Ivan Gazidis: this is what he does…a report from the end of season supporters’ event by Drew (Blacksheep63) Part one appeared here.
This concluding part of the report covers the questions that were asked from the floor.
The first question was why is everybody being quiet about Red and White and Usmanov? Given he is the richest man in the world (apparently even better off than Tony) why don’t we let him buy us loads of rich mercenaries and storm Europe?
Gazidis played a straight bat and reminded us that we support FFP (so it would be stupid), but also that he thinks an increased explosion of spending is not good for the game, and it’s not the Arsenal way. He got good applause for this – we don’t want a rich Oligarch running our club, we want sustainable growth aka Bayern Munich.
Ivan was asked what is plan B if FFP doesn’t deliver what we hope for? Ivan responded that plan B is the same as plan A because while are in favour of regulation it is not part of our business strategy, because we can’t rely on it.
So the aim is to push the club forward using our own independent resources, just like Munich. In fact we might move the club to Germany, to Munich actually and rename the club, Arsenal Munich (ok, he didn’t say that…well not out loud).
He was asked about the balance of the squad and the need to buy defenders. The questioner stated that this season our defence was not good enough and it took too long for AW to realize this. So does the coaching staff have enough influence and does AW listen?
Cleary Ivan is less comfortable talking about on the pitch matters but he pointed out that our defensible record this season, particularly in the second half of the season, was second best overall. Players developed into their roles, and he reminded us that it’s a relatively new group of players. And of course AW listens, what was he expected to say – nah, Arsene sticks his fingers in his ears and goes nanananananaanna when Bould enters the dressing room?
Then someone asked about Ivan’s laser (which I didn’t know he owned – awesome!)
Q: Will you be applying your laser and clearing more dead wood from the squad?
A: ‘This is what terrifies me about these sessions’ he said! IG agreed that we had/have players that have not performed at the levels we want, but wouldn’t discuss individual players. But, a point that Untold makes, we don’t make quite as many mistakes in signings as some think.
Q: Have we not already missed a trick in signing players already given that MU, Chelski, and the Arab league all have new managers?
A: No I don’t. We are in all the right discussions and progress is ongoing, our transfers targets are not affected by the managerial changes (make of that what you will).
Q: Can the grounds capacity be increased and can the red section be supported/encouraged? A: There is no need for more seats. And as for the atmosphere, we are open to any ideas from supporters. He also batted back grumbles about the food and bars.
Overall the man is a very good speaker, he was calm and well prepared and imbued confidence. Yes, he had the Qs in advance so it’s hard to catch him out but give him credit. I think we have to trust him and AW and Silent Stan to deliver this summer. We seem to be in a better place than we were in terms of spending power, let’s hope we can get the business done and be real challengers – that was Ivan Gazidis’ message to us.
I wasn’t able to ask if we could get a statue of Tony and Walter erected but I’ll try again next year. If you want to get involved I urge you to join AISA or AST.
Footnote (from Tony)
I would never seek to deny there is a very positive view of Ivan Gazidis from the Untold team. Via Aisa (of which Drew and I are committee members) I was able to get a meeting with Mr Gazidis at which, on behalf of the Aisa Arsenal History Society I proposed that there should be statues all around the ground – starting with one of Herbert Chapman. Lo and behold 18 months later, there they were. Mr Gazidis also attended the AHS social at the Houses of Parliament earlier this year, and I had a private conversation with him, in which I found him very forthcoming. So yes, I would very much go along with Drew on this one – he’s a very important part of the team.
- Recent reports on Untold
- Fenerbahçe accused again of match fixing
- Coffee, Arsenal and a cup. It’s all about enjoyment.
- The moaners changing their tune?
- Defensive blunders have cost Arsenal the title
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
The sites from the same team…
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society