Ivan Gazidis Q & A: Full Report

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Ivan Gazidis

The setup of these events is probably well familiar to all by now. Ivan’s arrival on stage is begat by a 2-3 minute reel of highlights from the season. “Conveniently, there was a period of about 6 weeks missing from that video,” Ivan jokes as he arrives on stage. Lucas Perez’s thunderous volley against Bournemouth is followed immediately by Nacho Monreal’s equaliser against Manchester City at Wembley.

Ivan’s quip is on point, only it was closer to three and a half months’ worth of the archive that remained untroubled by the clip hunters. Ivan speaks with Head of Communications Mark Gonnella for around 10 minutes, before questions are invited from the floor- entirely unvetted I might add.

The frustration of these events is that, quite often, people don’t actually ask questions. Once in possession of the microphone, they just tend to wibble on and on and on for about 2-3 minutes with their own personal opinions. I’ve tried to edit the waffle as much as possible- from the floor and from the stage. Below, is an extended highlights package of what Ivan had to say this year. (My inconsequential, sarcy asides are italicised in brackets and therefore, easy to skip past….)

IG: The FA Cup is the iconic trophy for people of my generation. *Turns to trophy, which is positioned on stage*, but I’m sorry old friend, this is not really the trophy that we want above all others.

It’s difficult to process a season like that, because we won a trophy but feel disappointed. Last season we finished second and spent about £110m on transfers. The objective of that spending was to push on and challenge for the title. At the beginning of the season, we started well, lots of people felt we had the most complete squad that we’d had in a long time.

We went on a long unbeaten run, though we weren’t playing the most fluent football, but we were finding ways to win games. We were in contention, I think a lot of the fanbase and we were feeling that there were possibilities in the season. We hit a patch which we’re still analysing, where things were really, really bad.

It was a bit disappointing, we were in the mid-70s for points and our ambition is to win the Premier League and to do that you have to be at least mid-80s, probably upper 80s. So there is a gap. We have to close that gap and that’s not just about spending, although that’s obviously a big part of it.

So we’ve already signed one of the players of the season from the Bundesliga team of the season last year, we’re very actively in discussions on a variety of different players at the moment. On the squad side, we’re not looking to add more squad depth now, we’re looking at players who can come in and compete for a starting position.

We want to raise the quality of the starting XI with top quality players, we feel we have good squad depth. There have been other appointments behind the scenes and there will be more as the summer plays out, which you’ll see if you pay very close attention.

Some of it is personnel- we’ve added a new contract negotiator, we’ve added a top class performance coach to go with that. These are some of the changes we’ve seen already, you’ll see some others in the weeks ahead. It’s not all personnel, some of it is just the way we do things, can we do things better?

Mark then asks Ivan about Arsene Wenger’s new 2 year contract

IG: The first thing to say is that it wasn’t a sentimental decision, the decision was mutual. (Arsene is frightened of retirement and the board is frightened of Arsene retiring?) The decision was made against the ambition to win the Premier League.

When we think about who might do that, we also consider who embodies the values of the club. Somebody who has a successful track record over a period of time. This job is a massive responsibility and we need someone who can carry the weight of that and has the experience to carry the weight of that.

We wanted somebody that plays attractive, exciting football (Arsenal are an exciting watch for the neutral at least….) that people want to watch. Giving young players a chance is another one of the values of the club. Sometimes that costs us in points, but the emotional investment we all feel in watching a player’s journey with the club is an important part of what we want to have at Arsenal. (van Persie and Fabregas’ journey to the Premier League trophy was indeed emotional….)

So those are the qualities you look for in a manager and you look around the world and there are some fantastic coaches and maybe some of those would be interested in coming to this fantastic football club. One day a new coach will come here and take advantage of those opportunities. But when the board is looking for those qualities, we are looking at the man across the table.

We understand there is disagreement in that amongst the fanbase, but the board has to make decisions focused on what it the right decision and not what’s the popular decision (or the difficult decision, evidently…..). We will all be judged on what the club is able to deliver and we are very conscious of that.

At this point, questions are invited from the floor. Again, to emphasise, these are unvetted.

Q: Why was there such a lack of effort in so many games, particularly away from home?

IG: I’ve been in professional football now for over 20 years. I think what I have learned is that what goes into a performance can sometimes be a little deceptive in how it appears. I’m always cautious about making judgements about desire and passion. Sometimes it is down to confidence, sometimes nerves and wanting to win too much, sometimes it’s just tactical. (FWIW, Ivan is spot on, too often as fans we reach for the intangibles to explain every defeat).

Sometimes it can be lack of desire. It’s a very delicate combination of all of those things. When confidence starts suffering, it is very difficult to recapture. When we were at a low point, Arsene took a risk in going to the new system. I can’t honestly tell you the system solved all of our issues, but it gave the players something new to concentrate on.

Q: Reg Lewis’ son asking this question: In over 50 years I don’t remember such a period of stagnation and the matchday experience is probably the worst I have ever known it.

IG: I don’t think you’re alone in that feeling and it doesn’t make me proud or happy to acknowledge that, but I have to. We have a lack of unity and some dissatisfaction. We have done a lot of things over the last 4 or 5 years to push the club forward. Club run on values we’re proud of, etc, etc, etc. (Stop me oh, oh oh, stop me, stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before….)

I want to deliver trophies to you and also a sense of pride in what this club does and how it does it. There is an enormous amount about this club to be very proud of. I don’t think there are many Arsenal fans attracted to a vision where we have to be thankful to somebody who is pushing money into the club. Most Arsenal fans are proud of the way that we run this club but have fear about whether we can be successful.

But I am optimistic. I think this challenge of standing on our own two feet in the world of football gives us strength and not weakness.

The reason I am optimistic is that we’re not dependent on any one person for our success (a relief, since we don’t know how to hire a new manager). I want the atmosphere in this stadium to be united, to be together and I want for us to get behind the team.

That we haven’t had that togetherness is a real regret for me. Part of that is to do with modern football generally, part of that is to do with a new media environment we’re in which pushes dissatisfaction, there would’ve been many years where we would have sat here with 3 FA Cups in 4 years and felt pretty good about life, but we are not right now.

But part of it is failure on our part and we have to be honest about that and we have to work out what those failures are, so we can re-engage with our fans and make them feel pride in this football club again.

Q: Why haven’t we heard about Kroenke’s ambition to win the league for the last seven years? All he has done is take money out of the club. His only aim is to make money. And now we reward Mr. Wenger’s failure with a 2 year deal.

IG: I have to say, I don’t really understand the argument that Stan Kroenke is only in it for money. (Uproarious laughter from the audience). This is going to be more productive if you listen to what I have to say! (At this point, I was hoping Ivan would pull a revolver and angrily demand, “Does Mr. Kroenke look like a bitch?!” Samuel L Jackson style. Sadly, reverie and reality seldom meet).

All Mr. Kroenke has done is support us to make us the best football club we can be. If he was only here to make money, he doesn’t take a revenue stream out of the club (at this point, many members of the audience shout variations on the phrase “3 million pounds!”), the best way to raise the value of the club is success and trophies.

He hasn’t put any debt on the football club, he wanted us to go out and spend the money we generated from new commercial deals on the squad (awesome. I used the money I generated from my salary to pay my energy bill this month. We’re all heroes in our own way), which we did. We finished second in the league and we spent £110m.

Someone asked about the fee he took from the club, let’s examine that. KSE is one of the most high profile, respected sports companies in the world. The expertise varies greatly from ticketing to digital media, to sports marketing and sponsorships.

We have been using the services of that company and why wouldn’t we? Stan Kroenke never asked for payment for that, why would he? He owns 100% of KSE and 2/3s of Arsenal. £2 of every £3 is going from one pocket to the other, so it’s immaterial to him.

So what happened was that our chairman saw that we were using these services year after year and said it would be good governance to pay for these services that this football club receives. Our chairman is a stickler for good governance and he insisted we do that.

A couple of years went by, people were upset about it and Stan, who always comes to the annual general meetings, saw that and said, “Look, I don’t want to get involved in that. I’ll just waive that fee and my company will pay those services for free.”

(So you see, it was good governance to pay, until the owner, now £6m richer, said it wasn’t. And the owner, who is NOT disengaged remember, only clocked this after turning up at two AGMs over a period of 24 months. But since our chairman is apparently in the business of dishing out millions of pounds out of the goodness of his heart, let’s talk ticket prices, shall we?)

The idea that he would invest millions of pounds a year (when did this happen?) to make £1m a year (errr, wasn’t it £3m?) is preposterous. The reason Stan gets criticised is, in my view, a bit like kicking the dog, is because results on the field are not what we want.

Some people want an oligarch owner that puts money into the club and I understand that, because that’s the environment we are competing in (don’t make me break out the Morrissey picture again), that’s an attractive solution. But nobody has ever been held back by Stan Kroenke, he has been nothing but supportive in terms of reinvesting all the money the club generates back into the football side. (In the words of the great Chris Rock, that’s what you’re supposed to do you low expectation havin’ mothafucker).

If you think it’s all about money and, by the way, he hasn’t sold his shares, so that doesn’t seem to make sense. If it’s all about money, there are far easier, more secure investments than a football club.

Q: A man talks for a loooooong time about how he likes Arsene Wenger and the way the club is run (which is nice, but not really the point of the evening where the CEO is being held to account for a pretty short period of time). At this point, the audience testily asks the man if there is a question, to which he retorts, “Why only a 2 year contract and not 3?” Which, in fairness to the guy, was pretty funny.

IG: We did have some amazing moments this season and we finished on a high with a trophy that, for me, is very important and it’s very important to the history of this football club. I will say it’s a disappointing season, but I do take pride in it as well.

Graham has expressed that very eloquently and the reaction to that is probably a little bit what’s going on in the fanbase. Which is a mix of opinions. We all want the same thing, we may have differences about the decisions we take, but we all want the same thing and we’ll be stronger together than we will shouting at each other and being in conflict going into a new season where we could have hope and unity.

But going into the new season, I beg you, please, get behind this team and this manager and give them the support they need. (I am guessing this is exactly what Ivan has been saying to Alexis Sanchez’s agent for the last month or so).

Q: If you take one thing away from tonight Ivan, think seriously about the divide in the fanbase. We need someone on the board like David Dein, who has a connection between the club and the fans. Someone who bleeds Arsenal.

IG: It’s very unusual for a new owner to come into a new football club and keep hold of a board who he has had no prior association with. Chips Keswick has been an Arsenal fan his whole life, Lord Harris his whole life, Ken Friar his whole life too.

I think what we haven’t done well is to communicate the love that those people, and by the way, me, have for Arsenal. We need to do a better job of that. But yes, I think our board does need to be refreshed, we do need a better connection with the fans. I don’t take your comments lightly, I do listen and I do take them seriously.

Q: Can you say, hand on heart, that the board were unanimous in the decision to award Arsene Wenger a new contract, before and after the decision was made?

Ivan is a polished speaker that doesn’t do much umming and ahhhing, but on this occasion…..

IG: Uh, we, urmmmm…. The way that the contract decision was made, was the chairman made a statement during the season that a mutual decision would be made at the end of the season. Both on Arsene’s side and the board’s side, we both had to feel that this was the right decision.

That required a lot of thought and some quite detailed conversation, both through the board and Arsene. I have never spoken about board discussions and I don’t intend to do that now. What I will say is that the board acted with unity and the board is 100% doing everything it can to make sure that this decision will be successful.

We don’t have different agendas, our agenda is ‘what is good for this football club?’ (yes, I don’t think that was the question though…..) We have to make decisions for the football club to be as successful as it can be.

A voice from the audience asks ‘should the decision have been made sooner?’

IG: The board and Arsene really wanted to take some time to think about whether it was the right decision. The decision could have been made sooner, but I’m not sure it would’ve been appreciated by the way. (There’s probably a few players sitting with one year left on their contracts that might’ve appreciated a quicker decision…..) We wanted to do it maturely with the right amount of reflection. Was it the exact right time? I don’t know how to answer that. (Easy. It wasn’t. You all cocked it up mightily.)

Q: I wanted to ask about the deal with Boreham Wood for the reserves and why we have to pay when the reserves play at the Emirates, when we don’t have to at Boreham Wood?

IG: We thought about a variety of different things we could do to have the best possible facilities for our youth, reserves and our women’s team. The pitch is being relaid with a Desso surface, which is the same specification as here at the Emirates.

There is other work going on within the stadium too, a new stand, new floodlights. It is going to be a top class facility. With respect to the reserve games we have at the stadium, it is not a revenue generator.

When we open this stadium, we have a certain number that we have to give to the staff and the authorities, so if you charge nothing, lots of fans say they will come, but that don’t. So we charge a nominal fee, which is like a deposit so we have people who are committed in some way.

The session with Ivan closes with Mark Gonnella asking him to appraise his hopes for the season ahead.

IG: There is an awful lot going on, we’re only four weeks from the end of last season. You’ll see the product of some of that work soon, some on the player front, some will be behind the scenes. All of that work is geared towards getting from 75 points to 85 and more, to win the Premier League.

We want to generate some of the pride that I am ashamed to say many of you are not feeling. The goal is to win things and add to the history of this football club. The people that work here care about this football club, we do and we want it to be successful.

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107 Comments on "Ivan Gazidis Q & A: Full Report"

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Rich

#KroenkeOut

Pedant

The moving money from one pocket (Arsenal) to another pocket (KSE) appears a good argument on the face of it. However if Kroenke then takes it out of the second pocket (via a dividend or salary from KSE) and spends it on champagne, yachts, cars or whatever he is getting a tangible benefit from it, which Ivan’s argument makes it appear he isn’t.

Awesomesauce25

Frankly it makes sense to me and I’ve never really understood the argument. If we want those services and can get them from a sister company rather than some competitor, and they are charged at similar market rates, it makes no sense not to use your sister company. There are many laws in place to ensure prices of such transactions are not artificially inflated. So he takes 3m from arsenal to pay these services. Assuming the servicing componany has a 33% profit margin,the profit is 1m. Then there are taxes in such profits reducing further. Then if he pays out a dividend, taxed further. So with his 66% ownership in Arsenal, it costs him 2m of the 3m, yet he only gets a fraction of the 1m profit after tax if he even takes anything. It makes very little sense. Additionally, we have seen far greater spending now than before. I don’t really think he is our problem, however, I get he’s just not a very likeable person, but few billionaires are.

IamaGoober

I think its the ambiguity surround what those said ‘services are.’

Because lets face it – nobody actually knows what the services are? Is it considered part of these services where the owner of said company sits there, on his nice big $500M ranch, with his thumb firmly inserted into his own rectum, completely shunning any sort of responsibility and duty towards running Arsenal properly, subsequently allowing their longest serving manager ever, to be left out to dry, whilst he slowly destroys his own legacy, and runs the club into mediocrity like the rest of his absolutely garbage US sporting franchises – to which he is so inept and crooked at running, the state of Louisiana and the NFL are currently taking legal action against him for it.

Is that what that £3M is for? Because if its for something else – I have genuinely missed it.

Ken

This $3MM issue is such a bloody joke, and frankly says a lot about those that believes and pushes this tripe. To be clear, lets reverse matters a bit: were SK to one year invest $6MM in Arsenal, everyone would be rightly asking if he’s trolling — $3MM is petty cash! The club has make some errors and has some areas where it’s underperforming (for me, pr is one of them.), and being distracted by such non-issues only makes the situation worse. Instead of engaging management on meaningful, value-added matters, everyone is left spending valuable time and fan capital on a pedestrian “shinny object” that keeps inter-organizational conversation and reflection at a grossly amateurish and unproductive level. And that’s the real kick in the teeth of the modern social communication environment, folks can (largely anonymously) shout through large megaphones, without any obligation of educating themselves on the real issues that would move the club forward. Here again, I put some of the blame on the club — they are the professionals and need to engage (and educate/orient) the fan groups and influencers to create a more productive ecosystem…I hope that’s one of the changes that Mr. Gazidis is threatening.

IamaGoober

I think whats being missed here is that fact that Stan & KSE owns all of the below as well as Arsenal:

Los Angeles Rams
Denver Nuggets
Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Rapids
Colorado Mammoth

And that’s just his ‘sports franchises’ he also has 5 or more big holdings in real estate i.e. The Pepsi Center, Paramount Theaters.. and not to mention the company is also balls deep in TV / Media, owning a further 10 companies in that area as well. So if he’s siphoning in upwards of $3M out of all of those other franchises + companies without investing anything back into them at all, I don’t think that can be brushed off as petty cash.

That’s serious wedge.

rellends

Just get Sean Spicer to front it next season. Stan’s a mate of Trump’s so it shouldn’t be a problem on that score.

Mate Kiddleton

I still can’t believe he tweeted his password, twice.

Clive St Helmet

Covfefe?

Pop

This could be the new team sponsor

Rick

Not sure I’d say Kroenke and Trump are exactly mates. He donated to the inauguration fund, but he was a staunch Clinton supporter ($100,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund alone) and regularly contributes to Democrats. Hillary is close with the Waltons anyway since she used to be on the Walmart board from the Arkansas days.

rellends

I’d not read about the Clinton donation. However, if you’re not friendly with someone then why would you give $1m to them so they can have a party?

Yankee Gooner

Because you want them to be friendly to you?

caj

Business elite give to both sides, unless they are ideologues like Soros or the Kochs (and those are the exception).

CarltonBanks

Business figures often hedge their bets by making donations to both sides.
I’d be surprised if Kroenke was genuinely a Clinton supporter. He donated £1million to Trump’s inauguration fund and is a long-time supporter and funder of Republican candidates in Missouri.

Ponsonby Gooner

So what you are hoping for Ivan is a butch like escape from the 5th position gimp dungeon we are currently trapped in with half our 1st team out of contract and 2 more years of an under performing manager? I think you will need more than a samurai sword.

kaius

Dammit! I’m so mad you weren’t there to say that to Ivan.

Chippys chip

So thats what the fuck he does then, spin bullshit once a year instead of wenger once a week.

Spanish Gooner

All encouraging sounds as usual. Probably 90% bullshit but I believe him on the boreham wood question so there’s that

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa

I would have to disagree with you as it’s 100% bullshit! I seriously can’t understand some of the questions asked. Off the top of my head I would have asked:

1) During the season when the atmosphere was toxic and Wenger was out there taking all the stick where were you and why did no senior official come out and make a statement to deflect some pressure off our manager? (The dick law statement was a disgrace and just shows the distance between our board and our fans).

2) Why is it that we always wait till the last month of the transfer window to sign players when it was exactly that which cost us against Liverpool on the first game last season and something that costs us every season. Preseason starts on Monday and surely to help the player settle in and to help the team gel you should be getting the majority of your players in/out by then. Obviously some transfers can’t be completed by then, but 1 signing before season renewals are due every season is nothing short of a mockery, especially considering most of these players were agreed and signed over a month before we announced them.

I’m an Arsene Wenger fan but that Arsenal fan talking up time to praise Wenger is just about as stupid as the journalist who changed the topic towards the end of the season in a post match press conference where Wenger was finally opening up and revealing what was going on behind the scenes, his future etc.

Dino

True.. These questions are legit and it could have been asked. But as I read through your post I can hear in my mind what IG’s reply would be for both the questions. And that’s the problem!

Stephen Hamblen

Kroenke and IG are a big part of the problem at Arsenal. I knew what he was going to say, it’s so predictable. He obviously deflects the blame from the owners and board and switches it round onto the fans and our expectations and also, for the first time, onto the media. IG is the Batfink of the football world.

Humber

I have a third question. So Ivan, would you rather jelly for legs or a brick for a head?

Akshay

A better third question IMO would be would you rather be a time traveling brick or a tongue that extended to any length. That might’ve stumped him.

Mpls

Depends greatly on who or what said tongue is controlled by.

Jack4343

Depends on if the brick has the ability to time travel.

Stephen Hamblen

He’s already got shit for brains…

chopper4001

What did Dick Law say?

RockOfGilberto

Same thing as the fox.

Stephen Hamblen

some good points there. I certainly agree that the club did hang Wenger out to dry when the team were failing. The players should also shoulder a large part of the blame, only a few of them publicly defended Wenger.
The transfer window debacle happens every single bloody year. We take the piss by putting in stupid bids for players that winds up the other clubs and also it can’t please the player either. We need to be decisive and aggressive in the market and do our business early otherwise we end up missing out on the quality players that were available. SORT IT OUT ARSENAL.

Stephen Hamblen

at least one thing is positive then, eh? Never mind the rest of the crucial stuff going on that’s destroying our club. The most important thing that our club is facing right now is the number of key players that have the upper hand in contact talks with the club. We’re either going to lose them or we’re going to be held to ransom over new deals to keep them. Either way, the club will suffer. These players should’ve been dealt with ages ago.

Cocovanila Ice Ice baby
Cocovanila Ice Ice baby

Im just here for the sarcasm…

Mississippi Gunner

I wish an English person owned Arsenal

Bergkamp\'s Parachute
Bergkamp\'s Parachute

I wish the fans owned Arsenal, a-la Bayern Munich.

Stephen Hamblen

Now that would be good in an ideal world but it would never happen in this country. The Premiere League and the clubs in it are too greedy.

Clive St Helmet

You’re right, a Mike Ashley or Owen Oyston type owner would be hugely preferable.

I dislike Kroenke as much as the next fan, but at least he isn’t actually dismantling the club.

spinner

I wish a life long Arsenal fan owned Arsenal. That is the first requirement.

I bet Kroenke couldn’t name 10 players in our squad.

Stephen Hamblen

I once read an article in the Guardian about Kroenke and his speech at a sports club owners convention in the US. He said that he treats all his teams as franchises and nothing else. Until we resolve that, we’re doomed.

Stephen Hamblen

The Queen is rich enough, we could ask her.

John Lukic

Yeah So we could go back to being called Royal Arsenal, or go all continental and call ourselves Real Arsenal!

Lone Star Gunner

Thanks for this Tim. Sounds like Ivan G will be needing a stiff drink tonight.

Some interesting responses, albeit more in what wasn’t said than in what was.

Article on espnfc claims Stan K has contributed the third most of any EPL owner, but this just jibe with reality to me. I’d love to see further analysis of those numbers.

https://www.sbo.net/football-club-owners/

MTZ

Probably includes the fee used to actually buy the club. Otherwise there’s no way the Glazer family, John W. Henry and Kroenke would all be above the Manchester City owners. Not even close. Has to be the actual costs of buying the club.

Dan

Has #̶W̶e̶n̶g̶e̶r̶O̶U̶T̶ #KroenkeOUT started yet?

Lord Bendnter

That felt nerve wrecking while reading

Terry Henry

I guess you’ve got to say fair play to him for taking unvetted questions.
Nethertheless, it’s the same old BS from Ivan.

Jack4343

Tim thanks for the report. It sounded uncomfortable reading it. I’ll give Ivan some credit. Not easy to speak to the fans right now knowing that many of them don’t buy a word he says so fair play to him for doing it. I really hope he makes good on his comments.

Dino

Tim’s italics helped through Ivan’s mundane speech.. Feels like we could have asked a lot more. But the replies are not a revelation by any means. same old.. same old.. Blind support is what he asks for. Not sure how many will be up for it!

Lord Bendnter

Why did no one ask what him and Wenger were doing in Nice? That question has been bugging me since I saw that pic

spinner

Bonding weekend to become friends again.

wizardry

A football club should never be owned by only one or two people. The premier league made a huge mistake by embracing Chelsea (RB Leipzig) while they took a shortcut to glory. I always find it funny when people say Chelsea’s owner is a fan as if Chelsea had a history and a tradition (in a time Arsenal, Man u and liverpool dominated) which would make a foreigner take notice.

Kafrican

Public admission of ‘failures’ and shortcomings. I guess it’s hard to sugarcoat when you win a trophy and people still want the manager gone. Wenger and the board shouldn’t have allowed it to get this toxic.

Ajinkya

Great! Who are these people? I am sure there were far better questions to ask (like someone pointed out – where were you when Wenger was facing heat?, how after the 2011 debacle we’re again at the same situation wrt to contracts?, his own arsenal will be like Bayern statement, what areas are we looking to add in terms of people to help Wenger, why hasn’t it been done before? Or was 4th always the target and since we missed out this year there will be changes! what is the plan when Wenger retires?, didn’t delaying the decision to get it exactly right like he said derail our season majorly?, Shouldn’t you as CEO take responsibility for that? why is there indecisiveness when it comes to transfers?, why is the communication gap with the fans so high? And many more!) but alas, taking unvetted questions which in no way made us understand anything better is a major buzzkill! A question about boreham wood? After the season we have had?

Me So Hornsey

I really cannot believe no one took him to task about the millions being thrown away by this club due to shambolic running down of players contracts to the final year. It’s been an issue for years now yet it keeps happening. The policy should be sign by the time 2 years are left or go. Get out the door. Ruthless dealings are needed. It’s pathetic. Tens of millions of pounds of talent all devalued is terrible business so even Kroenke would be expected to take note of that answer.

JON FOX

Me So Hornsey, I find it unbelievable that up til now seven people have actually disliked your splendidly accurate comment. I CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THSE SEVEN ARE WwENGER, KROENKE AND FIVE BOARD MEMBERS. Talk about “head in the sand” types. Conversely, thirteen(likes) plus you, have a brain!

Vicky

Ivan, as shameless as it gets.. He takes pride for the bad season, and feels that AW is one of the managers in the world “at present”. I am gutted that the club we love is being ruined by senile wankers

Tony

It’s his job, that’s one of the things he is there for. It’s no different to any other business.

Domi

Well said, dunno why you are getting so many downvotes.

Ajirenike Oluremi

Looking forward to see arsenal in right direction that will put smiles on all arsenal fans worldwide

Domi

???

RockOfGilberto

Taking gaslighting lessons from the American mainstream news media and applying it to Arsenal supporters. I have to say, I was generally apathetic towards Ivan before this, but I’m leaning heavily into antipathy regarding his doofus face and Stan-bot anti-fact programming.

You want unity, Ivan? You could start with a modicum of honesty towards the people whose hard-earned pay is what allows Stan to loot–er, CASUALLY MOVE £3 million from one pocket to another. Or was it £2 million, or £1 million? Difficult to find correct sums being spewed from a man-sized pile of bull excrement.

Up the Arse.

Donald\'s Trump

Who gives a shit, it’s 3 fucking million in a club that turns over hundreds of millions.

It doesn’t make us shit on the pitch, there’s only one man responsible for that shit fest.

RockOfGilberto

Oh, and cheers to Tim for subjecting himself to that rot for us, for heavily editing around the nonsense, and for injecting a bit of levity into a minefield dance around honesty that Richard Nixon would envy.

Domi

Well said!

ondi

Thank goodness for the Italics. Thanks Tim

Mpls

I’m guessing much of what was cut out was an unbearable wankfest of complaining.

RockOfGilberto

How dare anyone complain.

Mpls

Complaints are hardly useful questions, are they? Just self important grandstanding in a forum like this. The club knows full well what the complaints are, so get on with it and ask a direct question as to the roots of the problems and how they’re going to fix it.

Such as: Are they actually going to follow through on these flashy claims, or just keep blowing smoke up the backsides of their supporters? Or: Is there a War Chest and Arsene isn’t spending it, or is the War Chest not as big as it’s been made out to be? Do you understand how damaging unfulfilled grand claims are to the supporters?

Stikkman

A pointless charade delivered in an inexplicably Gazidis fashion.

Laughing Stock

Once again the arsenal fans lucky enough to get the chance to put pressure on the board FAIL DISMALLY

uncle D

Uffff! That was really a live session of FAQ. Good to hear from the board! Let’s see how it goes. Love Arsenal as a club, the history and culture, the style of football, the people. COYG!! Respect.

DialSquareGoon

Loved your snarky comments, Tim! The contrast to Ivan’s boilerplate words made this worth reading. Cheers and keep up the great work!

PS – I like Amy’s writing but this piece >> her report on the Guardian site.

Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour
Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour

Actions speak louder than words.

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

As a professor, I am well qualified to explain where the 1 meeelion dol… pounds figure comes from. Ivan previously “explained” that because Stan owns 2/3 of Arsenal and 100% of KSE, “£2 of every £3 is going from one pocket to the other”. In this way his logic allows him to say that of 3 million pounds, Stan is only actually paying himself 1 million pounds. So, you know, pocket change, and billionaires are nothing if not people who don’t care obsessively about money beyond all else, so Stan really wasn’t trying to pay himself anything and is a great guy.

I hope that clears things up. If it doesn’t, just remember that the UK will get 350 mil to fund the NHS thanks to Brexit, and that Donald Trump is the only person you can trust, because everyone else is lying but him.

Kwame Ampadu Down

The biggest lie in there is that the decision to give Arsene his new deal was based on the ambition to win the league. I love Arsene but to think he could win the league again is frankly ludicrous.

Jdog

Of course he can, Ranieri did and not many gave him a chance. In no way is Ranieri a better manager than Wenger. A solid pre-season and some luck with injuries and confidence is all it takes to gain momentum in the league. And momentum is everything.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Nonsense. Some luck with confidence? I have heard it all now.

Domi

Ahahahah!!! it made my day, how delusional you are buddy… Groundhog day continues…

Jdog

So you are saying Ranieri, an older guy and historically an underachiever who has been sacked everywhere he has gone, is a better manager than Wenger? Didn’t he win the league with Leicester? Would you agree it was momentum created by confidence and infused with luck which caused this freak show to occur? So tell me again…why can’t AW win the league? Unlikely maybe…but not impossible.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Of course I’m not saying that, don’t be ridiculous. Rani Eric’s win was a fluke. A one-off that Leicester did it the one chance they got. Arsene has had chance after chance the last few seasons & not taken them…or even come close let’s be honest. Psychologically it’s pretty clear when it comes to the crunch he can’t get his players to cope when the pressure of a title race is on. You are of course right, it’s not impossible but to believe it will happen involves throwing logic out the window.
Momentum, confidence, luck…we had all of them heading to Old Trafford in February 2016 & Arsene and his team bottled it completely. He will never get another chance like that.

Oran

Thanks very much for circulating – an interesting read. Did he say anything about poor commercials or high wage bill?

Goonerjar

I don’t trust him, he’s a snake

Ken

Surely the point Gazidis makes re Kroenke is that he paid £450 £500 million (est) for his 67% of Arsenal shares and what is the return? The shares may well have increase in value but taking out £3million over the years amounts to practically nothing in real terms. As a property magnet if he had invested the £500 million since 2007 in this area the asset values would have increased much more than Arsenal shares. He would also be getting a substantial income yield (rents) which would mean he would probably have to be taking more than £50 million out of Arsenal every year to be ahead.

I cannot see how Kroenke is in this for the money, his day job would give far bigger returns.

Dan

But as we saw with the April offer from Usmanov the value of his shares has increased massively since he bought them, why would he not be in this for the money?, all his other sporting interests are investments (and not very good sporting entities either).

He hasn’t taken money out because firstly until now there has not been much to take with the debt repayments etc. secondally to this most likely because we haven’t been successful on the field which makes it difficult to take money out without a very negative backlash from the fanbase.

No one is saying Kroenke is the World’s worst ‘owner’ but he is certainly closer to this than the World’s best!.

spinner

I thought Usmanov offered Kroenke £1bn for his shares a few months back so that would have effectively doubled his money.

Kroenke is 100% in this for the money. Nothing else.

Ken

If he had invested the £500 million in property over 10 years ago (not as Lay person) he would certainly have more than doubled the capital money. On top of substantial rent yields every year (£50 million x 10). The alleged Usmanov offer was valuing Arsenal at £1 billion of which Kroenke would only receive 67% (his shareholding). I don’t think there is any doubt he would / could make a lot more money by investing the £500k in property as opposed to Arsenal.

Rob67

Good report Tim. And good commentary Bloggs on today’s post.

I will give Gazedis credit for taking unvetted questions. They don’t do that in Pyongyang.

And he can’t really speak out in detail on transfers given that negotiations are ongoing.

But two things stand out.

1/ Sanchez. Everything, in my view, hinges on this. If he stays, we are in business, just about. If he goes, I can’t see how the season can be other than a Fail.

2/ It is clear that these behind the scenes changes are totally cosmetic. Wenger has just got the same old, same old, as before.

Does anyone seriously think Bould and Primorac will have an original thought between them in the coming year ?

So right now things look about forty sixty. We will see come August.

JJ\'s Bender

Whats Forty Sixty?

JON FOX

A forty percent chance of success. But what constitutes success you would need to ask the poster ROB67. Personlly, I consider success nothing less than a title or very close, as in a season long, tight challenge. Say 2-3 points away at end.

Dillo

So nobody asked him if Alexis will be staying next season?

Terry Neill - never again
Terry Neill - never again

Ivan the terrible.

dr Strange

How unimaginative are the people attending these borefests? Not one decent question. Why didn’t at least someone ask him how he still has a job when he’s shite at what he does?

Adam

‘I think what we haven’t done well is to communicate the love that those people, and by the way, me, have for Arsenal. We need to do a better job of that.’ I will puke in a minute.

we\'ve done it again

He was on his way to uttering the first almost-truth of the day and then he lost it with that “and by the way, me” addition.

Even though the questions were unvetted still sounded like they had been treated to a good lunch before the Q & A started.

Novio

Ivan, you sleek son of a gun! Love or hate him, you have to admire the intelligence and diplomacy of his answers.

JON FOX

Novio , No you do not! You have to detest the fakery and sheer dishonesty of those “answers”. Like a slimy politician!

ArcticMarty

Cant believe no one asked about the contract situations of the players, We are up Sh8t creak with some of them

Mpls

It would be pointless. He can’t and won’t answer those.

Public Elneny Number One
Public Elneny Number One

Stan Kroenke looks like Vincent Price in the Dr. Phibes movies

comment image

ChrisGoona

“All of that work is geared towards getting from 75 points to 85 and more, to win the Premier League.”

I really hope so. From the outside it looks as if we make more decisions geared towards financial sense, rather than footballing ambition. We have spent more and we are buying better quality players now, so lets see. Arsenal need to be more ruthless in the transfer market, identify players of real quality and get the business done early. The competition is fierce.

Show the ambition and the fans will get behind the team. Hiding behind Wenger isn’t good enough.

John

Oya! No one bothered to ask about Sanchez’s contract?

Wengers zip

Our poor season ( league wise ) had nothing to do with Kroenke !
Thats a fact

JON FOX

Wenger’s zip, And I suppose then, by the same warped logic, Chelseas last decade and a bit of huge success has NOTHING to do with Abramovitch and the billions he , as a true fan, has spent? Kroenke cares nothing, though you have not the basic intelligence to see that fact. And Kroenke employs Wenger, whereas Roman A would have sacked Wenger a decade since, as our useless board should also have done.

Stephen Hamblen

It’s nothing I didn’t expect from Kroenke’s puppy dog. Same shit, different day. We’ve heard it all before.

JON FOX

Let US be honest(SINCE NO ONE CONNECTED TO THE CLUB IS HONEST) and say the obvious truth, which is that Gazidis is a polititician level dissembler and serial avoider of truth. His sole purpose appears to me to be making excuses for the owner, rest of board and Wenger. Trying to defend the indefensible is dishonesty of criminal proportions. The rot set in the day that the splendid, caring, hard working, intelligent and Arsenal through and through David Dein was stabbed in the back by the then board. This happened in 2007 and you can see the obvious club decline from that very month , in April. A visionary, dynamic man who had the ability to persuade the stubborn Wenger to actually buy decent and badly needed players. Since DD went, the club has descended into a shambles, with a board of pygmies, a way behind the times manager and worse of all, a money mad owner, totally unconcerrned about winning trophies. Our beloved club is riddled with cancer from top to bottom. Actually, apart from a few players, SANCHEZ and a mere handful of others who hurt when they lose, there is NO top. Most players, prime examples are Walcott, Ox , Ozil care only about money, more money and still more of their disgusting unearned wages. Talent without desire is useless and always has been. Now , THAT is TRUTH and realism!!!

Glasgow Gooner

Brilliant work Tim and a very enjoyable read.

It is very much appreciated.

Clem Fandango

Wow Ivan is certainly slick I will give him that! So his input to giving Wenger a new deal was that he shared the same sensibilities of the cub. The sensibilities of letting young players earn a shit load of money without warranting it, that the club has been treated like a breeding ground for other clubs to buy players whose contracts have been allowed to run out (van persie, fabregas, nasri, Sanchez) and don’t forget finishing fourth and Wenger started treating that as a fucking achievement. Bravo CEO you are doing a bang up job, next you will be telling us what a privilege it is for us to pay top prices at the stadium to watch a prestigious competition like the Europa League. Then the year after you will be telling us what an achievement finishing in the top ten of the premier league is when you have all these other clubs have been cheating by spending money on players when they could be re investing it in their sister companies

Graham

Good summary thank you. Like all of these type of meetings, a lot of hot air achieving sod all from a fan’s perspective. It was easier when my expectations were lower…..I went to my first Arsenal match in 1959 and we won! That was good enough for me aged 8. Now I’m just disappointed with the way Wenger (and it is Wenger) runs the club. No stepping forward until he’s gone.

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