Champions League

Arsenal fans getting impatient

2012-10-25 17:12
Arsenal (File)

London - Frustrated Arsenal fans accused the board on Thursday of "putting profit before performance" after enduring another trophyless season at the English Premier League soccer club and the departure of striker Robin Van Persie.

Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis told shareholders that soccer's "pointless spending race" was ending and tried to reassure them that Arsenal would have the financial resources in the next two years to compete with the best.

"We can and we will return the club to winning trophies and drive it to new heights," said Gazidis, flanked by manager Arsene Wenger and American owner Stan Kroenke at a fractious annual shareholder meeting at the Emirates Stadium.

The north London club have failed to win a trophy since 2005 and slumped to a 2-0 defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday against Germany's Schalke 04, their first home loss in the competition since 2003.

Arsenal are the envy of many clubs off the field thanks to their ability to generate a profit. Gazidis said that new financial rules designed to force European clubs to cut their losses would play into their hands.

However, fans are angry that Van Persie, who joined Manchester United in August, has been allowed to move after the club lost captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona a year ago.

Wenger, who has been at the club for 16 years, told the meeting that Arsenal had "hit the wall" in the last two games, the defeat to Schalke and a loss to Norwich City in the Premier League last weekend.

"I believe this team can deliver," he said to applause from several hundred shareholders. "I am personally optimistic we will have a good season."

Wenger described qualification for the Champions League as a trophy in itself, saying it was higher on his list of achievements than winning a domestic cup. Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for 15 years in a row.

One shareholder clashed with Kroenke, the owner of a number of US sports teams including NFL's St Louis Rams, over whether he had honoured commitments to meet fans.

"I've met with the Arsenal Supporters Trust and other fan groups," Kroenke said before he was interrupted from the floor by his questioner.

Arsenal fans have dubbed Kroenke "Silent Stan" for his low-profile ownership after he became the club's largest shareholder in April 2011.

Kroenke, who owns almost 67 percent of the club, said he had a record of investing in his sports clubs and defended his involvement with Arsenal.

"I have never put debt on the club, I have never said in any meeting that money wasn't available," Kroenke said.

"My one regret with Arsenal was that I didn't get involved earlier," he added.

The board has been at loggerheads with shareholder Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born billionaire who together with partner Farhad Moshiri owns a stake of almost 30 percent.

Usmanov has accused the board of under-investment and some fans questioned why he did not have a presence on the board.

Gazidis tried to play down talk of splits between the two major shareholders.

"I think this issue of conflict is vastly overstated," he said.

Read more on:    arsenal  |  champions league  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Sevilla v Maribor, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 20:45
APOEL v Tottenham Hotspur, Neo GSP 20:45
Spartak Moskva v Liverpool, Otkrytiye Arena 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 20:45
Monaco v Porto, Stade Louis II. 20:45
Napoli v Feyenoord, Stadio San Paolo 20:45
Besiktas v RB Leipzig, Vodafone Stadyumu 20:45
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Qarabag v Roma, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 18:00
Juventus v Olympiakos Piraeus, Allianz Stadium 20:45
Sporting CP v Barcelona, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 20:45
PSG v Bayern Munchen, Parc des Princes 20:45
Basel v Benfica, St. Jakob-Park 20:45
Anderlecht v Celtic, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
CSKA Moskva v Manchester United, VEB Arena 20:45
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
Manchester City v Napoli, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Maribor v Liverpool, Ljudski vrt 20:45
APOEL v Borussia Dortmund, Neo GSP 20:45
Spartak Moskva v Sevilla, Otkrytiye Arena 20:45
RB Leipzig v Porto, Red Bull Arena 20:45
Monaco v Besiktas, Stade Louis II. 20:45
Feyenoord v Shakhtar Donetsk, Stadion Feijenoord 20:45
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Qarabag v Atletico Madrid, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 18:00
Juventus v Sporting CP, Allianz Stadium 20:45
Bayern Munchen v Celtic, Allianz-Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus, Camp Nou 20:45
Benfica v Manchester United, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 20:45
Anderlecht v PSG, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
Chelsea v Roma, Stamford Bridge 20:45
CSKA Moskva v Basel, VEB Arena 20:45
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Celtic v Bayern Munchen, Celtic Park 21:45
Sporting CP v Juventus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Qarabag, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
Manchester United v Benfica, Old Trafford 21:45
PSG v Anderlecht, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v CSKA Moskva, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Barcelona, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Chelsea, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Wednesday, 01 November 2017
Besiktas v Monaco, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Liverpool v Maribor, Anfield 21:45
Porto v RB Leipzig, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Sevilla v Spartak Moskva, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v APOEL, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Napoli v Manchester City, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wembley Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.