Arsene’s ‘Titanic’ Efforts Praised at 2016 Arsenal AGM

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Just don’t mention the iceberg!

An easy ride expected for the board this year, and so it proved. There were a couple of awkward questions, but as traditional, these were answered with either agreement that something would be done (when experience tells us it won’t) or take it or leave it style responses.

When all is said and done, Arsenal are second in the table, money was (eventually) spent in the summer and the fact that Leicester won the league was glossed over because no-one felt in the mood to give Arsene Wenger a hard time this year.

One striking thing that was immediately apparent was the number of seats this year having sunk dramatically. This, a combination of the Arsenal Supporters Trust’s fanshare scheme no longer existing and individual small shareholders selling up. This AGM was almost intimate, a reminder of fifteen years ago when shareholders were less interested in what the board had to say.

One assumes that it was held on a Monday this year to suit Stan Kroenke’s diary, with him being at Twickenham on Sunday to watch the LA Rams and presumably busy later this week. All of the board of directors were present and correct, although only Sir Chips and Ivan Gazidis answered any questions. Secretary David Miles summarized those previously submitted and Stan Kroenke did say a few words but more on that shortly.

Shareholders arrived to find a red envelope on their seats, the kind of thing you would normally find a giant Valentine’s Day card inside. In fact it was a booklet of Ivan Gazidis’ Powerpoint slides that he would talk the meeting through when it was his turn to address the assembled.

The stage was different this year. Normally you get the top table with the directors, and then a gap to the front row. However, this time, we had a mini walkway in front of it allowing space for a presentation to the manager and then Ivan to take stage front as if he was Mick Jagger singing ‘Honky Tonk Woman’. Actually, thinking about that, maybe ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ would be more appropriate. There were autocue screens on the floor anyway, in case anyone forgot their lines. Arsene Wenger also delivered his traditional words from this protrusion.

It was good to see @Angry of N5 turn up in leather biker’s trousers, showing the appropriate amount of disdain for proceedings. The only other style note to remark upon is that Josh Kroenke was sporting the 50’s style short back and sides haircut currently in vogue amongst Premier League footballers and many men of a certain age. Dad Stan wore a customary toupee, although of a slightly more realistic shade this year. While we are on the subject of hair, I hadn’t really noticed that chairman Sir Chips Keswick has a comb over before, but the sharpness of the images on the club’s videoscreens left us in no doubt that state of the art technology means there is no place to hide when it comes to these things.

So much for the important stuff. It was the 20th anniversary of Arsene Wenger’s tenure at the club, which meant the presentation of a framed print of the artwork on the cover of the recent Ludogerets programme by artist Arwyn Thomas. This happened stage front where Stan Kroenke delivered a short speech, reading off a sheet of paper, with all the enthusiasm of a man at a funeral, forgetting to put the mic he had in hand anywhere near his mouth. It was frankly a bit shambolic, but Arsene took it in good grace. “Arsene Wenger and Ken Friar were the reasons we got involved in this club,” he said. Really? The only board members Kroenke met before he bought a 10% stake in the club were David Dein and Keith Edelman. Anyway, “We are very excited about the club this year, we think we have a great club – we are very excited about the season,” he read from his cue sheet with such a lack of conviction that he wasn’t fooling anybody.

At least, standing next to the majority shareholder, the recipient of the framed print could hear what he was mumbling. The artwork, consisting of the manager’s face made up of the names of the 210 players he has fielded in the first team during his 20 years at the club (Bischoff, Danilevicius, Denilson, Stepanovs – all the legends are there), is excellent, although one suspects it will end up in the Wenger attic, a bit like the portrait of Dorian Gray, although rather than the image aging, the memories of some of those players are more likely to put lines on the face of the man himself.

I digress. Sir Chips then delivered the line of the meeting. “Thank you for all your efforts, which have been titanic,” before realizing the implications of what he had said. No doubt the stadium move turned out to be an iceberg in terms of Arsenal’s ability to win the league. Certainly, there have been some choppy waters for the good ship Arsenal since 2006, with an array of captains and… enough of this nautical imagery. The band played on.

A couple of questions related to the account followed. Ivan’s salary hike of £1 million was queried. The club’s renumeration committee is chaired by Lord Harris and Sir Chips is on there too. No danger of the turkeys voting for Christmas then. “Ivan is doing a first class job in leading the club”. Google Translate – Income has gone up so here's your slice of the pie for taking the flak for the club not winning anything.

Vote time – a symbolic formality. On the show of hands, the re-election of Stan Kroenke to the board needed two votes for the meeting to approve it, as it was quite close and some initial abstainers had to push it through. As Sir Chips pointed out, if required the proxies would provide 97% in favour of Silent Stan getting back on (the combined votes of Kroenke and interestingly, Alisher Usmanov, who apparently abstained last time if was Stan’s turn to be voted on). However, it was good to see the shareholders showing a bit of resistance rather than meekly accepting things.

A tribute was paid to Ken Friar after his own re-election. One lady voted against (and explained why later), although no-one else would dare raise a hand against Ken, who is effectively the Queen Mother these days in terms of his status at the club (and still drawing a fairly handsome salary, presumably in recognition of his knowledge of sooooo many skeletons in the cupboard). When he received a very warm round of applause after some words of tribute from the chairman, his face resembled Albert Steptoe for an instant. Now 82, there is no question he has been a great servant to the club, but might the board benefit more from someone like Patrick Vieira rather than an octogenarian in 2016?

Next up it was time for Ivan to run through his powerpoint slides for 15 minutes and tell us how brilliant the club is and what a great job everybody is doing. Tim Stillman will give you a fuller rundown of this, but I can summarize it in three words: Aren’t we wonderful?

And indeed, some of the community and charity work highlighted is very laudable, so kudos to the club for that (although the PFA agreement that every first team squad player does an hour of community work a week is quietly forgotten these days).

Anyway, with Ivan’s turn at stage front done, it was Arsene’s opportunity to address the assembled. It was a shorter speech than normal, and in truth most of it washed over my head as my brain didn’t pick detect too much he hadn’t said in previous years, although he did start with a gag – “Yes it’s 20 years – I am sorry”. I did make a few notes – “I would like to apologise for every minute I made you suffer for 20 years – but you don’t look too bad.”

“We come out of the training ground and see people from all over the world” – just a shame that the players are strictly forbidden from stopping their cars and signing a few autographs for these people that have travelled halfway across the globe to see their heroes then. Time for a change of policy perchance?

“The job is about selection and decision making.” In-game tactics? Maybe we could throw that one into the mix?

He seemed to be reading off the autocue screens below him – as if the lines were lyrics to old hits not played for too long to remember them properly, however familiar the words seemed.

“82 – 86 points will decide title”

“The team has commitment, desire and hunger. The squad is more mature and better equipped to face the challenges.”

He also emphasised the importance of humility. Hmmmm…

Anyway, back to shareholders’ questions not related specifically to the accounts. One shareholder asked what benefits might be offered to the small shareholders, as the club did not pay dividends. A few years back, when the board did not want them to sell to Alisher Usmanov, they were offered lunch at the training ground followed by a tour (never happened) and an end of season Q&A event with Arsene Wenger (which came to a stop after Arsene decided he didn’t like anyone questioning what he was doing). Now it’s 2016, and the board want to get shot of these awkward customers who attempt to hold them to account once every year. Sir Chips wasn’t having any of it – no perks for you lot was the gist of it. Maybe I should rephrase that – Sell up or shut up.

The issue of inoffensive banners being confiscated by Arsenal stewards at the Manchester City away game was raised. Ivan Gazidis stated that Arsenal stewards checked banners but did not stop any from being brought into the ground. If this happened, it was Manchester City stewards that did the confiscating. Arsenal have no jurisdiction at Manchester City. The club don’t control and aren’t aware of, if any, actions taken by Manchester City. Hmmm. After the meeting I spoke with Gazidis to inform him I had been told a different version of events. He was angry – clearly rattled – at the suggestion the club is censorious and offered to chair a meeting with those who have had banners confiscated in the past and the stewards responsible to clarify the way forward. Basically, you do have the right to freedom of expression as long as banners are not offensive and adhere to the ground regulations in terms of size and non-flammable material. So let’s see what happens. Given Gazidis’ own family history, there is no doubt that accusing the club of denying freedom of speech touched a nerve, but those who have been denied it are also indignant at what they perceive as the censorship of their opinion by employees of the club.

What else? 77,000 fans used the ticket exchange last season and 25,000 of the stadium’s seats were transferred. Apparently, you get your money from the club for sold seats much quicker now instead of having to wait until the end of the season.

One lady, who voted against Ken Friar’s re-election on principle asked about the possibility of some diversity on the board, for a club that makes a big thing of being inclusive. The all-white male board would welcome any suitable individuals. They say that every year. Nothing happens. I’ve heard that called lip service in some quarters.

Sir Chips read the answers to some of the questions from a sheet of paper in front of him, without any sense of nuance or emphasis or even seemingly understanding. It was all he could do to read the words verbatim. When the time came for questions from the floor, he claimed he had difficulty seeing people because of the bright lights. He is going the same way as Peter Hill-Wood and it doesn’t relay great confidence in the organization. The reality of course is that he is a figurehead, much like PHW in his final years. Part of the furniture like the five-legged chair in the boardroom.

The question of Arsene’s contract extension came up. When the time is right we’ll sit down and discuss it, Sir Chips informed us. I have written before that I think this is Arsene’s final season, that the board have already decided it is time for change, but that it will be dressed up as the manager deciding to call it a day, and go with dignity. Let’s hope the season the club has allows him to do that. There was a bit less of the normal message of long term confidence in Le Boss than we normally hear. I think losing the title to Leicester might have been the final straw. Arsene ran out of excuses after last season and what happened after defeating Claudio Ranieri’s side at home set the team up for a real title tilt.

Arsene himself answered a question about his election of a non-playing captain. “I have a group of leaders – there are five leaders in the team. Per Mertesacker was chosen before he was injured and has real authority in the dressing room, very high standards and quality of behavior.” As for the delay in buying Mustafi, “he was injured in pre-season hence the delay”.

As for the contract discussions with Ozil, Sanchez and Bellerin, the club feel they have a good record of retaining players these days. We wait and watch…

A stadium for the ladies? asked Dame Maria Petri. We’re working on it, said Ivan. So Borehamwood it is then.

Martin Wengrow, an old friend of The Gooner expressed his dismay that the stadium was invariably two thirds empty at end of each game. What the club can do to address the culture of early leavers though is difficult to work out. It’s illegal to lock them in, isn’t it?

Lois Langton’s mum Christine was equally sad about the fighting between Arsenal supporters at away grounds, and suggested the club should do something to stop them drinking before kick off. “A tanked up supporter is a dangerous supporter,” she said. Oh well, I guess there is always the Champions League. No alcohol outside hospitality there.

It was a tame AGM this year – Stan has not dipped in to take £3 million for unspecified services rendered, and so far the season has not gone the shape of a pear. Most will be back next year, although time is running out on some of the board members. As for Arsene, I wonder if he has delivered his final AGM speech?

25th October 2016 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Peter Wain  13:19pm 25th Oct 2016

interesting that the snake oil salesman claim that we can compete with any club in the transfer market whereas when the window was open we could not. I expect this will be reviewed in January when we will not buy anyone. - Post No. 99674

CB  14:07pm 25th Oct 2016

I wish I shared your confidence in him going at the end of this season Kevin, but I cant see it happening. Kroenke couldn't give a damn that we didn't win the title last year. The profits keep rolling in, that is all that matters to him. - Post No. 99675

GS  14:23pm 25th Oct 2016

The AGM, a pointless exercise , except fulfilling obligations. A self righteous patting each other on the back and promising Jam tomorrow...Oh well, nothing we don't know already. I do wonder if the better we do, the more likely a new contract will be offered, 3 more years of Wenger anyone ??.....Leeky, have you finished that programme yet, a new one out tonight, with a free gift, don't miss out. - Post No. 99676

jjetplane  15:07pm 25th Oct 2016

They don't bother with the AGM on Untold and the readership is down to three or more. Poor old Tony. There's always jive talk. Reckon Wengo if he can be bothered will sign on for another 30m and who can blame him. They know attendances and TV ratings are on the big decline both here and in America so they will want a final pay day before the Ems closes due to maintenance erm issues and will then become a farmer's market of sorts where you can buy blow up dolls of Arsenal legends. The statues will be toppled or nicked but Asano will ressurect in China. Do you want Chips wiv dat!? Must say now it is all brands with no real identifying features did enjoy Chelski slapping the Mancs into oblivion. If Asano were to play no-nonsense Conti now the score would be reversed. - Post No. 99677

Time for change  15:35pm 25th Oct 2016

Anyone have the balls to ask when the club should start planning to find Wenger's successor (when he decides to leave), Kev? - Post No. 99678

mbg  15:40pm 25th Oct 2016

I don't know who used the word/term Titanic but certainly very apt for TOF as we know what happened it, and i'd like to know where these Titanic efforts are and came from, if this season and the rest with all the humiliations and embarrassments and all that went with them are Titanic efforts god help us. So another cheap (that would be right)and tacky looking award this time a painting of him standing looking clueless probably taken from one of those embarrassments(now that is spot on and again very apt, well done the artist)to massage TOF's ego I wonder where it will end up. wenger out. - Post No. 99679

GS  15:50pm 25th Oct 2016

Damn, I misheard, "Wenger sacked"......sadly it was Zenga sacked, from the Wolves...never mind.... - Post No. 99680

Squeak brother of Leek  16:02pm 25th Oct 2016

Oh Mr Kroenke I love you, coz you love Wenger too, oh Mr Wenger I love you and your 7 million too, please give him an extension, oh please do. Oh Mr Wenger I love you. The rest of you can go away, me and Leek are his best friends and he doesn't need you nasty people. - Post No. 99682

Lee armitt  16:21pm 25th Oct 2016

Wenger and the board are a cancer to our club - Post No. 99683

GS  16:31pm 25th Oct 2016

Squeaky, Leeky, beaky, mitch and titch, get yourselves down to the bowl tonight, as with every programme you get a free gift , courtesy of your beloved leader. He paid for it out of his expenses. - Post No. 99684

Yanto  17:14pm 25th Oct 2016

What we all need to realise is that Arsenal FC is GONE!. That's because we are no longer first and foremost a Football Club, we are now a business and the prime objective of any business is to make profit whilst providing a product or service that customers, yes that's 'customers' not fans will return to again and again and again. It is a sad, sad thing that the club I have followed and supported for over 47years(*) is no more, I once was a season ticket holder, I can no longer afford it, I once had a voice and an opinion that I could take to the manager, the players and the board....not any more. I know only too well that the huge changes that have swept through Arsenal and that have carried Arsenal along these past 10 years is all part of the global financial and socio-dynamics of the modern age - Where Profit is All and where the opinions of an individual will only be agreed with and made audible by the club..sorry business if it fits in with their image and way of doing things. Anyone thinking Wenger will leave at the end of this season is (sadly and regrettably) mistaken, he is the ideal man for the job of making excellent profit whilst providing a product that meets the needs of the (new) customers - who think buying all the merchandise available, taking endless selfies (like the un-successful players) and then sitting meekly and properly throughout the game, whilst looking on in disdain if a 'fan' shows some passion and uses a naughty word of two. The club have us all by the Gonads and we either go along or get left far, far behind while the cash cow that is merely one of Kroenke's financial hobbies goes on providing failure dressed as success; because they see Profit as Success and Trophies as a side dressing and a nice coincidence should they happen along. Gazidis, Kreonke and the rest of the board are all Business men NOT Football Men...and Wenger!? He is their ideal front man who gets paid very handsomely for failing...Wenger claims to be 'honourable' by adhering to his agreed contract even though some other clubs are claimed to have come calling - The only allegiance he has is to Money and Fame - Wenger wouldn't last 2 seasons at PSG or Real Madrid, why? because they want Winners...not Runner Up's who helps them balance their books. **** You Wenger and **** the Board. - Post No. 99685

GS  17:30pm 25th Oct 2016

Yanto : Well said, and a well written post. Its how most WOB feel. We all know the AKB's counter argument.." be careful what you wish for" and all that, that's the best they can do, while taking selfies and buying programmes. What most of us remember is no longer there, its just what's in us and the happy memories we once had following Afc, Not Plc. - Post No. 99686

Alsace  17:34pm 25th Oct 2016

K.J. Friar is a much bigger person than the dear old queen mum. He was an outstanding Managing Director for many years and saw to it that we all went to the matches mostly safely. He is our one remaining link with the Arsenal of George Allison, Tom Whittaker and other hard as nails stalwarts. The only person of real Arsenal substance still left at the club. May God preserve him. - Post No. 99687

Mark from Aylesbury  18:01pm 25th Oct 2016

What I don't get about the Board is the ceaseless promotion of Wengo. It sounds like a desperate man who buys his girlfriend flowers and gifts every day in a desperate bid to stay in a relationship. A more stronger board would promote the clubs strengths , history and ambition. Not sound like some weak willed love sick puppy. It's almost like Like Leek the Squeak writes the speeches. - Post No. 99688

mbg  18:20pm 25th Oct 2016

So Christine (who ever the fook SHE is) was sad about dangerous tanked up supporters fighting, (did she ever bother to ask/herself why ?) the club can do something to stop them/it alright Christine you idiot, that's your input for the season then so you can go back to bed now, or making the tea. - Post No. 99689

Not setting foot in the place again till he's gone  18:31pm 25th Oct 2016

Agree with others, he's going nowhere. Part of the problem being that due to the perception of this being his final year, some previous accusers are going soft on him. Wrighty's been slagging him for years on many fronts but in recent months he's been defending him against all comers, culminating in him calling for Le Fraud to be given a three year extension a few weeks ago. Don't believe for a minute he really means that, but like others he doesn't want to be seen or remembered as one of those who hounded Our Glorious Leader out, especially if he might want a job there one day. Be careful what you (publicly) wish for though, Wrighty. Even one of the main posters at the Herd site seems ready to rejoin the flock after reading Wrighty parrot AKB Central's party line of Wenger single-handedly saving the club from oblivion in his book, information that Wrighty apparently gleaned from cosy chats with Gazidis (you know, the bloke who owes his job to Wenger) and...err...Wenger himself! All of which of course flies in the face of so much freely available information in the Arsenal Holdings accounts. Belts needed to be tightened for a while, but no proper title challenge for 12 years and one losing Champions League final in 18 attempts is disgrace for a club of our size. He'll still be here next year though, and the year after that. For much of our 2016 fanbase, Wenger's signature on that new contract IS success, meaningful trophies are just a fanciful add-on. - Post No. 99690

Squeek  18:34pm 25th Oct 2016

Leekey's locked himself in his holdall again, he just read that Wengers leaving. We did warn him after that other incident with our neighbour who was found in London. Can anyone help coax him out as we are very worried for him. Please write something nice about Leek so that I can tell him and make him unzip. - Post No. 99691

Exeter Gunner  18:44pm 25th Oct 2016

The idea that this board of non-footballing figureheads and queen mums have decided it's time for a change seems counter to all the noises that come out of the club, that make it evidently clear over and over it's entirely up to Wenger when he goes. If we're to take Wenger at his word (probably not wise) it depends how this season goes. We know his definition of success is very broad, so it'd take a disastrous season for him to consider leaving. - Post No. 99692

Leek fc  19:11pm 25th Oct 2016

Bitter and twisted.... Very, very bitter and very twisted. Hatred for the régime is going to be your downfall. Arsenal are here forever... Shame that this cannot be said for the gooner publications. - Post No. 99693

GS  19:25pm 25th Oct 2016

Leeky : you on your way to tonight's game ? Don't forget your programme and free gift . We await your match report. - Post No. 99694

mbg  19:27pm 25th Oct 2016

Yanto, Excellent post, post of the week, wenger out now. - Post No. 99695

CORNISH GOONER  19:56pm 25th Oct 2016

Forget the Meeting itself & all the stuff that we continually regurgitate just in the hope that things will eventually get better. Instead just congratulate Kevin on a very thorough & very witty report. Well done that man! And that "Titanic" moment was priceless - book Sir Fries for a lead act at The Apollo - Post No. 99696

Mark from Aylesbury  20:33pm 25th Oct 2016

You do realise Leekey that your dire predictions of collapse once shared by Colesey the oldest mug in the west are actually increasing Internet traffic and hits . The best you can do, is do a Colesey and disappear that way you can do your bit. Us Gooner site users can carry on in your absence. Honest we can do without you. I do understand that Untold need some new contributions. Hint! - Post No. 99697

mbg  20:48pm 25th Oct 2016

Not setting foot in, another good post, maybe like Seaman Wrighty smells a statue too, or like you say a job (and we know who they have to keep in favour with to achieve that/this. This happens every season mate with fans too (especially fans) without fail, and it's happening yet again as we speak, shouting for his head, he must go etc, then the new season comes and after a couple of decent results having said season after season after season before that that if he doesn't deliver this season he has to go, and all is forgotten (again) all is forgiven (again) suddenly it's, things might have changed (again) and lets wait and see, and the old favourites are thrown in, i'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt/for now (you couldn't make that one up)and the all time favourite (especially from the loyal AKB's) judge him in May, even though the out come is known long before that, with embarrassments and the same old same old having occurred yet again, and all the mind changers are back and out in force, yes the mind changers (something between an AKB and a WOB what about IOB, in out brigade) and back on board (yet again) with wenger out, he has to go, time to go, thanks for the memories, etc, etc. And the same thing happens all over again. wenger out. - Post No. 99698

Ron  21:36pm 25th Oct 2016

Thank heaven for Yanto. Best post ive read on here for years. Unarguable Sir. - Post No. 99699

Paulo75  22:02pm 25th Oct 2016

Job done tonight, next round draw could be interesting.Shame about our neighbours though. Giroud back and Welbeck in January along with Sanchez, Walcott and Perez gives us options upfront we haven't had in a long time. - Post No. 99700

Leek fc  22:08pm 25th Oct 2016

Mark from A. If I left this site, anusol (GS) would only have his right hand as his only company.... Wenger must stay. - Post No. 99701

Smithy  22:28pm 25th Oct 2016

Good win - well done the squad - Post No. 99702

GS  22:47pm 25th Oct 2016

Leeky , don't leave , how else will we have a laugh , your football insight is legendary , excellent analysis leaves us all reeling with laughter . Did you finish reading your programme ? - Post No. 99703

Finsbury Joe  22:49pm 25th Oct 2016

This evening...Reading....oh, the glory, almost like a trophy for the AKBs - Post No. 99704

mbg  23:09pm 25th Oct 2016

Your summarisation in three words will be quite enough Kevin, their enough to make us sick, with out reading all about the love in. wenger out. - Post No. 99705

mbg  23:20pm 25th Oct 2016

CORNISH, I couldn't agree more, a great article by Kevin very witty indeed some good quips and great sense of humour shown making fun of the bumbling old farts, it's the only way to treat them these days, more of the same please. wenger out. - Post No. 99706

mbg  0:09am 26th Oct 2016

Was there a game tonight ? - Post No. 99707

Rob  0:16am 26th Oct 2016

Excellent coverage Kev. Well done for sitting through it. Believe the Club confirmed a Season Ticket price freeze to 2019 ? Assuming they have - kudos, where it is due. At least they listen some times. The Friar factor is a curious one. He - apparently - draws a £1 million in salary out the Club. Kronke must sanction this. And I can't see what Friar actually does - if anything, beyond about 6 Board meeting and 12 matches per season. Of course he - as you so aptly said - is our own Queen Mum and £50 K might be tolerable with free drinks thrown in ; but £1 million strikes me as way over the top. I wouldn't be too sure this is Wenger's final lap. I reckon at least one and maybe two more. A lot will hinge on what we are/are not, holding come May 2017. Eyes down for a full-ish house - as they say ! - Post No. 99708

Rob  0:30am 26th Oct 2016

By the way....love the bit about Ken resembling Albert Steptoe. You should have emitted a loud cry of...Arrrroooollllldddd....at that point ! - Post No. 99709

Bonzo  6:13am 26th Oct 2016

Poor old Maureen is all sullen and miserable living in a hotel room in Manchester and on this site you've got little namby Jambie cracking up in a rusty caravan by the sea. Solitude is not good for a man Mr Jamerson. You should beg forgiveness from your wife and kids and return back to London. - Post No. 99710

Roy  7:01am 26th Oct 2016

Yanto has it spot on, and those who are deluded enough to think otherwise need to wake up. Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic are all this past it mob are good for. Regime out, and take your sheep with you. - Post No. 99711

GS  8:44am 26th Oct 2016

Good win last night, the EFL is something the 2nd team should aspire to win, as for the 1st team, they have bigger fish to fry, so lets hope the winning/not losing streak continues and we come out of Nov still top of PL. .....COYG - Post No. 99713

GS  9:02am 26th Oct 2016

Oi Leeky, When you wake up, read the Post by Yanto..99685, and come back with a valid reply, ref the AKB's views. Would be interesting to read your thoughts... Please do not resort to abuse, cos up to now, that all you seem to post. Come on, we're waiting..... same question to Jamerson, bba, Arsebad etc and all AKB's who post one-liners on here. - Post No. 99714

Seven Kings Gooner  10:36am 26th Oct 2016

Yanto, Thank you for putting the current state of Arsenal into superb perspective. It is the older fans who can see through the garbage coming out of Arsenal these days, top trophies do not matter any more to the management or the players, the trophies for players now are "image rights, Baby Bentleys,boot deals,their big houses and the absurd utterings on twitter. Kev: really good writing, so pleased you were there to gives us the full unabridged "lovefest" - Post No. 99715

Leggsy  11:56am 26th Oct 2016

Nice report but I don't think Arsene is going anywhere. Kroenke makes lots of money with the club so he's happy. Sir Chips is a Hillwood Proxy and Gazidis doesnt have the authority to sack Wenger even though he would love to ! So it's 2 more years then ! - Post No. 99716

Bonzo  12:23pm 26th Oct 2016

Oi Leek the Squeak, how much did you pay to watch Arsenal Reading? We want a breakdown of spend including programme, Fanta Orange, Ham sandwich mummy made for you. After all You spend more on Arsenal than anyone else, so we'd love to know. Do you remember Westie? He managed to moan for about 3 years about how much he spent going to a game in 1968. I still don't know if he ever arrived. He was also a top fan , betting hundreds of pounds on us losing every season. Sounds like your type of Wengo lover. - Post No. 99717

IHA  13:27pm 26th Oct 2016

Yanto - loved the post, as it beautifully summarises how many fans feel about 'losing their club'. There is no doubt that football and Arsenal have changed immensely over the last 25 years, however, I would like to put a few points on the other side. Firstly, money has always been important in football - in the 30s we were known as the 'Bank of England Club', and we led the way in commercialising football. The art deco stands, floodlights, televised matches, tube station renaming, the clock, the marble halls, all cherished parts of our heritage, were in the vanguard of commercialism in their day. I share your happy memories of the ‘halcyon days’ of the pre-Premiership era, but I also remember a few other things: shocking racism on the terraces; an environment unsuitable for children (and in which women were rare); the danger of death by crushing which callous policing exposed us to; the threat of violence in the streets around the stadium; and even medieval toilet facilities in the stadium. The world changes, and its not all bad. - Post No. 99719

Ron  13:41pm 26th Oct 2016

IHA - Very true and good comment, but the commercialism that yr talking about was an aside to supplement and enhance the Club being a successful football Club. Todays commercialism has subrogated football to a far lesser standing and AFC have willingly allowed the commercial gains to take precedence over what happens on the pitch. Yr right on many levels, but much of what you say is a smokescreen around the reality of what Arsenal are now. - Post No. 99720

Exeter Gunner  13:47pm 26th Oct 2016

You take Yanto's comment, then IHA's and Ron's just above, and you've got the whole picture. Look forward to Leekey's considered response to all that. - Post No. 99721

Tim Charlesworth  13:53pm 26th Oct 2016

Hi mbg. I note your opinion that history keeps repeating itself. Did you know that there is a whole book on this theme?: www.itshappenedagain.com - Post No. 99722

mbg  14:40pm 26th Oct 2016

SKG, and the Tattoo mate, and of course the WAG, until a better one comes along anyway. - Post No. 99726

mbg  16:39pm 26th Oct 2016

Tim Charlesworth, yes checked it out, some programmes, movies too, I didn't see any of what or who it's/their based on or took from though, wenger, or maybe he's based his philosophy on them. - Post No. 99731

Phil  18:04pm 26th Oct 2016

It's true I turned up in leather biker's trousers, but only cos I arrived on a leather bike. BTW, Usmanov abstained from voting on the resolutions last year in protest against the £3m extracted by KSE, it wasn't to do with re-electing Stan. Prior to last year Usmanov supported all the Board resolutions. BTW2: I bet Arsene is still there next season. - Post No. 99737

mbg  20:36pm 26th Oct 2016

Phil, you probably didn't look to much out of place mate, among the Yank and French YMCA, we already had an Indian snake oil salesman, a young cowboy, the builder who built the Emirates single handily and a baldy with a tash, all we needed was for them to start pointing shaking their hips and singing young man, although they probably did when they got back to Highbury house they were celebrating and laughing so much at the fans having got of the hook yet again. wenger out. - Post No. 99738

NickF  11:36am 27th Oct 2016

With regard to the Man City incident, Gazidis is lying (no surprise there). The City stewards were quite happy to let the banners in, it was the Arsenal stewards who didn't allow them - only after they saw what they said. - Post No. 99751

Website Editor  12:15pm 27th Oct 2016

Nick F - Please email me - use editorial contact email address at the bottom of the page. The CEO has offered to meet with the affected protestors and the stewards responsible to get to the truth of this and more importantly find agreement on the way forward. He said he has no problem with people expressing their freedom of speech - Post No. 99753

mbg  18:03pm 27th Oct 2016

NickF, nice one, a lot of lies and spin being required and used there then (as if we didn't already know) lies and spin every way they fooking turn, I wouldn't and don't believe anything that comes out of their mouth anymore (but of course there's those that do) and good on you Website Editor (God knows where we'd be, or what we'd do if we hadn't a voice through you is it any wonder some would rather we hadn't ) but unfortunately this meeting with TKOS old slap head himself might not be so fourth coming now after this revelation, please keep us posted. Liars out. - Post No. 99765

G10  9:34am 28th Oct 2016

£8m annual salary, a fawning board and no pressure to deliver trophies, no wonder The Old Fraud declared the club to be a 'paradise'. TOF managing a team to premier league or champions league glory is the stuff of science fiction; not even L Ron Hubbard had that active an imagination. He is going nowhere, folks; his contract is wing extended 'in perpetuity'. - Post No. 99776

Roy  20:28pm 28th Oct 2016

Two of my mates went to City, and they say it happened exactly the way Nick said it did. - Post No. 99792

Website Editor  9:23am 29th Oct 2016

Ivan Gazidis also told me the club would ban anyone found guilty of violence on their fellow supporters. Bring me the proof and we will do it was the gist of what he said. I said there would be plenty of CCTV, but anyway, if people do have video footage of fans being hit at the Etihad, let me know. I will support the right of any Arsenal fan to express any reasonable opinion (so for example, I won't defend racist comments), but not for an Arsenal fan to punch another they do not agree with. - Post No. 99800

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

23rd February 2018

It Is Actually Getting Worse

Online Ed: Arsenal’s largely unmotivated players defeated at home