Arsene Wenger Accountable to Arsenal Fans, Says Arsenal Chief Ivan Gazidis

Siva PrasadCorrespondent IJune 14, 2011

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MAY 08:  A dejected Arsene Wenger the Arsenal manager holds his head in his hands as his team head towards a 3-1 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium on May 8, 2011 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“Arsene is ultimately accountable to the fans—they ultimately make judgment.”

Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has made it clear that if Arsene Wenger’s relationship with the Arsenal fans breaks down, the club will act, according to Soccernet. Gazidis said at a meeting with 200 members of the Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) that such a situation would be unsustainable, also adding that it was important to accept that “it (this season) has not been a disaster.”

So Arsenal fans, you have the power to get rid of Arsene Wenger. Kudos!

Arsenal supporters used to be silly

This is despite the fact that Arsenal fans who question Wenger are “silly people” who make “stupid comments,” as Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood eloquently explained back in April, after the AST expressed their disappointment about Arsenal’s season.

Back then, the fans were not the ones who ultimately judged the manager. Instead, they were nothing more than troublemakers who could “do quite a lot of damage.”

So congratulations, Arsenal fans. It seems  you have grown tremendously in terms of maturity in the space of two months.

We need your money

Fans also did not get much say when the board opted for a 6.5 percent hike in ticket prices this year, despite Arsenal already having the most expensive season tickets in the country. Gazidis was quick to point out that this was the first hike in three seasons, and that the club faced the same economic difficulties as the fans.

The board failed to address the fact that while the club does not make multi-million dollar signings in the same vein that Manchester United or Chelsea does, they are still asking fans for more money.

The thought of the price hike being used to accommodate signings like Sebastian Squillaci did not seem to comfort Arsenal fans.

Arsenal will spend that money this time

There is some good news, though. Arsene Wenger has already promised that he will spend a lot of money this summer, if he is really convinced he has to do it, as he said back in May, “We will work on strengthening the team and I will spend what is needed to spend.”

Comforting words indeed, given the scale of Arsenal’s collapse following the Carling Cup final defeat. 

Then again, Wenger has sung this song before, like in April 2010: “We have maybe not been investing because of the (Emirates) stadium but I think our financial position is now becoming much stronger and we will be capable of buying the players we need to buy.”

May 2009 had a similar tune: “We will look to bring in one or two players. We are prepared to spend the necessary money to get the players we want, but the size of the player is not always linked with the size of the money you spend. Once we identify the player we want, we will spend the money we need to.”

No worries then

So rest easy, Arsenal fans. The people who run this club have heard all of your concerns.

Doing something about those concerns, however, is another matter altogether.


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