘good’ achievement to consistently qualify for the Champions League, but we’re not kicking on! We’re not building on that success, we’re going backwards if anything.

I’ll always support the players and the manager but it’s so unbelievably frustrating to be an Arsenal fan at the moment; has been for the past 7 years and will continue to be.

AD Brook

PHW talks to us like dirt then expects us to thank him for it.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Considering the tone of the “questioning” don’t you mean that if we talk to him like dirt we shouldn’t be surprised if he replies in kind?

giles

I agree with wenger with regards the cups-and it makes further sense in light of a small squad to focus on ch league qualification if you want better quality players which we all know we need-but peter hill wood eh? almost expected him to scream “out of my way you fucking plebs,i run this club-I RUN THIS FUCKING CLUB!” Fucking eton bastards,ruining everything everywhere since forever (its the school motto,but i cant find the original latin inscription)

Dog Eat Arse

But why do we loose our quality players evey year? It`s not like we dont get that great 4 trophy.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

It was the AST that were shouting “out of my way you fucking plebs,i run this club-I RUN THIS FUCKING CLUB!” the other night, wasn’t it? That’s essentially how this write-up reads. Fucking nobodies just like me, hating everything everywhere since internet forums were invented.

What?!

So all is in order it seems. Last night was really enjoyable. That was sarcasm btw, im severely depressed at the moment…

R.V.FEE

Vino, i think some one said that about four years ago. I hope no one will say it four years from now.

Attasmani

Generally the club seems to be in a very good position. We have a massive fan base, a breathtaking new stadium, good training facilities, a good academy and several young players that seem talented and committed enough to be important players for several years (SZCZ, Jenkinson, Gibbs, The OX, Wilshere, Le Coq, … )
I don’t claim to have much inside, and I don’t want to be disrespectful to people like Danny Fiszman, who certainly contributed as well.
But it seems to me that a huge part of it has been made possible by the genius of Wenger, and I’m not sure the current board has any vision or indeed any clue how to move the club forward but for Mr. Wenger.
And the way the board treats these meetings is just disgraceful. They should use these meetings to get constructive feedback and improve. Instead they pretend to know everything better, when everybody can see that there have been mistakes and a lot of our policy just doesn’t add up. That they don’t even have the courage to admit that they messed up some things and try to make it better, but lie about those things, is a clear signal that things won’t get better in future.
I’m just thankful we still have Mr. Wenger, and long my he continue!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Well, one way they say they are doing is developing the commercial side of things. United did that a few years ago and it helped them compete with Chelsea and City over the past few years on a better footing than we have had.

Also, members of the board and Arsene Wenger have all admitted that mistakes have been made, so it’s a little unfair of you to beat them with that stick.

Also, “they should use these meetings to get constructive feedback” only works if the people that go there to talk to them offer any constructive feedback. I just see a bunch of questions being used as weapons to attack the board with. Not a constructive idea in sight.

Also, can anybody who actually knows and is impartial (Don’t lie to me. If you are not impartial and you lie to me your testes will fill with gas and explode, blasting sperm all over your mother’s chin… even if you are a girl), please tell us if No-longer-Silent Stan has ever had any sort of meeting with any of the fans (and I mean any fan groups, not the just the aggressive one who accuses Stan of being a liar).

Also, on the evidence of the aggression aimed at him the other day, can anyone tell me why Stan would want to have face to face talks with people who are so clearly enraged by him.

AD Brook

PHW doesn’t run the club, he’s a figurehead. I fail to understand the anger about a few snippy comments when it’d be far more constructive to talk about Gazidis, Kroenke and the ones who make the decisions.
———————————————-

I wouldn’t be that much more constructive as ultimately we can do little about it. as proved by the years of people talking about them and the situation being exactly the same.
My gripe is with how condescending PHW is and I think its a valid point…

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

The club won the double three times without talking to the fans. It went unbeaten in the league without talking to the fans.

In my day fans did their talking on the terraces. “Good Old Arsenal, we’re proud to sing that name”, “the referee’s a wanker”, “shoot!!!!!!!!”, and “You’re going home in a fucking ambulance” were our favourite things to say. We didn’t feel the need for face to face talks with the board to tell them what we thought of them, not even in seasons when we finished as low as 7th or 8th in the league.

Ben

I don’t like PHW

who

Arsenal Football Club has transformed into Arsenal Financial Corporation. Just maddening!

Comedian

Spend that extra 10 million on special player why hold back.
Who knows if ffp is really gonna be forced on . Why the fuck wait for others to fall down under ffp.
Are we planning to win the trophies when there is no competition? Who wants that.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

That was the funniest thing I ever saw you write.

Lord Teddy Ears

What an arrogant bunch this board are we are the most expensive club in the UK and we have a ton on cash in the bank.

Last night was shameful to watch it kills me writing these words about arsenal but my god why cant we actually spend on the team.

Gerald

I wonder if its possible for the AST to put forward a motion of no confidence in Prick Hill Wood? I understand that its the board that would need to do that in order for him to get the sack. It would be a great protest action. Ultimately its disgraceful and demoralizing that we have to wait TWO YEARS to be competitive- giving Chelsea, United and City the opportunity to win 12 more trophies than us. Two years is long enough to lose the already waning prestige of the Arsenal.

I’ll give you an example: I went some days ago to purchase the away shirt at my local Nike store in South Africa, to be told that, unlike seasons before, they don’t stock it (along with the jacket and training kit) anymore. I asked why, as Barca and Man Utd have those currently in store. The man reckoned it was due to the fact that Arsenal just aren’t that big a club anymore. After the anger of strangling him, and the shambles in that report, I’m convinced in the merits of alcoholism.

BTW John Terry = Cunt

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

No, it’s not possible. The AST are just fans, so they have no power to do anything other than decide whether to cheer or boo. Seems like they prefer to boo. Fucking Spurs plants, the whole sorry lot of them if you ask me.

Nike are an Arsenal sponsor. They would never be happy hearing that one of their employees is telling customers that Arsenal aren’t a big team. They would not want to be known as a company that told people lies. They will probably send you a free shirt if you tell them you strangled him.

Rob'67

Disbelieving jeers – people leave.

Mark those words. We’ll be hearing them again.

The crucial point to come out of that, is it’s obvious Kronke is eyeing the cash mountain we have for dividends – ie for himself.

His refusal to rule it out, mean that’s he ruling it in. So a chunk of the new sponsorship money from Nike or Addidas and the shirt sponsorship, may well end up with the Walmart kid.

Great ! But just what a lot of us suspected.

Hill-Wood is a condescending, arrogant, tosser but we all knew that anyway.

As for Gazedis, if he thinks FFP will deliver silverware he’s mad. Of course he doesn’t – he just says it.

Wenger down if not yet out. Come next year and we are not in the CL, it promises to be a real slanging match, with that as merely the prelude.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Your refusal to say that you love Arsenal means that you do not love Arsenal. You are only here to cause trouble and to bring the club to it’s knees.

The crucial point to come out of that meeting, is that we have some aggressive angry fans who want, primarily, to confront the board with accusations of mismanagement and then force the board to make the changes that they demand. With your eager anticipation of the slanging match to come next year I suspect you are one of the angry ones.

I love Arsenal. Some of it’s fans I don’t love.

counter-topside

So the plan is in two years time we won’t be getting shafted by deals used to ensure the building of the stadium and FFP will apparently level the playing field for us to finally employ our enormous cash reserves to bring the Arsenal back to the forefront of football’s elite.

Wonderful, roll on the next two years. If it coincides with PHW’s sudden heart attack then all the better, insolent cunt.

counter-topside

Also this article is an excellent resource, thank you bloggs.

Swayney

How classy.

Big Dave

I cant be arsed to waste thoughtful comments about this pathetic board…

…Instead I just want to fucking slap them with a wet fish!

HH

Whatever PHW’s role at the club is, that’s no way to speak to fans and shareholders. That said, there is a part of me that prefers his bluntness to the super-smoothness of IG. But neither of their communication styles should mask the real issues that are going on at our club and also why we just went through two dog shit results.

Pele of Romford

blogs- it ain’t about what would happen if that arrogant twat fucked off. It’s about being spoken to like we should know our place. There was grown up men and women concerned about a club they loved in that meeting. And that’s how he treats them?!?
Allthe stuff nick the Greek and AW came out with was expected. But the elitist attitude both mrs Walmart and PHW showed was not on. Fuck how long he’s been at arsenal, I pay a decent percentage of my wages to travel supporting. He pays nought mate. And to be honest I couldn’t care how the St. Louis rams and the fucking New York kangaroos are doing.
Show us some respect through actions and words that’s all we’re asking. But me thinks coz they got us by the balls- they won’t. And that my friends makes them cunts.

Rob'67

Excellent Post !

If Usmanov came out with the same garbage, this sites editorial line would be demanding he was drowned in a vat of his own blood.

But because it’s the current Board and ‘dear old H-W’, then we all toe the party line.

Pathetic. But no one is fooled.

MrHoody

After seeing what the board said, I think Wenger has it really tough, more than we thought at first in fact. He doesn’t deserve the shit some of the fans give him…the board does

campberg

The truest words spoken on this entire post i cannot believe the class of the man to carry on with so much dignity in such testing times with fans venting their frustrations at him all the while that greedy patronising bunch of tw*ats were holding a knife to his back ensuring he takes the flak. Did anyone see the withering look he gave kroenke at one point he clearly was not best pleased by the callousness of the man hiding behind ivan the terrible.

jeff

Can somebody superglue PHW’s lips forever to shut the f up?!!

Lady Eowyn

Did no one ask them about Theo? Why won’t they just give him what he wants!?

ClockEndRider

Because his performances over 6 years don’t warrant it, perhaps?

Arsenals Losing Strategy
Arsenals Losing Strategy

They are just a bunch of fucking crowns!

PGunner

Wowzers, would have loved to of been in that meeting, sounds feisty.

Playing Devils Advocate here – and I completely concur that the ticket prices are hefty, as a youngster I used to go to 10-15 games a season with my dad. If I’m lucky enough to have kids, I would need to increase my not shit income by at least 25% a year to afford doing that, which is a shame considering we have a much bigger stadium. However, the demand is still quite clearly there regardless of the crazy prices so what would you do as a businessman? And that’s what board members of any profit making company will consider first.

If it wasn’t for the horrible performances of the last week, I’m pretty sure the AGM would have had a much friendlier feel to it. I reckon PHW believes he should be owed respect for his part in the (limited) progression of The Arsenal over recent years and maybe he has made some shrews decisions but come on PHW, you could certainly do with brushing up on your PR skills, as it is pretty clear you have lost touch with the common fan, if indeed, you ever had that common touch in the first place (and for the record I’m quite sure you can have the common touch even if you are an old etonian – though yet to see too much evidence of this 😉

Wengers Trench Coat

Fucking sick of listening to the tripe they smear in fan faces! Why are we playing like a bunch of cunts? The team sheet is pretty good yet we play like fucking tards! I think even if we spent the money on players theyd still fail to function as a team

PGunner

*shrewd

west belfast gunner

I’m gonna kick PHW square in the nuts !

Norwad

I feel sorry for Wenger who has to work with these guys at the board, like Kroenke and Gazidis.. Just wonder what he could have done with a proper board, who, you know, actually does something to help him.

ARSENAL

Poor wenger. He Must be really hurting from the continual losses of players and then the board continually being a bunch of pricks

Heh

W.t.f!, Gazidis has just defended the rising ticket
prices. What a joke this man is!. Arsenal tickets are the mostexpensive in the world, and for what purpose?To go and see a team, who’s ambition is top 4? How can you increase ticket prices as the team itself is getting worse? It make’s no sense. Once again Wenger says that Champions
League Qualification is more essential than the FApp and Capital One Cup’s and I agree (attract new players and what not) but isn’t this what was said last year and those other previous years?. It’s a trend that’s really frustrating, and the fact that Gazidis just said we won’t be at the top level atleast not for the next 2 years means then all this signings we want will continue to be wishful thinking untill after say two years and by then the youth will have developed, quickly fast tracked into the team then all over sudden we’ll again be begging for top notch signings. A trend for years to come, thankyou Gazidis, thankyou for the reassurance. NOT!

MoreThanJustAName

Usually, I’m the first to slag off Wenger and I do maintain that the defeats this week rest squarely on his shoulders- (tactically as well as regards player motivation).

Bigger picture though: after today’s events one thing stands out. Arsene Wenger is an employee of Arsenal FC. He doesn’t own a single share. He has had his successes and for the past 7 years none of those have included a trophy. His employers, who have a large financial stake in the business and who now seemingly won’t even rule out cashing in with dividends, pay his salary. They are the one’s with the agenda. He has to satisy them, as well as the players who come through the revolving AFC doors, and the fans.

What to do when none of them are in agreement? I honestly would have given up if I were him. And he hasn’t (I’m sure the paycheck does cushions the blow a tad).

Of all the men on that podium, he spoke with the most honesty and comes across as the only one of those cronies who gives a rat’s fart about what we, the fans want.

Also, it’s a reality beyond Arsene that the climate is such that players are attracted by CL qualification rather than COC or FA Cup- which used to be the attractions in the past.

Let that not be the extent of our ambition. Where he has failed, he has. But let’s also thank our lucky stars that the man has managed to get us those 15 CL qualis, as I suspect with the men running this club left to their own devices, we could have been much worse off.

My mindset is now simple. If we lose AW, who will the board bring in to fulfill their agenda? Will they be as eager to please the fans? We all know that whoever comes in won’t answer to us, only the men who write their cheques.

The best we can do is get behind the team 110% (none of the Ramsey’s and Gervinho’s will get any better with us berating them) and keep holding the board to account and sing. Our blood is Red and we will take this club back!

ARSENAL

Is it possible to pass a ‘no-confidence’ motion against the board? Somehow change things there?

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