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Amazingly 22% of members of Arsenal Supporters Trust say Mr Wenger should stay

By Tony Attwood

This year much of the the membership of the Arsenal Supporters Trust appears to be anti-Wengerian in its dominant outlook.  For some years this view was, I think, mollified a little by people like me who were members of the Fanshare scheme, and as a result were sent voting forms for AST votes on the direction of the club.  According to the AST website we are still affiliate members, but I didn’t see an email inviting me to vote this year.  Maybe I just missed it.

But with Fanshare now sadly closed, and just going through its winding up processes, I guess that there are other people such as myself who maybe didn’t get their email, or feel they no longer have a vote in anything the AST puts forward.

I was never at ease with my association with AST, and in the past have felt moved to criticise its questionnaires because of what I saw as their lack of balance within the questioning.  But again, maybe that’s just me.   I chose to join Arsenal Independent Supporters Association whose objectives in terms of supporting the club seem to be closer to my own.  Obviously I am not writing here on behalf of AISA, just reflecting that I am a member.

My point in all this is that organisations, just like magazines and newspapers, have a view.  If the Daily Mail did a survey of attitudes to immigrants one might expect a different answer from that gained if the Guardian did one.   AST mollified by the Fanshare associates had one vision.  Now it seems different.

But this notion – that the electoral roll affects the outcome of any survey – seems to escape newspapers like the Independent which announces with ill-concealed glee that “Arsene Wenger faces mounting pressure to step down as Arsenal manager following an overwhelming vote of no confidence from the club’s Supporters’ Trust.”

I doubt that this is in any way true for I suspect that everyone with a position of power realises that this association of  1000 paying members is not representative of any other grouping either when they say that 78% of their members do not want Wenger to sign a new contract and 86% believe the Arsenal board are not acting in the best interests of the club.

So the AST pander to the newspaper desire for upset within Arsenal, as the media has done, all the way back to the days of the split between Woolwich Arsenal and Royal Ordnance Factories FC.

What is interesting however is the motivation of those involved in AST when they say that “In light of these survey results the AST now calls on Arsenal’s board not to renew Arsène Wenger’s contract at the end of the 2016-17 season.

“A substantial majority of our members believe he is no longer the right person to take the club forward. We are confident this is an accurate reflection of the wider fanbase.   The AST will be writing to and meeting with members of the Arsenal board to convey these results and our position that they should now withdraw the offer of a new contract.”

Now we all know that the board is firmly behind Mr Wenger and Stan Kronke is not going to change his mind because of a vote of a very small fraction of the fanbase.   So what do they hope to gain?

One answer might be publicity for themselves – so that they are seen as a focus point for the intellectual wing of the aaa and thus hope to up the membership.

Certainly they can’t seriously believe that a statement such as the ones they have been making will actually launch a process of change.  Consider this

“The AST has long believed that change is needed in the Arsenal boardroom. The fact that only nine per cent of our members believe the Arsenal board have handled this issue well reinforces our view that a fresh approach is urgently needed.

“The board needs more dynamic and independent members with skillsets that reflect the challenges Arsenal face, including the need to grow commercial revenues and to rebuild a football management structure that increasingly looks out of date.”

I am not sure what the vote on such an issue was last year – certainly with the Fanshare members voting last year the majority of voters wanted Mr Wenger to stay as manager.

But if we look at the history of football clubs and the way in which they manage transformation, it is rarely because of a small number of people claiming that the board should welcome in other people.  And I can’t think of occasions where the development of an organisation has been enhanced by a group demands that the board reforms itself and kicks out its manager.

Since the AST know this, and know that statements like this are very unlikely to make a difference, their aim presumably is disruption and turmoil – and in this regard they certainly have the media on their side.

But whether the media has ever had the best interests of Arsenal at heart… well, that’s another matter.

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48 comments to Amazingly 22% of members of Arsenal Supporters Trust say Mr Wenger should stay

  • GoonerDNA

    The global Arsenal fan base I believe want a managerial change as too the AST.

  • stephen mono

    I have not spoken to one Arsenal supporter who believes it is in the best interests of AFC
    for Arsene Wenger to renew his contract.

  • Big D

    15% wanted Wenger to stay (9% undecided)

  • Big D

    sorry 7% undecided Doh!

  • John L

    I can only speak for myself and certainly not for the “global fan base” and I want Mr.Wenger to stay.

    Regardless of their individual assessment of our manager, it is sad that more people cannot see through the media-inspired campaign against him (and therefore against Arsenal, because its aim is to de-stabilise the club.

    Even if I was a critic of Mr. Wenger, I would not want to be associated with the insidious media campaign against him.

  • Zzzx

    This comment appeared to come from an email address that doesn’t exist. If the address is valid please get in touch directly.

  • GoonerDNA

    John L, that’s fine you can speak for yourself but unfortunately you are now the minority that want him to stay. My opinion and the majority of Arsenal fans believe now is the correct time for change it’s not a media inspired decision its pure evolution of our beautiful football club.

    I’m forever grateful to Arsene Wenger but his tactics and hold on the club are outdated and are harming the club and bringing the club into disrepute. Now is time for change and the future is bright we will always be Arsenal with or without Wenger.

  • John

    Sorry John L but I don’t need the media campaign to tell me that Arsenal have been in decline for many years and that most of the new managers to the Premiership look to have a modern approach to coaching, motivation, playing style, and recruitment.

    This is not just the so called big teams but lesser teams such as Everton and Burnley and even now Hull and Watford. Were you not impressed with even Lincoln and how their manager(s) think and motivate and talk?

    I can see these things myself and that AW has been left behind and that he repeats the same mistakes again and again.

    Do I want to see a once great manager humiliated and who has done great things in the past? Do I like headlines that indicate fans want us to lose to force an issue? Of course not but everything changes and he has not been able to adapt and progress and now is the time to retire and count his many millions of pounds he must have salted away. I am quite happy to hear his wisdom as a pundit but no longer as a manager at Arsenal.

  • GoonerDNA

    Funny thing is once Wenger announces he’s leaving the entire fan base will support him for the remaining games I’m sure you will hear 1 Arsene Wenger at every game. He will be remembered in a positive light but he announces he’s staying which I believe he will it’s going get ugly very quickly.

  • WalterBroeckx

    finishing 4-3-2 and winning 2 FA cups in the last 3 seasons is decline for some….. Yes things don’t go well for the moment but instead of moaning why don’t we get behind the team and the club as supporters should do when you get a bad spell during a season….

  • Manx Gooner

    Walter,

    If you look at our point totals the club is going backwards:

    2013-2014 – 4th – 79 points;
    2014-2015 – 3rd – 75 points;
    2015-2016 – 2nd – 71 points.

    With Wenger as manager next season I have no hope for improvement. With a new manager the hope returns.

  • Tom Owery

    Here’s a novel thought…maybe the AST has the interests of AFC at heart and believes that forcing the issues of the manager’s future and the Board’s incompetence is the only way to get the club out of the rut, into which it has settled over the past decade.

    Let’s face it, the board is only interested in its collective bank account and won’t do anything to make the golden goose stop laying; the manager has got himself into a position where he has no life outside football, so he will hang on to his job (and £8m p.a.) for as long as he possibly can; and the players will do whatever they need to to win trophies for themselves and make megabucks for themselves. The only people who aren’t riding the Arsenal gravy train – but who are paying the fares of those who are – are the fans. If they decide that causing a fuss and being generally objectionable are what they need to do, in order to make the club great again, then they are paying handsomely for the privilege, so good luck to them.

  • Paul the gooner

    John.
    Spot on.I do not enjoy the stick AW is getting, but the time is right.I believe we will know by this time next week. 2 matches in a week will tell us more.2 wins, he stays, anything else he will go.

  • MickHazel

    I would rather keep Wenger and get rid of some of the supporters.

  • MickHazel

    Unless AST tell us how many of their members actually voted in their poll we do not have a clue as to the accuracy of the 78% of the membership claim. If only 100 of the 1000 voted the percentage would drop to 7.8% of the total membership.

  • ste

    Tony
    You state “Since the AST know this, and know that statements like this are very unlikely to make a difference, their aim presumably is disruption and turmoil “.
    Why would a lot of die hard Arsenal fans who have supported the CLUB for years want disruption and turmoil???”The manager ,board and owner are doing that all on their own.These fans want the best for ARSENAL FC ,not arsene fc and unless you have been on planet neptune for the last month you will see that the club is in a right mess.

  • Bobome

    The jokers are back!!! Sorry if Silent Stan gives the thumbs up, your rude remarks will make no difference. Go to the media who are your cohorts in the hate of AW to drown your disappointment in whatever you fancy.

  • Al_The_Gunner

    the only problem with the all the “majorities” they’re almost ALWAYS wrong
    and this “real arsenal fans” will start their hate campaigns against any new manager after first loss

    and if this magic new manager wont win anything in his first year they will lynch him

  • Gord

    You also need to consider if the membership of AST is an unbiased sample of Arsenal support. And I doubt it is.

    —-

    There is a nice article at Arsenal.com about the unveiling of upgrades to the academy.

    And another about Theo working with a reading program.

    —-

    I really don’t know why a criminal organization like FIFA, has been allowed to spend more than a year going through its books, to produce a document on its own corruption. Is this intended to put words in the mouths of Swiss and USA-iain investigators?

    I am going to guess, that what this revolves around is taking an inventory of what the authorities copied in their raids, looking through that for smoke, and then trying to come up with plausible excuses for what none of that smoke indicates criminal activity.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Manx, when you move the goalposts each time to measure decline you can always find decline. Last years champion got one of the lowest points totals of the last 5 seasons so us getting less points also in 2nd place was just a good representations on how the season has unfolded with all the teams in each position getting significant less points.

  • It seems to me that any FOOL can clearly see that the Campaign against Aresene WENGER (AW) is UN-Natural and IN-Organic. It is indeed Generated and sponsored by two types of people:
    (1) So-Called FANS, who say they have supported Arsenal since their GrandFather was selling biscuits at Kings Cross for Living AFTER the Bloody 1st WW or Since just AFTER the Renaissance, hence they AFC in their blood/Genes
    (2) The Latter-Day CONVERTS/FANS, mostly in their Teens or Adolescent, who have grown up to know ONLY AW, as Manager. These are so-called Fans with NO self-mind. They are propelled by what Pundits in the Media (most of whom were essentially FAILED Footballers, who were playing in the Championship or Super-Annuated Conference footballers) who know Jerk-Shit of Football, and who are the same people who used to CRY DOWN successive ENGLAND Manager, and now left England the LAUGHING STOCK OF WORLD FOOTBALL!!!….because there are so many FOOLs making money by TRASH-TALKING others, and NOT only AW….TO DISPROVE THESE IDIOTS masquerading as so-called Football Experts, take a Look at the COMMENTARIAT FROM REAL & GENUINE EXPERTS OF THE GAME: Like Guardiola / Simeone / Conte/ Tuchel / Klopp / Enrique / and even the Head of FIFA and even Fergie plus see what they have said over the years until few days ago about THE ONE & ONLY ARSENE WENGER!!!…Just go and research what they have said…Including what the THE GREAT PELE OF BRASIL HAS REPEATEDLY SAID ABOUT ARSENAL STYLE OF PLAY, and HOW HE WISHES HE WAS PLAYING WITH THIS WONDERFUL & CLASSY TEAM!!!
    So the idea, that Trash-Talker & Championship-Level Footballer like Alan Shearer plus his partner-in-Trash Football, like Danny MURPHY to talk about something they do NOT know and WILL never understand what this Great Man Represent in both Club / National and World Football, is like Donald TRUMP writing the new rules of how to Treat women. ITS LAUGABLE AT WORST & SICKENING AT BEST!!!
    Arsene WENEGR WILL STAY FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS PLUS POSSIBLY MORE!!!…UNTIL & UNLESS HE WANTS TO GO AND OF COURSE, AFTER WE HAVE NAMED THE EMIRATES STADIUM TO A NEW & EVERLASTING NAME:
    THE ARSENE WENGER STADIUM — because he Single-Handedly BUILT & CHANGE this FINE Club and Change English Football to what it is TODAY. So get a LIFE & separate the Trees from the FOREST!!! — that’s the way it is, Bro!!!

  • Menace

    Could all you Wenger out Gooners please include your age ‘just to humour Menace’. I cannot accept that you have had enough time to learn football let alone know when a manager needs to be changed.

  • nicky

    Walter,
    I agree entirely with you.
    Our allegiance to Arsenal FC requires us to support the Club, team and Manager at all times, regardless of who is in charge and whoever wears the shirt.
    True loyal supporters are not part of the Club’s governance and as such have no say in the selection of Manager, coaches and players.
    And while these are bona fide employees of Arsenal FC they are entitled to 100% backing from all who call themselves supporters of our great Club. 😉

  • Polo

    Let look at the other top 6 team to see how they are progressing in points:
    Chelsea:
    2013-14 82 points. Arsenal 79 points
    2014-15 87 points. 75 points
    2015-16 50 points. 71 points
    Spurs:
    2013-14 69 points.
    2014-15 64 points.
    2015-15 70 points.
    ManC:
    2013-14 86 points.
    2014-15 79 points.
    2015-16 66 points.
    Liverpool:
    2013-14 84 points.
    2014-15 62 points.
    2015-16 60 points.
    ManU:
    2013-14 64 points.
    2014-15 70 points.
    2015-16 66 points.

  • Menace

    Look what you’ve done Polo – Manx Gooner has lost her voice!

  • Leon

    Would somebody please bar stats from this blog. You can prove just about anything with numbers.

  • Tom Owery

    I know this site is keen on facts to support arguments put forward. So here are two sets of facts that Polo omitted from the points comparison above.

    1. Chelsea, Spurs, ManU (twice), Liverpool and ManC all changed their managers during the three year period used in the comparison. Generally a change of manager brings some turbulence (one of the main reasons why some Arsenal fans are reluctant to see a change here). It’s no surprise therefore that those other clubs demonstrated the turbulence they suffered through their points totals.

    2. All those teams are doing much better this season as their new managers bed in and all are well on course to beat last year’s points total – Chelsea already have.

    3. At Arsenal, by contrast, there has been a lengthy period of managerial stability. Yet this season there has been (to put it mildly) no improvement at all. In fact, in order to beat last year’s points total we need 22 points out of the remaining 30. I hope we manage it; but on the basis of the last few results, I think it’s a forlorn hope.

    At this moment in the season it is indisputable that Arsenal are going backwards, while our five main competitors are moving forwards. In any other business a CEO with this recent level of performance would quickly be replaced, however good his past track record. Why is Arsenal any different? And why do some fans persist in seeing any suggestion that the manager needs to change as a personal insult? We all want what’s best for the club, even if we don’t agree what that best is.

    For Menace’s benefit, I’m 66 and my first match at Highbury was in 1960. My personal feeling is that this is worse than the barren years of the 60s, because there is absolutely no excuse for it. We are a rich club with a great history. We should be doing much better.

  • Ben

    I was surprised by the result as I too was not offered a chance to vote.
    They did a vote on safe standing etc but not this matter.

  • Polo

    @ MickHazel, AST has around 1000 members and it surveyed showed 86% don’t want Arsenal to offer AW a renewal contract. How many members voted? Well according to this news report: http://www.theweek.co.uk/arsenal/83182/arsenal-supporters-trust-finds-78-per-cent-want-wenger-out

    ”A total of 550 members took part in this month’s poll and the results underline how support for Wenger has waned – in the last survey of its kind 18 months ago, 84 per cent backed the Frenchman to continue.”

    Just over half of its’ members voted, so I assume the remainder don’t care. I guess the AW bashing keeps on rolling on.

  • Tom Owery

    A vote in which 55% of the electorate takes part and 86% votes for change is significant. It can’t be dismissed with a shrug and a casual reference to AW bashing just because it doesn’t accord with your personal view.

  • Polo

    I can imagine how this will pan out when AST bring it to the Board.

    Tim (AST) – ‘ Stan, no new contract for AW’
    Stan – ‘ Why Tim?’
    Tim – ‘ 86% of my members voted no’
    Stan – ‘ how many members do you have?’
    Tim – ‘ about 1000 members’
    Stan – ‘ so how many of those voted?’
    Tim – ‘ 550’
    Stan – ‘ you want me to abandon my faith in one of Arsenal’s greatest manager, because of 500 votes?’
    Tim – ‘ yes’
    Stan – ‘ come back when you get 60,000 people at The Emirates to vote no new contract’
    Tim – ‘ but, but I don’t have that many members.’
    Stan – ‘ thank you sir, move on please.’

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The Brickfields Gunners Blog is backing Arsene Wenger fully to a man .
    That we are a majority of only one does not in any way dilute our faith !
    Arsene Wenger Forever !
    Up the Gunners !

  • para

    allegiance to Arsenal FC ?

    I am not sure that “allegiance” is the right word. It reeks of having to be satisfied what ever the result, basically being in a sort of dictatorship where you have no other choice.

    If it was all free then yea, but fans and supporters pay a lot of money to watch Arsenal and they have the right to be dis-satisfied at results and to want change.

    Personally i would love him to stay and win PL and CL but this(the winning) seems highly unlikely unless a lot of changes take place, but i have to admit i am now leaning towards his going as this year (is panning) panned out just like last year and the year before…

    Arsenal has stagnated.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Brickfields so that is 100% in favour of Wenger 😉

  • ARSENAL 13

    votes hmmmm,

    Wenger out guys. Please for one last time, give us solid explanation on why Mr Wenger should leave. One solid explanation that we cannot refute. Please. Spare us from this daily nonsense.

  • ClockEndRider

    Gird,
    “…..And another about Theo working with a reading program.”
    While it is touching that the club is working with Theo to improve his literacy skills, I would suggest resources would be better focused on teaching him how to control a football.
    Having said that, the lessons he has received in hiding in plain sight have worked a treat.

  • Indeed not Tom. But fortunately I didn’t.

  • And that’s the problem Stephen isn’t it. People tend to stay in their groups. We get over 5 million page views a year, mostly from people who are pro-Wenger, but you don’t get to talk to them.

  • ClockEndRider

    If the electorate is itself insignificant numerically then, actually, it can be dismissed. It’s quite a leap to suggest otherwise, isn’t it?

  • VA Cong

    Is wenger resigning ? Seems to have been a bust up apparently?

  • VA Cong

    April fooled.

  • Menace

    Tom Owery – thank you. In those years since 1960 have you ever seen such a bunch of cheating biased officials? Or is watching a game only limited to players & the ball?

    I have watched & supported Arsenal since 1967. In the years since, this lot PGMOL are the most blatant corrupt cheating officials ever.

  • thierryhenry22

    Wenger in. That’s all.

  • DavidHillier'ssuitcase

    Been attending Arsenal games since 1978 .The current regime have achieved the almost impossible task of “neutralising” my enthusiasm for the club and it’s results.I have despised the likes of TalkShite and the Arsenal hating Daily Mail etc for years,so for you to apportion much blame at these guys feet for the negativity surrounding our club is incorrect and presumptuous in my opinion.Like many other modern day issues,there appears to be an overriding condescending implication of a lack of intelligence which is driving decisions to be made that the intellectual snobs from Socialist parties do not particularly like.Instead of admitting that there is overriding evidence that points to Arsene being unable to adapt to the tactical demands of the modern game,those who dare to criticise are rounded on and effectively told to “sit down,pay up and shut up”.No thanks,I don’t attend the Emirates anymore as the atmosphere is something I would associate with Centre Court at Wimbledon and the prices to match! The club need to adapt and that means moving Arsene on.

  • Fransicos

    He will sign a extention and we will win the Premier league next season

  • Jared

    Wenger in, and stop bashing Theo please. 17 goals in al competitions. No one else scores consistently besides Sanchez and Giroud. Thank you.

  • ademiniyi

    You talk about the bad spell but ain’t this same supporters the one that have been supporting for the last 12years you may be contented with been currently 6th on the table but everyone can’t be you.
    The fans base need to agree that Wenger will be offer extention though I think he should make his decision known quickly and if what Gazidis said about this season been a disappointment is anything to go by then I think Wenger should stay and help build our dear team

  • ademiniyi

    And the 10 years of us been trophyless ain’t this the fans that were in the club, arsenal fans are patient I just think they can’t take it any longer

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