Head of football, Raul Sanllehi, and managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, (on video call) met with members of the Fans’ Forum on Monday. The 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday obviously lifted the mood, and the discussions were constructive, even if it didn’t change the fact that Arsenal are 10’h in the league, and there is still a lot of work to be done at all levels at the club. @peterhoest from Arsenal Denmark reports from the meeting.
Raul and Vinai gave their opening address in which primarily Raul explained how he viewed our state of affairs at the moment. He explained how Arteta arrived in difficult circumstances with a lot of games thick and fast, but that he believes that Arteta is bringing a contagious spirit, and there is a fantastic spirit within the group of players.
He then described how Dubai was fantastic for the whole group of players and staff. He mentioned a situation as an example of that. He walked down the beach and heard people speaking English. It was a mixed group of players and staff playing beach volley together. A few Raul quotes on the subject:
The tour was almost like a pre-season for Arteta and the players
The players are fully committed
The combination between Mikel and Edu is outstanding
My feeling is very good.
The members of the forum had sent in quite a few questions, and the themes varied from foul language in the in the family enclosure, to accountability for senior staff and executives. Here is a few notes from some of the topics:
(Minutes from the meeting coming later)
Safe Standing still being a work in progress. Very difficult though.
Work ongoing on an initiative to arrange ‘Home Credits’
Also ongoing work to make tickets digital
Very high level of trust from KSE to the exec team
‘Josh took our recommendation on appointing Arteta’ (Raul)
‘We communicate a lot with Josh. During this meeting I have gotten 7 texts from him’ (Vinai)
- Peter asked about the possibility of bringing Cazorla back to a farewell and thank you at The Emirates, and they are very positive about that. And as Raul said ‘I’m good friends with his agent, so we’ll look into that’.
‘I would never chose a player for his agent’ (Raul). ARSEBLOG COMMENT: I asked Peter for a bit more detail on this.
PETER’S REPLY:I got the impression that Raul didn’t think we are doing anything different now from what we used to, whereas Vinai confirmed that it is slightly different in that the club is dealing with all kinds of agents now. Vinai went on to point out that there is a list of five things to consider when signing a player, and the agent thing is only number five.
There will be no End of Season Event this year. Last year was ‘damaging to the reputation of Arsenal’. Mark Gonnella said that the meeting last year was embarrassing when a few people shouted and showed a distinct lack of respect. It was the meeting where Edu met the fans for the first time, and it was unpleasant to be part of. The dilemma is that the club wants to have a dialogue with fans, but they don’t want to facilitate a setting where people are obnoxious and rude.
There’s further information in this RedAction thread on Twitter:
On the way home from the second Fans Forum of the season, held at Highbury House with the usual suspects : Raul, Mark Gonnella, Ticketing, Stadium Management, Commercial depts, Supporter Liaison all represented. Some updates to follow…..
— REDaction Gooners (@REDactionAFC) February 17, 2020
This season the meetings are not on match days, so there is more time to talk. This meeting lasted almost than two hours.
Info about the forum, and minutes from previous meetings can be found at the link below, with the minutes of this meeting to follow.