Arsenal chiefs will face a variety of pressing issues at the club’s Annual General Meeting this Thursday.
The AGM kicks-off at 11:30 on Thursday morning and Arsenal chiefs and the club’s manager Arsene Wenger are likely to be pressed on several issues although the outlook should be much more positive than this time last year.
Wenger spent a lot of cash on Mesut Ozil to break a recent history of not spending big, the club capped season ticket prices for the 2013/2014 season and the side has made a great start to the season sitting joint top of the Premier League with Liverpool on 16 points.
It’s also one of the rare occasions where the people who control the club will be quizzed by shareholders only, with the media unable to ask questions relating to any aspect of Arsenal as a business, institution or football club.
So what key issues may be on the agenda?
Wenger is likely to face questions about his future and whether he will continue to spend big in the transfer market despite a recent fall in profits.
Wenger has said he’s not going to talk about his future and isn’t worried about doing so, which has created ridiculous stories from some sources suggesting he’s still vulnerable to a move away from the North London club.
It’s a formality that a new offer will be made to Wenger at some point during the season based on the recent comments of Stan Kroenke and the Frenchman will more than likely sign on the dotted line.
In terms of the team’s chances of success, Arsene Wenger is likely to make similar comments to what he said last year.
“When we speak about trophies, I rank them as follows: 1. EPL 2. CL. 3. Qualify CL. 4. FA Cup. 5. League Cup. If you want to attract the best players, they don’t ask if you won the League Cup, they ask if you play in the CL,” said Wenger in his speech at the 2012 AGM.
Needless to say the Champions League remains one of, if not, the most important factors when it comes to attracting players.
The club froze season ticket prices for the 2013.2014 season which would have been a welcome measure to fans although the club is likely to be pressed on the possibility of that cap staying in place and potentially costs coming down.
Ivan Gazidis is likely to echo comments he made at the 2012 AGM suggesting there are affordable ticket prices across a range of competitions to watch Arsenal, with only two rises in season ticket costs in the last seven years.
The key issue here will be the fact that group profit has declined and turnover through football has only risen around £7 million based on 2012 figures.
Fans want protection with Gunners paying more than ever before to follow their team and it will be interesting to hear what the club has to say over ticket policy ahead of next season and beyond.
Wenger and the club are likely to be pressed on the transfer front, seeking assurances that the club will continue to spend big in light of Mesut Ozil’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium.
Ivan Gazidis has always been very boastful of the powerful financial position that Arsenal enjoy but he’ll probably play this one with a straight bat, suggesting the spending is determined by the manager’s desire to go out and seek new players.
Wenger has never signed players for the sake of doing so and that’s a line, which will likely be maintained with the club stressing there are sufficient funds in place for the manager to make additions if he chooses to do so.
The general atmosphere is likely to be much more positive because there is optimism attached to the Gunners at the moment as opposed to scepticism, which is likely to be stressed by the manager and officials.
Arsenal’s 2012 AGM came after losses and at a time when there was serious doubt over the club’s ability to spend or want to spend big. This time round the Gunners look like one of the best chances for success this season.
What do you think will be discussed? What would you like to be discussed?
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