By Tony Attwood
Apart from apologising for yesterday’s defeat and dealing (as usual without notes) about the problems facing the club, as well as its successes and its future) this year Mr Wenger told the AGM the story of a meeting of top European managers who meet from time to time.
Much of the debate concerned this hypothetical position.
A club is in the semi-final of the Europa League, but is also on the edge of qualifying for the champions league.
Some players need to be rested – they cannot play in every game. So should the very finest that the club can offer be put out in the Europa League semi-final, or the championship matches to see if they can qualify next year for the top competition?
The answer was interesting: if the manager is playing for his own future, he will want the Europa Cup on his cv, so he will put the best team out in that. If he is playing for his club’s future, he will go for the Champions League and all the money that brings.
Mr Wenger further explained this philosophy. In order of importance he puts the competitions that club plays in as:
1: Winning the League
2: Winning the Champions League
3: Qualifying for the Champions League
4: Winning the FA Cup
5: Winning the League Cup.
It is an interesting revelation that puts the qualification in 3rd spot, above actual silver pots and trips to Wembley. The reason he gave was simple. If you are trying to buy a player he doesn’t look at the trophy cabinet and say, “wow, you have won the FA Cup last year”, he says, “are you playing in the Champions League next year?”
There was also the matter of the Ladies Team which won the Super League (again) and the Continental Cup. They got a sustained round of applause, and in answer to questions about why the club still played some games at lesser grounds, we were told to watch for announcements. More games at the Ems are possible.
Elsewhere for me the highlight of the AGM was that for the first time ever the AISA Arsenal History Society had a sales stand there, and everyone of the 700 or so people attending the meeting got a copy of our new leaflet about the Society. Copies of our three books were available:
as well as copies of our three booklets which trace the history of Arsenal from earliest times, which are sent out to all members. There was a lot of interest in our work, and I believe we signed some new members up as well as selling some of the books.
As for the rest, the board was re-elected, Stan Kronke said a few words, Mr Wenger gave a terrific and insightful speech without referring to notes at any time, and there were the usual hostile comments from the floor of the meeting, demanding that more money was spent.
The board reiterated that it always advocated no dividend and no debt and clearly hopes that Uefa will not only introduce its FFP programme, but continue with its other financial programmes which have seen 23 clubs fined this year for not paying their debts.
There was much on the ticket pricing, and the extension of the pricing freeze, although this year nothing on catering.
In essence the story is, the landscape is moving, Arsenal is in the centre, and we are going to be there ready to take on the financial brave new world which lurks just around the corner.
- Need for speed
- What do FIFA registered agents do (and do any own football clubs?)
- Arsenal crowd beat up the referee – Tottenham keeper assaults fan
- Now that’s what I call a (reserve) team
- This is Arsenal, anything can happen
- Arsenal v Schalke: a riotous preview
- Is “Kick it Out” ineffective in the face of the support of racism by Fifa, Uefa, the FA and the Premier League?
- Come on you gunners (where did you go?)
- Arsenal in the watery marshes of the far eastern zone. It’s all Venta