AST Meeting Review – Wenger is in total control of players purchases and salaries

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As AST meetings go, last nights was pretty intense. It was held in quite a small room, the information coming out probably felt quite abrasive to some, so at times the debate was quite intense. All in good spirit of course!

I’ll give you the key points jumbled up into no particular order…

Fanshare now has over 2000 members. Quite an achievement in under a year. Problems are arising as there aren’t enough new shares coming onto the market, so whilst popularity of the scheme is high, the shares aren’t there to satisfy demand.

Stan Kroenke has cooled his interest in the scheme as has Usmanov. The Russian said he’ll match whatever Stan puts in… which currently stands at nothing. The club could make shares available themselves. It’s believed £5million a year could be raised for the scheme, that could go into grass-roots football in the community or countless other worthy projects. Does either owner care enough? Doubtful… their alignment at the beginning was political.

Out of interest, the scheme where you can immortalise yourself with a brick outside the Armoury has raised £2million. Quite incredible. The desire to be part of the club we all love is incredible.


Spurs and Liverpool were the biggest under performers last year if you correlate wages to league position. There is normally a .75 correlation between the two. Don’t ask me what that means.

If we want to compete with the best, we have to restructure the way we pay our players. The current way of paying everyone similar wages is costing us our best players and hindering us with the worst. We’ll spend £15mill on dross we don’t want this year. That’s 3 world class super quality players.

Bayern Munich keep superstars on a £120mill wage bill, why can’t we?

Our current commercial revenue compared to Liverpool is about £35mill down. The problem is that most of that money has been paid out and swallowed up by the Emirates.

The feeling is that the board are happy to see out the next few years by being as risk averse as possible. They’ll ride the storm and hope for 4th. Wenger is a developmental manager, 4th is a trophy and a real trophy is probably less important to the manager than churning out the next Cesc or Nasri.

All decisions on transfers and salaries are the managers. Don’t kid yourself there is any merit in the stories about the board interfering. It’s simply not true. If the programme notes last week didn’t tell you that, the fact this news is coming out of a Gazidis meeting should.

Wenger’s business was done in June. He was happy with what he’d purchased. The rest of the buys were a reaction to the United horror show and key injuries to Jack and Vermaelen.

There is £50million in the TPA fund ready to be spent when necessary. The club have no desire to hold onto that cash. They’d plunder it all if it made sense. Problem Arsenal have is an investor who isn’t willing to top up that figure and a manager who doesn’t want to spend it. Where does Gazidis go from there?

Like I said in the week, in a weird way the fans are as much to blame for this situation as the board. The constant insistence this mess has nothing to do with Arsene means the board have their hands tied. When we say board, that means Ivan. There are no decision makers outside him and Wenger apart from Stan, who has about as much to do with the club as me.

Due to what Wenger has done over the years, no one can accept he no longer sees the game in the same way. No one believes he was happy not to sort the squad out this summer. We’re in a situation where the club has slowly been picked apart over the past few years and very few are willing to put the blame at the managers door. His position is bullet proof until he runs the club into the ground.

Fans are making their feelings known at the ticket office. 5000 have handed back their season tickets for Bolton, the game has hit general sale.

No one wants to see this happening but we’ve landed ourselves in an awkward situation where the Emperor is wandering around Trafalgar Square naked and the fans have had Gazidis arrested for indecent exposure instead.

Our obsession with the future has become regressive and the success of yesteryear has blinded us to the steady 6 year decline of the club. Weird eh?

Bite-size Facts

  • United are totally compliant with FFP, have 40+ partners to our 12 and they’re self-sustaining. That’s where we want to be. They got their through success on the pitch as well as savvy business skills.
  • Arsenal could be worth £1.3billion sterling.
  • Only Wenger and Gazidis work on transfer deals.
  • Nik B would have been worth £25million in total if we’d sold him for £10mill.
  • If we renew Vermaelen, Song, Theo and Robin, we’ll make a loss the year after as things stand currently.
  • Samir was sold for such a high fee because City tapped him up.
  • Arsenal were bang on for suing that Spanish hat seller. She was trying to take out a trademark for the Arsenal logo that encompassed the whole of Spain.
  • Arsenal track 60 players at a time.
  • Hazard and M’Vila didn’t move because their clubs refused to sell to anyone.
  • Property at Queensland Road will be next years Champions League safety net.
  • ‘Spend some fu**ing money’ chants are directed at Arsenal because the money IS there.
  • Diaby earns £12k a week more than Modric.
  • Best source of Arsenal shares is dead people. 16 going to the AST last year.
  • Arsene Wenger is solely responsible for wages and the players we buy.
  • Usmanov has two boxes side by side and he’s joined them up into a super box. Out of his own money.
  • The stadium debt has remained relatively stable.
I have mixed feelings about the game tonight, I’m nervous because we’re playing what I believe to be a very solid team but I’m also quite excited. We’ll see whether the squad has progressed, remained static or needs some serious work over the next few weeks. Can our new buys use their experience to gel, can they adapt to a system that has really struggled to work, can they start scoring goals?
I hope we’ve paid attention to their danger men and I hope we’ve thought about how we’re going to play against them. A squad that is new needs all the help it can get. A draw would be a very good result tonight, a win would be an exceptional way to kick off our campaign. It’s a very big game that’ll kick off a tricky run in the Premiership this season.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Santos
Arteta Song Benayoun
 Gervinho RVP Walcott
How do you see the team lining up? What do you think of the AST information? What are you predictions!
Let us know in the comments!

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1,250 Responses to “AST Meeting Review – Wenger is in total control of players purchases and salaries”

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  1. IvoryGoonz

    so for the other big games,
    2-0 for Chelsea against Leverkusen
    Barca-AC Milan 2-2
    Olympiakos – Marseille 0-1
    Porto-Shakhtar 2-1

  2. Yandi

    Not really beyond the realms of possibility is it incesc? The guy’s got more goals, more assists and generally provides more in the attacking areas. He also has more national team caps, and has won a league title. He’s had the better career so far, no doubt about it…

  3. incesc

    cant argue with that yandi

    but wilshere came through last year, hes first season as cesc’s understudy and was put in a defensive role to school him as a midfielder,

    in a league with man u and the 2 richest teams in the world. not germany.

    wilshere over goatse any day of the week

    love goatse at arse though alongside wilshere.

  4. GoonerGaz

    Let’s be honest, a draw is a good result, at least a professional one.

    But Dortmund in the final third resembled Theo Walcott on a good day, Gotze is class, it was clear to see, but they have been shit so far this season.

    So in reflection, glad to get a point, but I’m more concerned with the balance of the team and the quality which we don’t have. Does anyone here believe Theo is improving whilst staying on the right wing? I think he should have been loaned out years ago! He should be a sub who plays ahead of RVP. (at best).

    Early days to write off some other players such as Gervinho, he looks wasteful, but new players deserve time, whereas Walcott seems to be going backwards for years.

  5. IvoryGoonz

    GoonerG: he should have be loaned out long ago, but now he’d do a Bendtner if we sent him on loan. To me, he should play on the left, with Gerv on right, and change from time to time depending how defenders cope with them on their side.

  6. incesc

    to be fair

    walcott, arteta, ramsey and all the rest have not been great

    but they are good players, we need a system and some good management and some team building quickly.

    a good system, which we dont have would improve them 100%

    wenger, over to you


  7. GoonerGaz

    IvoryG, I’d settle for that and Wenger has used that tactic a few times this season already, but he doesn’t really have that trick to go past players like Gervinho has. I think Walcott is a good finisher and we should use his best qualities instead of training him up on the right wing at The Arsenal, let him go to Bolton and do that.

    Anyway that won’t happen now, RVP needs more players making runs off him, which is why we need a front man with RVP right behind him. Simples.

  8. Radio Raheem

    Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal: choose your Man of the Match

    Wojciech Szczesny22%

    Bacary Sagna3%

    Kieran Gibbs1%

    Per Mertesacker2%

    Laurent Koscielny14%

    Alex Song37%

    Mikel Arteta3%

    Theo Walcott1%


    Yossi Benayoun3%

    Robin van Persie13%

    Andre Santos0%

    Emmanuel Frimpong0%

    Marouane Chamakh1%


    Can’t hide the truth eh…

  9. IvoryGoonz

    chozzer: yeah, happened in the last minutes of the game, but the first choice was Azpilicueta who got badly injured last season and is just back. So it should not be too much of a problem for them.

  10. John

    Really disappointed with Gervinho, looked like Diaby running into traffic and losing it.

    Still, some good coaching will sort that out, won’t it? … Hello?

  11. IvoryGoonz

    GoonerG: that’s why with Gerv on right to provide Walcott and RVP would work fine but that needs either Benayoun or Arteta to actually run forward, not just try to find a player to mark… Would remove a bit of Walcott’s pressure from Gervinho as well, and surely create a good bond between them two. Thats how they did with him and Hazard. Would also teach Walcott the way of the left side, and leave Gervinho free roaming from right side.

  12. GoonerGaz

    I’m sticking to my guns on Gervinho, I’ve even kept him in my dreamteam in work. He’ll score against Blackburn on sat.

  13. AFC Wonderland

    First half was awful tonight, 2nd half thought we pulled together nicely, Song in particular when dropping deep is so much more effective and thought he was our best player when providing the required cover. But when pushing high up the pitch and losing possession on a regular basis he’s so exposed it’s embarrassing, can’t Wenger explain this too him or he loses his place?


    good result and was doing a good job 2nd half till that unstopable strike

    szezney was and is top draw

    one thing is for sure yossi and arteta offer more defensively then we previously had but lack top quality going forward
    neither can or will dominate a game for us

  15. naija soccer

    This one of those games that divides opinion. On one side , u can say we had a good game and u ll be right. On the hand u can we didn’t play well and u ll be right too.

    Our possesion/attacking game is lacking right now. But the defensive side of our game has improved.

    One thing u can bet ur 2 kidneys on though is , regardless of what you think about wenger , he is going to have this team playing the beautiful possesive footie again as we all know that’s what his strength is.

  16. Colonel Mustard

    since Cesc and Nasri left Wegner does’nt care. he has lost the key components of his project. He acquienced to late signings.He will be gone next year. now is the time to act.

  17. zeus

    Per Mertesacker319
    The German had problems dealing with the lively forward players as Lewandowski and Kagawa created plenty of room for their fellow forwards. However as the game continued he showed his quality by winning headers, making tackles and ensuring his side kept some possession.

    Laurent Koscielny1725
    Seemed to struggle alongside Mertesacker which is maybe to be expected given they are a new central defensive pairing, but in such an important game they were lucky not to be punished.

    Kieran Gibbs1811
    Had a tough evening against the lively Goetze but the youngster handled him well, only being beaten on a couple of occasions. He tried to get forward when he could but had to be wary of leaving too much space for the Dortmund midfield to take advantage of.

    Mikel Arteta2211
    Making his first Champions League start for eight years the former Everton man was not really involved in the first half as Dortmund controlled the midfield. He was moved to a more attacking role in the latter parts of the second half, but continued to provide defensive support as the Gunners hung onto the slight lead.

    Alexandre SongTop of the Match822
    Playing as the only defensive midfielder in the Arsenal starting line-up meant Song was busy trying to stop the Dortmund players as they piled the pressure on in the early parts of the game. He had a quiet first half but was everywhere for the Gunners in the second half as he broke up every Dortmund attack.

  18. zeus


    I agree with that. Dude hada bloody ear today, put himself on the line. Even last year we would have lost that game 2-1.

    Better defensively if only slightly, but going forward Arteta hardly seems theanswer. Someone of hisexperience should be able to hold the ball uo betterin CM. Dude was messing up simple one-twos.

  19. Strikeforce1

    the true story of the match hasnt been told yet as i look through the comments, the true story of the match came at the end. Gotze putting on an arsenal jersey right after the match, once this occured wenger and gazidis shook hands, smiled and stood up to leave their seats……
    Gotze to join arsenal football club summer 2012… coming soon in your nearest whatever

  20. albo

    I didn’t see the game because I was at work, and I hear we were on the back foot a fair bit. But seriously, what is it with us conceding wonder strikes all the time? I’m not making an excuse here, merely asking the question.

    Has Danny Rose done anything remotely impressive since he scored against us? Could Tiote have scored that goal in the 4-4 game more than 1 time in 100? This one tonight sounds similar from the descriptions I’m reading.

    From my memory, in almost all of the awful comebacks we’ve suffered over the past few seasons, at least 1 goal against us has been a 1 in 100 wonder goal.

    It’s fucking annoying quite frankly!

  21. Rohan

    Koscielny and Song MOM. Sagna comes close second along with Chesney. Per third.

    Arteta was ok today. Benayoun struggled but put himself about.

  22. Rohan

    Yeah, like Giovanni’s goal for Hull.
    or even that cunt Insua’s wonder volley from 40 yards out
    or Jermain Penis’ curler from the edge of the box.

    It’s always fucking us

  23. Rohan

    It is interesting thought that Song often has immense second halfs. Struggles to get going immediately but you can see why AW sticks with him.
    Based on today’s second half alone, I’d go as far as saying he’s the best DM in the premiership. FACTOMUNDO

  24. BacaryisGod

    Well, I must have been watching a different game than most of the critics on this blog.

    Dortmund are the German champions and were up for the game. They have kept the team intact from last season. I thought we went out to secure a point and nearly took all three.

    It was far from a flawless performance, but it was a mature and gutsy one. I thought Arteta, Benayoun and Mertesacker all performed decently, but the star players were Chezzer, Song (MOM) and RVP largley because he showed his killer instinct on that goal and he showed passion as captain. Gervinho is a constant menace and will continue to improve. Theo didn’t do much but he keeps the opposition defence honest. Everyone fears him getting away.

    That was a tough game and I think the team should be pleased with the effort they made. It took a fantastic goal to get Dortmund a point.

    The biggest concern will be breaking teams down at the Emirates when we have the same formation. We struggled against Swansea and will no doubt find it tough this season to score easy goals. We just don’t have the players to blow by teams like Man U and Man City can and other teams don’t fear us.

    But tonight’s performance made me think that we’re going to be ok this season.

    I also wish that people would drop the Diaby for Modric nonsense. There’s probably 25 worse players in the Premier League than Diaby who are making more than Modric, and probably more than WIlshere, Vermaelen, Chezzer etc. It’s a pointless game because every team has good value players and awful value players (Wayne Bridge anyone?)

  25. JJ

    After reading all the comments BOOZY wins the twit award of the day. Seriously, what game were you watching?

    Saying Gibbs was better than Sagna is ridiculous. Gibbs was (his usual) shocking and Sagna played quite well.

    The subs were also fine. Why are you asking for more goals when all we needed to do was defend – taking Theo off was also needed as he was completely cack (bar the assist).

    I thought Song had a good second half but he continues to give awful fouls away in dangerous areas. I wounder whether Pat gave him a rocket at half-time knowing Wenger was not there to stop him.

  26. JJ

    Theo needs to watch tapes of TH14 or even Eduardo. They knew how to flick the ball around the defender and then run onto the ball. Theo tries to dribble past defenders and it almost never works.

    I also think he would be better on the left wing so he can cut in on goal. His crosses are basically useless from the right and it is harder angle to attack the goal for a right footer.

  27. OPG

    Don’t know what they were thinking running and turning into danger at times they were all pretty poor in possession.
    Denilson might have brought some composure even.. maybe, maybe not.

  28. OPG

    Dortmund were linked to Bendtner at one point but it seems they have Lewandowski who seems quite wasteful himself..
    Looks like Marvin Martin is moving but only next summer:
    ‘We had good talk and we found an agreement,’ Martin told L’Equipe.

    ‘The officials made a promise. Indeed, an agreement to let me leave. I will remain at Sochaux until the end to the season.’

  29. gnarleygeorge9

    Watched the game delayed on SBS here before work this morning till the 70th minute, then I had to take my wife to work coz her car battery was flat. Piss poor timing that 👿

    Anyway, I felt a bit numb when I heard they equallised, in the dying minutes apparently. But, when you think about it, Arsenal will only get better/stronger going forward 🙂 so long as the players don’t carry on like girlie men and keep picking up injuries.

  30. Moray

    Marvelous Marvin Martin looks to have supplanted No Loyalty Nasri in the French team, so it would be a real coup if we could sign him up. We then develop him and we get the double whammy of a great player and revenge on Nasri for leaving…and then flog him for a huge profit in a couple of years when it is discovered he has some sort of DNA loyalty to a far off isle…

  31. arsenalfan

    my guess, le grove doesnt like criticism. got it wrong on the transfer front, got it wrong on the wage ceiling. now you guys are deleting comments?

    All deals bar benayoun’s were in the pipeline before the united game, and the board dictates the wage ceiling, its docimented that Arsene tried to get them to up it, they wouldnt

  32. Pedro

    Arsenal Fan, if any of your insights were correct, you’d be worth going back at. Seen as all your statements are wrong, I won’t bother.

  33. Gunner2301

    @embryo 11:28 You need to view the two sets of supporters in context the Dortmund supporters now are like ours in 2004 with Dortmund having won the league and conceded very few goals in the process and playing with flair. If we were like we are now in 2004 I could see your point, but I’m sure if Jurgen Klopp were to run Dortmund into the ground, sell all their best players, pay fringe players a fortune and star players not enough for the next 6 years and their best players wanted out, I think you’d see a different type of support from their supporters.