By Tony Attwood
In recent years I’ve been at the AGM of Arsenal, but this year other commitments made it impossible – so I’ve been picking up the news feeds as we go. But please do note this is not a first hand record, and in the past I have found that what actually happened at the AGM was not what was reported.
If you were there, please do add some comments on the bits I have missed.
Overall it looks as if it was a more pleasant less fractious occasion than in the past – and it also included questions to Mr Wenger which he answered openly.
For example he was asked near the end about switching to a 4-4-2 system – something we were speculating on here for when Giroud and Danny W can play together in the team.
The boss said he was open to the idea, which has positives and negatives. But overall he promised that it would be used once Giroud is fit and able to play alongside Danny Welbeck.
On Fanshare – another issue we’ve touched on here (not least because I’m a member of Fanshare) – we got this answer: “Mr Kroenke and Arsenal board have given Fanshare around £250,000 of club’s money to cover the running of the scheme. We have never sought or received any funding. The funding could not go on forever. There was always an understanding that it needed to become self sufficient. The Arsenal board have more than lived up to its promises in relation to Fanshare.”
Following the wild and inaccurate coverage of Arsenal’s ticket prices Ivan Gazidis pointed out that ticket prices have gone up 1.6 per cent since 2006-7. Actually I wish I had had that figure to hand when I wrote my piece about the bizarre Guardian coverage of ticket prices.
Interesting also that the paid journalists covering the survey from the BBC didn’t see that either. (Everton have made a large public rebuttal of the figures and their interpretation – so it is not just Arsenal’s figures that were misrepresented.)
“The board has never approached ticket prices glibly or lightly. Demand for ticket continues to far exceed supply. Underneath those headline ticket prices, the club continues to make tickets available to as many as possible.
“Our ticket exchange continues to grow and it’s the most advanced in the game, 60,000 will use it this season. That continues to remain a priority for us.”We have introduced £10 tickets for young Guns, adults and we are always looking at initiatives.”
Questions on transfers came up – although as far as I can see no one bothered to link the money spent on transfers with the need to raise money through crowd revenue.
Ivan Gazidis said, “We are not hoarding a vast cash balance. We do not try to broadcast our cash situation but situation is more complex. It is quite untrue that we are sitting on a huge cash pile for some unspecified reason.”
On safe standing it seems Arsenal’s position has changed. “We’re open to safe standing but it has to be through the government who will study many aspects of it before approval.”
On the issue of new players Mr Wenger agreed that another defender was needed and that the club had tried to buy one in the summer but couldn’t get the right man. He also said that he was “determined to do a lot of work to develop that with youth team and experienced players. I am determined to fight harder than ever.” On injuries he said, “We are trying to develop our preventive work in medical side. We are also working on the mental side, it’s important the players are attached to the club.
So there we are, another AGM. A positive atmosphere from what I hear.
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias
- The real live facts that the media won’t ever touch (part 2)
- Could this be the best PL season ever for Arsenal in terms of goals?