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End of Season Q&A with Ivan Gazidis

Posted Thursday 31st May 2012

Arsenal's end of season Q&A with Ivan Gazidis takes place next Wednesday June 6 and the following outlines the preparation the AST have undertaken for this event.

We asked all members to submit questions and received a fantastic response. We have forwarded every question we received to the club so that Ivan Gazidis is aware of the range of questions and priorities that members have.

The Q&A format this year will involve a compere, Dan Roebuck, asking questions that have been submitted and also taking questions from the floor. The AST welcomes this approach as the provision of questions in advance can assist in securing more thorough answers and making sure a good cross section of questions are addressed. We have had comprehensive input into the questions being selected and believe that Ivan will address the key questions that AST members have raised.

However, we also recognise that in a public forum of this type the level of detail that can be disclosed may not be as much as we would all wish on such sensitive transfer and contractual negotiations.

The AST Board has therefore reviewed all of the questions sent by members and we have prioritised the following as key subjects for debate. Arsenal have assured us that these will be covered at the event but if time prevents that then we will liaise with the club afterwards to secure written answers for you.

Those key themes are:

  • The club's footballing expectations for this coming season, 2012/2013, and whether qualifying for the Champions League is the extent of the club's ambitions
  •  The new Elite Player Performance Plans being introduced and what this will mean for youth development at Arsenal
  •  The future of the Arsenal Fanshare scheme and club support to promote continued plurality in the ownership through supporter shareholders
  •  What progress Ivan Gazidis feels has been made in his first three years at the club and an update on the club's five year strategic plan
  • What lessons have been learned from last summer's transfer window to make sure things go more smoothly and successfully this year, and the position regarding Robin van Persie
  • How the club will drive commercial income aggressively in the short term given the long-terms tie-ins on stadium naming, kit rights and shirt sponsorship and the need for more tertiary and overseas deals
  • The club's view of Financial Fair Play regulations and what plans we have should they have little impact
  • Given that Arsenal now has two billionaire investors owning over 96% of the club, is there a case for them investing funds to put us on a competitive footing before FFP starts to bite?
  • Arsène Wenger's statement that he does not intend to do much business in the transfer market this summer and a feeling from many AST members that the team needs further strengthening. Can the Board reassure supporters that there are funds to invest?
  • The club's wage structure and whether it is hindering Arsenal's chances of success by not being spent efficiently
  • How many more shares Red & White holdings need to obtain before they have access to the full accounts and why won't the Arsenal Board at the very least engage in dialogue with Mr Usmanov and Red and White Holdings?

There will also be the chance for questions from the floor so we may be able to get further points in. The AST will produce a written report of this event and are grateful to AST member and well-known Arsenal blogger Tim Stillman for agreeing to produce this so that those who cannot attend will be able to read a review the next day. We are pleased that once again Arsenal have agreed to record the meeting and it will subsequently be shown on Arsenal Player.