A Letter from Ivan to the Shareholders

by .


CEO Quarterly Report – May 2014

Ivan Gazidis comments on various items of interest

Dear Shareholders,

Welcome to the exclusive quarterly update for shareholders. Today’s update is covering the period up to May 22, 2014.

What a positive end to the season. Saturday’s final stretched our nerves to breaking point but that made victory all the sweeter. It was a great reward for Arsenal fans around the world and the extraordinary scenes during the parade through Islington on Sunday brought home the full reality of what our Club means to so many people. An estimated 250,000 people, young and old alike, lined the streets, cheered from rooftops and welcomed the team as we travelled through the borough. It was a scene of pure joy and made all of us proud and humbled to be part of this great Club.

This wonderful weekend followed our strong end to the Premier League season. We won our final five league games to finish with 79 points, a significant improvement on recent years. Clearly there is a sense of frustration at what might have been but we are well placed to challenge again next season and proud of the fact we have qualified for the UEFA Champions League 17 years in succession.

We have already started working for next season and I am very positive about the future.

We are very well placed. Many of our key players have committed their long-term careers to the Club which gives us squad stability on which to build effectively. Arsène is working hard on bringing greater depth to the squad during the summer and this will allow us to compete on multiple competitive fronts throughout the next campaign. In addition, we continue to develop our capability in many of our support areas, including our physical performance work and data analytics. Next year we plan to start work on a major re-development project at Colney.

We also continue to make significant investment in youth development which remains a key part of our philosophy. I would like to thank Liam Brady once again for all his hard work over the past 17 years and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. Our new Head of the Youth Academy, Andries Jonker, joins us in July and we have appointed Steve Morrow as our Head of Youth Scouting as we look to develop our recruitment of young players. We have also made big strides during the course of the season in our approach to youth athletic development and important re-building works are finishing at Hale End.

The Club is in great shape on and off the pitch and we are looking forward to building on the exciting platform we have created.

The topics covered in this update are as follows:

1. End of season supporters’ event

2. Pre-season schedule

3. 2014/2015 Barclays Premier League fixtures

4. Arsenal Foundation Ball 2014

1. End of season supporters’ event – Emirates Stadium – Wednesday, June 4
As many of you have already received by email, we are pleased to advise that an End of Season Supporters’ Event is to be held at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, commencing at 7.00 pm. There will be a reception and light refreshments available plus a few special footballing guests.

If you would like to attend, please email shareholders@arsenal.co.uk including the full name of shareholder, mobile number and email address by no later than midday on Tuesday, May 27, following which we will contact shareholders individually with a formal invitation and full details of the event.

Please note that due to the limited number of spaces available, all applicants must be shareholders. Each shareholder will be restricted to one application per shareholder.
Should we receive more applications than spaces that are available, a random ballot will be held on May 27 and successful shareholders will be contacted thereafter.

2. Pre-season schedule

As it is a World Cup year there is very little time for an extensive foreign tour like last season when we visited Asia. However, we will be playing the New York Red Bulls in New York on July 26.
It will be great to make our first visit to the States for many years and it will obviously be particularly special to play against our old friend Thierry Henry’s current team. Thierry holds a special place in our affections and I know the game is awaited with much anticipation and excitement by our many fans in the US.

The trip to the States will be followed by the Emirates Cup on the weekend of Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3. This will again be a fantastic weekend of football as we entertain three of Europe’s foremost clubs – Portuguese champions Benfica, La Liga side Valencia and French club AS Monaco.

The first-team’s pre-season schedule will be completed with a return trip to Wembley on Sunday, August 10 when we will play Manchester City in the Community Shield.

3. 2014/2015 Barclays Premier League fixtures

For your planning for next season, the Barclays Premier League fixtures for the 2014/2015 season will be announced on Wednesday, June 18.

We start our Barclays Premier League season on the weekend of August 16 and 17.

The two legs of UEFA Champions League Play Off are scheduled to be played on Tuesday/Wednesday August 19/20 and Tuesday/Wednesday August 26/27.

The draw for the UEFA Champions League Play Off is on Friday, August 8.

4. Arsenal Foundation Ball raises over £325,000

On Thursday, May 8, the Arsenal Foundation Ball raised more than £325,000 to help transform the lives of young people in the UK and overseas.

Hosted by popular comedian and Arsenal fan Dara O’Briain, and attended by Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal first team squad and Foundation ambassadors including Robert Pires, Liam Brady and Martin Keown, the night was a spectacular combination of fundraising and entertainment.

Live and silent auctions saw the players and other guests competing for a range of items before the evening closed with a special appeal from our global charity partner Save the Children to help children affected by the crisis in

Syria to regain a sense of normality by providing temporary learning spaces to help them continue their education in a safe environment.

It was a special evening and a further reminder of the power that football and Arsenal in particular has to make a difference in our communities.

Finally, thanks again for your tremendous support throughout the course of the season. See you in August.

Yours faithfully,

Ivan Gazidis

Chief Executive
May 22, 2014

69 Responses to “A Letter from Ivan to the Shareholders”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Rocky Pires

    Ya were an easy lot to please Ivan, keep the trophoies coming and allow us to compete.

    The tone of the email to me reads as one of pride and feeling more endeared to the club having succeeded and knowing in order to claim the big scalps of EPL and CL, we need to invest .

    Good stuff, cheers for sharing Ped’s

  2. BillikenGooner

    I hope “squad depth” means squad improvement and not “Arsene tells me we have the quality to win the league, we just need a few more C list players who won’t mind sitting on the bench.”

  3. Mike adamski

    I hope the Milner rumour goes away . He’s not bad , but not what we need .
    It’s completely bewildering how arsene wenger hasn’t made a tall physical defensive midfielder a priority .
    That’s what we need .
    Almost as much as a top striker .

    I hope he has the cajones to get it done and splash the cash

  4. peanuts&monkeys

    Too bad we lose another player to EPL rivals. Sagna joins Man City. And, Wenger buys players from Swedish league and French Ligue 2. the senile pennypincher has his own set of FFP rules. Bastard. Out! You stale brained ex-football manager.

  5. Rocky Pires

    Milner is a proven winner and a tough energetic player, at the right price worth a punt for the “Ray Parlour” role but not as an A Class signing

    I could live with
    GK –
    RB – Aurier
    CB – Young Talent Van Djik/Lascellas(if Verm stays)
    RM – Milner
    CDM – Witsel/Martinez etc etc
    ST Benzie/Falco/Cavini etc
    LW Vela and Campbell

  6. Hitman

    Didn’t Mr invisible say the same thing last year and then disappear for a whole 12 month.

    Groundhog same again coming up.

    Buy some fucking players, we’ll listen later. Weasel,

  7. TitsMcgee

    Diego Costa @OfficialDCosta · 3h
    police say david Moyes investigated for beating up man at wine bar

    it is funny because as man Utd coach he could not beat anyone

  8. Hitman

    When he signs off “See you in August”

    He really means:

    we’re all going on holiday, including me & medical staff and cashier so we aint buying anyone.

    Enjoy reading the transfer BS on Newsnow & buy Em Cup tickets, you Mugs.

  9. REDgoon

    Serge Aurier, Javi Martinez, a top class striker and a goalkeeper. That’s all we need to make up the 7 point difference between 4th and 1st. We’ll judge in August.

  10. jwl

    Strong end to season!?!? Are we watching same team/season – we were first at Christmas and fourth at end. In no way, shape or form can that be described as strong end to season.

    I thought Wenger was supposed to sign his contract this week – what’s going on with that? Whether Wenger staying or going is of interest to shareholders. I want to know why delay, I really hope gazidis/board are trying to force Wenger to change his methods.

  11. MidwestGun

    Arsène is working hard on bringing greater depth to the squad during the summer and this will allow us to compete on multiple competitive fronts throughout the next campaign.
    Whheeeeew thank God, I feel better Arsene is working hard. Lol.

  12. Dave Highbury

    Le Grove. The sight for weak minded whinging loosers. Meh meh meh! Don’t like it… don’t like this… don’t like that… OH! I’ve been sad all season and missed the actual football.

  13. MidwestGun

    Nope I watched every minute. Really enjoyed that 6-0 ass kickin, Pool destruction along with City beating, was amazing. That we couldn’t beat Man U was also really enjoyable. Thanks for dropping by.

  14. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Let us thank Ivan Gazidis for his Quarterly Report. Have Arsenal suffered a player casualty in the person of Sagna? I hope Arsenal will review what had caused this loss without Arsenal even getting any money for a departing quality of Sagna’s caliber.

  15. Adam Bucci

    pedro and geoff got ivan to write a guest column, what are the chances he can get arsene to write one?

  16. pliget

    I posted a few times some 24+ months ago when I first came across this site (and was welcomed by kwikfit as I recall – which was nice) but just been reading since then, generally since any views I had on posts have been said by the time I get round to reading. But something struck me about Ivan’s letter which hasn’t been commented on.

    Is the end of season shareholder’s event only for shareholders? And only one space per shareholder?

    Is this meeting being held in the broom cupboard? I thought there were only 60,000 odd shares with Kroenke and Usmanov owning almost all of them? How many actual supporters own a (£16k? 17k?) share?

    It sounds like its going to be a real rip-roaring event – so sad that I don’t qualify. Still my socks do need matching.

  17. kwik fit

    Have a feeling that Cesc is coming home. Maybe even a Cesc Pedro/Sanchez Barca double could be on the cards. Trophy’s and signings, excited times at the Arsenal.

  18. kwik fit

    Perhaps Pedro has received inside information that after years and years of trying we are are finally getting our main transfer target.

    Salomon Kalou welcome to arsenal!

  19. NYCgooner

    “Salomon Kalou welcome to arsenal!”


    soon to be followed by a wave of mass suicide by arsenal supporters

  20. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    So fucking what….

    Arsenal FC in pat on their own back shocker!

    Steve morrow

    What great football insight he has!

    Also last nights post with szvage been edited

    Free speech in the uk eh

  21. Emiratesstroller

    A very positive statement from Gazidis. The most important elements are:

    1. The players who matter at club are now on long term contracts. I think that
    we are now less likely to see first team players leaving on Bosman or forcing
    the club to offload them on their/agent terms.

    2. Wenger has clearly been provided with substantial budget and has no
    longer any excuse to not spend money.

    3. Gazidis suggests that Wenger is ‘planning’ for next season. Let us hope that
    is the case and we do not land up once again with little or no activity until
    last hour before window closes. Wenger must address this summer the
    weaknesses in our squad and tactical play so that we do not repeat the
    mistakes of last season not least in away games against top teams.

    4. Today’s news suggesting that Sagna has probably signed with Man City
    is sad for the club, but if as suggested he is being paid £150,000 pw then
    good luck to him. That translates over 3 years to £23,400,000 for a player
    who will be 34 at end of contract. It demonstrates just how ridiculous these
    petro and oligarch rich clubs are. More money than sense.

    5. Arsenal cannot and should not try and compete with this type of club, but
    they need now to be far more selective in who we buy and pay what is
    necessary to bring in their top targets even if they have sometimes to pay
    a premium.

  22. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Why do certain comments get edited?
    I can understand if they are racist or libe?

    But if it a case of questioning another person on the blog I query why,,,

    I know it’s your blog your rules etc…

  23. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Unlike many of the AKB’s that slip through the greasy cracks to post here, I tend to like to read more between the lines rather than the candy coated patting of the proverbial back that Gazidis and any businessman is opt to give to the average shareholder. I mean, why tell the shareholders that everything is anything but great?

    The only real problem here is that Gazidis honestly believes that only the shareholders count, so who cares what the average supporter thinks? Afterall, they are stupid enough to dole out pound after pound of their hard earned money under the guise of promise of hope. Its the gift that just keeps on giving.

    This much I know…Nothing will be done in the offseason, Wenger’s said as much over and over, if you read between the lines. They will peddle with the FA Cup over your heads for years to come and UCL qualification as well. So, whats to complain over? Wenger can deliver much of the same with exactly the same…hence, no changes coming. Count on it! Cause they are counting on your blind loyalty.

  24. Cescy

    I hope Ivan is not paying lip service. I really want to see Sanchez and Fabregas with Pogba in our red and whiteYour Comment Here

  25. MidwestGun

    Afterburn –
    There is like 35 possibilities right now of who we could play. The best of them are Zenit St . Pete, Lille, Copenhagen, Standard Liege, Dnipro, Panathinaikos, Besiktas.

  26. Cescy

    Ivan just shut up and spend some money. Sanchez, Pogba and Fabregas that’s all we need to win epl. Just add a good gk and a rb. If pogba is not available Martinez is equally good. Get rid of diaby

  27. N5

    “If loic remy chooses Liverpool over us then there must be something seriously wrong with this club.”

    Yeah, especially if we don’t bid for him but they do and he still goes to them!!! what a cunt! he should turn up at Arsenal and demand a squad number!


  28. tunnygriffboy


    Still on here loooooool. Went to bed and you and midwest throwing Simpsons dialogue back and forth to each other, bizarre. Log in this morning and you’re still here looooool

  29. Ashwin Gunner

    Early post.

    Good work pedro.

    Looks like Ivan has taken your red zone rant seriously and is bringing new guys for data analysis. Good one…

    Another question

    Does this mean that we wont get your daily post with normal rant 🙂

  30. N5

    Tunny, I never leave! I just lurk, waiting for someone to come in and then …..bam

    Be my friend, be my friend, be my friend.

  31. Ashwin Gunner

    Loic Remy is in talks with Liverpool.
    Arsenal Everton and clubs from Europe are interested in him.. hmmm. Suddenly his market value has gone up.. Is it hype, or is he really worth it ??

  32. tunnygriffboy


    There’s a genuine shortage of players available who can astick the ball in the net. I suspect it’s agent whoring his name around. However, like Aurier, if we want him we can get him. Both of them have stated they want to come to us.

  33. DUIFG

    Rocky Pires, MILNER! are you kiding me, ypou would block chambo and serg’s developmnet to bring fuckinging milner in the squad, apart from running around what skillset is he bringing to the club.

  34. FACupofTea

    “Clearly there is a sense of frustration at what might have been but we are well placed to challenge again next season.” – Ivan.

    Dude seriously? More like well placed to challenge again for fourth place trophy!!

  35. lordsnotty

    Don’t believe any of this bollocks until it actually happens. Which it won’t. These guys are experts in bullshit as they have proved year in and year out. Wenger is too old to change his ways at the age of 65. In fact winning the FA Cup is more likely to convince him that his methods are right and that nothing needs to change. Expect nothing to happen until end of August, then some panic signings, a has-been or two on free transfer, some unknown kid from the French lower league. And maybe Cesc Fabregas just to keep us mugs happy. Same old same old. “Plus la change, plus la meme chose” or something like that as they say in France.