Arsenal AGM 2012 report

Arsenal AGM 2012 report

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.

163 COMMENTS

    • 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.

      Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

      • 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

        Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  1. 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

    Thumb up 166 Thumb down 9

    • 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!

      Thumb up 31 Thumb down 7

      • 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.

        Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    • 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.

      Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  2. 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

    Thumb up 36 Thumb down 1

  3. 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.

    Thumb up 50 Thumb down 3

  4. 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.

    Thumb up 63 Thumb down 2

  5. 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.

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 1

    • 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.

      Thumb up 48 Thumb down 5

      • 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.

        Thumb up 36 Thumb down 9

      • 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

        Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

      • 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.

        Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. 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

    Thumb up 75 Thumb down 11

    • 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.

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • 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?

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • 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.

      Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. 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!

    Thumb up 27 Thumb down 30

    • 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.

      Thumb up 22 Thumb down 6

      • 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!

        Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      • 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.

        Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      • 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).

        Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • 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!

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • 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 ?

        Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. 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.

    Thumb up 68 Thumb down 8

  9. 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.

    Thumb up 51 Thumb down 6

    • 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.

      Thumb up 24 Thumb down 72

    • 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.

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  10. 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.

    Thumb up 49 Thumb down 3

  11. 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.

    Thumb up 42 Thumb down 2

    • 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?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  12. 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. If PHW went, what changes? Nothing.

    Thumb up 49 Thumb down 31

    • “he’s a figurehead.”

      Surely having a man that takes the amount of bollocks that PHW does (mostly to The Daily Star) as a “figurehead” is a big problem? But I agree much more worrying is what Kroenke (didn’t) say about dividends and lies about meeting supporters groups and Gazidis’s incessant rubbish about “FFP”, “self-sustainability”, “bright future”, “other cliched nonsnece.

      Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

      • How is talking to the Daily Star a big problem?! A big problem is no chances in two games or the fact we only have one recognised striker, and neither of those things have anything to do with him.

        I get that people are angry at the moment but it’s utterly pointless if it’s not directed properly.

        This is like being angry at your dog for barking when your kid paints the walls.

        Thumb up 36 Thumb down 20

      • “A big problem is no chances in two games or the fact we only have one recognised striker, and neither of those things have anything to do with him.”

        Yes but all that comes from the same source, a management structure that refuses to spend money available to build a squad necessary to compete, a management structure that PHW is a part of , while he spouts all his bollocks so a big problem not the huge problem that is our inability to attack or defend or our poor squad make-up (the Daily Star part was a joke).

        Besides anger at PHW is as productive as whatever you perceive as properly directed anger because none of our anger will make a blind bit of difference to anything.

        Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

    • He has a responsibility toward fans and supporters to be polite and to answer questions in a decent manner. He must surely know that the reason he is even heard is by virtue of his position IN OUR CLUB! His lack of decency is appaling Kroenke’s lack of responsibility is appealing. Dividend payouts is just proof that the board is the business of money making at the expense of success on the pitch. The truth is there’s nothing that can be done about it either. They will continue to this.

      Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

      • The fans have a responsibility to ask questions in a polite and decent manner. Sounds to me like they failed their responsibility first. They walked in the door angry and determined to confront the board and show them exactly what they thought of them.

        As a fan of the team you have four options. 1) Live with the way the club is run and hope we win stuff (It’s what most fans have been doing since 1886), 2) Complain like fuck and boo at matches (but don’t expect the team to play better as a result), 3) Leave, 4) Buy the club

        I see a lot of people taking option 2 nowadays. They’re getting angrier and angrier by the day and the net result is that nothing changes that wasn’t going to change anyway. Anger and complaints have never won a trophy (Unless there is a trophy for impotent ranting that I haven’t heard of)

        Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    • Arseblog, am I wrong or you are really defending our Board? I know that Usmanov will be even worse but why not admit that our Board is destroying Invincibles legacy year by year…

      Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

    • I really think Arseblog has lost the plot with comments like this. You need to remember that WE pay his salary. He’s a custodian of the club. If you think the way he talks to supporters is acceptable then you have not got a clue. If he’s of no use to the board then why the fuck is he there at all? Get rid of him. If he is of use, then he needs to actually do something useful and do his job properly. Your blog has turned to crap since you went all corporate – you’re afraid to deliver an opinion about Wenger or the board, all that’s left is sycophantic nonsense.

      Thumb up 22 Thumb down 17

      • Absolute bollocks.

        In his comment he clearly suggests other members of the board with actual power are probably better targets for criticism . PHW is a prick, but don’t let his prickness camouflage the real issues here, and those that can do something about them.

        Also, this blog is about as ‘corporate’ as my grundies. A little perspective goes a long way.

        Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  13. 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)

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    • 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.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. 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!

    Thumb up 39 Thumb down 3

    • 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.

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  16. 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…

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • 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.

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. 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.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  18. 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.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  19. 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

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 4

    • 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.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  20. 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.

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

    • 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.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  21. 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.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

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

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

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. 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.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. 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.

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 4

    • 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.

      Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  25. 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

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

    • 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.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  26. 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 ;)

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  27. 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

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  28. 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.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

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

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  29. 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!

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  30. 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!

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  31. im pretty much blinded with rage now and i’m sure that if I had gone to this meeting i would have ended up talking nonsensical gibberish mixed with a couple of swears.

    well, at least the guys at the top were rewarded for ‘an extremely good year’. So…more of the same then, yeah?

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  32. Sounds like Gazidis is still pushing the jam-tomorrow line, though I can’t work out when this tomorrow is supposed to be arriving and why. Are we waiting (as Hill-Wood once suggested would happen) for Chelsea and City to be deserted by their owners and go bankrupt? Or for FFP to have bite? Or for our new commercial deals in 2014 to make us unbelievably rich?

    If you’re putting your faith in the commercial deals, take a look at Swiss Ramble’s recent report – http://swissramble.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/arsenal-song-remains-same.html which suggests that our extremely expensive commercial team have so far done a pretty poor job. Gazidis says we shouldn’t judge them when they’re starting from such a low base – but surely not lower than Newcastle and Sunderland both of whom are showing better growth rates than us? True, some of our deals are tied till 2014, though Chelsea have suceeded in renegotiating their tied deals early, and United, it’s worth mentioning, have a 45m shirt deal taking effect from 2014 already lined up.

    The sad truth is, the more you invest well in players, the better you do and the greater your income from TV and sponsorship deals. Chelsea now look close to being self-sustaining without relying on handouts from Abramovich.

    Still, mustn’t grumble, got to to be self-sustaining, got to keep wages down. For which breathtaking insight into world football finance Gazidis has awarded himself, er, a wage rise.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  33. I get confused with this whole emphasis on Champions League qualification year in/year out because it “attracts top level talent” but top level talent seems to come and go. You can’t have it both ways, philosophically. I guess Wenger’s ability to somehow cling to a CL spot allows the conveyor belt of ‘top talent’ to arrive, only to be sold on for profit. We don’t seem to have the depth for so many competitions.. It’s like a bad recurring nightmare, putting out a teenage sub to salvage a draw at home in the CL? It’s October, ffs.. it’s not as if we ran into an unusual gauntlet of injuries.. Why aren’t we prepared? Why do we still have Arshavin and Chamakh, and not Song and Benayoun? Not a stellar comparison, I know, but at least we could USE players like these, even if they’re not everyone’s faves.. lord knows they’re not mine, but.. I guess I am just in mourning.. I’m sorry.. I just am so frustrated. I give the Arsenal my whole life (ask my patient wife) and I don’t want to seem spoiled, but can a brotha get at least one big transfer that would lift the base? Just one. Just one 25mil stud to satisfy us til FFP takes hold. Give us SOMETHING.. At least it will APPEAR that we are giving it a go instead of just holding on til the storm’s over.. God knows we can afford it. Up the Arse forever, mates.. Let’s hope it gets better soon.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

    • The problem is, the bulk of our considerable income has been from player sales – 63m at the last count – but (as you suggest) this is worse than just deeply depressing; it’s a trend that can’t continue for much longer. We are now buying mainly older players with minimal resale value, so where’s our income going to be coming from five years down the line?

      It’s a vicious circle. The worse our squad gets, the less hopeful things look and the more the most talented and ambitious young players will choose to sign for other clubs or want away from us (increasingly having run down their contracts), which leaves us with the useless whom nobody wants (Bendtner, Fabianski, Squillaci, Chamakh,) and the ageing and permanently injured (Rosicky, Diaby).

      I’d like to share your hope about things getting better soon, but I’m not sure I can anymore. I think they may have to get worse before we see any positive change. We need some serious investment in the squad, not this endless too-little-too-late make do and mend, to haul us out of the rut and bring back some belief. That won’t be coming from Kroenke. Quite the opposite, he’s now wanting a dividend in addition to his salary.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  34. Sickening reading throughout ( although a great post) but almost choked on that last insult “thank you for taking an interest in our affairs” – emphasis on ‘our’ I’m sure. What a patronising old git.

    Seems like they might as well have brought a cardboard cutout of Stan for all the use he was. What’s the point of having him there if he’s not going to answer anything?

    Seems like the quality of our Board is reflected in the quality of recent results.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    • Mmm, the quality of our board. I particularly liked Kroenke’s bit about respecting this ‘board’. Hardly surprising when it consists of himself, Hill-Wood who sold us down the river to him, his employee, Gazidis, Ken Friar (almost 80 and unlikely to make waves) and Hill-Wood’s own chums whom he brought in having forced everybody who’s disagreed with him to resign.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  35. why do they keep saying that it’s the first home defeat in the Champions League in 43 games? Didn’t we lose 1-3 to Man U in 2009 semi finals?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • group stages is the shallow stat that’s being pumped out… its like we havent lost to a lower league team and home since.. .blah…

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. Unbelievable!
    It’s almost as if they treat the club as some kind of business or something!

    What next? A strategic merger with Fulham?!

    Dial Square, Plumstead, Woolwich Arsenal, Royal Arsenal or just plain Arsenal, don’t they know that the club has always been based purely on a sense of idealistic sporting endeavor.
    Only for this American businessman to waltz into town and suddenly start treating the club as some kind of profit-making cash-cow fish-n-chips franchise?!
    Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  37. Ok, personally I am angry/disappointed/frustrated like everyone. However just to play devils advocate, a few points:

    1)They all go the the European and Premier league club meetings, these are private and behind closed doors. I therefore think it’s safe to assume that they know more about the state of FFP and clubs interest in it than we do.

    2)Assume the worst and Stan is in it for the money, they admit that supporter revenues are tapped out. If he wants to really pump us as a cash cow they need to grow commercial revenues. Trophies normally lead to massive bonuses in sponsorship contracts. Therefore the board would like to win.

    3) There is no point investing in players now if we are correct and FFP will see a drastic decrease in player salaries and transfer fees in the next 48 months. In fact it would be gross stupidity to spend our cash reserves now as effectively we are selling at the top of the market and waiting for the market to drop before buying replacements.

    4) Should they be totally wrong we can reassess with the best part of 100m in the bank so long as Arsene keeps working his magic and getting CL qualification they see this as a low/no risk strategy with a huge potential upside.

    Now, I don’t want to wait two more years and yes this all sounds eerily familiar…. but if we went 2015-20 on a massive trophy haul with all the best players at our club would we be complaining? I agree that it’s sad football has become a business but unless any of us have the required billions to turn up and fund some citeh/chavski style spend up I don’t really see that we have much choice but to take a punt on FFP and pray. If FFP doesnt work, Stan will probably sell up and give the uzbek a go. Who knows how that will turn out… or if he will even be still interested by then.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    • I’m sure Kroenke will cut his losses and scarper eventually. That’s what I meant by things maybe having to get worse before they get better. Trouble is, you make a good point about Usmanov maybe not wanting us by the time Kroenke decides we’re not the cash cow he’d hoped.

      The thing that’s scaring me about FFP is that it WILL work, making it impossible for Usmanov to inject the much-needed cash. Our rivals – Chelsea, United, Real, Barca, Bayern, even Schalke – have commercial revenues we can’t even dream of. FFP will be fine for them, just not for us seeking late entry to this happy state of affairs.

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

    • WTF do you mean “assume the worst and Stan is in it for the money” …

      The question isn’t “is he” but “by how many Glazers”.

      (A Glazer being the standard unit of asset-stripping/debt-loading carpetbagging … usually quoted in the hundreds of millions Sterling.)

      Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  38. It is sad but not so long ago most of the fans on arseblog were defending our “great” Board. Now Board have been forced by the wall by great questions asked (bravo people) and they showed how bloody they are under their tick skins. And how they have $ $ instead of their eyes!
    I am still waiting for a solid proof that Arsenal will shine again. With transfer policy like this and mood like this I dnt see it coming… even “3rd rate title” won’t be easy to reach this year… and then summer fears again of Sagna, Wilshere departing…. sad sad sad… extend their contracts please… NOW! Give me something to believe in!

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  39. I think that Arsene Wenger is only decent man there, he loves the club and he is working with what he have. Brave man! Our only Invincible left!
    and one more thing…
    So THEREISBEARCUM (and other Board lovers), do you still think our Board is so great? Where are you? Post something nice about our Board now, please.
    http://news.arseblog.com/2012/09/hill-wood-arsene-is-completely-in-charge-of-spending/
    “THEREISBEARCUM, September 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm”

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  40. Hill-Wood needs to be kicked out, what a cunt.

    I’m also dismayed that Wenger got out of jail so lightly. What the fuck has money got to do with losing to Norwich or last night’s shambles – or the fact that Arsenal have only won 3 of their last 9 home games? This is to do with tactics and motivation, nothing to do with money whatsoever. Besides, Wenger has blown £100m in transfers over the last two years, quite frankly his buys have been shit.

    The whole attitude stinks, they’re all protecting each others backs and shielding each others incompetence. Kroenke’s only in this for the money – no doubt about it, he just doesn’t give a shit about winning trophies or anything of the sort.

    I’m afraid it needs to get ugly. Protest groups need to be formed and the whole lot of them need booting out before they hand Wenger a shiny new contract and another pay rise.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  41. Ok, It pretty much doom and gloom after the past two result’s and now this.

    I haven’t been struck by this thought prior to today’s AGM, but maybe the dutch skunk did have a meaningful and honest point regarding not believing in the direction the club is going.

    Of course the mega-buck’s on offer to him would of swayed his thoughts but can any of us personally say we wouldn’t do the same.

    If the board are not going to strive year on year to improve the squad and only replace the profitable sales, well wouldn’t we all become despondent with that if we were the top employee of the company.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  42. FFP allows £37m losses this season and next.. why are we not taking advantage of this and buying a few squad players (veteran GK, another striker etc.)?

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  43. @Miranda: What do you think will happen if we don’t finish in the top four this season? How will the club be affected financially and on the pitch?

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • I think we’ll be very short of money with all that will imply! I guess what you’re hoping I’ll say is that Kroenke will cut his losses and run. ‘Fraid not, ‘fraid it will take several seasons of minimal TV revenue, falling match-day income and the failure of Fox to persuade sponsors to come up with the goods before it penetrates his skull that without a massive injection of cash – which he himself can’t and doesn’t want to provide – his beautiful cash cow is dead beyond the point of revival.

      The worst of it is, it’s going to be Wenger who suffers. He’ll carry the can and he’ll probably leave – on an undeserved low, feeling his entire life’s work is destroyed.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. When those at the very top are so blind to what needs to be done, what hope do we have?

    When our manager sees third place as a trophy, what hope do we have?

    We are slowly becoming another Liverpool who have let a couple of decades pass (& counting!) with no league trophy?!

    As much as I love this club, the battering we receive from those who run it makes it hard to care anymore.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  45. Brilliant – a load of people pissed off at Peter Hill Wood while Stan rolls off into the sunset untroubled, well played brainiacs.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  46. The problem is, as much as we like to think it is, it’s not our club, and we can jump up and down and stamp our feet all we want, the board will still look down on us and stick two fingers up at us…

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. What do apologists for the arsenal board think stans plans are for our club, I have posted on here a number of times about how he will fleece the club only to be quoted ” we don’t take dividends” we’ll seems that could change now.
    We have the millions coming into the club from the renewal of commercial deals in 2014, do you really think that’s going to be ploughed back into the team? Where’s the evidence of that form recent years?
    We have a reported 35 million plus in the bank and even most ardent wenger fans would agree that we need a another keeper and a striker and yet the money remained in the bank.
    FFP is going to change everything to our favour , how? Are the uefa really going to dictate to clubs like barca, Chelsea the Milan clubs Real Madrid. Etc not to mention the tv companies. Of course they are not, they will back down like they always do.
    Let’s say FFP does work, why all so sudden are we then going to spend this new untold millions on players, like I said we have millions in the bank now and a real need for players in certain positions and still won’t spend it. Are we to believe this board that because we have 50, 60 80 million that we will spend. The evidence of the last few years is that we won’t. Despite having the money now!
    Stan is in this for the money, the club is turning a profit from player sales and there is not yet big enough bucks for stan to make his killing. But that will change
    When the new deals come through and thats when stan will change the rules on dividends and will take his money from our club.
    We are fucked.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • Fucked indeed.

      I agree about the keeper situation as well. Did you realise last night that, had Mannone been sent off or got injured, we’d have been playing in the CL with a keeper who, I read on Arsenal dot com, went on loan to Daggenham & Redbridge last season but was considered too much of a liability for them. I can’t think of a single top European club, even a single Premiership club, who’d let themselves be dependent on Mannone, let alone a keeper rejected by Daggenham and Redbridge. I loathe Kroeke to the depths of my being but even I don’t think it’s his his fault that we haven’t had a decent keeper for the best part of a decade!

      What does this cost us in points? I reckon 20 a season, plus numerous unnecessary exits from cup comps due largely to Fabianski’s and Almunia’s blunders. Fabianski has been injured for the best part of three years and yet he’s still taking up a place on our CL A list, keeping out Martinez who for all his inexperience has to better than Shea – anyone, even Almunia, has to be better than Shea. Truly it beggars belief.

      Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      • Regular reader of AB, but first time poster

        Great point, Miranda, about the keepers (or lack of any decent ones)

        Some interesting and valid posts on here, in general

        The bottom line is, IMO, that it is Kroenke’s club (at the moment, anyway)

        So long as people – and apparently there are waiting lists – are still paying the sky-high ticket prices…

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Exactly mick, park, Chamakh, squillaci, Gervinho etc etc are these the world class players that we hope to attract. Apart from maybe Santi do we really buynworld class players ? We sell them we don’t buy them.
      It’s an insult to out intelligence.

      Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  48. what about this question.How our wages still going up event so we sell our best player.
    Our wage are way too high .too many reserve playesr earn already more than top performer from the team below us.our young are overpayed as well. they should really look at that. How can we compete with wage so high already with actually very few top performer.
    OUR wage structure is so wrong and actually slow us downto make us more competitive in the transfer market.If we could reduce by just 20% we could actually have room to buy 2 top class player.intead we have to rely to sell ours and buy one (carzola) cheap

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. […] When you take all that into context, the scheduling of the Annual General Meeting between the shareholders of Arsenal Football Club, couldn’t have come in a more inopportune time. Fair enough that the date was set a long time back and no one could’ve given a guarantee that the attendees would be present on the back on those 2 defeats. It was set for a very feisty meeting what with the mood from the game the night before still lingering in everyone’s mind. You can read all about it, without the censor and without the cutting of stories into pieces, at the excellent Arseblognews. […]

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. 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.

    Arsene Wenger.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. […] Moving from on field events to off field events, and our AGM was held yesterday morning.  Defeat the night before wasn’t the best mood setter, but then again we could have won 10-0 and I’m sure the atmosphere would still have been tense.  Recent seasons without a trophy, key players sold, and rising ticket prices mean many fans are disgruntled and those feelings were always going to be aired regardless of recent results going into the meeting.  From what I’ve read there wasn’t anything particularly new discussed; the usual questions were asked, the same old answers were given, and Peter Hill-wood once again demonstrated that he shouldn’t be allowed to speak in public, if at all.  For a full and thorough breakdown of events I’d recommend reading Hayley Wright’s report for Arseblog News. […]

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. Hill Wood and Gazdis come over like Dumb and Dumber – and anyone who believes that FFP is going to turn us into winners in 2 years time is also rather dumb.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  53. If it’s true about the 25m Adidas deal lined up for 2014, then it’s depressingly unambitious for a club with a 60,000 capacity stadium that has been in the CL for over a decade. Liverpool are already getting 25.4m from their shirt deal; Sunderland (yes, Sunderland) are already getting 20m from theirs. United’s new deal is 45m; not sure about Chelsea’s but I imagine, given their success on the pitch, it’ll be substantial, maybe not the 800m deal PSG have just signed – can’t see them getting that one past FFP – but enough to butter their parsnips and keep pace with United’s amazing 110% commercial-revenue growth. Our commercial-revenue growth for the same period, just in case you’re wondering what Fox got his pay rise for, was … wait for it, drum roll … 9%, ‘not exactly a scintillating return on investment in the expensive commercial team’, as Swiss Ramble puts it. Shit, shit, mega shit.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. I’m slightly suspicious that PHW and his attitude were a plant; a PR concious decision to be insulting and patronising to deflect attention from more important matters. It seems odd to me that, given the tone of the meeting couldn’t have come as a suprise to anyone on the panel, they choose to speak to people in that way.

    Anyway. Ultimately, who on here gives a crap what PHW has to say (to the Daily Star or elsewhere)?

    Right now, as Arseblog rightly points out, we struggle to beat teams we have to beat to be competitive, we have only 1 recognised striker and seem unwilling or unable to play to his strengths, we have a dire goalkeeping situation, we don’t have real strength in depth in the squad, we are unrealistically reliant on teenagers and players coming back from serious, long term injuries to transform our fortunes, and we have a sky high wage bill cluttered with players who were amply rewarded on the basis of potential they failed to deliver and now, embarrasingly, we can’t even give away for free. If the board’s strategy is to bide our time and ‘keep calm and carry on’ for the next few years, are any of these issues going to be addressed by the promise of FFP?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • The answer is no. FFP will not turn us into winners on the field of play. We are already winners in the financial stakes – well at least PHW and Ivan ,Wenger and Stan are. It should be pointed out that if the big spenders stop spending big then the profits that AFC make from selling players to them will dwindle- and Wenger , or his successor, will still have to pay the wages that top players want .
      With the big sponsorship deals that clubs like Man United ,PSG and City , Chelsea have now or in the future and the big TV money Real and Barca benefit from,we have a lot to do if we are really going to compete on a level playing field on and off the pitch.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  55. I wish Kronenke and Usmanov would just nuke eachother out of existence.

    The shareholders who sold to them can die a slow radioactive death too.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. How it should have gone…

    “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?”

    A: RVP knows full well that FFP could have an impact on how much teams are willing to pay for players. He knew full well that he was at an age where he needed to make the big money move as soon as possible. He knew that only three teams in England could pay the sort of wages he wanted and his family are happy being in England. He forced his move through by burning all his bridges because he was scared that if he didn’t jump ship now he would never be able to get a contract that paid him silly money. We sold him because he forced our hand and left us with no other acceptable option. We spent money in anticipation of his leaving but we didn’t spend the actual money we got for him YET. Song leaving was a fucking surprise and I hope he wins fuck all at any level of the game ever. Now, give us some “constructive” criticism or shut the fuck up and give somebody else a chance to speak.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Kroenke sat next to Hill Wood and Gazidi and still manage to appear as less intelligent. He lies about meeting fan groups, and let Gazidi ansewer questions for him. When he starts his speech he begins with saying “I was asked to say a few words, i dont really know why”, he must be really stupid to say something like that. He is the majority shareholder, and ofc people are curious to know what his plans for the club is and if he shares the same ambitions as the fans – to win titles. I think that the only thing this man cares about is money and making profits, he doesn`t got any passion for the club or even for football i guess. If he doesn`t invest money in to the club he should fuck off, he hasn`t done that in his other sport teams, why should arsenal be any different? He is the worst thing that have ever happend to arsenal, he shows lack of interest in meeting fans and talking to media, he won´t deny that he will take money from the club. Its like he doesn´t understand that people actually cares about the club. He has also shown that he is rhetorically retarded, at the AGM for instance he starts talking and puts his hands downs his pockets and starts jerking off. I mean he is an big businessman and also an american, he should know that you don´t get people interested by standing still and have your hands down the pockets, and the speech was the worst ive ever heard. And Hill Wood wasn´t better at all, his attitude was very bad towards the fans. And Gazidi talking bullshit as usually to buy time. The fact remains that the club aint spending any money in to transfers, this summer is an exception, we got a good team now, but it isn´t good enough to win titles. We have a lot of quality players, but as Wenger said we will need world class players, and we lost RVP to Man Utd this summer. He left because he wanted to win titles, something that is shared by every fan in this club, but obviously not by the clubs board. It is really time for some changes in this club. Wenger is an brilliant manager, he has won titles for us, and he will do it again if we get an board that cares about the club and not just about the money. The club does not have the same financial situation as the Manchester teams and Chelsea got, but atleast we should use the money that we have earned.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply