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Overall report of the fan club meeting in April

Meeting Report - 28.04.2014

Arsenal FC Boardroom
Highbury House

16 – 21 Year Old Representative – Elliot Guthrie
Arsenal Supporters Club – Domestic – Mick Padfield
Arsenal Supporters Club – Overseas – Angel Georgiev
Arsenal Supporters Club – Domestic – Paul Ellis
Family Enclosure Representative – Daren Nathan
AISA Representative – Daniel McCloskey
Disabled Supporter Representative – David Barnett
Club Level Representative - Mick Coppock
Silver Member Representative – Nabil Aslam
60 and Over Representative – John Christie
Gay Supporters Representative – Stewart Selby
RedAction Member – Paul Lawrence
Shareholder – Lesley Williams
Away Scheme Member – James Ashton
AST Member – Stephen Cooper

Arsenal FC (Chair) - Mark Gonnella
Arsenal FC - Ivan Gazidis
Arsenal FC - Sue Campbell
Arsenal FC - Jill Smith (minutes)

Overview from Ivan Gazidis

The meeting began with the standard analysis of Gazidis' presentation of the pitch, but unlike other times when it was a 30-40 minutes fully detailed presentation, this time he literally finished it in 10 minutes. Gazidis stressed that since February the club did well only in the FA Cup and he is extremely disappointed with how the league campaign has turned out for us. He underlined that we have yet to seek the reasons for this failure and he talked about the injuries that have massively cost us over the last few months but admitted that they weren't all based on luck but unfortunately, he didn't say anything more than that.

Ivan stressed that the team still has a chance to finish the season positively with the largest point tally in the last six years in the Premier League. (He stopped short here and mentioned that this will become a pretty interesting trend - although relatively, the money from the TV rights have been split evenly, it will still be pulled up at the expense of the first team performances).

Some of the things that the club will consider, develop and invest will be sport science and player development. He said that a big renovation will occur in the future, which will include the construction of another new building [training facility] even though that there still are spaces to add to the current innovations at the club. Continue with speaking, he said that we will invest further more in scouting for both the first team and the Academy (now as the Academy is being put in Category 1, we may attract children from all over England for the first time).

He stopped there and mentioned that there will be intensive work over the summer involving our Academy and stated that Jonker has already started working on many changes [coaching staff, methods etc] and even hinted that his work and reputation will attract a lot of children (the above mentioned changes will pay off in the long term and in the near future it will raise the level of the Academy). When asked about the Academy results this season in the FA Youth Cup, the UEFA Youth League and the other competitions and how he sees the performances, he added that he isn't particularly satisfied with the performances but at the same time he adds that we will continue to have the upper hand in attracting top talent because of the fact that we give them a platform to reach the first team unlike others, for example Chelsea. Gazidis also talked with someone from Chelsea's youth staff .

Ivan Gazidis: "You have a lot of talents in your youth teams and seems that you're doing a pretty good work on this level."

Coach from Chelsea's youth staff replied with: "So what's the point of that if these children have no chance of playing or being given a chance in the first team?".

With that, the football side of the discussion came to an end and the meeting went over to the questions from the AST Members and the tickets issues and ticket price increases over the year.

Read on for Q&A

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