- Arsenal face four huge dangers as they stand again on the edge of greatness
- The four dangers that could stop Arsenal’s rise next season. 2: The journalists
- The four dangers that could stop Arsenal’s rise: Part 3; returning to the tackle
Part 4; The Rabble Rousers. False beliefs and fake logic.
In a statement, the Arsenal Supporters Trust announced, “The current board is simply not fit for purpose. It has no members who are independent of the owners, no one with any previous football industry experience, and no one who has any specific role that links them to Arsenal supporters.”
It is a typical AST commentary, and one could take any one of their numerous statements and see the same problem: a lack of connectivity and a lack of logic. I won’t take up time with going through their other statements of the same type, as they have been covered here before, but I’ll do a quick review of this one, just to show what I mean and where the great danger to Arsenal’s future lies.
“The current board is simply not fit for purpose.”
It’s a statement like “Wenger out” – there’s no exposition, no argument, no debate, no logic, no evidence, just a conclusion. It lacks a definition of what the purpose of the board is (something on which many different opinions could be expressed), and why having members who are independent of the owners could be argued to be important.
In the grown-up world, statements like this are irrelevant. What is needed is a clear description of aims, the logic behind the aims, the route to achieving the aims, and the logic behind choosing this route. None of this is ever made clear in AST pronouncements.
If the purpose of the Board is to ensure Arsenal win a trophy every season, then no, at the moment it is not fit for purpose, but then nor has any other Board at Arsenal ever been fit for purpose in that case. If its purpose is to make the club financially viable in the long term, I suspect the board is fit for purpose, given the progress made on the pitch from Christmas Day.
“It has no members who are independent of the owners”
And why would this be good? Where I have seen such a person in place, generally filling the traditional independent non-executive role on a board, at best it has been nothing but a sop to a minority group. At worst the individual leaks stories from the company to the media and causes tension and arguments. The board will always take the decisions it thinks are right for the business, and for the longevity of itself.
Leadership comes from the top, and we believe there is a direct correlation between these governance failings and Arsenal’s footballing decline.
“Leadership comes from the top” is one of those circular nonsensical phrases which some people like to repeat in the vague hope that no one is going to question what they mean. Of course a leader is at the top. As Homer Simpson might say, “Doh!”
And it is this use of pointless circular nonsensical phrases in their pronouncements that make me despair of Arsenal Supporters Trust, just as much as I despaired when they started claiming the directors had their fingers in the till.
What difference could having one of their number on the board make? Would it make the team play better? Would it make us win the League more often? Would it reduce the abuse of the manager? Would it cut out the placard-waving?
I can’t see why it would. In short I think having AST involved in Arsenal would simply serve AST’s purposes, not those of the club.
Arsenal as things stand
To my mind, Mr Arteta has proven himself with this fantastic turn around of the club on the pitch since Xmas Day, and I don’t want anything to spoil it. I think his approach to handling PGMO by cutting out tackling is radical and exciting, and his way of changing players’ positions and styles to counter opposition expectations is radical and successful.
Although I felt very frustrated about the way Ozil etc were treated, the success on the pitch this year justifies his actions, and gives me great confidence for the future.
In fact I can only see one thing getting in the way of a really good season starting in August, and that is the noise and disruption from Arsenal Supporters Trust. Their wild accusations and illogical statements feed a media which accepts AST as the voice of Arsenal supporters, which it most certainly is not.
I can only hope that Arsenal’s board swats them aside as one would an annoying insect. Taking them seriously could be the biggest mistake of this crisis.
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