When Gazidis met the AST

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Can I just say what a sterling job fellow Arsenal tweeters @DarrenArsenal1 @LeGrove @timpayton @Gingers4Limpar did for their live coverage of tonights AST meeting with Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis.

Their coverage brought Arsenal tweets to a virtual standstill (well from the 400+ guys that I follow).I think that takes some doing!

I was thinking what did I want to hear from Gazidis? Are we going to be active in the transfer market? Why had my season ticket gone up inflation busting 6.5%? Is Arsene accountable for results? Is the board in touch reality regarding our performances? Do our commercial deals need some work?

To be fair to Gazidis he did ‘answer’ these questions. You have to realise that he is CEO of one of the largest football teams on earth, he can’t be totally transparent due to shareholder value.Anything he says has an impact on the club, the board and potential investors. In addition,never mind the press lurking about just waiting for the opportunities to twist things.

TRANSFERS So we will be active in the transfer market after admitting our last 4 windows have been less than spectacular. There will be comings and goings and the club have targets.He also said that due to lack of experience we couldn’t see out games.A nice hint that experience could be on it’s way. (The St.James’ debacle is still unforgivable). He shied away from the Clichy and Nasri contract issues like I knew he would citing not talking about specific players.

PRICES Our ticket prices have gone up 6.5% in part due to VAT increase but also due to utility cost rises especially in electricity which has gone up 100%. Someone tweeted that one of our sponsors is EDF, another poor commercial deal then! Gazidis said again that prices have been frozen for some time. It is just that 6.5% in one hit is hard to take. I am thankful to have season tickets but £1300 is steep compared to other top clubs around the world.

COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES/DEALS I have said for some time that Arsenal need to tour further than Austria. Working and travelling abroad you realise the uncapped potential that the EPL has in other countries especially in Asia. They can watch Arsenal more on TV than we can!!! No doubt, ranked in order Utd and Liverpool are the most favoured EPL teams outside the UK. We probably come 4th now behind Chelsea because they have exploited the commercial opportunities that touring in the summer can do. Plus they have an Asian sponsor in Samsung.

Gazidis admitted that other commercial deals will be looked at. I think the club are suffering from their brief Edelman era.

DEBT A worrying topic still.A myth that we are debt free. Just like a mortgage, paying off any early incurs penalties. Even if just 1-5%, that us a huge penalty. We live in debt and therefore our transfers will always be limited to spend within reason.

THE BOARD I think I learnt from the meeting that the board realise the fans frustrations and are starting to listen. They know results haven’t been good enough and have been given a stern warning from fans that this can’t continue for much longer. We all appreciate what Arsene has achieved in the past and competing in a Chelsea and City world full of disposable cash. Arsenal are living behind the promises that the UEFA Fair Play rules will bring in, but the City’s and Chelsea’s will work around this I fear.

Gazidis more or less said that there is no intention of Dein returning. this is a real shame for the club.

Yes, there were other topics but these mattered to me the most. I think some saw the questions as being completely negative-I think they were suitably restrained given the knowledge that the club have a tendency to clam up in front if really negative questions/comments.

Well done to the AST for pushing the forum thorough. My application to join is in the the post. You should join too: http://www.arsenaltrust.org/join.php

Up the Arsenal!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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