Monday, September 26, 2022

What Josh Kroenke had to say at the latest Arsenal Fans’ Forum

On Tuesday night, Arsenal hosted the second Fans’ Forum of 2022 at Highbury House.

Taking part via Microsoft Teams, Peter Høst of Arsenal Denmark, the representative for Overseas Supporters’ Clubs, took a few notes and a transcript of Josh Kroenke’s introductory remarks.

In the aftermath of the European Super League debacle, Josh had promised to attend such meetings at least once a year and delivered on that this time around with a virtual appearance.

Here’s what the club director had to say:

“It’s been a rollercoaster of a season. I say that with a smile on my face. To think back to where we were after three matches, Mikel and the team have done an amazing job stabilising the ship. We always knew we had a very talented young bunch that would take a little time to gel and come together. We’re really optimistic we can achieve the top four and Champions League qualification, which would be a great accomplishment with this young team.

“The solid foundation that Mikel has laid has really shown for the last three matches in particular when our backs were against the wall. I want to thank you guys for sticking with us through all the ups and downs. The support home and away has been unbelievable. I hoped to see the fanbase uniting behind Mikel and a young bunch. I can feel and hear a whole new level of connection that’s going on around the club. It makes a real difference, especially for the young players, and we all want the same thing which is to be back at the top competing for the biggest trophies.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We have plans in place to continue to strengthen the squad. Now having match day revenue back and having fans in the stadium has been great. We continue to provide whatever support we can for Mikel and continue to push the squad forward to achieve our goals.

“It’s really exciting to see the women’s team coming along as well. Arsenal continue to be at the forefront of that. It’s great to see our team pushing for the league title. We’re investing in new buildings for the women’s team, more matches to be played at the Emirates.

“A lot of positives, and I’m really excited to see in particular how we can finish our Champions League push on the men’s side. Thank you to everybody for your support.”

Peter covers the remarks of CEO Vinai Venkatesham on his Twitter feed and also documents the club’s answers to questions across a broad range of subjects, including:

  • Amazon’s All or Nothing documentary
  • The partnerships with Socios & Visit Rwanda
  • Season ticket usage & ticket exchange
  • Stadium renovation project

While we await the official minutes of the meeting, we also recommend reading the Twitter threads of @DarrenArsenal1 (representative for Gold members) and @REDactionAFC.

They’ve got more snippets on:

  • Safe standing
  • Arsenal’s kit launch
  • Pre-season tours / Emirates Cup
  • Arsenal Rewards
  • Season ticket waiting list

Peter also wrote the following for anyone unfamiliar with how the Fans’ Forum works…

“The Fan’s Forum is a special thing. Quite a few Arsenal reps attend the meeting, and my impression is that the club is genuinely interested in having a meaningful dialogue with fans. Some of the discussions sometimes lead to small changes here and there, but most of the time it seems to me like they listen to the feedback from us and take that with them.

“Obviously, they run the club and do as they want, but during the last couple of years the discussion has evolved in a way where it makes sense to attend. For instance, they get a lot of pushback about the partnerships (Visit Rwanda / Socios etc.), but they are not afraid to answer difficult questions.

“It does not always lead to the things we fans want, but I think the forum is a good place to help them understand a bit more about what (some) fans think. And Arsenal fans will probably never agree on much, so it’s difficult to please everyone.”

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Man Manny

The team has achieved the minimum target – getting into Europe; and to the surprise of many, is in pole position to take one of the Champion League places. This, to my mind, is proof of what Arteta and this bunch of players can accomplish if adequate investment is made in the team.
There are noises about Gabriel Jesus. Make it happen. An Angel and Saviour in one package is not a bad idea. Add another midfielder, a winger – an upgrade on Pepe – and we have a stronger attack already.
Over to you, Josh Kroenke.

Parth

Nice step from the club to have these forums and be receptive to communication. I feared there wouldn’t be any ever since they stopped having the AGM, once KSE became full owner. I think the broader message that makes me proud this morning is how much our fans in London/UK care about the club. To travel to the forum and convey clear thoughts on such a wide range of topics is incredible! As an overseas fan, it is tough to not get to visit the Emirates etc. very often but it is heartening to read these threads and feel that… Read more »

Kris

I’ve just completed the safe standing survey and I must admit I really don’t understand the point around why they would have to segregate the stadium between standing and seated areas. Currently I enjoy a pre match pint in the ground with friends who sit in the upper tier before heading to the north bank (and standing the whole time). Clearly if they segregated areas this would no longer be possible. I can’t think of any logical reason – other than including the point in the survey to put people off the idea of safe standing – why segregation would… Read more »

Nicky

I’ve not seen the survey but I assume that this is to stop overcrowding in standing sections. You aren’t asked to show your ticket when going from the concourse to the seating/standing area so in theory more people could go into the standing areas and be more difficult to spot.

C.B.

Interesting that he is sounding like a supporter and knows what needs to be done ie strengthen even further.

With matchday revenue and Europe (hopefully CL) it’s looking good going forward.

UzesGooner

I’m beginning to think our owners are doing a decent job atm. Stadium getting a revamp in the summer and more money for players sounds great.

Weird.

Johnny 4 Hats

I think most of the fan sentiment is a results led emotion. If United had won the last three champions leagues then nobody would even whisper about the Glaziers. Liverpool love their ownership but it’s really much the same as Arsenal’s – a backseat, corporate American franchise. I notice that Daniel Ek is suddenly nowhere to be seen. He’ll now have to wait until another downturn in form. But I think you are right to give some praise. It’s very easy to slate the owners when the team does badly and praise the manager and players when it goes well.… Read more »

A Different George

Sure. Barring a German model of supporter semi-control which isn’t going to happen, then the best we can hope for is that the owners of the club we support are not actively bombing children, or murdering journalists, or deeply enmeshed with a government firing cruise missiles at civilians. The local rich guy who loves his boyhood club and bankrupts himself to win the title cannot happen in the Premier League era. So, we must settle for an ownership that sees the club as a sporting enterprise that, in the long run, turns some profit. That’s different than both Mike Ashley’s… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Not a massively high bar, you’d think.

TheLimpBar

Yeah but if Man U had been winning everything for three years then that means the owners are doing ok.. no?

Johnny 4 Hats

The core of the problem would still remain and the reason for United fans biggest grievances – their profitable club was bought and immediately plunged into hundreds of millions of pounds of debt with large amounts of interest.

TheLimpBar

Yes, of course that’s true. Just look at the story regarding Burnley today – pretty disgusting stuff. I think the question is what do we expect of owners? I personally prefer a more hands off approach (though Stan’s ‘silent’ thing is just plain rude, his boy is much better in that regard). What else do we judge it by? Financial responsibility – absolutely. Try to be as self sustaining as possible. Making bold decisions when required. And backing the football side of things with sensible investment (with player decisions led by the football experts at the club). I think when… Read more »

Mesuli

Having said we should we be excited; I’d say I am excited.
They said to be judged at the end of the transfer window and that end of the window was great.
Having asked the team to be judged when they play together, I’d say I’m more inlove with this team and can see where it can go.
They have responded and I dare say they seem to care.
Long may it continue top four or not.

Russ

Positive all round I think 👍👍

chepetin

Sounds like Josh has been reading Arseblog to get his material

TheLimpBar

Anyone else think that Angel song is utter shite? I really don’t see why we need an ‘anthem’ anyway.. seems contrived and not very Arsenal to me.

Omsuley

Is the guy out of Tyrant ?

OldManfromHighbury

Would like to see the following developments happen to Arsenal, these are dreams of course. New training ground expansion for women’s team and men’s team, an Arsenal Academy and Training Ground on one campus similar to Ciudad Real Madrid. The campus should be modelled on Old Highbury Renovated Stadium and commitment to becoming a carbon neutral club sooner rather than later. Reducing the price of Arsenal kits globally. Two new strikers, a left back, William Saliba back in the squad and a new winger. A backup to Thomas Partey is needed. Arsenal should consider purchasing a small club in Europe,… Read more »

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