Wednesday is going to be an eventful day for Gooners. We will hopefully be getting some communication in regards to the unsettling situation at the Emirates. The Arsenal Supporter’s Trust have secured a meeting on Wednesday with Ivan Gazidis and the Arsenal board. This meeting will be one where many questions will be asked and Ivan Gazidis and the board will have no option but to answer and they certainly have a lot to answer for. They are the main contributors to this season and the bad one it was for various reasons. Not reinvesting the money from the transfer’s from Nasri and Fabregas wisely, keeping underperforming players with high wages and generally coming out with rubbish statements all season are a few of the reasons. I don’t truly believe that Arsene is totally to blame for the 7 trophyless seasons us fans have had to endure, so the board must hold and accept their share of the blame. I foresee that this could be a rocky meeting between the two groups and it is about time that the questions that The Arsenal Supporters trust have formulated will get answered.
With Many thanks to Tim Payton and the Arsenal Supporter’s Trust I have been given the list of subjects and questions that will be discussed on Wednesday. (Full article*)
- The club’s footballing expectations for this coming season, 2012/2013, and whether qualifying for the Champions League is the extent of the club’s ambitions- this is one of the most important questions on the list. We scraped 3rd this season as a result of teams around us falling apart, but with these teams as well as the others above us already making improvements to their squad and with Arsene reportedly saying that our transfer window will be quiet-where does it leave us?
- The new Elite Player Performance Plans being introduced and what this will mean for youth development at Arsenal-I can only see from basic research I have done, that this will be a beneficial policy for Arsenal’s youth team but until I have done more research, I cannot comment fully, but I endeavour to in the future
- The future of the Arsenal Fanshare scheme and club support to promote continued plurality in the ownership through supporter shareholders
- What progress Ivan Gazidis feels has been made in his first three years at the club and an update on the club’s five-year strategic plan-I especially would like to know the answer to this. I’m not the hugest fan of Gazidis especially after his “finishing 3rd is like winning a trophy” comment.
- What lessons have been learned from last summer’s transfer window to make sure things go more smoothly and successfully this year, and the position regarding Robin van Persie- Another top important questions that needs to be answered. Why are we in the situation once again of possibly losing our best players. Where has the ambition gone within the team. Something is driving these players to leave.
- How the club will drive commercial income aggressively in the short term given the long-terms tie-ins on stadium naming, kit rights and shirt sponsorship and the need for more tertiary and overseas deal- When it comes to sponsorship we haven’t ended up with the best deals. We need to find a way of improving that.
- The club’s view of Financial Fair Play regulations and what plans we have should they have little impact
- Given that Arsenal now has two billionaire investors owning over 96% of the club, is there a case for them investing funds to put us on a competitive footing before FFP starts to bite?- If we have huge investment now then we can make it up over the years when the FFP comes into place.
- Arsène Wenger’s statement that he does not intend to do much business in the transfer market this summer and a feeling from many AST members that the team needs further strengthening. Can the Board reassure supporters that there are funds to invest?- This is the most important question in my opinion. We cannot have another quiet transfer window. It is incredibly clear the Arsenal need to strengthen their squad. Never have we moaned so much about injuries but yet there are no indication to whether replacements and back are going to be bought.
- The club’s wage structure and whether it is hindering Arsenal’s chances of success by not being spent efficiently- We have too many underperforming players being paid lots of money to be loaned out or not to play, sell them and free up the wages for players that are playing well enough and also to attract new players to the club
- How many more shares Red & White holdings need to obtain before they have access to the full accounts and why won’t the Arsenal Board at the very least engage in dialogue with Mr Usmanov and Red and White Holdings?- I think this question is also up there with the top questions to be answered. I think Usmanov will be a great person to have on the Arsenal board.
I am absolutely in full support of the AST for the meeting. I have read these questions over and over and they are good questions that need answering. We currently have the highest priced season and single game tickets in the Premier league at the moment and it is not justifiable that fans are paying this much when Arsenal are not willing to make the effort to strengthen the team and keep hold of one of our best players. Every question has its own importance and every answer will want to be heard.
There has been too much damage done to the squad the last few years at the expense of our pretty stadium and balancing the financial books. We can talk all day and night about whose fault it is but the board are the main representation of the club in terms of where things are going wrong. it is about time they came out of the closet and speak to the AST and fans to ensure and reassure us that the club we love is still in good hands. They are as it is stands ultimately forgetting that we are a football team and fan’s support the team and the club through thick and thin but we are in this for football and not for business.
As Arsenal fans…What question would you like to ask given the chance?
This meeting can be viewed on this link on Wednesday evening/Thursday http://player.arsenal.com/