Arsenal 2017 AGM: The Chips Are Down

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I am not going to rigorously minute the 2017 AGM for you. Most of the questions and a lot of the answers will be very familiar by now. It’s safe to say that this year’s Annual General Meeting was a more interesting affair than it normally is. I think there are a few points of note before I start to relay the good, the bad and the ugly of a tense affair. Think of it as a prologue of sorts.

Firstly, this was an Annual General Meeting for shareholders. It wasn’t a fans’ forum, or a home match or a supporters’ club event or a Q & A. You probably recognise that, but you would be amazed at the amount of people that don’t understand the distinction. Admittedly, AGMs are typically diluted affairs conducted as an obligatory nod to corporate governance.

But the majority owner does not speak or even appear publicly very often, so shareholders really only have a single recourse to exercise their right to ask questions of the club- the AGM. Obviously, there is some crossover here, there aren’t many small shareholders left, but the ones that exist have generally refused the opportunity to make large profits on their shares.

Most of the people that have refused huge offers for their holding have done so because they are committed fans. One lady described how she had turned down £60,000 for her four shares when Stan Kroenke took the club over because her Grandfather had bought them around 60 years ago. She could expect to make over £80,000 if she sold them now, but still she hangs onto them because she is a fan.

I think these people deserve to be listened to and to be treated with respect when they ask questions of the board of directors. Regardless of what you think of AGMs in the corporate world (and they are generally a bit of a sham), that is a basic courtesy that ought to be executed. Arsenal refer to themselves as a club of class and values and Arsene Wenger referenced this extensively during his address.

I don’t think the Arsenal chairman conducted himself in a manner befitting an organisation that spent a portion of its AGM talking about ‘class’ and ‘values.’ There was a failure of common decency from Sir Chips Keswick, even if it was a testing and stressful affair for him. A chairman ought to be able to keep his composure in the face of a group of shareholders exercising their rights. But anyway, I will come to that. Let’s lighten the mood a little.

THE GOOD
Ivan Gazidis gives a presentation every year on some of the positive initiatives Arsenal are involved with, which is absolutely right. This year, he joked that instead of “death by powerpoint” he would run a small video detailing some of Arsenal’s community projects, its off field investments and, generally, some of the good things the club does that don’t take place on the football pitch.

It is easy and a little tempting to say that an organisation with Arsenal’s revenues bloody well ought to contribute to charitable concerns. But they do and it is easy to lose sight of them and the positive they bring to people’s lives. Admittedly, the heart-warming video got off to an inauspicious start. A graphic detailing Arsenal’s revenue (£424m) was followed by the Legend, “WHERE DOES IT GO?”

The film then cut to an image of Granit Xhaka with the caption “£35m”, which probably didn’t quite land as anticipated given his current form! But alongside player expenditure, renovations to London Colney, Hale End, the new facility for the women’s team, upgrades made to Club Level and new coaching appointments were also highlighted.

There was an interesting piece of VT on Arsenal’s new Sensory Room for fans with special needs, as well as the Innovation Lab. As well as this, local community projects in Islington and in overseas territories such as Iraq took centre stage. When highlighting their academy work, the editor of the film earns bonus points for cutting Eddie Nketiah’s two goal display against Norwich into the mix at such short notice.

Whilst Ivan rather dismissed the idea of introducing home credits to encourage people to fill their seats at the Emirates, he did suggest the club were working on an initiative where people could donate their seat to the Arsenal Foundation in the event that they cannot use it, which I think would be a wonderful innovation.

I’m not entirely clear on why Arsene Wenger attends the AGM every year, but attend he does. It’s obvious why the board want him there, because his speech is always the most generously received part of the day. When he takes the stage and says, “good morning!” the floor responds in kind and the atmosphere feels lighter. There is still a great deal of reverence for Arsene Wenger in settings such as these.

He gave a very nice speech about the values of the club, about respecting its history and how he constantly revisits photos of the 1930s, 50s and 60s to keep himself connected with its heritage. But he admitted, “the weight of the present is heavy.” A minor groan as he closed his speech, I wish he would stop trying to reassure people how hungry and committed he is. I don’t think anyone questions his desire, more his capability.

THE BAD
Bad for the Board of Directors, that is. During the formal part of the meeting, the re-election of Sir Chips Keswick was defeated by a show of hands from the floor. Club Secretary David Miles invited a revote, reminding shareholders that another such vote would force a poll to be taken. Mr. Miles warned that the board were holding proxies worth 97% of the total vote who had voted to re-elect Mr. Keswick.

Nevertheless, the motion was again defeated by a show of hands and proceedings were delayed for around 25 minutes whilst polling cards were handed out and the floor were invited to cast their votes. This was obviously an exercise in futility, but a point was being made. In the absence of a regular audience with the majority owner (who remained mute for the entire meeting) and, well, any other kind of power, the small shareholders elected to exercise the only means left to them to show their dissatisfaction with the governance of the club.

The power to be a pain in the arse and make a point. Obviously, today won’t suddenly make Stan Kroenke more engaged, or consider selling his shares. But it’s well worth shareholders registering their dissatisfaction in any avenue available to them and due to the disengagement of the owner, this is one of the few actions they can take. Despite the significant delay, the small shareholders took exactly the same approach to the re-election of Josh Kroenke.

So again, poll cards were filled out as we were gently reminded that this was all a waste of time because 97% of the votes had already been cast in Josh’s favour. But generally, people don’t wantonly waste their time unless they feel it is necessary to do so. Stan and Josh are insulated from the criticism they receive for their involvement in Arsenal, making them turn and face it for once felt like a worthwhile exercise in my opinion.

The world’s media saw it too, which will cause no small amount of embarrassment. We know for sure now that KSE have made moves to buy Alisher Usmanov’s shares so that events such as the AGM won’t need to happen any longer. There is a sense of hopelessness among fans and shareholders alike, with an absentee owner not interested in selling and not engaged enough to care about what supporters think.

There was very little reference to Stan or Josh Kroenke’s vision for the club. But to be honest, I am fine with that. They don’t care about Arsenal beyond how much money the club makes them and, personally, I am not overly keen on being continually lied to about what big Arsenal fans they are and how ambitious they are about the team.

THE UGLY
I don’t doubt that it was a stressful affair for the chairman to see the small shareholders repudiate his position- even if only conceptually. There was a little heckling from the audience at sporadic intervals, but not with great regularity. “Why not?” a testy audience member demanded, as Sir Chips confirmed Alisher Usmanov would not be invited onto the Arsenal board, for example.

Questions were invited unvetted from the floor. Kevin Whitcher asked if the AGM could be made a little longer next year so that questions from the floor could be given greater consideration. Kev won’t mind me saying his question was barbed, he explicitly told Sir Chips that he chairs AGMs with the air of a man that considers it a huge inconvenience to talk to shareholders.

It’s not a controversial statement on Kev’s part, you can’t fail to pick up on the contempt Keswick holds for the whole occasion really. But I get why it got Sir Chips’ back up a little and why his reply was dismissive, even if I didn’t agree with the approach. Thereafter, Mr. Keswick was addressed by a long term shareholder whose 4 shares have been in her family for over 60 years.

She asked a perfectly reasonable question about the diversity of the board of directors. She pointed out that she has been asking this question for many years (she has) and she has always been furnished with the same answer. “We’ll look into it.” Her tone remained entirely measured when she asked if it has indeed been looked into and Sir Chips refused to provide even a mealy mouthed reply. “Next question,” he demanded on two occasions.

This caused quite a bit of commotion from the floor, including shouts of “resign!” Ivan tried to bring proceedings under control by pleading with the audience to “stop shouting.” Many returned with an obvious riposte, “answer the question then!” Sir Chips again refused. A gentleman politely asked whether Stan Kroenke would address his fellow shareholders and share his vision with them.

That is not on the agenda, sorry. You can read today’s Daily Telegraph if you want to know,” was Keswick’s terse reply. Obviously this did little to quell the disquiet and the chairman abruptly declared the meeting closed. Sir Chips greeted the sound of the consequent booing by inviting people to “write in if you have a problem.”

Whatever you think of KSE, Stan Kroenke’s ownership, Arsene Wenger or the purpose of an AGM, it’s impossible to view Sir Chips’ behaviour charitably. The renewal of the manager’s contract is still a divisive issue, but if you want a real insight into how little Stan Kroenke cares about what you think, that he is presumably happy for Sir Chips to consistently address shareholders like something he wiped off his shoe is a good barometer.

Ultimately, it furthers the impression that the Arsenal board retain a ‘let them all eat cake’ attitude. Even Ivan is going to have his work cut out spinning today’s shit sandwich into ice cream- but at least he and Arsene stayed behind to answer questions after the meeting had closed, while Chips and the Kroenkes slunk off.

If AGMs are merely a PR puff exercise, then this one cannot have gone to plan for the Arsenal board. They were forced to face down the “peasants’ revolt” on Thursday morning. There probably is no way that KSE can row back on the weight of public opinion at this point, so the pursuit of good PR is barely worth their while. But while Sir Chips acts as their bulldog and their mouthpiece in a room full of shareholders, embarrassments like today’s will continue. And that’s not good for the image of Arsenal Football Club.

Follow me on Twitter @Stillberto– Or like my page on Facebook

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Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside
2 years ago

F**k all of them.

Stikkman
Stikkman
2 years ago

Prick wick hisses is an anagram of sir chips keswick. Just saying.

IamaGoober
IamaGoober
2 years ago
Reply to  Stikkman

Its the real sense of helplessness that gets me the most, as there is literally nothing we can do to change any of it. I know there are calls for protests and marches, but today has literally proved they will not listen. If the chairman of Arsenal football club is willing to completely ignore a perfectly reasonable well mannered question, asked directly to him, in the very presence of the shareholder asking the question, then walking around outside the ground with banners is simply futile – they do not give a fuck. None of them do. And the fact that… Read more »

Al Al
Al Al
2 years ago
Reply to  IamaGoober

THere is something we can do. HURT THEIR POCKETS!! Don’t buy the damn tickets. These people do not care about anything but money. Forget this get behind the team talk, we are way past that. After all this, 60,000 fans will still sit their behinds on the seats next game and onwards

Foxinthebox
Foxinthebox
2 years ago
Reply to  Al Al

How can we get the stadium to be empty? It would be a major accomplishment to see no one turn up for major games, and the Board would have to change their strategy. A club is nothing without fans.

yafith
2 years ago
Reply to  Al Al

i agree.
the only way to change is to hurt them. if you say their pockets, it would be for us to not to buy those expensive tickets (and away match, too).
but the question is, do we really believe in our player? if a match were to play with no home fans inside the stadium, would it affects the teams performance? what if they lost? what if the visitor’s fans were too strong?
those what ifs, well… we should overcome.

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona
2 years ago
Reply to  Al Al

It is a very risky strategy. Hurting their pockets is the club’s pockets, which will in turn hurt the investment into the team/club. Protests will just divide the fanbase further too. Even if we all pursued this objective, it would be incredibly difficult to do the financial damage needed to force our majority shareholder to sell up. We have to all recognize fast, that our club is in the hands of a billionaire – whether that be Stan or someone else, we have little control. That is the problem. Arsenal Football Club and all its values, totally controlled by 1… Read more »

IamaGoober
IamaGoober
2 years ago
Reply to  Al Al

Realistically you cant ever do that. Ticket sales don’t really mean anything to these guys anymore. The major revenue for clubs isn’t the gate receipts. Its all about the TV money and the advertising and the merchandising deals. So all they have to do is keep Arsenal in the Premier League and that’s it, money in the bank. Also Arsenal is too bigger a club to ever really do a staged walk out successfully, or not renewing the tickets. If you have a season ticket and you give it up, someone else will just buy it next season. The demand… Read more »

IamaGoober
IamaGoober
2 years ago
Reply to  IamaGoober

Sorry to just to clarify my comment – Dein didn’t sell up to KSE but he introduced Kroenke to Arsenal.

Martin
Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  IamaGoober

And then quickly realised his mistake and hoped for Usmanov Ron take over. If Lady Bracewell Smith hadn’t sold her shares to Kroenke it would have been a different story.

Martin
Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  IamaGoober

David Dein sold his shares To Usmanov.

potter
potter
2 years ago
Reply to  Al Al

Look at the money generated by TV , Sponsors , Premier and European rights and you have to wonder if 20,000 not turning up for matches would really hurt them that much. I read that the club makes about £3 million a match a third of that would cost them £ 19 million a season . Small change in the great scheme of things , just two years of Wenger.

Aussie gooner
Aussie gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Al Al

You’re bang on the money, hit their pockets and see if they’ll listen or not, pricks.

Amos
Amos
2 years ago
Reply to  Al Al

That’s probably because the majority of Arsenal fans don’t give a monkey’s about a group of very small shareholders with an inflated sense of entitlement.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Stikkman

His family wealth is dirty money, from the opium business 100yrs ago

Hope his kids and grandkids die from drug overdose

ethan
ethan
2 years ago
Reply to  SG_Gooner

That is a disgusting sentiment. You should be ashamed.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
2 years ago
Reply to  SG_Gooner

You own family history may well surprise you. Lots of people have ancestors that earned their money directly or indirectly from businesses that are now considered as ‘dirty’.
The world moves on…

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago

This is so depressing. We really must take action as fans now. The arrogance of these people to think they can talk to other shareholders and fans this way. It’s disgusting. They don’t give a fuck about you, your friends, your kids. We are nothing to them.

These men are Arsenal now, they have taken and ruined our club. Ask yourself this; is this the same club you chose to support?

Boycott the club or watch it get worse! It is the only way to bring change and take back the Arsenal!

locksley444
locksley444
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimbo Jones

I’ve stopped buying jerseys. I’ll buy club related fan gear. Maybe you should make more blogs?

Eric Blair
Eric Blair
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimbo Jones

The situation is ripe for a very well organized movement against the ownership. Problem is, a few hundred, or even thousand, people not turning up won’t change a thing as they’re easily replaced in the stadium. Money talks, that’s where they’d buckle. Anyone with any creative ideas?

Isaiah Rankin
Isaiah Rankin
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

I’ve been wondering for a while now if and when a gaggle of disgruntled gooners is going to set up a new, fan-owned club.

FC United of Manchester was put together in response to the Glazers takeover. In amongst all this mess you can’t help but imagine something similar might be on the cards.

Damz...
Damz...
2 years ago
Reply to  Isaiah Rankin

The worst thing is i don’t even think boycotting would work. I watch the NFL, fans of the st.louis rams were generally unhappy about kroenkes ownership and when the protests got too much all he did was move the team to a different city.Now the rams are in Los angeles. He also did it to get to a bigger market, so he clearly doesn’t give a shit about the fans ( all about the $$$)

Andy
Andy
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

Make noise to boycott the NLD, if the chairman refuses to answer the lady’s question through media atleast.
Even if tickets are sold, it drives down our sponsorship revenue.
Gazidis would talk to the owners, and they would care to listen then.

Such hostility should not be left unpunished.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

Locksley/Eric, I think every little helps, we all recognise that our Board are driven by financial success (they are running a business after all) and a fundamental of that success is brand and reputation. It is in these areas I feel an organised fan base can hit them hardest. It would not be easy but it is doable. Otherwise you would never see big business fail or governments topppled. It has happened and happens all over the world everyday. Boycotts, protests, reduced revenues at match days, empty seats, walkouts will all damage this brand of club. This wouldn’t be tolerated… Read more »

Chibs
Chibs
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

I’m here late but what would be the situation if a few women(or men) proved they where abused by these guys?

Such disgusting individuals can’t be clean of sexual harassment.

Let’s go dirty on them.

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimbo Jones

Jimbo. Problem is bigger than just Arsenal. Every club that has been bought out by a billionaire faces the same issues. Another billionaire will come along if we force Stan out. Usmanov will not save the day – he will have total control of Arsenal and will do as he pleases. All fans need to realize that the Premier League is a product. The clubs want a piece of that product. This is why we have billionaire owners. Some billionaires do it for status perhaps. What is clear, is that we need sporting regulation so owners stop doing as they… Read more »

potter
potter
2 years ago
Reply to  ChrisGoona

Status ? I am not sure , protection and laundering maybe .

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  ChrisGoona

Chrisgoona, I wouldn’t argue with your point at all, I would add that our owners are a particularly contemptuous bunch though. I don’t see Usmonov as a knight in shining by any means but feel that whoever owns our club they need to be held to account by the supporters; Or else they can do what they want to it. I believe we can force them to make changes and perhaps it needs to be done it several levels including the premier league authorities. I just posted another response which I won’t repeat hagain but you can kind it a… Read more »

Kampala gooner
Kampala gooner
2 years ago

Been waiting for this all day much as it doesn’t make for good reading but thanks Tim. Sir. Chips. Man fuck the blotted piece of shit. It’s those funs and share holders that laid the foundation for the title you hold at this great club. I’m sure when you look at yourself in the mirror it’s the only thing in ur possession that ain’t tainted. Cunt!

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone
2 years ago
Reply to  Kampala gooner

Someone on another article earlier asked when Arsene Wenger shows his class and values that he talks so much about.

For me, it’s in everything he does on a day to day basis. The respect with which he treats everyone around him and the reverence he has for this club.

But if you are still struggling to see it, regardless of what you think of his ability to do the job any more, you have to look at times like these. It’s a reminder of just how different he is from A) our board, and B) other managers.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair
2 years ago
Reply to  Don Cazorleone

Totally agree. For all the failings on the pitch lately, it feels that Arsene is the glue that is holding the place together and has been for a while.

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

Yep. Realized this over the last few seasons. If Wenger goes, god knows what these chumps will do to our club.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

Scary huh! Wenger has my utmost respect, he is undoubtedly in his descent and won’t be able to take us back to the heights we want but bloody hell board can’t be trusted to appoint a good replacement.

Andy 007
Andy 007
2 years ago

That is some sombre reading. God save the Arsenal…

Wellarsed
Wellarsed
2 years ago

Thanks for going and reporting on this Tim – as depressing as it is to read, it must have been worse to witness first-hand.

Stepovernov
Stepovernov
2 years ago

Boycotting is the only way to force change

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Stepovernov

So let’s do it! Let’s make this happen. I see the various blogs, AST, supporters groups as key to mobilising us all.

We shouldn’t get blinded by Wenger in/out rubbish. There is a bigger problem than him. To be honest the board are probably laughing that we supporters divided ourselves whilst they rule. Let’s all get behind our club and boycott

ramgooner
ramgooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Stepovernov

Kroenke won’t sell. Period. His long term vision and for that matter most American owners’ long term vision would be to form their own private super league and enjoy the TV rights for themselves.

GloriousBastille
GloriousBastille
2 years ago
Reply to  ramgooner

The long-term vision would mean nothing if there aren’t people to fill up the stadium. The players wouldn’t like that nor would the TV companies. If there are no eyeballs to watch the game, there is no value in holding the club and Stan would be forced to sell sooner or later.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
2 years ago

There’s a very big queue of people behind you waiting for your ticket, and very few of us would stay away and not watch the match on TV, so the likelihood is that it wouldn’t affect the club to any notable degree.

Me So Hornsey
Me So Hornsey
2 years ago
Reply to  ramgooner

He might sell a club with an empty stadium.

FeverDog
FeverDog
2 years ago

So, here are a few questions I’ve had for quite a while.
1) What does all this unrest mean?

2) How bad is this kind of stuff for the club in general; to the goings on on the field specifically?

3) Are we close to a true shit-storm? I’m not even sure how I would define “shit-storm”. So, which level of shittiness is our max level of shittiness if KSE remains in power for, say, the next 5-10 years?

a. perennially 5th/6th
b. going down like Newcastle
c. total destruction like Leeds

GiddyForZelalem
GiddyForZelalem
2 years ago
Reply to  FeverDog

Say what you will about KSE but what we can give them credit for is they run the finances of the club very well, and given that Leeds went down because of bad financial mismanagement I doubt we’ll do a Leeds. Same goes for Newcastle. Although they’re not as badly run financial as Leeds were, we’re still a far better run club than they in terms of management and transfers. Plus we’re bigger meaning even we fail to qualify for CL for a few seasons we can absorb that better and still be able to attract a better class of… Read more »

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner
2 years ago

That’s no effort from kse

It’s us propping up the club by staying along and buying jerseys and tickets and TV fees throughout the lean years

If arsenal suffer financial losses for 10 straight years, do.you think Stan will still hold and not look to sell?

We are profitable, that’s what matters to him

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  SG_Gooner

Warren buffet buys Wells fargo, heinz, Gillette

He does not care if they are the no 1 brands, award winning or trophies laden brands or firms

He is happy they are sustainably profitable

Morzaq
Morzaq
2 years ago
Reply to  SG_Gooner

Even with all this BS going on, I do not want to miss a single minute to see my team play. It’s the only respite for me. I dont know what good will it do for us to wish our club see losses for 10 straight years. My guess is, from the profit kitty, the owner’s pocket gets filled first and then we get money for player’s transfer (Net Spend of -21m pounds despite profit answers that) I see no way out of this catastrophe but if you want fans to wish bad for our club, I dont want to… Read more »

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
2 years ago
Reply to  Morzaq

At the moment the profit stays in the club (As per the company accounts). The only thing Stan gets is a salary and a questionable £3m payment to his company for ‘Services rendered’. That 3m isn’t much for his outlay and the profitability of the club, and is a very tax-poor way for him to put the money in his own pocket.
This MAY change if he ever gets 100% ownership, but it would also stop the problem of having our 2 main shareholders hating each other to the detriment of the club.

GreekGooner
GreekGooner
2 years ago

They run the business well because we are paying them well

Big Mad Andy
Big Mad Andy
2 years ago

Great writing. Thanks

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

Crazy, surely it is no surprise what is going happen each year, so why haven’t they thought how to deal with it. And do something during tbe year to help impress.

Goonerbrah
Goonerbrah
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul

They should win the Champions League! That would cheer everyone up!

Pakgooner
Pakgooner
2 years ago

Man this is so sad.. in a group of such vile men, Wenger is a 1000 times better because he is an Arsenal romantic and cares about the club. Its demeaning the way Satan and Chips nesquik come together to keep the fans’ voices down, f***king hate it they don’t realize our pain fr

Roof attack
Roof attack
2 years ago
Reply to  Pakgooner

They recognise it. They just don’t give a fuck.

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone
2 years ago
Reply to  Roof attack

So many green thumbs up on this whole page.

There’s nothing quite so galvanising as recognising the real enemy.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Pakgooner

As Tim pointed out, this is not just fans talking

It’s shareholders, part owners of the organisation

The directors are merely employees

Do employees talk down to their owners?

tizzle6560
tizzle6560
2 years ago
Reply to  SG_Gooner

When an organisation effectively has a plethora of ‘owners’ as is the case with shareholders here, unfortunately they only really have to answer to those that hold a clear and significant majority.

Mc1892
Mc1892
2 years ago

Imagine being devoted enough to turn down £60,000 (irrespective of her financial situation that’s a lot of money to almost anyone) and being treated like that. Fucking disgrace, club hierarchy is toxic from top to bottom it seems.

CincyGooner
CincyGooner
2 years ago

How long before Chips kicks the bucket anyway?

Mein Bergkampf
2 years ago
Reply to  CincyGooner

Ah, they’ll always be a new potato to take his place.

Ben
Ben
2 years ago

Great article…. Thanks

Groverider
Groverider
2 years ago

You can’t expect Keswick to act like an empathetic human being. It goes against everything he has been educated and bred to be. He’s a merchant banker and his far east merchant dynasty came with all the sociopathic traditional trimmings you’d expect when carving a huge niche in that market. A large proportion of that dynastic wealth came from the proceeds of the opium trade. When you attempt to take on the AFC board you are locking horns with the oldest and dirtiest of old English money. He hates being held accountable (especially by the great unwashed!) because he frankly… Read more »

IndieGooner
IndieGooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Groverider

Hats off, that last line is pure gold!

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Groverider

Great post. Sir Chips (what a cunty name by the way!) and alike are the disease that have festered on humanity throughout history, profiting from the suffering of the masses. It’s great to actually see them exposing their real selves. We need to demand he resigns, and the blood sport thirsty Kronkes disappear with him. Fuck I’d love to see that family go into a fair fight with a lion! These are the most despicable people in my eyes yet we line their pockets. They distract us with the bloody shitshow on offer as they get richer and richer.

Johar
Johar
2 years ago
Reply to  Groverider

Groverider, thanks for a superb post and for expressing my thoughts so precisely.
Thanks too to Tim for telling us all what happened

Javis
Javis
2 years ago
Reply to  Groverider

Whoever down voted this needs a shoeing !

sweetsciencen5
sweetsciencen5
2 years ago
Reply to  Groverider

Harris of Peckham is new money, made from selling carpets. I sometimes wonder if he has a pop at the rest of them at times.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Groverider

Well said. Wealth from.the Jardine conglomerate

Sarafa
Sarafa
2 years ago
Reply to  Groverider

Bravo. Couldn’t have put it better

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam
2 years ago

Wow I actually think I have more contempt for Chips than the Kroenkes. He does not deserves to be called by his ‘title’ what a complete arrogant @rsehole!

Roof attack
Roof attack
2 years ago

Oh man. Who would have thought back in 2004 we would be like this now ? Such a shame and you can trace it back to David dein leaving.

Adeola
Adeola
2 years ago
Reply to  Roof attack

Thanks for bringing David dein into this conversation… Him and the other lady that sold arsenal to kse are the root cause of these problems. A sale to usmannov would have done the clube a whole lot of good.

Martin
Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Adeola

David Dein did not sell his shares to Kroenke. In fact he sold them to Usmanov whom he wanted to be on the board and take over the club. Lady Bracewell Smith made the regrettable decision to sell to Kroenke and has since regretted the decision. It’s true that Dein did bring in Kroenke but very quickly realised he wasn’t the right man to be the owner. The fault lies with the lady and not Dein.

sweetsciencen5
sweetsciencen5
2 years ago
Reply to  Adeola

David Dein sold his shares to Usmanov.

superanderslimpar
superanderslimpar
2 years ago
Reply to  Roof attack

Fuck David Dein. He’s a huge reason why we are stuck with these cretins.

Martin
Martin
2 years ago

No he’s not. See my statement above. He wanted Usmanov to take over

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin

He wanted Kroenke to take over first…

Martin
Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy Mack

Yes but very quickly realised his mistake which is why he sold his shares to Usmanov

sweetsciencen5
sweetsciencen5
2 years ago

Dein was kicked off the board.
If he had stayed we would be more focused on football and he would have the guts to stand up to Wenger.

Withsmeller
Withsmeller
2 years ago
Reply to  Roof attack

Don’t agree here. David Dein brought Kroenkes in! He served a good purpose back then in transfers, sounding board, etc but then he threw the club under a bus because Chelsea had got rich quick.

sweetsciencen5
sweetsciencen5
2 years ago
Reply to  Withsmeller

Dein sold his shares to Usmanov after he was kicked off the board.

Martin
Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Withsmeller

Please read my comments above.

Superanderslimpar
Superanderslimpar
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin

Sorry Martin, but respectfully have to disagree. Dein gets a free pass all the time, because of the real glory years of AW, & the perceived part he played in them. You know he wanted us to have Wembley as our home ground if we were going to leave Highbury? He had fingers in all the pies as soon as he fell out with Hill Wood. He thought Stan would be another Abramovich, probably thought Usmanov was the same. And here we are…. Maybe I was a harsh on him, but it annoys me that he is painted as some… Read more »

Martin
Martin
2 years ago

Totally wrong he never ran. His heart is totally with Arsenal and he sold his shares to Usmanov and was on on the board of Red and White Holding. His hope was for Usmanov to take over club and he would return as vice-chairman. He has turned down countless other clubs who would like to use his expertise because of his love for Arsenal.

potter
potter
2 years ago

Maybe had we gone to Wembley or the Ally Pally for that matter , we would not have had the years of austerity and the need to build the Emirates in the first place. A low rent on Wembley would have put us in the same place as West Ham low rent high income and the sale of Highbury. Just saying.

Omar El-kilany
Omar El-kilany
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin

Hi Martin, there’s nothing on this page regarding your comments on Usmanov as I have looked, shame there isn’t

Martin
Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Omar El-kilany

I have made a comment in response to Adela above

Martin
Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin

Adeola

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin

Great to see some genuinly thoughtful, heartfelt and informed debate on here from many angles even if we don’t all agree on every aspect we all know that things must improve at the club and I’m certain at some point we will be galvanised to do something about it!

Uday
Uday
2 years ago

Great account Tim, thanks for that. Its a discouraging sign of how the club is run, but encouraging for the board to face the music directly, rather than have poor Arsene front them all the time. Hope it makes them think

Bosscielny
Bosscielny
2 years ago

For all the storms faced by Wenger whenever things go wrong, he’s probably the last person among that board I’ll want to leave the club.

People like Stan and Sir Chips need to face the ire of the fans. Wenger for all his failings genuinely loves the club whereas people like these need to be shown the door first in order to get a change.

Absolutely classless and shameful behavior by the looks of it. I request all of you fellow Gooners to direct your dissatisfaction and anger towards the board and the owner rather than Wenger.

Donald\'s Trump
Donald\'s Trump
2 years ago
Reply to  Bosscielny

Or, all of them

Rich
Rich
2 years ago

Kroenke is going nowhere.
Foreign TV rights haven’t even scratched the surface by the looks of it.
He’s just going to sit back, do absolutely nothing and watch his share price continue to head considerably north.
CL football or a full stadium isn’t even dependant on it.
He no longer needs those things, they’re just a bonus if they happen.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Stillman

Yes but as Stan Kronke admits himself “there are easier ways to make money”; these are billionaire families as are the Keswicks for that matter. This is not the most important thing to them by any stretch of the imagination. Arsenal is an asset to them but we must remember it is a unique kind of asset. The clubs assets could be stripped – sell the stadium, sell the property, players, ack manager – yet Arsenal still exist. It’s what is a legal fiction.These assets are not the value of the club. The value in Arsenal is its ‘products’ as… Read more »

Rich
Rich
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimbo Jones

The value of the club to Kroenke is in the share price. The value of the share price comes from fixed assets and revenue. Not assets that depreciate. (Players) For example. Investing in infrastructure which we have heavily. Paying off the stadium and lowering debt. Increased revenue. The majority of revenue is now set to come from international and domestic broadcasting. Domestic revenue has likely peaked, unless they move to PPV? However the recent increase has more than offset any loss of CL revenue. We’re no longer reliant on CL revenue. And within the next four years international broadcasting will… Read more »

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Rich

If 10,000 fans demonstrated outside the ground on a match day and didn’t take our seats it wouldn’t do Arsenal’s reputation or share price any good? What about 20,000 supporters? What about over the course of several matches with the press reporting on it? The club has multiple revenue streams and true it will be hard to make an impact from damage to match day revenues. It is the brand we must damage; it will have knock on effects to all other revenues. Every time we negotiate a new sponsorship deal, whether our match is aired live, every new player… Read more »

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Stillman

There are rumors that Facebook and Amazon are looking to put up a massive bid for the next TV rights auction

Hey stan, money ahoy!

Andy
Andy
2 years ago
Reply to  SG_Gooner

in that case, massive revolt needed before that.
so that KSE is scared to be left with zilch and decide to sell and run-off.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy

There is absolutely zero chance of KSE being left with zilch and they know that.

Sarah
Sarah
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Stillman

Tim, trust me, we’re bloody pissed off enough to drive TV ratings down and watch only streams that give them no revenue. My TV subscriptions are up for renewal and I switched services to watch football a year ago. (They do this introduction of new channels that suddenly become the only ones that show the games thing quite often. And dutifully, we switch services to whichever has those channels.) I’m actually considering not renewing. Sod all of them. And those new markets won’t suddenly have Arsenal fans, they’ll have fans of whoever’s winning, or competing, or has an actual underdog… Read more »

Stan
2 years ago

As a lifelong fan from Sweden, this is very hurting to read (not the article, very well written), but the ”not give a fuck”-mentality from the ”board”…I’m always behind the team, but I understand better now why we are not better than we should be.
Kroenkes, ”Sir” Chips, Gazidis pls get out. I hate you.

bobbyp
bobbyp
2 years ago

Very interesting read. Thanks Tim. The ” today’s shit sandwich into ice cream” really made me laugh.

Purr Mertesacker
Purr Mertesacker
2 years ago

I understand that Chips (the Sir seems unnecessary) doesnt enjoy AGMs. But that’s no excuse for being a dick. For all of Arsene’s mistakes/ oversight/ stubbornness (if you will), he is still a decent human being. Thank heavens for that.

occams hatchet
occams hatchet
2 years ago

Surly Chips Keswick.

Jack4343
Jack4343
2 years ago

Tim, you rock! Thanks for getting us the straight scoop.

Matt
Matt
2 years ago

How has it come to this. It’s a bloody disaster.

Matt
Matt
2 years ago

By the way although I don’t like the content I must add, what a well written article.

Simon
Simon
2 years ago

Boycotts are the only way. Fans are not going to miss game after game but surely we can all go without a drink and food for 2 hours inside the ground. This would cut his income by 40%

sweetsciencen5
sweetsciencen5
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon

The club sold most of their food & drink interest up front for an advance from Delaware North.

archwaygunner
archwaygunner
2 years ago

thanks for furnishing the details, not all these plummy types are utter wankers, but I’m afraid many are.

Donald\'s Trump
Donald\'s Trump
2 years ago

Can anyone elaborate on why Usmanov would vote with Josh Cuntface being on the board?

Runzac
Runzac
2 years ago

I actually read the whole article. Is it so difficult to answer a simple question? Deluded self absorbed knuckleheads who find fans an annoying nusance. The worst thing is that the only thing worth doing to try to change this regime, will harm the club in the short term. Is it worth it? I would say so but then another question arises – will it get any better?

Donald\'s Trump
Donald\'s Trump
2 years ago
Reply to  Runzac

They weren’t fans asking the questions, they were shareholders. That old cunt is their employee.

Red Fred
Red Fred
2 years ago

Boycotts will never work, red members (& I genuinely do not mean any disrespect there), overseas fans, corporates will always buy a tickets and spend money. I thought before the last cup final that we should all show banners disrespecting Kroenke This was a match shown live in hundreds of countries but all we saw on tv was the team winning the cup and Kronke in his ridiculous suit taking the credit. This match was shown live in the states, let’s embarass him there. We live in a digital and media age. Maybe we can’t show disrespectful banners on our… Read more »

Rawgooner
Rawgooner
2 years ago

The Hill-Woods, formerly of this Earth, must be turning in their graves. Kessick is the antithesis of Arsenal class. I think this is a pivotal moment for this great club, and the sad thing is, most of those in control don’t understand our ethos or give a shit.

Alex
Alex
2 years ago

Leaving aside the rudeness the lady was subjected to, she did ask a pretty dumb question. The board is made up of whoever the owner wants on there. That there are no non whites didn’t make the board racist just he has a white us family and the old board have been around since the days of the empire so they ain’t going to be non white either.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex

The lady is a shareholder, not an online fan.

Stillberto
Stillberto
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex

She didn’t say it was ‘racist.’ Having a diverse board of directors isn’t just pinko, liberal PC gone mad stuff that Daily Mail fantasists would have you believe, there is an excellent business case for your decision makers being reflective of your ‘customers.’ It’s a perfectly valid question for a shareholder to ask.

Me So Hornsey
Me So Hornsey
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex

Diversity doesn’t just allude to ethnicity.

Lari03
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex

By mentioning diversity, she could be speaking of the Bayern way, with ex football players included on the board, among other possibilities

Badaab
Badaab
2 years ago

I would have asked “Mister Kroenke, your campaign has the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?”

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight
2 years ago
Reply to  Badaab

This hasn’t got anywhere near enough up votes.

Badaab
Badaab
2 years ago

Folks just don’t get the reference, I guess.

Johar
Johar
2 years ago

Never thought I’d say this, but I really hope Usmanov holds on to his shares, otherwise these utter bastards won’t have to face this public grilling every year.

Badaab
Badaab
2 years ago
Reply to  Johar

It’d be great if he showed up and asked a question.

Dholio
Dholio
2 years ago

Sir Chips Out banners or flyover on Saturday?

Hintonburgooner
Hintonburgooner
2 years ago

The fish and chips rot from the head down.

Rob67
Rob67
2 years ago

There is aYoutube clip up on the said site, that shows the question from the Lady and Keswick’s ‘response’.

‘Shameful’ is not an adequate word. It is like he is dismissing a scullery Maid for doing a bad job. ???

And Wenger has the sheer gall to talk about ‘Arsenal values’. Well one of those might just be a modicum of good manners, from those who should know how to behave in public.

A pox on Kronke and his rotten son for allowing our Club to be sullied in this way.

As I said, ‘shameful’.

Afgoon
Afgoon
2 years ago

Can you all stop buying arsenal merchandise atleast! sick of giving money to these douche bags!

Liam Bergkamp
Liam Bergkamp
2 years ago
Reply to  Afgoon

Especially poxy blue kits. The more you mugs keep buying those crappy blue kits they release the more they’ll keep making us wear blue kits!
The reality is though that a boycott would never work cos there are tens of thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of Arsenal “fans” who don’t give a toss about the board and will buy any shit that has an Arsenal badge on it.

BSH
BSH
2 years ago

Woof, that’s a special kind of tone deaf. At least other owners/boards seem to know how to lie and hide their contempt.

RedCurrant
RedCurrant
2 years ago

Thanks for the write-up Tim. Somewhat depressing to see how unaccountable are those who run our great club. I salute the small shareholders who exercised their right to be heard.

Daryl Tinworth
Daryl Tinworth
2 years ago

Appreciate this blog, thanks Tim. I’m in Aus these days, and feel enraged from afar. Sir John Chippendale Lindley Keswick is a living relic from a different time. It is wrong to presume his views on current affairs as we don’t know them, but being from wealth, being a career banker and member of Gentlemen Only clubs, one can form a picture of the stereotype. He is a perfect Chairman for a chap like Kroenke. By your account, Keswick is clearly irritable when confronted with the general public in a forum such as this. It saddens me that we are… Read more »

Rich
Rich
2 years ago
Reply to  Daryl Tinworth

You want a communist who has no basic grasp of economics running the country? and Arsenal football club?
God help us.

Badaab
Badaab
2 years ago
Reply to  Rich

Your name couldn’t be more appropriate for this kind of response, Rich.
I won’t go into the failings of the supply side economics that conservatives always champion here, as its not the place, but Corbyn actually has the temerity to listen to his constituents and try to do whats best for the greatest number of them. That’s such a horrible thing.

Airzy
Airzy
2 years ago

Can we all please stop buying all the crap (food, programs, beer etc etc) on matchydays. Hit them in the pocket where we can!!

Badaab
Badaab
2 years ago
Reply to  Airzy

I stopped renewing my Rapids season ticket years ago when Kroenke failed to build on the title winning team of 2010. Prices went up every year, but the quality of the play has gone down.
Friends of mine have not renewed their Avalanche season tickets for the same reasons, and they’ve been supporters of the NHL team since it came to Denver.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
2 years ago

Tim, you say about Arsene Wenger “I wish he would stop trying to reassure people how hungry and committed he is. I don’t think anyone questions his desire”.
Unfortunately you’re wrong. Many commenters on here regularly question his desire to win (yes they are idiots).

Big sheezy
Big sheezy
2 years ago

Barring a major tragedy, arsenal is now a kroenke family heirloom. Drastic times require drastic measures. The club will be passed down in the kroenke family until it is no longer profitable. Stop giving the kroenke family your hard earned money.

Podgygooner
Podgygooner
2 years ago

So the proxy votes for Chips K and for Kroenke’s son we’re made up of both Kroenke’s shareholding AND Usmanov’s…….go figure!

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
2 years ago
Reply to  Podgygooner

That’s because Usmanov sees his shareholding as a business transaction and knows that KSE/Chips/Josh are there to improve the value of the business.
Unfortunately too many supporters don’t understand that, and think they are involved in the football aspect of the business somehow…

Girouds Lovely Locks
Girouds Lovely Locks
2 years ago

Feel what you may of Arsene, but here’s my two cents.

Of everyone that holds a position of power at Arsenal (owner, board, Gazidis, Wenger), our manager seems to be the only one who actually understands and represents the values of the club. And it also seems that he is reluctantly being a company man because without him, is there anyone in those positions of power really give a shit about Arsenal beyond the numbers?

Da Boss
Da Boss
2 years ago

I felt pretty disconnected with the club already, but now….

I know that David Dein may not be the answer to our prayers, but can’t they get him or someone else that gives a little bit of a sh*t about us? Or that we finished below Spurs last year? Anyone?!?!?

mo974
mo974
2 years ago

Well written , bravo Tim. Depressing nonetheless.I have stopped, since the capitulation over Leicester, spending my hard earn money to fly over from my islands in the indian ocean twice a year , to spend a week in London and watch the team at the Emirates. But the reality is so sad cause it looks like Wenger is the last vestige of an era where success on the pitch was also priority and we know he is past his sale by date; After he is gone I honestly don’t see a top manager lasting more than two seasons with that… Read more »

LEFT08
LEFT08
2 years ago

Sounds like the chairman must issue an apology.

allezkev
allezkev
2 years ago

Stan isn’t a successful businessman by accident, he’s a smart operator.
He gives a specially prepared interview prior to the AGM, which has Ivan spin all over it, then he lets Keswick divert all the attention away from him by saying zilch as per usual.
Wenger, Gazides, Keswick, what a gift to Stan as they take all the flak and he escapes back to LA and his priority and his obsession, Inglewood and real estate.

Theo Layder
Theo Layder
2 years ago

Thanks Tim for the article, sad and hopeless as it reads.