If the Kroenke spin machine was in full force on Wednesday night, then the Chips Express that trundled into town on Thursday was a complete derailment.
The AGM took place yesterday and as usual it was an affair of relatively pointless corporate nothingness, but unlike usual it was presided over by a man who couldn’t look any further distances from the fanbase and the ‘values’ of the club if he tried.
I didn’t attend but I’ve seen the videos, in which a grumbling old man tries to dismiss fellow shareholders, ignore questions from the floor, lose control of a meeting and for some – like the lady who asked a question about board diversity – probably feel a little insulted.
We all know that the AGM is an exercise that Stan would shut down in a heartbeat. He’s a man with whom all of this ‘transparency’ is probably foreign to, but – and I never thought I’d say this – thanks to Alisher Usmanov and his stake in the club – this ceremonial event must take place.
And boy, did it, because the spicy outcome at the end of the AGM was something we haven’t seen before. A mass voting against by minor shareholders from the floor, with Josh and Sir Chips voted against with what is nothing more than a symbolic gesture, but a gesture nonetheless.
The evening before we’d had to read all about the desire of the Kroenke’s, about how they said most fans were ‘in the middle’ when it came to their stewardship, that the fans were ‘rabid’ and I suspect that they even thought it was a vocal minority.
‘Fraid not Stan. These people are shareholders and yes, they have little power to take any control from you, but these people are usually the ‘moderates’. These aren’t the crazies that foam at the mouth on Arsenal Fan TV. These are those ‘middle’s you talk about. And they made it clear what the general fanbase think about you.
Sure, the Kroenke’s won’t care a lot about us and sure they just care about their investment, but at least they will have got the message loud and clear: most people want you out.
That’s the best we can hope for.
Afterwards Arsène made his way to his usual presser (having spent a bit of time with fans to be fair to him and Gazidis) and gave us a bit of team news and it all sounds good. No fresh injury news and the return to full training for Chambers, who will most likely be seen next Thursday at home to Red Star I’d imagine.
But most importantly we have all of the first team fully rested and available for Saturday and that most glorious of things: a three o’clock kick off. I genuinely can’t wait.
Arsène also spoke about how he wanted Theo to stay at the club in what you’d expect to be a stock position he’d take for one of his players. But I suspect that behind closed doors that both are talking about what his future holds. Theo has become something of a lightning rod for ‘the comfort of Arsenal’ and whilst I can understand those comments we don’t really know exactly what is happening behind closed doors.
For all we know Theo and Arsène could have tried to find him a club last summer. Or they could be talking now about a January or May move. What is clear is that he doesn’t seem to work in the current system and he certainly isn’t a first team regular any more. So if he truly believes he can make it on the plane for England next summer then I think his situation will be reviewed in January because he isn’t starting in the first team any time soon that’s for sure.
I think that’s it for me for another day. Catch you all with a match preview tomorrow.