Transparency Or Board Stupid?

Thomas Vermaelen declared himself fit to face Chelsea following his substitution on Tuesday night, creating  a nice defensive headache for Le Boss ahead of the weekend. Vermaelen would probably have deemed himself fit even if his leg were hanging by a thread, so sick he must be of seeing the Arsenal Medical Team on a daily basis. No matter how nice and fluffy the facilities are, the Belgian has made it clear, he is playing. None of the namby-pamby getting match fitness for him.

The other kind of not-so-nice headache looms in the shape of today’s AGM. I wonder if Stan Kroenke has declared himself fit for today or is it a case of making do with the ersatz Ivan Gazidis? Is Arsène going to take the stand, plead Mea Culpa and offer him up as a sacrificial lamb? That’s what you might be expecting if the online world is anything to go by.

It is a sign of how much football has changed that the AGM is considered newsworthy. Years ago it would not have merited a mention; not so now. The Times is typical of it all, “Arsenal board braced for wrath of fans“. Still, it’s better than John Cross‘ effort on MirrorFootball’s website which was just dross. Even with a heavily choreographed Q&A Session where triviality is encouraged, I hope the questions are better than those posed by the aforementioned gentleman.

Of those dozen Cross questions, five or more will answered by events (Kroenke speaking) or by reading the recent interviews by Jeremy Wilson. We know for example, that he had a facility with Deutsche Bank that enabled the bid to succeed, why he invested and why he won’t be pumping money into the club just by reading those articles. As for the rationale behind ticket price rises, that has been carried by the club and media websites. Cross himself even wrote on the subject.

One thing I find puzzling is the building obsession with fees paid by the club for KSE’s takeover. It is baffling that anyone thinks the club had nothing to do whilst Stan’s Sporting Empire expanded? Given the club issued documents that contained legally binding information, was this expected to be provided for free. Probably. Perhaps the board should have surfed the web in their lunchtimes to find out what was happening?

There are some relevant points in both articles, notably corporate governance and transparency, along with individual broadcast rights. I would suggest that anyone talking on the latter avoid mention of Bevan’s recent intemperate outburst, discredited by his inability to provide any substantive evidence. When Dave Richards ridicules a notion, you know how daft it has to have been.

The Carling Cup ties this season have highlighted the broadcast rights issues. Clubs need to investigate the avenue of streaming the matches themselves. They are losing out with overseas streaming and I am sure most who use the illicit sites would pay for a high quality version on the official website. With television coverage not impacted, there has to be options surely?

I do think Arsenal is missing a trick by not having its own television channel, a proper one not the internet version we have. There is some value in promoting the brand worldwide via this medium, Real Madrid do so for free in this country. I am sure that if you tie it into the membership, a rise in the annual cost would probably be accepted. Or just give us something else to moan about?

Equally, there are corporate governance issues, notably around transfers which I would like to know more on. Specifics are not necessarily required but surely knowing how much the club pays agents is a good start. As for salaries, I am not convinced that we have any right to know what anyone earns. That ought to be for themselves and their bank manager to know.

The argument that we pay the wages holds no more water for Arsenal than it does when you buy a loaf of bread at Tesco. You don’t have the right to know the cashiers who serves you’s wages, why should you know what Thomas Vermaelen earns?

This is before you address the issue of commercial sensitivities surrounding a club protecting its asset, the player, when it comes to predatory advances from rival clubs. That scenario is somewhat undermined when their Mr20% has been leaking the information but that is a different problem.

Some of the governance issues can be resolved by Fifa. As an organisation now promoting itself as being transparent, there is a case for them publishing the definitive guide to transfer fees utilising data in their Transfer Matching System. A simple website puts forward all the detail; if there are concerns raised by the clubs about this weakening their bargaining hand in transfers, make the information available outside of a transfer window.

All of this before commercial deals have been considered. We may know more come the end of today. In fact we will but whether it is deemed enough is an altogether different matter.

I hope that above all else, the meeting is conducted with respect on both sides. Flannel and evasion answers from the board will only irk; observations about players being old might be relevant but not if couched in derogatory terms.

There is a feeling of goodwill building with the current run. Let’s see if it still there by the end of today.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 27, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 189 Comments.

  1. Just…Salud YW

  2. Interesting.

  3. Great thoughts on the business issues YW. I tend to think that sometimes people expect too much from an AGM – fashioning it to some sort of judgement day.

    So is John Cross now the official SI unit for all things Arsenal in the media?

    I suppose someone has to write something if they’re getting paid for it. But the thought of taking a red top seriously on any sort of business related issue is just so bemusing. It’s actually toe curling to try and think of the gutter press writing a credible aanalytical article on something meaningful.

    A bit like the Daily Heil suggesting that since racism was common place in the 70s, folks should “man up” and get on with it.

    Speaking of the Heil, did I read somewhere that John Terry’s lip reading apologists protest that he called Ferdinand a blind cunt and not a black one? You do wonder when we got to the stage of considering it sacrilige to insult black people but consider it normal to insult blind people instead? What’s next? Fat people?

  4. YW, you’ve said it all. Now that chelsea game. . . .

  5. Darius

    Cross isn’t my favourite person, tries to pass himself off as a man of the people but is simply a populist. Given that its his job to garner hits and readers, that is not surprising. However, it is insulting to the intelligence to read his article. As soon as I read point one, I got the feeling it was the same as a contractual obligation album; the artist has no interest in the subject matter but wants people to think that they do.

  6. It’s a bit early to start playing silly buggers with alternative id’s, isn’t it?

  7. @Yogi – I’ve actually challenged John Cross several times to justify why he lives off the capital he draws from association with Arsenal and yet he never hesitates to shit on us from a very high ground whenever it suits him to be sensationlist and drive the standard “lets get the hits and sell ads” agenda.

    Pedantic George for example insists that he’s a decent bloke misunderstood. I’m sure he probably is a decent bloke and good family man – but the point is that he makes his living by indulging in shit stirring, shallow and agenda driven mis-information and all while pretending that he is the ultimate “Arsenal insider”.

    I wonder why the Fans Forum keep bringing him back on. It cements the notion that he is “truly” an Arsenal insider.

    A bit like Stewart Robson really….LOL! I can’t stand his commentary and analysis any more. I’m surprised he’s still on Arsenal’s payroll. Compare him to Dan Roebuck who without a doubt has Arsenal running through his veins. Roebuck’s commentaries are unashamedly Arsenal and his summarizers whether its Adrian, Richard Clarke, Nigel Winterburn or Kenny Sansom are also unashamedly tribal for Arsenal.

    And this is the thing – they do also criticize the team constructively when they need to and they do express the pain and anguish and emotions we all do when things are going pear shaped. But its never in doubt that they’re batting for the Arsenal.

  8. If i went to the AGM, thats al ill ask……..Diaby???

  9. So its seems today is going to be a boring day in terms of blogging, all AGM talk and no talk of proper football.
    Wake me up when football talk returns

  10. YW..absolutely spot on..An arsenal-chelsea clash on the horizon early on saturday, and yet all the headlines are about the AGM, strange times..

  11. “YW..absolutely spot on..An arsenal-chelsea clash on the horizon early on saturday, and yet all the headlines are about the AGM, strange times..”

    Funny, Chelsea fans will be moaning that an Arsenal game is on the horizon yet everyone is talking and moaning about Terry and Ferdinand.

    Last time we beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a certain Robin Van Persie scored 2 quick fire goals to sort out the battle. Me thinks Sideshow Bob will have his hands full on Saturday.

    I think we should start with a midfied of Song, Rosicky and Arteta.

  12. Chelsea has now had 5 players red carded this season and 34 yellow cards (6 of them to Cashley Cole).

    Me thinks someone is being sent off on Saturday.

  13. Darius
    “You do wonder when we got to the stage of considering it sacrilige to insult black people but consider it normal to insult blind people instead? What’s next? Fat people?”
    Oh pleeeease.
    As if that would in any way be an attack on actual blind people.Now JT is a despicable character but fair is fair.
    And as for me and my pal John Cross 🙂

  14. Me thinks someone is being sent off on Saturday.

    Yeah, trouble is he will have a red shirt on

  15. @ darius

    Yep I guess its the same from both sides..I guess the actual football has just become a small part of the “show and entertainment”..

    And I also think that Song, Rosicky and Arteta should start along with Gervinho and Arshavin.

    I feel in games like this, the start is so cagey with so little space that Arshavin and Rosicky can find the little gaps better than Ramsey and Theo who might be better suited to come on for those two, after an hour or so when the game opens up slightly due to tiring legs..

  16. I concur, Darius. Rosicky & Arteta it should be, rest all the same from the game against Stoke. May be I’d play The Verminator in place of Per, as Torres’s pace might trouble him.

  17. “Pedantic George for example insists that he’s a decent bloke misunderstood.”

    Missunderstood?No
    Decent bloke?Yes

    Are you spoiling for fisticuffs? 😉

  18. George – what do you think constitutes an attack on blind people?

    Your pal is already tweeting from the AGM.

  19. Gervinho vs Ivanovic is gong to be a mouth watering battle..I have a feeling that the manager will spring a surprise in terms of the squad.

  20. Anirudh ,That sounds like a good plan to me.Arshavin and Rosicky ,Ilike it

  21. we are in 7th so our match with Chelsea is expected to be a walk over for them. and since we won all our other past matches (7 in 8 right?), there are Hardly any negatives they can bring up from that either. only the AGM can allow them to abuse the broad along with all other possible negatives

    When we win this, they will take us more seriously.

    At least 3 -0 to the arsenal

  22. Darius,Not calling someone a “blind cunt” that is for sure.
    If someone misses what you say would “deaf cunt” then be an attack on deaf people?
    Stop being silly.It does not become you.

  23. Wouldn’t start TV5 at CB having not played there in two months (yes, I realise he played on Tues) and not since Mert and Kos are starting to form a decent understanding and have performed well in the last two EPL games.

    I would like to see TV5 play LB. Whilst I am excited by Santos, if he or Gibbs play and go for thier customary walk about we will be in trouble.

    Not convinced on Arteta & Rosicky both starting. Both are deployed as deep lying playmakers and would not offer much different. I’d favour Arteta purely as he has more game time. For me, Arshavin should start – he is coming back into form, and he is genuinely a footballer who can win a game on his own. Chances will be few and far between at the bridge, Arshavin can do the unthinkable.

    Scz


    TV5
    Kol
    Mert
    Coq

    Song
    Arteta
    Arshavin

    Walcott
    RVP
    Gervinho

  24. Darius,not on my timeline he’s not

  25. David Luiz will get sent off. Very error prone still.

    RVP will run him ragged.

  26. I wonder whether Wenger will go for a back 4 of Djourou, vermaelen, Koscielny and Santos or Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Santos, or Djourous, Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Santos or Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Santos….

    LOL – Fucking brilliant headache to have and that’s without even Sagna on the grid.

    Rosicky, Arteta and Song offer a more solid and experienced midfield against the Chavs. This game will be won and lost in midfield.

    I also agree Arshavin and Gervinho should start. Terry and Sideshow Bob are going to have their hands full.

  27. Luke Le Coq will not play at RB.

  28. George – he’d said he was going to tweet. But then again, so will all the usual suspects.

  29. Darius tweeting on the train is not the same as

    “Your pal is already tweeting from the AGM.”

    Now is it?

    Am I going to be at loggerheads with you all day? 🙂

  30. I best get in gear then George – maybe a cup of coffee, a shower, a paracetemol….LOL

    How you doing anyway? Was away yesterday and didn’t get to see you gloat over Arshavin’s masterclass on Tuesday.

  31. Yes Darius I was in full gloating mode,a real happy bunny

  32. I think Arshavin can really be the match winner on Saturday. In a lot of ways, RVP is a wanted man and they’ll try and Police mark him. But Arshavin does have the magic to do the ridiculously sublime.

  33. Arshavin has to start in the No 10 role on Saturday. He absolutley has to.

    Another disciplined performance from Song supplemented with the defensive work of Arteta then he need’nt worry about not tracking his man.

  34. It will be interesting to see the following team v Chelsea

    Tech 9
    Back 4
    Song, Arteta
    Rosicky, Arshavin, Gervinho
    RVP

  35. I guess Kroenke’s speech has put paid to any notion that Wenger will be fired. I feel for the doomers.

  36. I just cant see what value Rosicky would bring playing as a wide forward.

    Considering how much of Chelsea play starts with thier full backs, we need to negate that with pace – Walcott / Gervinho will effectively pin back Ivanovic/Cole

    I dont think Rosicky has the legs or the pace to put the necessary shift in out wide – something akin to Milner / Silva last weekend.

    Rosicky and Arteta both are most effective sat next to Song. To control the tempo of the game from deep. Rosicky is one of our best players on the ball underpressure – why waste his strongest attribute out wide in a position he has not been effective in?

    Same with Arshavin. He is not a winger. Never has been. Plays like a legend through the middle. Why o why do we persist in tieing his hands behind his back.

    Walcott has to start. He is one of our biggest threats away from home, especially in big games because we dont have to force the issue, Chelsea will play a high line, this is the sort of scenario he thrives in. Walcott dominates when he has open space to abuse. Let him loose on Saturday.

  37. Some news stories to keep us enthralled:

    1. Since the CC is such a tinpot competition, it’s noteworthy that all the top teams have taken the trouble to get into the Quarter-Finals – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, ManU, ManC, Sp…… – as I was saying, all the top teams.

    Amazing what the chance of a trophy will do. (And there’s still a couple of Championship teams there for ManU to be drawn against.)

    2. Nasri wins a starting place in ManC’s Carling Cup team. With Gervinho now established as a regular in our EPL XI, he could have stayed and played in the CC for us.

    3. John Terry is distressed that anyone should think him capable of saying such a thing. Please everyone, show a little humanity and stop upsetting him.

  38. Spurs are in the CC quarter finals? I thought it was Crystal Palace with the last of the top team slots.

    Of course United will draw Cardiff or Palace and Arsenal will draw Man City away.

  39. Darius – any reason why you think Rosicky should play as a wide forward against the best LB in the league?

  40. No, Darius – just the top teams.

  41. Wow, you can get 5/1 for us to win this weekend!!!!

  42. Luke.

    I think we need to keep tight in this game and Rosicky is more experienced than most of our players. If we’re going to play Arshavin in a free role, then my sense is that playing Theo out wide is too attacking and we need some guile and experience.

    Theo can come on for impact.

  43. One of the best comments at the AGM from Wenger.

    “We have to be united. That’s the only way we can survive at the top.”

  44. Sounds like AW killed it at the end.

  45. I appreciate the rationale – team selection will be massive. We need to disrupt what Chelsea would have done this week in training.

    Through AVB a curve ball, much like City last weekend.

    Playing Walcott does give the perception of a more attacking outfit, but his presence will stop Cole getting forward. If we had Walcott at the Camp Nou last year it would have been a different story for example.

    Would be very concerned about playing Rosicky against Cole in terms of physicality, the latter being much fitter and much faster – would give him license to get forward and try expose our RB with Mata.

    I don’t fancy Rosicky in our big games, especially not ahead of one of our most potent weapons away from home.

  46. Big Al – sounds like Wenger bailed out PHW’s comedy show with a very passionate plea for supporters to unite.

    It sounds like support for Wenger is still very strong, but people were disillusioned with the board. Wenger also noted that he was grateful to speak to fans directly as the media always distorts what he says.

    Of course the hacks in the room tweeted that they would never ever do something that sinister.

  47. i bet the fans are giving PHW a tough time in the AGM.

    Anyway, on to the chelski match,

    Tech 9
    Djorrou Mert Kos Verm
    Arteta song Ramsey
    Walcott RVP Gerinho

    Walcott pace is vital for this game, how many time do i remember Walcott scoring against the chavs??. Theo also does alot of defensive work protecting the full back, theo imo iz vital to this game.

    Ramsey might be as creative as Rosicky, but he reminds me of a lilttle Gerrad, Ramsey has goals in him and is also a potiential match winner

    ill start TV at left back, cause i don’t want to disrupt Kos and Mert new found friendship. Also as i havent seen to much of santos yet.

  48. Yeah, it looks like PHW got it in the neck.

    I think there was dissent about AW not fielding questions, DS, but that’s fine by me – I believe there’s no room for voices outside the coaching circle.

    It is heartening to hear that his piece went down well, and it really looked like it came from the heart. I’ll be interested to see how it’s reported.

  49. Well that seemed like not very many “hard questions” and the “wrath of fans” barely flickered

    How monstrously disappointing for our friends in the meeja – they will just have to hope a new victim turns up quick – and if not I am sure they can invent one

  50. Yup, Darious, sounds like PHW was a laughing stock (again)

    Would be VERY interested to understand what targets Gazidis hit to earn a 600k bonus.

  51. anicoll

    Its because it was the first AGM where there wasnt an open floor session – the non scripted part where anger/frustration is vented.

    Also the first AGM that Wenger hasnt promised a trophy

  52. Luke

    Probably the bulls-eye on the boardroom dart board.

  53. Jesus. Imagine the price hike if he checked out from 170.

  54. Big Al – the media is in a bit of a bind because they’ve focused on justifying their Wenger bashing on supposed discontent in the fan base.

    Even while they tweeted during the AGM, there were references to the AGM being reprepresentative of Arsenal discontent and they weren’t exerting any “influence” by applying an edge to the reporting – they were just reporting what they saw, heard and experienced.

    I’m also curious as to how they’ll report the overwhelming support shown to Wenger even during such difficult times for the club. How do you negatively spin the standing ovation Wenger got, especially after the manager makes an observation that the press do not always put his message across to the fans in the way they’re meant.

  55. “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told BBC Sport that the club have started negotiations with Robin van Persie over a new contract.”

    No he fucking didn’t. He told the entire AGM and not frigging BBC Sport – you lying bastards.

  56. Next it will be “Wenger exclusively told Talk Sport that he wishes Arsenal fans would unite and back the team”.

  57. “Wenger devastated by threat of Dein return” – something along those lines perhaps ?

  58. is craig eastmond still an arsenal player??

  59. @Darius,
    What happend to stone cold friday

  60. Thanks Yogi.

    I agree with those advocating a start for Theo. He always gives the Chavs problems, and if he is in the mood to track back and have a real go at Cole, he should be effective in both areas. His pace makes up for his lack of defensive nous. I also think we should start with Song, Arteta and Rosicky in the midfield, allowing Arsh to come on at 60 odd mins to play behind RvP if we’re chasing a goal. Rosicky Song and Arteta can all perform both attacking and defensive duties, in rotation.

    The back 4 is a very interesting one… I like the idea of having all 4 of our best CBs across the line. Kos can easily play at LB or RB if needed, Djourou looked good at RB, and it would be foolish to leave TV5 out. If Santos is chosen, Kos should play at RB with the Mert/TV5 combo in the middle.

    I’ve got a very good feeling about this game, much more optimistic than i was a few weeks ago. They aren’t in the best of mental states by all accounts, and our nemesis DD is not available. This could be a huge mental step for the team at this stage of our season.

  61. Great news about RvP’s contract. Now that they are in talks, I would be very surprised if he doesn’t sign a long term deal. Maybe this will be the start of the slow re-structuring of our wages?

  62. Jeff – One of Us now speaks on the Friday slot.

    I’ve done Stone Cold Friday for 2 years and its been a privilige but I have other commitments that call. I’m still very much around and will occasionally do one off blog posts if Yogi is away or needs some rest but it might be Stone Cold Monday or Tuesday or whenever.

    Big Al is a very capable replacement and a credible Wordsmith to boot so you’re in good hands on Fridays.

  63. John Cross doesn’t come close to being as big a wanker as Martin Samuels. Whe Wenger delivers the Champions League and another top 4 finish Samuels should be taken to task for the utter bullshit and downright slander summarised in this article:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/14802

    “Anonymity is the refuge for all literary and journalistic rascality,” he suggested. “It is a practice which must be completely stopped. Every article, even in a newspaper, should be accompanied by the name of its author; and the editor should be made strictly responsible for the accuracy of the signature. The freedom of the press should be thus far restricted; so that when a man publicly proclaims through the far-sounding trumpet of the newspaper, he should be answerable for it, at any rate with his honour, if he has any; and if he has none, let his name neutralise the effect of his words. And since even the most insignificant person is known in his own circle, the result of such a measure would be to put an end to two-thirds of the newspaper lies, and to restrain the audacity of many a poisonous tongue.”

    – Arthur Schoepenhauer – 160 years ago

  64. What is it about Arsenal class? Even with all the moaning and so called questioning at the AGM, you have to ask – why is it only Arsenal’s AGM that is being religiously followed in the media or on twitter.

    Of course the sugar daddied clubs can’t hold a one man AGM – but what other club gets so much attention for a garden variety formal meeting of members.

  65. but what other club gets so much attention for a garden variety formal meeting of members.

    ————-

    Hacks know we are the only fanbase that understand what an AGM is.

  66. Hope TV plays alongside koz agin chels we need pace not height. mersack will make a great second choice next season with koz if we get cahill but he is number three now the best CD in the world is back, wheres Diabi thats what i want to know cause when hes back it will give us more strength and ability, why wont song stay in his position, i wish i knew, thats the coqs soon, why dont we have buy out clauses of stupid money rvp will sign hes Arsenal fact, as for the press who gives a toss what they print it makes no difference to the result now does it, some people dont like it cause they have unrealistic view of the teams ability so the press statements seem further adrift than they actualy are

  67. theo im a big fan but the boy is not on form so dont play him unless you want to f him up

  68. Thanks for the post Yogi:

    The business end of things is generally boring but its clearly important so we have to talk about it. Our own TV network seems like a no-brainer. Still think it would be nice to see some shake up in the front office and on our coaching staff. Bringing in new blood and new ideas especially with the coaching staff would do some good. Things are going better at the moment but I think that the current staff has been around for a long time with no real competition for their spot. The 6 month mental fog that the club went thru seems to be lifting but it should not have happened in the first place. Any team can go thru a run of bad form, but a team with this much talent should never go thru the type of run we had. Ultimately the coaching staff has to be able to make changes or do something to help lift the fog sooner. Arsene is going to be with us for a long time and anyone calling for his sacking is silly and unrealistic but he has to step back and realize that things can and probably have gotten overly comfortable and probably a little stale. I know nothing is going to change but hope springs eternal.

    Looking for a good performance at The Bridge on Saturday. Our home form has been great and that has to continue. Even with great home form we still need to get 25 – 28 out of the remaining 45 points away from home to challenge for 4th. A draw Saturday would be a great start. Win not out of the question if we play well.

  69. who cares who listens to the agm that means we are what ??? care about the results thats what matters nothing else unless you have pretentions, just be a fan darius thats all you are at the end of the day just like everyone else, let it go son

  70. Did anyone see the BBC one league cup show last night? Some of the worst coverage I’ve ever seen. They showed fairly in depth highlights of every game, except ours. They only showed the goals, without even showing replays of the goals, and that was it. Then they tried to talk about Arsenal afterwards (Mark Bright – quite an ironic name tbh) didn’t have a farking clue. He said Arteta was injured so that’s why Arsh played in the hole, he said our injury problems continue with TV5 going off injured. And basically went on to come out with the standard Arsenal statements of those who don’t have the foggiest – apart from what they read a couple of months ago in the Sun. It was so poor. It was almost like a comedy sketch. Bright was terrible throughout, stumbling on his words, making it quite uncomfortable watching, even before the Arse game was shown. I bet they wished they had asked someone else onto the show…

  71. Get it off your chest Geo! Theres a good lad.

  72. Very positive news about Van P being in talks with the club for a new contract.

    If my memory serves me right, anytime we play Chelsea and Theo scores we end up losing that game so for this one I’d want him to play but not score so as not to jink us (I know superstitious, but i cant help myself).

    As for the person who’ll make the biggst impact on Saturday i feel it will be Gervihno.

    My line up would look something like this

    Chezz
    Djourou, Mert, Kozzer, Santos
    Rosicky, song, Arteta
    3Gs, VanP, Arsha

    Ramsey, Walcott, Le coq, park, chamakh and Vermaelen to be onthe bench.

    For those of us who dont tweet could you guys give us more info an the AGM. it good to hear the boss had the support of the fans in attendance.

  73. Geo @ 1:46:

    “Great news about RvP’s contract. Now that they are in talks, I would be very surprised if he doesn’t sign a long term deal. Maybe this will be the start of the slow re-structuring of our wages?”

    Spot on!! This is easily the biggest bit of business news that can come from the club. Not just because its RVP but how we deal with the whole wage structure may be the single most critical item that will determine our long term success on the pitch.

  74. Lol Luke – you cheeky bugger!

  75. Geo, is the dude who referred to Torquay instead of Aldershot.. about 5 times?

  76. Firstlady,
    Theo scored last year when we beat the chavs 3-1, the theo’s jinks against them has been broken

  77. The very same Markus.. Painful watching. People getting paid however much to be the experts, know less than the average football observer. Shame really, as i actually quite like Bright as he seems a nice enough bloke, but was terrible last night.

    I was just reading that Firstlady, nice article.

  78. Firstlady,
    thats an intresting read there, however after Kos first match against liverpool, i knew he was class despite his red card

  79. Bill, it could well be that important. It’s such a tricky one, this wage structure scenario. I don’t think it needs to be too drastic, but certainly needs a tweak, hopefully starting with RvP. It will take a while though, having to wait for certain contracts to near renewal dates, and timing of all this will be critical. Then you have to factor in any new signings, if they are big signings, who would feel less valued if their contract then seems dwarfed by this new player, the pressure that will come with being a top earner etc etc etc… Very tough stuff to get right while keeping everyone happy.

  80. Agree with Jeff. Instant impact for me.

  81. WTF?!? I know he’s a massive dick and makes stuff up, but myles palmer says agm had most audible dissent he’s ever heard at one while everyone else says it went well and that arsene got a standing ovation. What a complete and utter shit stirring cunt! Didn’t think I could dislike him any more than I already did…

  82. whats the difference between Man utd and a black cab???

    A black cab only lets 5 in.

  83. Can someone more knowledegable than me tell me when the draw for the CL is?

  84. What is an AGM ?

    Andrei will not play in the center if Theo plays.The Boss has said as much.
    I would agree that Thomas should play on the right,Andrei ,Gervinho, Thomas and RVP could interchange an be effective (well perhaps not Thomas with RVP,that might be a stretch).

  85. @Jonny – the draw for the CC quarter final is on Saturday at 12.30 pm UK time.

    No point in watching though. Man United will get Crystal Palace, Chelsea will get Cardiff and Arsenal will get Man City away.

    I hear the Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck has just done Arséne Wenger’s team talk for Saturday.

  86. Saturday on Sky sports i think Jonny

  87. @Darius, that “let’s beat the crap out of Arsenal on Saturday” quote is just the kind of thing that would have gone up on the dressing room wall in days gone by. No chance of M. Wenger doing something so crass though!

  88. Boomer, I wouldn’t complain the use of puncutations..

  89. Yes it has been a grim few weeks for the freedom fighters – humiliated on the topic of banners, ignored at the AGM, not even much to boo about during matches, even a desperate effort to isolate Hill-Wood did not gain a flicker of interest or a proper headline ….. all very dispiriting

    Take heart though lads – it cant last

  90. I have just read Arsense’s speech to the AGM .He is quite simply in a class of his own.Soaring to heights other managers,pundits, journalists and sundry jealous bastards can only dream of.

  91. Geo @ 2:52:

    Impossible to keep everyone happy in todays world. I understand why the current salary structure was built. Its always easy to criticize in retrospect but I don’t think anyone really could have predicted what Abramovich and Man City would do to the whole wage structure of the PL. Had we known that 6 years ago I doubt that they would have done things the way they did. Clearly the wage structure as it now stands will not work if we want to keep our best players so its needs to be changed. However, as you say trying to change it will be like walking thru a mine field with dozens of variables to consider. Hope we keep RVP and get it right this time.

  92. Darius @ 4:08:

    “No point in watching though. Man United will get Crystal Palace, Chelsea will get Cardiff and Arsenal will get Man City away.”

    You’re such a doomer. Even someone as negative as you would have to admit we have gotten lucky with the draws to this point.(smiley face)

  93. Ha! Thanks Darius.

    Who cares who we get – just looking forward to what comes.

    :0)

  94. LOL Bill – you know its going to happen though.

  95. I think we make too much of this wage structure thing to be honest. How many players that left have said that it was about the money? and how many of them “deserved” as much as they think they did?

    We cannot pay like City and Chelsea and thats where the greedy players went to.

    Question: does Arsenal report the player earnings, for us to know what the deal is. You see these stories but the players or the manager are not saying anything of note to let you know. How do we know that quoted figures are correct?

  96. “Arsenal Wenger urges Arsenal fans to keep the faith at AGM”

    Believe it or not, that’s the headline for a national paper. The fuckers couldn’t even be bothered to confirm whether Wenger’s first name is Arséne.

  97. Bill introducing a bit of mirth.What next?Advocating a more attacking philosophy ?

  98. So did Tony Pulis really moan and bitch about his players being tackled and being given a “physical” game? Haven’t seen the Carragher tackle yet. I’m sure Carragher’s not that sort of player though.

  99. Apparently(someone told me this and they really believe it,honestly) that all players wages ,for every club are available now .Source? Championship Manager 2012.
    100% Accurate I am assured.

  100. Apparently, Arsene just said he was confirdent of RVP signing a contract. There was no mention of ‘opening’ of any kind of talks.

  101. Darius:

    Actually I think that the power brokers will want ManU and Man City and Chelsea to advance in that order so I think ManU will get Palace at OT and Man City will get Cardiff at home and Chelsea will get Blackburn at home.

    The whole world hates us and they don’t like Liverpool anymore either, but they hate us the most so my guess is that we end up at Anfield. Hurts both teams but hurts us the most. All the refs will be instructed to get RVP and Szcz sent of in the first 30 minutes and there will be 4 – 5 penalties called against us. Just watch, its going to happen.

  102. Darius,Its not funny.Jamie’s mum took him home in tears.
    But she says he wont change the way he plays because of a softy like Pulis.

  103. George, have you a link to Arsene’s speech?

  104. Darius, the Carragher tackle had intent alright. High and studs showing, but he made very little contact (if any). It was similar to his tackle on Nani, except he didn’t make contact. I thought he was also the last man. Maybe the fact that the Walters didn’t have full control of the ball saved him, but if he’d gone through he was clear.

  105. Bill – last time we played Liverpool at Anfield in the Carling cup we hammered them 6-3, so that’s a good omen.

    We have a solid record in the Carling cup at the Emirates winning all ties there, Scoring 23 goals and only conceding 3. there’s absolutely no chance they’ll give us a home tie.

    @George – Shame on Pulis for not understanding that Carragher is not that sort of player – how could he be with him having to run to his mother crying when things got a bit tough.

    @Markus – Carragher does come up with some heart in the mouth moments for Liverpool fans.

  106. Limestonegunner

    Judging from the published AW speech and twitter reports (Firstlady, you don’t have to do the twitter thing–I don’t–to find the tweets on the web, just click on one of the twitter addresses on this page like @darrenarsenal who were there and read what he and other’s tweeted from the meeting) of several attendees there was quite a bit of discontent with answers from PHW to the pre-submitted questions but that AW’s speech was very well received at the end. It just goes to show you that the board needs to be changed, starting with PHW, and that club officials have to address the issues more directly and support the manager more fully so that he doesn’t have to do everything himself. AW is an inspirational and beloved figure despite the criticisms and he carries the can for the whole club, the board and the exec who are not up to his standard. If there were leaders like AW on the board or we had a better chairman or a real football man/exec instead of Gazidis, the club would be in a stronger position and Wenger wouldn’t have to be the only one who can really speak effectively for the club. To me it is just sad. What a burden on Wenger. He has enough to deal with without rescuing PHW, Kroenke and Gazidis. Maybe AW likes it this way; I have no idea. But from the outside it seems like he is the only really effective person at communicating what the club is about, what it is doing, and responding to the supporters concerns. He is the one who mentioned the ticket prices as difficult; he is the one who acknowledges that morale was low and that their is frustration. He asks and inspires us to transcend this and join him and the players in the fight. Gazidis just seems too anodyne–he is well-spoken and probably a decent corporate executive but there is neither charisma/leadership nor football savvy that I sense from him. He should rephrase that statement “A football club is about far more than football”–we know what he means but it doesn’t sound great. AW is class. About the others there are question marks. He and the team are clawing their way back up the table. Will any of these others step forward and make life easier for him, for goodness’ sake?

  107. Limestonegunner

    Anyway, the football is the key and we have a big game this weekend that is far more crucial than the AGM dog and pony show. There may be issues to deal with about the governance of the club, but at least we have AW in charge of the football and bringing the team around.

  108. “a real football man/exec” – Gary Cook perhaps – Peter Kenyon ? Or how about Peter Ridsdale ? That Ayre bloke at LFC is a bit of a talker.

    Or is the suggestion that the Uzbek is a “real football man” – him not quite managed to get to a game yet ? I can see he would be hugely inspiring as we all have a soft spot for fat central Asian oligarchs – cant say Ive ever heard him speak – very unlikely to be mute though

    Surely you don’t mean Grandpa Dein ??

    Come on Limestone – let me in on the strategy – who do you tip to take over at the helm ?

  109. Just checked Ladbrokes, we are 5/1 to win on saturday. Five to bloody one!! How on earth did they work that out!

    Me thinks, Mrs Kingsalami’s house keeping will be a touch light this weekend.

  110. Usmanov’s apologists seem to think that if he’s in charge then he’ll throw money at Wenger so that we can compete in the transfer market with the likes of City.

    Firstly, there’s this unreasonable expectation that because someone owns shares, then they are obligated to throw money at the club, not withstanding that they’ve already spent a shed load to acquire those shares. They say that without a sugar daddy we can’t compete.

    If the case was that an injection of money was the answer, how come no one is clammering for Usmanov to clear the mortgage of the stadium and free up organic match revenues for use in squad development. But like I said, that’s besides the point. People still expect an individual to throw money at a club simply because they own shares.

  111. How come no one is asking the fans who own Arsenal through the fan share scheme to chip in their hard earned money to top up Van Persie’s wages.

  112. As a matter of interest there is absolutely no reason whatsover at all that Mr Usmanov cannot give AFC £100million or however much or little as he wants to in exactly the same way that if I wished to I could provide (out of the goodness of my heart) funds to an business that I hold an equity stake in

    It would clearly be up to the board as to whether they accept it or not but I do not see any suggestion such a generous offer would be rejected

    I assume also Mr Usmanov would not be keen to be too hands on about the spending of his funds – him knowing fuck all about football and all that

    No sireee if our second largest shareholder is set on funding a spending spree the mechanism is there

  113. Darius ,If Roman cant compete with City why should Usmanov be able to?
    The job is fucked.End of.

  114. I am going to join George and start the battle cry of….”Free Andrei Arshavin!”

    I want to see him playing in the hole so badly. I feel it could really push us forward and make our attack completely unpredictable.

  115. I think 4-3-3 with three all-round central midfielders is working very well. Wouldn’t mess with it in the League. Song, Arteta and Ramsey/Rosicky to dominate Chelsea.

  116. Re switching TR7 for TW14.

    Second last game against Chel$ea Cole gets a winning? assist.
    Last game against Chelsea. Walcott with one or two interception/turnover thingymajobby that lead to two goals. Cole with one or two attempts to push up over ninety minutes.

    I’d like to see AA in his favoured role. We often do as the team adjusts it’s formation during games, after substitutions* and stuff. But not against Chelsea.

    *shhhhh… we don’t want to upset any gr*t arsed realists who repeat that Arsenal never very their tactics. For some inexplicable reason

  117. very or vary.

  118. Finsbury 😦 But I want Andrei set free.No fair.

  119. Limestonegunner

    Anicoll5, firstly, don’t try and tar me as an Usmanov supporter. I have been on record here for two years at least being against sugar daddies and favoring plural minority ownership with plenty of space for small supporter shareholders. I was against Kroenke or Usmanov taking over majority status of the club. That is what we have now, so I am expecting leadership from Kroenke to developing and building this club further–everything that has been accomplished (the stadium and so on) has been without him. We don’t need Kroenke or Usmanov as far as I am concerned. But they are there and Kroenke is in charge. What is he going to contribute to Arsenal FC? Does he have anything to contribute (and I don’t mean in a financial sense especially) but in ideas, vision, expertise, energy, business savvy for commercial growth, reasons to hope that the future under his guidance will be better in some way than without him,….anything? It might have been nice to hear anything along these lines from him, IG, and so on. Or does AW have to do all the heavy lifting with the supporters, public, media and so on? I would like to see some club official, chairman, majority shareholder be as good in their role as AW is as manager. Perhaps that is impossible.

  120. George.

    After the Chelsea game?

  121. Correction! Not at the start of the Chelsea game. Phew.

  122. God forbid I would tar anyone as an Usmanov supporter Limestone and I am not dismissive of the suggestion of greater support for Wenger and as effective a leader or leaders on the board as possible.

    The point I was making is WHO ? It seems to me most – it may not be going too far to say all – CEOs in PL football are a bloody shower. The two talents they share in abundance is lining their own pockets and having an ability to make stupid statements that end with their foot firmly in their mouths.

    If you really do see someone out there please tell me ! I just cannot think of anyone who has impressed me.

    While Silent Stan and Posh Peter may not be inspiring at least they seem to be honest, get in with the business quietly, and neither has an ego that seems to crave publicity

    There are a lot worse characteristics to have in a board or the majority shareholder

  123. You know what I think is really funny? There was a time where everyone wanted us to sign Green to replace Almunia and now that Manuel has played a couple of games for them, Hammers fans seem to prefer him to Green! What’s even funnier is that they talk about him instilling confidence in his defence and being very vocal.

  124. I might be wrong but wasn’t Usmanov’s chosen route to providing more transfer funds a rights issue as opposed to him putting his hand in his pocket?

  125. The rights issue was certainly raised Super – and with lots of roubles sitting in his bank a route that Mr Usmanov would find attractive

    For the other shareholders who would need to find the funds to match Usmanov rouble for rouble to maintain their existing stake in the club, or see their shareholding diluted not such a great idea

  126. Kroenke, spoke but, funnily enough he didn’t mention anything about plans for the future.
    (surprise surprise). Fuck all that and bring on the chelsea.

  127. Limestonegunner

    Fair enough, Anicoll. I wouldn’t pretend to know who would be better at IG’s job. I am wary of anyone, especially a billionaire business man with no interest in football as a game, having almost all decision-making power over our club, so certainly Kroenke’s passive approach seems less dangerous than other possible situations.

  128. wasnt even aware that big Al was out on loan… Is Green injured?

  129. I cant believe (well actually I can) how negative Sky are spinning the AGM .

  130. Limestonegunner

    Evil, I don’t remember much support for Green myself. I remember a half dozen other PL keepers people preferred over Green to replace Almunia plus that many or more from Europe ahead of Green. But what you are suggesting is that Almunia seems to be succeeding for a club doing fairly well in the Coca-Cola Championship. Good for him!….. And good for Arsenal.

  131. TS Yes he is .do you live in the wilderness?

  132. I sometimes wonder if Usmanov funds Le Groan. But instead of conspiracies, there’s usually just common stupidity, meanness of spirit and happenstance.

  133. almunia has found his level.
    greens always been shit the fans who called for him were that desparate at watching an average keeper, totally out of his depth.. make mistake after mistake.. game after game.. year after year, they would have been happy with their granny in goal…

    interesting viewing on arsenal.com
    giving us all the free videos to the individual speeches today..

    apart from PHW cos they realise hes a fucking clown…

  134. Sky Sports are going to reveal the secret of Mancini’s success at City.
    Ha ha fucking ha.ITS MONEY you mugs

  135. Gervs, Van Persie and Theo must play upfront together. Chelski’s not going to sit back like in season’s past so we need Theo’s speed, Gervinho’s trickery and Van Persie’s touch to put a few past them early on. With Theo and Gervinho in the side one of Cole or Ivanovic will be booked fairly early so hopefully they will go into “oh shit, not this again” mode. Their left side will be comprised of Mata and Cole. If we can keep them quiet and press them well in the middle they should not trouble us too much.

    No Drogba in the side means we don’t have to deal with our bogeyman, but given that Chelski play a hoofball game sometimes, I’d definitely play Mert alongside Koscielny with Santos and Djourou on either side. Our back line will be taller and more physical than normal. Which is a very good thing against the likes of Torres, Mata and whomever they play, hopefully Sturridge.

    In the middle I prefer Ramsey over Rosicky. Ramsey’s form is improving and he likes to score on big occasions. Ramsey pulls players all over the pitch and this can destabilize Chelsea’s middle three. A middle three that is not as mobile and defensively adept as our own. This being said, the real battle in the midfield is going to be fought between Alex Song vs Lampard. Keep him well marked and Ramires becomes their go to creative player.

    I think our subs will be very important in this match. I’m hoping to see Park make a cameo in this game. A player that no one knows would be an excellent ingredient to drop into the mix just for the sake of the unknown. I’d take him out for Gervinho only if Gervinho has dropped off. If we’re ahead I’d put him in for Theo.

    If we’re ahead at the 70th minute mark I’d put Arsha in for Van Persie in the middle. The little Russian running at the Chelsea defence, if their chasing the game, would cause them all types of problems. I’d place Gervinho and Park on either side.

  136. @Limestone
    Are you sure? To me it seems that, at least PL-internally, Green has been one of the names we have been linked to the most (together with Schwarzer and Given).

  137. @ george
    LOL… am in touch with u so we must be near neighbours.

    Some of our past results have shown that goodwill will buy you so much… If big Al had been in goal for that 4-4, CC final and the 8-2 this season… I wonder if he would not have been lynched? For all that WS13 is a great keeper, big Al was not that bad either!

  138. @jon jon… The team played their full role in contributing to many of the mistakes so stop conveniently accusing Big Al of them all,

  139. I like Big Al. He’s a proffesional through and through.

  140. TS
    i never said manny made ALL the mistakes..
    youve just conveniently made that up

  141. George.
    Another way to possibly accomadate Arshavin in the 10/false 10 role (but not against Chelsea) is to have Ramsey starting on the right. Ramsey has played there a fair few times in the past though I could be mistaken. When Ramsey came on against Marseille I turned to a friend and said, ‘I think we’ll see Ramsey on the right, Gervais supporting RVP on the left. 0-0 thank you very much. A draw is a good result.’
    I was wrong.

  142. @JonJon
    mistake after mistake, game after game year after year hardly gives any rooms for any one made by any other person, don’t you think?

  143. lol. You claiming that Almunia, didn’t single handedly cost us games you serious?
    At times in the early years he certainly looked the part the fell apart.

    I’m just glad that Wenger didn’t listen to the masses telling him to purchase all them average keepers because we would of never of seen Chezney.

  144. @goonerton… does that then mean that AW actually knows then?

    yes am claiming that Al did not cost us game after game, year after year…. like any keeper including cech he made his fair share, bit some of the tings he was being blamed for? hmmmn. hence i referred to those two weird matches in which incidentally our current best keeper no less was in goal! Am not suggesting the loss or draw was WS13’s fault just that people seemed to see clearer in the case than when big Al was there!

  145. I still wonder why Almunia exactly dropped in form. Was it related to the personal tragedy that struck him? Because, I think we can all agree that on his day he could certainly be world class. His mistakes might’ve cost us, but at the same time I can remember a lot of high pressure games where he almost single-handedly kept us in … and that’s not even counting that he is one of the best penalty stoppers in the game.

  146. groan groan groan.

    Anyway. Here’s another look at Ramsey’s goal against Marseille. The eagle eyed amogst you may have spotted that Arsenal had been playing ‘two(ish) up’ at the end of that game.

    http://arsenalist.com/video/?id=xlw0b0

    Why won’t the Arsenal ever play FourFourfookingTwo?

    Groan groan groan.
    Blah. Bluh. Urgh.

  147. Anybody see “Arsenal AGM leaves fans fuming” on the BBC Sport website?

    Two “fans” (one a “football consultant” no less) obviously distressed that they had no support inside the meeting being given free rein to air their petty grievances outside.

    Pure comedy gold.

  148. I’ll paraphrase for those that cannot be Arsed to have a look, what our esteemed ‘football experts’ had to say:

    ‘Spend same fooking money’

    ‘Look at $iteh!’

  149. no not getting ya TS..
    i was talking about almunias mistakes..

    anyway, theres better things to natter about than almunia and his not so golden gloves

    if anyone had a question today what would it be???

  150. As in the same fooking money as $iteh. I think. That’s what I understood.
    Hard to understand with the constant whinging dirge in the background.

  151. Yes merlot ,but that is not how it will seem to the uninformed masses.By Saturday the Soccer Saturday panel will be peddling it because the Sky coverage at the moment is just as bad.

  152. Well PG – you have to either laugh or cry.

  153. I don’t understand the panic. We will be back among top 4 by Xmas. No way spurs and liverpool has a chance. ATM Newcastle is top 4 and one thing I can guarantee you is that they will not play CL next year.
    And we are better than tottenham and Liverpool. Modric is good. But he’s hardly better than Nasri IMO and we all know that we have survived rather well without him. Liverpool, well they got a team as “starless” as ours except they are all worse players.
    I just can not see how we cannot be top 4 comes end of season. Tottenham and Liverpool just aint goof enough at all. Unless they splash big time in January. Let’s hope Chelsea implodes. That would lay the road bare for a nice no3. After all Chelsea started horrendously last season and came back properly in the end. I can see us doing the same this year.
    A CC trophy would be nice together with atleast a semi final in CL if we are a bit lucky with the draw. That with a top 4 place would for me equal a successful season.
    Our team is less flamboyant this year but alot more solid and efficient. No huge stars but mentally more robust.
    The future is bright. The future is arsenal.

  154. Poodle ,who is panicking?
    I have been saying for a while will be top 4 by Xmas.
    I believe even 2nd by the end is not beyond us.
    But City will win it.If for no other reason the can buy again ,and buy big,if they want.I mean it could be anybody really.
    And anyone hoping that Roberto is not up to it is kidding themselves.Sadly.

  155. george have you seen the wenger speech??

  156. Yes JJ what is your point?

  157. hes got an aura around him hasnt he..
    hes a philosopher…

    he make me want to get in that trench with you 😉

  158. “I am personally convinced that we have a chance to qualify again”

    Is that the offending sentence JJ?

    He is hardly going to make a rod for his own back by saying something that people like you( 😉 ) will use against him it is not achieved.

  159. “To stay at the top, top level, we have to be united.

    That doesn’t mean I am not to be criticised. I accept that is part of my job and that the board has been criticised but to the outside we have to show we are united because that is the only way to survive at the top. It is difficult enough if you are united. If you are not united, you have no chance.”

  160. Oh right ,I jumped the gun, turns out I am a presumptuous prick.

    There’s room in my trench for two(I am singing that as Rolf Harris Two little boys) Sorry mate.:(

  161. A super finish from Park?

    “He personally needed that of course but I believe, when new players arrive to the Club you need to convince people that you have the quality to be where you are.

    Many people think that unless you are coming with a massive transfer, you know, if his transfer was massive and he scored the goal he scored, everybody would be full of what he achieved.”

  162. my question would be..
    tom fox was apointed as chief commercial officer in 2009..the figures show in 09 we made approx 34mil in commercial deals..in 2010 it fell to 31mil, rising slighty to 33mil in 2011, but still falling short of the target that was set before fox arrived..what does this guy do, are the board confident he will start hitting targets soon?

    if you watch gazidis speech he talked about attracting our overseas followers and all the new sponserhip deals weve got and it will show on next years figures..

    so i guess its watch this space with the commercial side..we obviously have no intention with breaking our ties with either nike or emirates, gazidis was chatting about a long fruitful future with them so weve kept them and added to them instead.. (it a pitty we cant do that with our key players) 😉

    no talk of a independent channel though..

  163. lol george..
    but as it goes i remember a convo a had with you a while back about that and i agreed top 4 was still on..

    tough, and we needed to get on a run but it was achievable..

    basically theres 2 groups…utd chelsea and city are in the 1st category and they are going for first… and us liverpool and spurs are in for 4th in cat 2..we might not be the best in the 1st category but we win hands down in ours..

    we just need to concentrate and not give silly points away to teams like we gave to blackburn who are in the relegation category..

  164. PHW is not a well man..

  165. Arsene’s speech is on Arsenal Player for free if people want to see it.It is worth a look .He truly is a class act.

  166. JJ

    The problem is that the board know Fox & his team is hamstrung by The Emirates deals which run to 2014. There are probably deals on the boil which we know nothing of that will enhance the revenues. But until 2014 or Nike / Emirates renegotiation, there is not much anyone can do.

  167. He is old, JJ. 75, 76 in February. Maybe its time to promote him to some sort of position as a life president and let some fresh hands take the reins as chairman.

  168. hes a leader isnt he george..

    hes humble too..he admitted mistakes and there was no talk of trophies..

  169. yogi..i can understand that..the deals that edelman signed for us at the time have hampered us a little in the longer run..

    what interests me is that has it really taken fox 2 years to work out we needed to tour asia and sign extra sponsers??

    and yeah..PHW needs to rest up now..

  170. how other clubs envy us really.

  171. We’re most definitely not as starless as Liverpool. We have Van Persie, Arshavin, Mertesacker, Song and Sagna as the biggest stars on our team. They have Gerrard and Suarez. Everyone else on their team is mediocre. Including their cunt of a manager.

  172. I forgot to add Theo and Wilshere, my bad.

  173. I don’t think it took 2 years to work that out, JJ, probably took that length of time to convince AW that a tour would not be detrimental to the pre-season.

    On the subject of sponsors, it’s a tough job. The club want to have a certain standard of brand associated which is a limited marketplace, especially in this climate.

  174. i dont get why the board use on your doorstep tactics and try and sell the club to its own fans..
    we already love the club we dont need it selling to us..
    just tell us the truth and we can adjust our expectations accoringly..

    and id like to know on what criteria gazidis was judged on for his bonus, because seeing as though fox answers to him and fox aint exactly been the fulcrum of bright ideas in recent years, id say thats an area thats failed..we didnt win a trophy either..

    so what got him his bonus??cos it certainly aint these two areas..

    in my cynysism id say that theres been two much back slapping and champagne drinking going on behind the scenes and not enough attention to detail..

  175. agree with both points YW.

    it was probably wenger they had to convince for the tour..

    and yeah you only want the best sponsorships..no point having a state of the art stadia and its sponsered by companies like mikes carpets..

  176. It was great to see Arsene’s speech at the AGM, he is an absolute inspiration and a great leader. It was warm to see the welcome that the crowd gave him, which is a sign that despite the team’s recent shortcomings, he is still the Man people place belief in, excepting some, of course.
    Quick thoughts on the general financial outlook of the club-
    First of all, I am totally against the idea of the club being funded by a sugar daddy, come on, we have got a class about us. The Uzbek Usmanov may be a very lucrative option, as claimed by many, to make available funds to the club like the Sheikhs have fuelled the blue half of Manchester. But how far that will be the case in reality, we don’t know! How much Usmanov will inject and how the funds will be injected, we don’t know! It may turn out to be good or very bad and there is so much uncertainty surrounding that concept, so that discussion does not carry any merit.
    Stan seems to be a spectator in the business of the club. He seemed to have given the board and the manager a free hand in the operations and he seemed to be like a customer who has happily deposited his funds in a bank paying interest. And well, do we earn for our shareholders or what? I, personally, would like him to spearhead the club and lead from the front. Pour in his ideas and strategies, and define the vision and strategic direction of the club post the takeover, with the club officials and Arsene Wenger. He can help the club utilize the economies of being part of his group of companies. Plus, he can help us negotiate, renegotiate, explore and expand our commercial revenue deals. So far, I haven’t seen any leadership from him and for all the hype of his takeover, it is very disheartening. Just hope, that the future will change things and make this above observation wrong for the good.
    There are certain areas which can help us boost our revenues and help us compete with the others reasonably well in the transfer market, other than the option of a sugar daddy. The club would have to take a few bold decisions in this regard. The following may help-
    1) A Rights issue to write off the stadium debt and thereby clearing a chunk of interest cost. This can increase revenues on the short term and help us fund player transfers and also help retaining star players. This has its pros and cons, the ability to raise such a huge investment from the shareholders will be a very difficult task. This option can be looked into after studying the shareholders appetite for investment and this can be sold by guaranteeing on the field success and boost of revenues. Moreover, a debt free stadium can enable us to increase our cash credit facilities with the banks. This can give us effective short term liquidity which can be vital for the wage structure.
    2) Renegotiate and rejuvenate the revenues in the commercial stream, tap into new avenues for growing revenues. TV Stream possibilities and Internet streaming of non-televised matches have to be explored. It is nice to know that the Asian markets can be tapped for shirt sales with our new players- Park and Ryo, but it will happen only if the world sees them performing.
    3) Revamping the wage structure- This is a very delicate issue and can adversely impact the internal balance of the team and thereby the club. Revising players wages may affect the players mentally, for whom the wages have been lowered. The problem cannot be directly solved because the impact will be enormous, we have to go around the problem. Recently, we shelled out a lot of the players who were being paid wages beyond their performance, the payment over the odds for players has relatively come down, but there are many passengers like Diaby, Bendtner and Almunia, who are still on the books. Of those, Almunia is a write off, the other two are still prospects, till what time we will hold onto them is a question that only the future will determine. It was nice to know that the club even while facing adversity took a stringent stance in Arteta’s wage negotiation, eventually getting him on lower wages than he was paid at Everton. Major changes to this head cannot happen and I would not advise it too. The new players should be brought on at a reasonable pay packet, the renewals should happen at realistic performance based wages and the kids should be signed on professional deals at the lowest wages because at that age, the priority should be on playing and not earning for the kids. If the players snatch the opportunity and show us what they can do on the field, we can and should revise their wages and reward them not only with love but with money.
    Discuss! 

  177. Or Dicks Sporting Goods! The bonuses will have been specified for areas under his control, i.e. off-the-pitch matters. Making a profit, probably in line with expectations, cashflow steady, new deals in pipeline, property moving along. So IG / TF hit their targets and are entitled to their bonuses. I think we get too hung up on criticising big salary earners in this country. I’ve never been interested to the minutest degree in someone’s salary. I genuinely don’t care what RvP earns, so long as it keeps him at the club and doesn’t put Arsenal into financial difficulty.

    Why IG is being criticised for his salary and bonus is unclear. Personally I think that there are a lot of people out there who have overinflated ideas of their own self-importance and abilities. It seems, and this is just reading between the lines, that any number think they could do a better job. Here’s a newsflash for them; 99.9% or higher would do a worse job. If they were that good, they would be a CEO somewhere.

    Its alright to have opinions but there’s a fine line between taking the rise and being abusive; a lot of people can’t sustain an argument and have to supplement it with mean-spirited bullshit. And an awful lot of people found out today what a pointless exercise, in real terms, AGMs are. Good for the clubs PR department and Wenger’s speech was worth a million initiatives.

  178. Nice one Yogi

    Here’s a newsflash for them; 99.9% or higher would do a worse job.
    In particular on line posters like me

  179. Limestonegunner

    AW’s speech was class. He made a powerful appeal that inspires genuine love for and commitment to Arsenal Football Club and its distinctive values and approach. On the pitch he has shown that he can respond to our awful start. It is going to be a fight this season, but it is wonderful to see that he is really up for it. After the CC match and tonight he really looks back to his usual sparkle.

  180. PG – You can include me in that as I think IG actually does a very good job but as usual people want instant results. PHW on the other hand strikes me as someone who does not know when it is time to step aside. Anyway it is mostly conjecture on our part as we really do not know what goes on behind closed doors. On a different note, I am very tempted to put a few Euros on The Arsenal this weekend as it is not too often we get 5-1 odds against us. Am refusing to read anything the media have written about the AGM, as I know they will purposely misconstrue as many words as is humanly possible. Unfortunately this weekend I will not be able to watch the game but am very confident we can get a good win.

  181. No discussion on my post :-O Anyway, maybe I should break it up a little!

  182. Btw, YW, excellent post for the morning and I agree with most of the views expressed. I’m very late I know. And I also read the one you had written for Arsenal Collective- another classy article. The sentiment that is put through words is bloody awesome!

  183. Great Post Yogi, Publicity behind salaries have killed clubs and also has been a boost for others. Its another talking point, sells papers and corrupt players. For the benefit and purity of the game, salaries should never be published.

  184. I think a lot of fans just like having a punch bag.

    What I struggle to understand is why we have to kick at people within the club.

    Personally, for me there’s a whole media segment out there, simply begging to be kicked in the nuts, over and over and over, so why do we continually try and rip our own balls off?

    Pretty fucking stupid IMO.

    Take PHW. The man has zero executive duties, his is a purely ceremonial role, so why do people give a monkey’s crutch whether he stays or goes?

    Honestly, it just smacks of mean spiritedness, it serves no valuable purpose.

    Fans have got into a habit of criticizing anything and everything, with very little information to back it up, or reasoning behind it.

    Frightening how keen we all are to self-destruct.

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