AST AGM – Stan Kroenke vs Usmanov + some very interesting stuff

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Geoff normally lets me go to full-blown club AGM on his behalf, they’re pretty boring so I wasn’t really sure what to expect of the AST’s version. I arrived at a rather swanky building, greeted by none other than my good friend Peroni… I knew this was going to be ok.

Firstly, Nigel Phillips ran through the accounting side of things…

Key Info:

  • Wage bill is fairly low when compared to turnover, but don’t kid yourself, the kids aren’t going without their shreddies
  • The £110million you see in the cash reserves is bloated by season tickets and is used for operational expenditure like playing Diaby.
  • £25million sits in a secured account to pay down debt. This is a contractual requirement.
  • There is a transfer proceeds account that has the Ade and Toure money in it. We have £35million available for transfers.
  • 70% of net sale proceeds must go into the playing squad to avoid a firesale Leeds United type problem.
  • This rule is bypassed by Arsenal when they give out huge contracts extensions.
  • It is estimated that £15million of our wage bill is for paying our expensive commercial team who don’t do very much.
  • AST have asked Arsenal about buying out bad commercial deals, apparently it’s ‘not the Arsenal way’ and it’d be ‘expensive’
  • That 6.5% raise in season ticket prices raised an extra £3-4 million. Hardly worth it for the strife it caused you have to say? Just sell a Diaby and you’ll raise the same revenue.
  • Arsenal announce 60,000 capacity every game to convince fans the ground is full… on average, the ACTUAL gate for games of a non-essential nature have been 5000 short of capacity.

John Cross of the Daily Mirror, a self-confessed Gooner was introduced by Tim Payton and told some stories about the Arsenal, the best bits were as followed…

  • Arsenal are the best in the league for Press Conferences
  • Journo’s used to have a banter with Wenger, he’d talk about anything and the relationship was good. They’d even forgive his faux pas if he asked!
  • This year, Arsenal have scaled down press conferences… this is Wenger’s doing. He feels the criticism has been harsh on him and rumours about his personal life haven’t helped things.
  • Journo’s don’t write the headlines of their stories.
  • Arsenal fans tend to only focus on the negatives, forgetting all the amazing press coverage they recieved during the invincible season.
  • The feeling is that last week, Wenger was under prepared for his meeting with reporters. People were fair with him and they had to ask the tough questions because it’s clear the unhappiness at the ground is no longer the minority
  • Wenger is out of touch with the supporters, he genuinely believes 4th is some sort of trophy or at least worth one.
  • Thierry Henry used to phone up when he received bad press coverage!
  • Arsenal now require a sign off for all interviews, something many journalists do not agree with.
  • He agreed that there is a ‘cheating foreigner’ mentality amongst some sections of the media.

We then moved swiftly on to the big news of the night… Stan Kroenke and his buyout ambitions.

As part of the agreement, no acquisition debt will be put on the club. That said, he has to own 75% of the club to legally do that anyway.

Stan has always Championed supporter involvement, something the AST will remind him of in the coming months.

Gazidis has actively been keeping the AST abreast of all the things going on.

The rules of the takeover are as followed…

  • You must make a mandatory bid after you pass the 30% threshold
  • You then have 28 days to make an offer. Realistically, if you’re a shareholder, expect that offer in 2-3 days (It’ll be 90 pages long)
  • There will be three choices, accept, reject, do nothing
  • The offer price will be £11,750 per share

The vibe at the AST is that most minor shareholders won’t sell up. Most of the people who would have sold have already done so, the remaining people owning shares are holding onto them for sentiment. There is also the feeling that the offer document almost declares that Stan doesn’t think he’ll be buying more than his 62%. To take the club private, he’d have to buy up 90% of the remaining shares, which equates to a 93% holding. Usmanov not selling will put paid to a total buy out.

Stan will be loyal to the board short-term, he’s had to be, they’ve sold him their shares. Long term, the feeling is the board will take a new look and we’ll bring on some of the expensive commercial team who by then, will have made an incredibly large comical ball of elastic bands… you know, due to the inaction in their roles.

A few more tid-bits…

Stan cannot write a cheque for Arsenal tomorrow. He’s paying for the shares he’s bought out of cash flow.

Usmanov being involved keeps the fans involved. If he sells, we hand power to a single man who let’s be clear, we have no idea about. Being American and wearing a silly hat does not mean he’s going to be great for the club. It’s also worth noting that Usmanov was prepared to dilute some of his shareholding to the AST if Stan matched his share offering one for one. Guess what? Stan said no…

On the topic of Fanshare, since its inception, 50 shares are now in the hands of the AST. That’s £500k of hard-earned put in by Arsenal fans. Is there a club in the world that could muster that sort of support for part ownership? Not very many… that is an incredible achievement and one you should all be proud of. Too much slagging goes on about Arsenal fans… generally from the people who don’t put their hands in their pockets.

Peter Hill-Wood was given a ribbing from all sections of the AST yesterday. His comments should absolutely not be tolerated on any level and there have been many examples of people who have been caught out digging out the fans and their fates have always been the same… removal. I fully support the removal of Peter Hill-Wood from club and hopefully it’ll happen sooner rather than later. His comments were out of touch, unprofessional and wholly expected. Move him on and start a fresh… bring back Dein, the time is right.

Many people say Le Grove and the comments section is out of kilter with what ‘real’ Arsenal fans think. Well, I’ve always staunchly disagreed with this idea. If you go to the ground, you’ll know what the vibe is like and people aren’t happy. It’s no longer a minority. As was pointed out to me, a minority want Wenger out, the majority are unhappy with him and want him to change. This was a view shared by fans spanning generations. That was clear from last nights meeting. So don’t listen to people telling you that you’re a bad supporter for being concerned.

Overall, the event was very interesting, the most important thing to come out of it was that the AST will be recommending that all small shareholders and Fanshare owners do not sell out. Fan involvement is essential to the future of Arsenal. We need people speaking up for the club at all levels, by going private, we lose that power. I’m not pro either party taking over, I’m pro keeping our club special, I’m pro fan involvement and I’m pro for long-term stability and a return to winning ways.

Matt Scott of the Guardian made a very interesting comment about dissenting voices. It’s pertinent because many fans think it’s disrespectful to disagree with the club, the manager or the board…

‘As Arsenal fans, speak up, don’t become what you perceive Pat Rice to be to Arsene Wenger’

Absolutely spot on, this club is where it is today built of the back of fan loyalty, we have a right to an opinion… don’t ever forget that.

Hopefully the way things are playing out, we’ll keep our voice at the club.

That’s a healthy position to be in.

See you in the comments!

P.S. It was great to meet some of the good guys from twitter prior to the event and it was fantastic to have few beers with the AST members, the gooner journo’s plus two prominent figures from the Gooner. I also met Maria, one of Arsenal’s most prolific fans.

To say it was an orgie of Arsenal would be an understatement… I’m off to shower down.

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572 Responses to “AST AGM – Stan Kroenke vs Usmanov + some very interesting stuff”

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  1. Simon at Work

    Suga,
    Big Phil? Maybe, he was supposed to be one of the hottest young talents in Europe when we poached him, I remember the usual guff in the media about Wenger beating off the Spanish clubs to sign him. Wenger just can’t ‘do’ defenders very well. Or goalkeepers. I never thought he gave Stu Taylor any sort of chance.

  2. choy

    We only play a one striker system,

    Who doesn’t like torres? When on form, he is a class act!

    RVP is too good to be on the bench and torres is a bit of a crock.

  3. Big Dave

    Untill we reach the level of Man u and have a manager who does things right, then this how it will allways be, just like the last 6 years.

    Giggs is what 90 or something and still runs rings round other players, Rooney a one off, which we can olny dream of having in our side of powder puffs

  4. Big Dave

    No to Torres, looks a total shadow of his former self.

    L’pool are still laughing their heads off about that deal

  5. Maciek

    Big David, because they don’t talk about the mental strengh,but they play football and show character on the pitch.

    Our deluded manager is talking cr*p about our mentality, but we will probably lose against the Pool, Spurs and United and will be fighting for the 4th spot.

    Mark my words. We are bunch of bottlers.

    We have won against the mighty Blackpool and those guys from a Cultured Left Foot are creaming their pants.

    We are bunch off bottlers.

  6. Big Dave

    We play on sun then wed. 6 points is needed, cause by the time wed eve comes along we would had played a game more then them

  7. Franchise

    can someone explain to me how manure beat chelsea with 442 with CM of Giggs and Carrick?

    Arsenal are in the stone ages

    I just cant stand all the crap ppl come out with like “he wouldnt suit our formation” or “we will never go back to 442” bla bla bla

    tactically inept team from the manager to the groundsmen

  8. Pat

    Hope INter can come back tomorrow cause United will embarrass Schalke. Now, I know they have to win 3-0 in Germany to do so, but if they have all their defenders fit, scoring 3 goals should be easy. Leonardo knows how to attack, but can Inter keep a clean sheet? That will be crucial as I think Inter will score 3

  9. Steve Biko

    Pat

    Inter are crap I would rather have Schalke who the Mancs will underestimate just like Marseille but with different consequences this time.

  10. Maciek

    Pat,

    Our bottlers will bottle it again. We can’t even win against f**g West Brom and Blackburn.

    If Szczesny is still out injured Caroll, Suarez will score, because Coco the Clown is average and Jens is past it.Although I love the big German.

    We are BOOTLERS.

  11. Steve Biko

    Choy

    I think they will comfortably beat Inter but they might come ustuck against Schalke who I could suprise a few people and win the CL.

  12. arsenal4ever

    the revolution starts!!

    @bpfootball @marcotti there are 2 bids accepted from the club. One is believed to be Utd and other arsenal. Player has not made his mind up

  13. Steve Biko

    The refereeing today by the way was rubbish. That Portuguese ref can’t handle this level and was favoring Nani his compatriot.

  14. Steve Biko

    Dial Square

    SSHHHHH…… Wenger will hear you and use it as justification not to buy world class players you know he loves nothing better than that to cover his ass.

  15. Big Dave

    This summer is really important on who goes and who comes in, like i said last month, am hearing 3 in 3 out.

    We have to buy well to get anwhere near the mancs

  16. LAzer

    Carroll will have out defense be shitting bricks with his Englishness. Koscielny looking desperately bad these days. No JD to head a ball away. An outstanding performance from whoever the keeper is the only way I can see us winning this tie.

  17. patthegooner

    Why on earth would we be looking at David De Gea.

    Makes no sense A4E.

    He is 20, Chesser is 20

    Makes no sense to me, unless we were cutting Chesser loose.

    Think it is bollox

  18. TOMTOM

    They better not win it,I have a great Dane. Nani is a diving cunt,Ramires didnt touch him and he also dived to get Terry booked.

  19. LAzer

    3 out. Arshavin, Almunia, Denilson.

    3 in. Papa Mbango from Burundi, Michelle Mousi from Fra, and some other random cunt no one knows of.

  20. Steve Biko

    TOMTOM

    I agree that Portuguese ref was favoring Nani. The guy is good as a player but has a terrible attitude.

  21. TOMTOM

    Sounds like things wont be changing now that Kroenke is in control,even if we did spend the 40 million it wont make a big difference. We need to spend 150 million on 4 or 5 quality players

  22. Steve Biko

    LAzer
    said

    3 out. Arshavin, Almunia, Denilson.

    3 in. Papa Mbango from Burundi, Michelle Mousi from Fra, and some other random cunt no one knows of.

    Fuck! Man you are funny! Brilliant.

  23. Maciek

    LOL LAzer,

    I forgot about Mbuku-Mbama, our next Zinedine Cygan. A player who will make Vidic look like Stepanovs.

  24. LAzer

    Liverpool and Spuds back to back. Does anyone seriously think we will win those both? Come on now.

    And one of them away. Those cunts would love nothing more then to put the final nail. And the way this year has collapsed that is exactly what will happen, maybe in the 90th. Enjoy.

    End of the misery within sight. May 22nd.

  25. Steve Biko

    Wenger needs to buy mental strength but nobody sells it and No one cant wish it as he always seems to do.

  26. Maciek

    TomTom,

    Sell the deadwood for approx. 40m, add 50m( we do have money to spend).

    Buy: Cahill, someone to replace Clichy, M’Villa, Lukaku and Turan.

  27. LAzer

    Arsene Wenger with the question screening for press conf’s is a sign of desperation.

    Bury the head in sand time means his denial and stubbornness won’t change.

    Kronke can get him a job at Wal-Mart, they always have low prices.

  28. joppa

    More English Players Please Arsenal.

    National flags allowed back into the stadium.

    A new badge which isn’t designed by Fisher Price.

    A mantra that finishing 2nd ISN’T acceptable ever.

    Wenger to man up and start tearing shit up again if he wants to stay.

    NO MORE FKIN EXCUSES.

    All things I want for next season.

  29. Steve Biko

    LAzer

    said

    Kronke can get him a job at Wal-Mart, they always have low prices.

    LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I guess Wenger would not work well in a supermarket because he will condemn customers who buy anything expensive and instead encourage them to haggle and pay the lowest cost.

  30. LAzer

    I just want Wenger to admit hes a cunt and a stubborn bastard who has ignored everything and everyone. In someways we all know what his goal was this year, win that kiddie cup and get us all off his back so he could win 4th for another few years.

    As fate would have it it didn’t happen. We didn’t deserve it but the miserable cunt did for being a stubborn blind bastard for so long.

  31. TOMTOM

    Lol I dont think Wenger will admit that he’s a cunt but deep down he must know that he is king of the cunts.

  32. arsenal4ever

    I am just posting this. but it is said the source is reliable. would mean real competition for number 1 but why these 2 youngs would beyong me.

    @madridatleticos
    madridatleticos
    @nugent_LSF @bpfootball This was done when Alumnia was No 1 and apparently money is still owed for Reyes and Merida

    @madridatleticos
    madridatleticos
    @bpfootball @marcotti Back in October we had this

    http://www.madridatleticos.com/?p=1204

  33. Big Dave

    SK. Shosuld had watched tonight and thought this is whereI want Arsenal to be and try get one over glazer next season

  34. Steve Biko

    joppa

    I agree. Arsenal needs more English players and No I am not English myself. That will achieve two things, it will make refs more sympathetic. Secondly, it will give the team extra fighting spirit and fighting strength. This season only one team came very close to beating Manure at OT it was Wolves an average side dominated by English and British players. Its okay to have skill but fighting spirit is more often an attribute of homegrown players (and no the silly FA definition of homegrown does not wash).

  35. Big Dave

    A4e

    You are going to be a very busy person, with your internet surfing and c+p.

    Me well I will be at the home of cricket, lords sipping beer.

    I will not drive myself mad F5 all the time on newsnow over some 15yo defender

  36. MK

    PHW is right, some fans are idiots! they spend too much time playing fantasy manager and think that just because you want players you can get them.

    Wenger tried to buy a GK (one that wouldn’t get in the way of Schezney’s development as the great keeper he will be), he bought two center backs (who have conceded less goals than ManUtd in the league, despite them being bought as 3rd and 4th choice players) and a striker who did well for us in the first part of the season when we needed him and will be a good player for next season.

    AND WE ARE SECOND IN THE LEAGUE WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING and still people are complaining as if we were about to get relegated.. have a look at yourselves you sound like spoilt ‘plastic’ brats that should be supporting Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd or whoever happens to be winning the league each season.

  37. LAzer

    MK…nice flame job there you troll.

    I don’t think its even worth listing the errors. We have managed to drop points in an almost farcical fashion all year long. We had our chance when Utd stuttered, its not gonna happen now. We collapsed over and over again in all other comps as well. A proper bottle job 2011 was for Arsenal. And for that Wenger is solely responsible. Simple as.

  38. SUGA3

    failing to switching your allegiance to Wolves, you may want to consider supporting a bank, as you forgot to add the mantra about the good financial position, frugality, cost of the squad assembled and huge cash reserve (which now turned out to be as necessary as a second arsehole, by the way), you may even try the following chant for size:

    ‘One million dolars, there’s only one million dollars’ 😆

  39. Gooby

    SUGA3 says:
    April 12, 2011 at 20:40
    Gooby,

    no, I didn’t, I know exactly what you meant…

    and I believe that if you have the funds and the needs, then not spending does not only constitute limited thinking, but is also negligent…

    and I think Usmanov would put more pressure on the manager to assemble the squad to piss all over he rest!
    ——

    it’s not always a good idea when owners interfere in team affairs, never leads to success

  40. SUGA3

    and oh, one more thing:

    you are probably here for the first time in your life, so please let me enlighten you – some of us are on here since Geoff and Pedro started it, some joined some time later, one way or another it’s been a few years, surely we would just fuck off to support one of the clubs you mentioned by now if we were ‘plastics’?

  41. SUGA3

    Gooby,

    putting the money on the table and DEMANDING success is not necessarily equal to interfering with the team affairs, you know?

    as for ‘never leading to success’ bit, you may want to look up early Chelsea under Roman – got Mourinho in, gave him money, free reign and demanded results…

    don’t need to remind you that it worked out well in the end, do I?

    sure, once the interference, like force-feeding Shevchenko to JM started it went tits up for a moment, so point taken, but…

  42. gnarleygeorge9

    G’Day all

    Blimey The Poo looked good with that bloke with a head like a horses arse up front banging’em in. It will be tough getting 3 points this weekend.

  43. Gooby

    mourinho left because abramovic was interfering, ancelotti is on the way out for the same reason. i can’t see him at chavski next season.

  44. Gooby

    asking for usmanov money isn’t a classy attitude at all when we know we have it. it’s called greed.

    Wenger needs to wake up and sign a couple of established experienced players or highly talented proven young stars. they better be above 6ft and ready to work their arse off

  45. Damian

    LORDHILLWOOD has no idea Dein was great 4 the club & right on every point the day of Millionaire owns was gone its a Billionaires game now Building the stadium meant even less money on the team but a bigger stadium was needed turning away 22000 customers every game was stupid so get a sugar daddy or go to Wembly save up then build all the while competing

  46. nayan

    Of course this is guesswork but so far I just see some rich English/Indian/Swiss Exile folks that I feel no connection with being replaced by a Yank that I feel no connection with.

    David Dein be orange and possibly in league with Lucifer but nobody can doubt the man is a gooner through and through.

    I heard the rumour that Kronke wants him back but I’m curious as to how he would sit next to Kronke’s man gazidis? Director of football maybe? In which case isnt Wenger on the record he would not work under such an arrangement?

  47. Rhys Jaggar

    Interesting comments at the end about opinions, loyalty etc.

    One thing I’ve been hammering to UK society in general the past 10 years is never to forget the difference between obedience and loyalty.

    If you are obedient, you do what you’re told. Like it or not.

    If you are loyal, you express your opinion respectfully, decide whether you can live with a contrary outcome. If you can, you forget your difference and support the decision despite disagreeing intially with it. If you can’t, you withdraw, respectfully accepting that others took a decision which you have a right to see as a branch point.

    Often, the difference between loyalty and disloyalty, if you are expressing disagreement, is when you say it. It would be disloyal to say that 5 Arsenal players were rubbish the morning they played Barcelona. It wouldn’t be at the end of the season, if reasoned analysis of their performances indicated that to be true. It would be disloyal to let a Press campaign make you scream Arsene out! It wouldn’t be disloyal, after 6 years of loyal support, to question whether the current approach still merits paying £2800 for a Club Level ticket.

    Perhaps, though, there may be a need for fans to openly discuss what makes them feel that others are disloyal, since there appears to be a divergence of opinion about that amongst fans too.

    Since I don’t think it disloyal to say that the reaction of Spurs fans to getting thumped 5-0 on aggregate to Real was rather more supportive of THEIR team than 60,000 Gooners were when losing 3-1 to Utd in 2009. 25,000 hissy fitters fucking off before half time was the expression which came to my mind……It’s not a great thing to say, but unfortunately it’s factually accurate……..

    The question, after all, which I posed in a document 4 years ago was this: ‘What is Arsenal FC all about?’

    It was written at the time that takeovers were first being mooted and it’s probably the one thing that true fans should try to understand more than anything else.

    Because if, as a collective, they come to that understanding, then their hopes for their club will be communicated most effectively to the Board.