Members’ Only

Welcome to all our new members and to those who've just discovered this page for members only. We don't update this every day, only when there's something new, but as we're talking to the Board as often as we can, there might be a lot in the coming weeks. So please pop back from time to time.

We do update the 'News and Views' page every few days, and 'Today of All Days' (under the 'History' tab), changes every morning. And please message us if you want information or have ideas.

FANS' FORUM

AISA, as one of the standing members of the Fans' Forum, met the club, along with representatives from other supporters' groups, on Monday September 27th. We will report in bitesize chunks over the coming days what was discussed and outcomes.

ITEM 9 SOCIOS Fan Tokens

Some members of the forum expressed their concern regarding ‘fan tokens’. The club’s response was:

“The AFC fan token launch, which happened in August, was incredibly successful with us selling out our initial offering (2m tokens) in less than two hours.  Socios.com saw the most people they had ever seen take part in a fan token offering and saw a record number of people using their app at one time.  There has been a very good redemption rate of free tokens from paid members and this was shown by the high engagement in the first poll. Our first poll, which ran in conjunction with the fan token offering, saw the highest amount of people vote on a poll on the Socios.com app.

“The results indicate that the tokens have been well received by the Arsenal fan base. .Socios.com have been very supportive in answering any questions that fans had when we launched the token and we will continue to answer any
questions going forward. He said we will continue to gauge and learn from fan feedback as the partnership develops.

More AFC fan tokens will be available soon. We will be running regular polls (binding and non-binding) for fans to engage with throughout the season. There will also be lots of opportunities for fan token holders to win Arsenal prizes and experiences, such as match tickets, signed shirts and merchandise, messages from players and the opportunity to play on the pitch at Emirates Stadium.

“The Club doesn’t hold any tokens or the Chiliz crypto-currency.”

7/10/21
 

Item 8 Amazon Prime filming

The production team is one that worked on ‘All or Nothing’, the Sp*rs and City series.We are told they keep intrusion to a minimum (whatever that means) and they will be telling the story of the season. That means key themes and characters are not fully established. (In other words, they’re still on the lookout for heroes and fall-guys.)
 
6/10/21

ITEM 7 The Stadium’s Exterior

The club acknowledges that the outside of the stadium is looking tired and it is committed to revitalising it before the end of the season – aiming for early spring. It will not be like-for-like replacements, and the design briefing process is under way. Ideas and plans will be shared with supporters.

5/10/21

ITEM 6 Problems faced by disabled members

The club recognises there are areas it needs to address. All supporters should have the same systems and functionality, they say. They are working through changes to the content of the website and have welcomed to the club Khali Parsons who is Senior Manager in the Venue department. She has a wealth of experience, having been a Disability Access Officer at another Premier League club.

The club will be conducting a review of its approach to disability as a priority, and will work in collaboration with the Arsenal Disabled Supporters’ Association to address as many of these challenges as soon as possible.

4/10/21

 

ITEM 5 Contacting the Box Office

The club recognises that there have been huge frustrations for supporters getting through to the Box Office. They apologise that we’re not getting the level of service we would expect. The explanation was that the start of the season resulted in huge increase in direct contact compared to what would normally be expected, particularly with the introduction of My Arsenal Rewards.,and the need to send out over 100,000 new membership cards.

The size of the Fans Services Team has been increased, and they are looking for additional ways – including advances in technology, to serve better supporters.

The Box Office in Drayton Park is closed as all match day ticketing services are served centrally from the Box Office by the Armoury. This will continue to be reviewed.

As Box Office failings have been high on the list of issues raised with AISA, we would ask members to continue to feedback on the response – and time it takes to get a response – when contacting it.

2/10/21

ITEM 4 Away Scheme changes

It’s early stages but the club says it’s pleased so far with the changes to the Away Ticketing Scheme. On average, more than 200 tickets are being made available to supporters who would not otherwise have been able to buy them.

It’s too early to say if the change to award Cup Final tickets based on home attendance is having an impact, but the very high attendance at the Wimbledon Caribao Cup match (56,000) is a positive indicator.

The club will continue to monitor this and report back.

1/10/21

ITEM 3  Safe standing


The club maintains it is looking seriously, at it, though it has been delayed by the pandemic. Extra work is needed now to understand fully the options.

Vinai suggested a working group consisting of staff and members of the forum be formed to take this forward.

 

30/9/21

ITEM 2 What has happened to the Manager’s notes in the match day programme?

This was asked in response to an AISA member’s question. The answer is that arsenal.com has in depth Q&As and full reports of press conferences with Mike Arteta on arsenal.com. It has been decided to give other voices an opportunity to be heard. So the Manager’s section in the match day programe is being replaced by others around the club.
 
This is the plan for the season. If it’s not liked or successful, it will be reviewed.

29/9/21

 

ITEM 1 Vinai Venkatesham’s report

At the outset, Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal MD, talked about the transfer window, and the club’s vision. He made clear that they are aiming to build with exciting young talent that can develop as a group. He emphasised that, despite age, the playing staff already had great experience group, and cited Martin Odegaard captaining Norway and Sambi Lokonga captaining Anderlecht as particular examples.

On Europe, Vinai said that recent rumours about playing PL games abroad were untrue and unfounded. Discussions had taken place about matches expanding interest in the Premier League’s abroad during pre-season  had taken place, but that the ESL was dead and would remain so. He is pleased to have been re-appointed to the Executive Board of the European Club Association following the ESL debacle – a sign of the respect given to the Arsenal across Europe.

Looking at the future of the Champions’ League, Vinai said there were discussions on there being 36 teams (four more than at present). Two new teams would be chosen to enhance access across European leagues (so not a fifth or sixth from the PL) and two from teams who had not qualified in their own leagues but had been the most successful over the past five years.

WHAT COMES NEXT

Over the next few days, we’ll be reporting back on the items discussed. They included:
Safe standing
Ticketing – family enclosure and the difficulty of reaching the Box Office
Women’s team
Access – we’ve been covering AISA’s actions here but the Forum heard about the changes that were made
Disabled access
Condition of the stadium’s exterior
Arteta’s notes absent from the programme
‘Rainbow washing’
Partnerships
 
28/9/21
 

 

Previous posts


RECENT CONTACT WITH THE CLUB

Following our meeting with the club (see post below), we were very pleased that the security arrangements were revised and the bag size increased. We had further contact regarding membership for supporters of the Women’s team, where the club had failed in its promise to deliver Borehamwood season tickets to members. Following our representation, an email was sent to all members with details of how to access Borehamwood for the Manchester City and Tottenham matches.

We’re pleased the club is taking notice of supporter concerns. Through our direct conatcs and the Fans’ Forum, we will continue to represent you.

If you have any issues troubling you, excluding of course team and playing matters, please contact us via this site or [email protected]

Poasted: 26/9/21

After the unsatisfactory – and, we felt,  unsafe – arrangements for entry into the stadium for both the Chelsea and Norwich matches, we contacted Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham with our concerns. As a result, AISA has had a meeting with the club.

We are pleased to say that changes are being made and the club will be outlining them imminently.

The aim is to prevent the overcrowding and potentially dangerous queuing on steps.

We also made representations on changing the limitation of A5 size for a bag to be changed for something more realistic, and we believe an announcement on that is also going to be made.

Watch arsenal.com and this space for news.

Previously we had contacted the club about the screens – they listened to us and showed the teams, but what was your view on the rotating team sheets? Please let us know.

Posted 16/9/21

 

WHERE'S MY SEASON TICKET?

We asked the club for news on the coming season’s membership/season tickets. You may already have eceived yours, but here’s the full answer (August 9):The new Season Ticket cards are on their way and should have started arriving from Saturday. We expect these to have landed by Monday 16th and are sending everyone a digital version of their season pass today (Monday 9th) so anyone that doesn’t receive their card before Chelsea has a backup.Member cards should also start arriving soon and the majority should’ve arrived by Monday 16th but again, they’re also receive a digital pass that’ll be loaded with any tickets they purchase.nd August and Chelsea may not receive their physical card in time but we’ve communicated with them accordingly and they’ll receive a ticket via email and the physical card before Norwich so that should take care of everyone! 

OUTCOME OF OUR REQUEST TO YOU FOR QUESTIONS TO ASK THE ARSENAL BOARD

Many thanks to all of our members who came back to us about what you’d like us to ask the Arsenal Board about. (This was sent out by email and in the post below, ‘Club Ownership).
We submitted a summary of your responses to the club. This included the ‘custodianship’ list that, interestingly, has been included in the club’s latest proposals.
We stressed in the summary the points you raised, including the lack of trust felt, the need for the club to demonstrate transparency in its aims and activities, more and continuing evidence of the owner’s commitment to the club, and the need for more football expertise to be evident at Board level. We identified that there was division amongst members over shares and share ownership, but that there was no division on requiring an outcome that resulted in supporters’ voices being heard and acted upon.
We continue to have direct discussions with the club on these issues – and the framework for the new Advisory Board, consisting of supporters groups like AISA and key Arsenal Board members, is also being developed separately at the moment. These will result in plans to ensure the ‘step change’ promised by the club is delivered.
AISA will continue to work to make sure that happens, so that our members and Arsenal supporters are represented at the highest level.
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PRIORITY TICKETS

The club has announced its plans for priority ticket access. Prior to this announcement, we had briefings from the club on how they want to reward supporter loyalty, and priority of tickets is part of that. We also had input into the detail of the communication. You will find it all on the club’s website – and if you are a season ticket holder, you will have had the information sent to your email.

Essentially, the idea is to reward loyal supporters who attend matches.

If you have any questions or points you’d like us to raise with the club about this new approach, please contact us on [email protected]

 

 

CLUB OWNERSHIP

AISA’s position – and we need your help

AISA believes it is important that we drive change at the club. Promises made at the time of the Kroenke share buyout have not been kept, the fans’ voice missing from the running of the club.

The European Super League debacle demonstrated that this cannot continue. We believe this is a unique opportunity to engage with the club so that supporters’ views and ideas are not only heard but respected and acted upon.  To this aim we have been in conversations with the club owner, Josh Kroenke (who represents his father, Stan), Board member, Tim Lewis and Arsenal Chief Executive, Vinai Venkatesham to make that change, put fans at the centre of decision making and rebuild trust.

We have been in conversations with the club owner, Josh Kroenke (who represents his father, Stan), Board member, Tim Lewis and Arsenal Chief Executive, Vinai Venkatesham.

 

The owners have said they want ‘meaningful interactions with supporters and people passionate about all aspects of Arsenal’, and we have been presented with some basic proposals for a step-change in relations between the club and its supporters:

An advisory board made up of supporters – to discuss strategic matters

Fans Forum – beefed up and to discuss operational matters

Workshops for Fans Forum reps to focus on specific areas of the Club’s work

The Arsenal Foundation – more fan representation

Additional meetings with supporters groups to ensure fans’ voices are heard

The owners have said they want ‘meaningful interactions with supporters’

 

These are outlines at the moment with no agreed terms of reference. In the coming weeks, we will be engaging in further discussions to create clarity – and test the commitment – of the owners.

AISA is very conscious that promises have been made in the past and not delivered. We have questioned in our meetings whether these proposals are simply just a veneer so fan opinion can be voiced and then ignored. We have been assured that the whole reason for making these proposals is to ensure the supporters’ voice is heard; that there would be no point in this process involving close relationships with fans if the voices are then ignored.

AISA will continue to liaise with former Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, who is conducting the government’s fan-led review. The outcome of this review may lead to a revision of the Arsenal proposals and AISA’s position.

In the meantime, AISA is continuing its dialogue with the Arsenal Board, shaping and defining the proposals, so that we are assured the supporters’ voice will have an effective role in driving the club forward.

AISA’s position at this time is not to challenge the right of KSE to own the club but to continue to have positive dialogue with them.

 

Because of the progress so far made and the openness of the owners to initiate discussion – with their declared intention of responding to demands for greater supporter influence – AISA’s position at this time is not to challenge the right of KSE to own the club but to continue to have positive dialogue with them. By being part of higher-level processes (alongside other Arsenal supporters), we have a real opportunity to work with the club, hold the owners to account and make a difference.

We believe it is better to be inside the room and involved in the dialogue and negotiations rather than be outside trying to listen in. But we invite our members to come back to us on what questions and concerns you would like us to raise, and what you would consider to be a successful outcome from this dialogue.

How you can help

We need your views and to know what you would like us to ask Josh Kroenke and the Arsenal Board.

  • What do you think is needed to improve club engagement with supporters and ensure their voice is heard & respected?
  • AISA is proposing a charter of custodianship to protect club identity. We have started to compile a list, with
    • Crest
    • Motto
    • Location
    • Club colours
    • Name

What other areas would you like to be enshrined?

  • How important to you are shares for fans? What would you want shares to offer?
  • What other questions would you want to put to the owners?

Please send your responses as soon as possible to [email protected] or reply here.

It is part of AISA’s constitution that we establish and maintain channels of communication with the Directors and Management of Arsenal Football Club and that we encourage them to appreciate, welcome and value the support and participation of all Arsenal fans, and ensure that equal opportunities are promoted for all supporters

 

 

 

 

 

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SEASON TICKET NEWS

Here’s the official message from the club, sent out May 11:

Full season ticket renewals for the 2021/22 season will open in the final week of May.

Seat prices will be frozen for a seventh consecutive year and as normal, will be reflective of the competitions in which we compete. (AISA translation – this is club-speak to avoid the embarrassment of not knowing if we’re in Europe or not! If we are not in Europe at all, they’ll work out a non-Europe rate. If we’re in the European Conference, something in between last year’s and this year’s will be calculated. Either way, we have been assured, League Cup ties will remain outside of the season ticket, as before.)

Any ticketing credit in your account will be deducted from your renewal price should you choose to renew your season ticket. If you opt not to renew your membership, these funds will be available to withdraw once renewals have closed.

Please note, as in previous years, a low-cost finance option will be available to eligible supporters wishing to spread the cost of their membership across the season.

If restrictions return during the 2021/22 season, resulting in any matches being played without fans present or at reduced capacity, you will be entitled to a credit / refund for any fixtures you are not permitted to attend.

You will also have the option to request a season ticket holiday for Season 2021/22 if you do not wish, or are unable, to return next season.

If you have any questions that we can answer or ask the club about, please message us using [email protected]

AISA Members’ Survey: April 2021

Arsenal’s involvement in the proposed European Super League

 

Alongside our statement opposing Arsenal’s involvement in the proposed ESL we issued a brief survey asking our members what actions they may take if it happened.

We received over 150 responses to both the statement and the survey. Events moved so fast that we didn’t need to present the survey findings to the club before they reversed the decision. The analysis is below; we will share this and some of the comments made by AISA members (at Annex A) with Arsenal and also post it on the website.

 

Are you supportive of Arsenal FC being a founder member of the European Super League

 

Yes:                                                                                                          2%

No:                                                                                                           98%

 

The number speaks for itself – an overwhelming No

If the European Super League becomes a reality what action, if any, would you as an Arsenal fan take

a) carry on as now & renew 6%

b) will not renew membership (whatever type it is) 67%

[some very reluctantly: “very difficult to give up supporting our Club but will follow them from afar”]

There were a number of Members who wanted to wait and see what competitions the Club would be involved in if ESL went ahead before deciding on renewal or who didn’t answer specifically

Undecided: wait & see                                                                                14%

No specific reply                                                                                          14%

c) will not buying any merchandise/commercial partner products           74%

Again a number of Members were undecided or didn’t answer specifically

Undecided: wait & see                                                                                    7%

No specific reply                                                                                            19%

A number of Members also said they would cancel their contracts with TV broadcasters showing ESL matches

 

What further actions should AISA take in response to Arsenal FC becoming founder members of the ESL? 

Suggestions offered:

  • Work closely with not just other Arsenal supporters’ groups, but similar fan associations at the other “Big Six” clubs who are equally horrified by this plan.

  • Vigorously publicise and lobby MPs/Government that this would be a hugely unpopular development amongst supporters (aka voters)

  • Be loud and clear in the messages against the ESL initiative

  • Vote with our feet and not attend matches. After all it won’t be such a super league if the stadiums are empty.

  • Boycott of Arsenal products

  • Encourage supporters to complain directly to the club through official channels.

  • Set up petitions

 

AISA Members’ Survey April 2021

Comments                                                 

I have been an Arsenal supporter for about 64 years.  I am a season ticket holder and represent the third generation and two generations follow me in supporting Arsenal.  I am disappointed by the position adopted by the Arsenal shareholders which is at variance, thus far, from the fan base and the media.  It is manifestly removed from the club values and departs from club links with the domestic game at all levels.  I can only interpret this as a cynical move into overt commercialism, product generation and profit making by the existing shareholders.  Thus there is an increasing disconnect between the interests of the Arsenal fans and the interests of the shareholders.

In the event that the ESL develops it is extremely unlikely that I will renew my season tickets or have the level of interest previously enjoyed by me and my family.  
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Having been a season ticket holder for the best part of 60 years I am disgusted at what is essentially a money grabbing opportunity for the founding clubs. I have felt for some time that we no longer support a club team but now support a brand name.

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Nobody can doubt that 2 fixtures against the top European clubs only would be attractive but it is against everything that football stands for. 

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This will do nothing but line the pockets of our American owners. What has happened to my club that used to have so much class? It is now just a business model!!

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Football has been moving in the direction of money/big business for years (and this seems to be the sole interest of Arsenal to our owner) but this is a huge step that will undermine much of what the sport stands for

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Totally out of order, everyone laughed at Roy Keane s prawn sandwich rant, but he’s been proved correct. Money people making money decisions no longer football people making football decisions. Don’t get me wrong I love this club but match day rugby is now so much better than football. I feel let down.
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As an Arsenal Supporter for over 50 years, I am writing to you with a heavy heart.  Like many Arsenal fans I have endured more than my fair share of ups and downs.  As a season ticket holder, I attend as many home and away fixtures as I possibly can. I have followed Arsenal home and away for many years at a considerable cost to myself and my family. I am writing to protest at my beloved club involving themselves in such a controversial proposal as the European Super League.

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Not since the day in 1919 when we were elected to the first division of the football league has such a controversial idea has been put forward.  I am proud that “my” club has never been relegated since.  Throughout the intervening years we have played with merit. We deserved to be in the league on merit. Every year our position in the league and our standing in the wider world of football has been on merit. Yes, there have been decisions that have made us all angry including the robbery of our 50th undefeated game by match officials. Yes, there have been board changes and takeovers by the money men at ours and other historic clubs. But, of all these changes none has been as divisive as this idea. 

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This proposal purports to put more money into the football pyramid which can only be a good thing.  I am not qualified to comment on whether that is true or not but, one thing I do know is that more money will go into the pockets of our super rich owners.  We already have football clubs paying their players outrageous sums of money funded from the ever-increasing TV coverage and commercial activities.  If this proposal goes ahead, I can only see those outrageous sums rising exponentially together with transfer fees.

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The US system of sport franchises serves only the money men. Are we to see this system being introduced via the back door of the proposed ESL? It is not far-fetched, after all our owners are predominantly the money men from the US and the Middle East.  Is it not to be expected that they have taken over our clubs, they would try to impose their way of operating on our beloved game?  If so, my beloved Arsenal may no longer play their home games at Highbury.  They could play anywhere that pays the most money perhaps even the Middle East.  In the US franchises can and do move across States.

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When permitted I have been fortunate to have travelled all over Europe and the UK to see my team play. As a regular visiting supporter, away days are one of the pleasures of supporting my club. If this proposal were to go ahead, I would be denied visits to so many places at home and abroad that I would not normally think of visiting.  Even trips to Germany and France would be denied to me.

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What makes football football is its competitive nature.  Imagine if the FA Cup were contended between only the ‘big’ clubs because the viewing public are not interested in watching the smaller clubs.  It would devalue the whole competition. To deny open competition and deny promotion and relegation would be a tragedy.  It has been said that you can change your allegiance to anything apart from your football team and I am sad to admit that even if the proposal goes ahead, I will still be attending the games home and away, but I will do so with a heavy heart.

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If football is bereft of money, a fact which I doubt, then the answer lies not in increasing revenue but in the reduction of costs perhaps starting with the outrageous wages, transfer fees and payments to agents.

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As a season ticket holder for over 30 years this is a disgusting embarrassing move by Arsenal FC we used to have class & honour & did things the right way.

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Not anymore, we are not fans just customers to a global brand who want to turn are club into some kind of meaningless NFL franchise.

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I am ashamed that Arsenal has signed up for the ESL

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Like many other true football fans, I have for over 50 years of my life spent my hard earned money supporting Arsenal FC. I could never afford to see away games on my pension.

No true fan should support the greedy directors forming ESL to profit from the true roots of the club. Us fans who have not been consulted.

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An ESL could see the Arsenal “franchise” transferred to a US city (similar to the Brooklyn Dodgers becoming the LA Dodgers).

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My first match was in 1951 and I am into anything involving Arsenal but I will cut my ties with the Club immediately.

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I cannot believe that Arsenal would wish to be involved and I would be devastated!

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I’m sure the thoughts and opinions of a humble fan like myself carry little or no weight but I will still state them

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I have supported the Arsenal football club for a lifetime. I bought a debenture in the old North Bank which helped the club build a new stand. I followed the club throughout Europe and took great pride in our tradition and values. I’m presently a season ticket holder alongside my brother with a magnificent view in our wonderful stadium.

And yet I would never step foot in the ground again if MY CLUB lets the tradition and values of fair play down by embarking on this path of sheer greed.

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It is absolutely disgusting the ESL proposal and to think Arsenal are involved with it, it is against the class and values the club used to hold so dear.

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I feel for their marketing and admin team right now who are getting pelters, and I’m sure they hold the same beliefs as us – but have to toe the company line.

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I hope this utter nonsense of a super league is stamped out. It is pure greed, and a consortium abusing their power whilst casually dismissing their fans and the game itself.

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“Founding members”….honestly what has this club become! Franchise football in the making, and for some glorified exhibition tournament where we can never get relegated. They have got this completely wrong.

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Football was a working class game, those people have been priced out of this sport and we no longer get the Saturday afternoon passion. I think the arbitrary decision to join the Super League is atrocious. Particularly Arsenal, with such a strong tradition in the game, they have let down everyone. I despised the ownership of Kroenke before this happened; now I am beyond words.
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I have been an Arsenal supporter since 1958 but since 2005 because of the obsession with money in the Premier League switched to active support for my local non-league team where I have a season ticket. I have always regarded myself as a Gooner but this has definitely turned me against the club.  

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What a shambles!

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For the first time in 58 years, I will NOT remain a supporter of Arsenal Football Club, in any shape, form or fashion

But if our Arsenal play in the ESL then they are not OUR Arsenal any more, I will therefore not be renewing my season ticket.

My first visit to Highbury was in 1950, this will be a very sad day.

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I really, really hope that this will not end my 25+ year support of AFC, but I cannot in good conscious continue to indirectly support Stan Kroenke in any way.  Once he and KSE are gone, then I will be more than happy to resume my love and support of AFC.
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Having been an Arsenal supporter for 54 years, yesterday was the very first day I actually felt embarrassed to be an Arsenal supporter. To say that our club has (yet again) given no regard for its (true) supporters would be an understatement. 

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I will walk away from the club that I first saw play in 1943 [at White Hart Lane !]. Even if the ESL plan is defeated, for me the damage is already done.

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Struggling to resolve this one; if Arsenal do really join a league where founder members cannot be relegated and only 5 of the 20 places are ‘up for grabs’ then I cannot see myself going to matches in the future at Arsenal.

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I have been an Arsenal supporter for about 64 years.  I am a season ticket holder and represent the third generation and two generations follow me in supporting Arsenal.  I am disappointed by the position adopted by the Arsenal shareholders which is at variance, thus far, from the fan base and the media.  It is manifestly removed from the club values and departs from club links with the domestic game at all levels.  I can only interpret this as a cynical move into overt commercialism, product generation and profit making by the existing shareholders.  Thus there is an increasing disconnect between the interests of the Arsenal fans and the interests of the shareholders.
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I will find a lower league club to support that appreciates the values of football and fans who support them.

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Overall embarrassed that Arsenal is part of it. Financial bullying;

I will not follow the Arsenal anymore; this is simply the final straw. This dash for greed just means I will give up.

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“Dismayed and disgusted” sums it up well.

Specifically, it’s the idea of protected status for the Founding clubs and the lack of jeopardy that’s the critical issue. As Arsenal fans of course we’re not happy not being in the Champions League, but to respond to that situation by setting up our own one that we can’t be relegated from is appalling.

As I see it, being part of and supportive of the domestic and international football ecosystem is essential to the whole concept of being a football club.

If this goes ahead in the currently proposed form, I’m not even sure that I’d view the club as even being a proper football club. I’d probably stop seeing myself as an Arsenal supporter – because I’d see Arsenal as no longer existing, as having been actually destroyed by the ownership.
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I have supported Arsenal since I was 5, that’s 53 years and counting. I have been going Arsenal for 45 years, a season ticket holder for 35 years and owned one share until it was basically subject to a CPO. I am appalled that my club has been taken down this route by KSE, without consultation and was revealed by a joint statement issued on to the official website at 10.30 on a Sunday night without so much as a word of explanation from the Kroenke family.

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Pre pandemic I had missed less than 10 home games in 45 years but I will not attend an ESL match. And if the Kroenke family try to cost those matches as part of my season ticket price I will seriously consider giving up my seat. I realise whilst this would break my heart, this will not matter one iota to the Kroenke family and may actually suit them as I am a so called legacy fan, but after being forced out of my (albeit small) ownership of my club, I think that may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Nor will I buy any merchandise, a practice I started when my share was grabbed from me.

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How can this happen? Totally against any football ideals that we have today!

Appalled at Arsenal Football Club in discussion with other clubs of this ridiculous decision!!

Very sad time for football and Arsenal Football Club who I thought stood for football morals!!

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(copy of letter sent to the AFC)

Dear Arsenal Directors and Board,

 

You do not know me. I will tell you who I am. I am an AISA member. An Arsenal fan for more than 45 years through thick and thin. Indeed, I started supporting the club in 1975 when their league position in the former Division 1 was precarious to say the least!

 

But more than 45 years later, I’m still here . . . just. Why did I start supporting Arsenal? Because I had read about the history of the club and was pulled in by the romantic story of how the club was formed, why we play in red, the great club of the 1930s and the start of our winning trophies and getting a reputation of how we played – innovative, with flair and above all, fairly.

 

After this week’s earlier announcement of the proposed ESL, my heart sank. What a shame that a once noble club with great traditions respected the world over by the football family and even industries beyond the sport, who believe in the ‘Arsenal Way’ – integrity, openness and quality – had effectively been betrayed. The club is better than that.

 

Remember the club motto “Victory though Harmony”- at the moment what the club has supposedly ‘signed’ up to is not harmonious with the reputation we had, nor with the football family around the world.

 

Please see sense and step back from this preposterous idea of forming a super league. On current form, we would probably finish bottom of that league. I would rather continue to test our skills and competitive spirit in the world’s greatest league, the Premier League, and believe that we can win it again under the current format within the FA and Premier League remit. We still have opportunities to test ourselves regularly in the current European competitions and have the players and coach (given reasonable time) to achieve that.

 

It is not, and should not be, just about money and income. Football is more than that.

 

Please remove the Club from this disastrous and selfish scheme – the fans do not want this and Arsenal would not exist were it not for its faithful, true fans. Like me.

 

The Owners need to be held to account for their actions, not only their decision, but also the way they went about it (without consultation). They also need to be asked to explain their ultimate intentions for the Club, in light of the demise of ESL.

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As a Gooner since childhood, I am also strongly opposed to the idea (and potential existence) of a European Super League. I am disturbed that Arsenal is a part of this. All it is, is another money making scheme to bleed more money out of the fans. I am considering boycotting any matches that take place in the ESL, as well as merchandise.

 

Hopefully this idea will crawl back under the rock from which it crept out.

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Absolutely not supportive of the ESL. It’s shameful that Arsenal is involved, but unsurprising given our terrible owners. 

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All clubs including mine should be punished immediately for taking this decision without even discussing with the fans and other members of the football world. All six should be relegated and placed in lower divisions until they appreciate the value of the pyramid and competition.

Let me first of all say that as a supporter from Belgium I fully support your statement on the European Super League.  Your statement describes exactly what I think about the plans of our club.

I am completely opposed to Arsenal becoming a member of the proposed ESL and am disgusted by the actions of those running the club. I don’t think we can pretend that all is perfect with the existing structures – football has been moving in this direction since at least 1992 (and Arsenal to our discredit were one of the then “big five” who plotted the premiership breakaway back then). My Spurs supporting friends will also never cease in reminding me that we illicitly gained entry to the old first division after the First World War – a position we hadn’t gained through sporting merit. Nonetheless, this proposal marks a new low and a more severe break from the past than anything that has gone before. At least the creation of the Premier League kept promotion and relegation with the rest of the football pyramid. This new proposal is an outrage to the very concept of sport and fair play. It needs to be stopped.

As to what I would do if it isn’t stopped and does become a reality: I will immediately cancel my membership, will never pay another penny towards Arsenal merchandise, and will sever any attachment I might have with the club going forward. Even if Arsenal were permitted to stay in the premier league, I will not be watching any more games. I will proudly wear my existing shirts I have (going back to the early 90s), and cheerfully watch old games and dwell on past glories, but as far as I am concerned the club will have folded the day the ESL starts.

I would hope that in that eventuality fan groups could work towards setting up something like AFC Wimbledon or FC United so that we can all still have a team to support on Saturdays. Failing that I guess I’ll go and watch Barnet (once we’re allowed to go to matches again). Looking at where they are, they could use all the support they can get.

I have been feeling, along with lots of fans I imagine, an increasing alienation over some years now – but this would absolutely be the final straw. You can fiddle about with club ownership, you can tinker with European competition formats, but to break with over 100 years of history, storm away from the English game and pull the ladder up after you – this is completely unacceptable.

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We will no longer support the club. Painful to say for me after 45 years as a fan. 

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If it does happen then AISA should be at the forefront of creating a new AFC Arsenal that starts at the bottom of the football pyramid. This club might be based on the German model of 50+1 ownership by fans. That is not to deny the opportunity for backers to own part of the club but an ownership structure that ensures a Kroenke or Glazer cannot control the club.

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I’m 57 and first went to Highbury as a 5 year old (ironically against Man City, another club that had great fans but is now a corporate brand). I’ll still follow them but they are not getting my money. 

They are not Arsenal anymore. Just a yanks money machine.  What makes me laugh we’re so crap we’d be useless in this toy league anyway!

Pitiful

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I won’t turn up for the Super League games which, once you reduce any kind of jeopardy, consequence and competition are akin to testimonial matches.  

How have we come to this? A club built on fairness, tradition, culture and innovation. I’m embarrassed to be an Arsenal fan today. 

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If the ESL is allowed to go ahead then that will be the end of my 50 year relationship with Arsenal.
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I’m totally opposed to this scab league. If it takes place I’m out (season ticket holder since 1987). I will sever all connections with the club I love because it will no longer exist. Sadly as a ‘legacy fan’ the owners couldn’t care less & would probably welcome it.

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I am disgusted and hope that we as a group can show our disgust
I have for a long time boycotted the shop on the grounds that most local children and adults are priced out of it.
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I am dismayed that our once great club is part of this clandestine movement to finish football as we know it. I will not renew my club membership, or that of my three children. Furthermore I will not purchase any more club merchandise whilst the club is under the ownership of an organisation determined to sever the link between loyal fan and football club. Every Arsenal fan I know feels exactly the same way. We are no longer prepared to be Mr Kroenke’s cash cow and plaything.
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Fan for 50 years but this is not for me anymore. Money seems to be the only language that our owner understands. I too am appalled by the decision in what is a clear money motivated move and will alienate Arsenal fans from the club they have loved.

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I have supported Arsenal for over 60 years and I am a current season ticket holder. I will not give one penny of my money to the club from this day on. The authorities have to show some balls and throw the vile 6 out. I will probably not renew my membership but after being a supporter for 70 years since I was 5, not caring about them will be difficult if not impossible 

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Change is never easy & I do have some sympathy with the view that there is an awful lot of very ordinary quality football being played in our stadiums & seen on our televisions.

If Arsenal played Barcelona once or twice a season I think that would be a good thing assuming of course that our team was sufficiently competitive to play the likes of Barcelona & the rest of Europe’s top clubs. But while there may be a case for the first season including founder members after that everything must be based on earning the right (promotion & relegation) to take part.

Without this sport stops becoming a competition & we revert to the American franchise model which in my opinion would be the ruin of sport in this country.

So my view is that I can understand some change being introduced & I can accept that in which case I would continue being a season ticket holder, but if the american franchise model was introduced I would very quickly return my ticket.

The other part of the american franchise model is taking the team to a new venue different state, city etc. which would take football in England away from the communities where they were born & supported, which is another reason why I would fiercely reject the american franchise model.
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We must stop this happening at any cost; it is all about the money.  I have a season ticket but if this goes through I won’t be going to the Ems again, I love my club and cant imaging not going, it breaks my heart, but if we are in this stupid league I won’t be there.  I am absolutely dumbfounded that this could go through.

We all need to fight against the proposals but I fear that greed will mean that this proposal will go ahead and mean the end of many people’s love and support for their team.

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I will no longer give any financial support to Arsenal if they continue with joining the ESL. I am an American and my father and I come over often to see games and support the team that we love from across the ocean. However, due to this hyper capitalism &selfish decision made by the owner we will no longer continue to do so.

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I am bitterly disappointed that a club known for its class can behave in such an underhand and classless manner.
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I am totally opposed to this disgusting idea and ashamed that the once principled club known as Arsenal are prime movers.

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I want the owners out, they’re just using the club and supporters as a cash cow, extracting millions whilst not investing or risking their own money.

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If we are banned from the Premier league perhaps a fan owned phoenix club could be created. I’d certainly support them. Maybe call them Woolwich Arsenal? 😉

All AISA can do is warn the club that the fans will no longer support them and the stadium will remain empty and that will quickly hit them financially.

I have supported Arsenal for over 50 years, I am an Islington resident and a former season ticket holder until I was priced out by the exorbitant costs. I am 100% AGAINST this new European Super League, and absolutely gutted Arsenal has anything to do with it. I intend to boycott the entire thing, games, merchandise, and all media coverage of it. I also intend boycotting all Arsenal merchandise until they drop their participation in it.

In itself, mine is only a small gesture, but if we all pull together hopefully we can persuade them to overturn their decision.
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I will not give the club a single penny more. I am already a member of Dial Square FC, and every time I am back in the UK, I will be going to watch them play, not The Arsenal. 

My love for The Arsenal will be there always, but when you think of men like Bob Wilson, Frank McLintock, the famous back 6, and so on, that great classy club has gone. I will still watch games on tv I expect, but I am not interested in Arsenal v AC Milan in a game that has no consequence, as we are 16th (out of 16 probably the way we are playing), and AC are 15th. No relegation so let’s grab some more money next season. 

This has really, really upset me. It feels like someone really close has died. I know that sounds dramatic, but it has really got to me (and many others obviously). I was against the Premier League when it started. I was strongly against leaving Highbury, and they were the first steps to what we have today. 

I wish you the best of luck. I will keep my membership up with you, with Dial Square, but certainly nothing to do with The Arsenal. 

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I’m still vexed because my long held shareholding was ‘ confiscated ‘ but Mr Kroenke, sending me many £’s I had not asked for.

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It’s a major breach of trust by the club.

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I fully support your statement.  This will be a travesty for football in general, for the English league system and for Arsenal.

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I am horrified and ashamed of the club but unsurprised given who our owner is. On the other hand I am totally unforgiving of Venkatesham for not resigning over the issue which presumably means he is for it. Ditto to the other board members who have shown themselves to be what they are: pawns of Kroenke and most certainly not in any sense custodians of the Club and its history.

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As a lifelong supporter I will probably be more interest in Arsenal’s results but they will not mean as much. The excitement of league positions etc will have been totally diminished

I am totally against it. I think it’s appalling.

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I won’t want to give my money to the owners if this is how they use it. I would not follow the games as I do now and wouldn’t be interested in results like now. 

The games will be exhibition matches with no atmosphere and no fans. Using the premier league as a sort of feeder / youth league for this SL, eurgh. Not my club. Won’t have any more of my money.

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Tell them to go to hell
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Comment: post reversal decision

This is a great victory for all true football fans. Of course, not everything is perfect in the current format of the European competitions and UEFA are largely responsible for the shortcomings. However a closed competition as imagined by greedy owners of football clubs is not the answer.

This may be a warning what to come; we have to stop any future proposal.

Get Stan Kroenke out to sell his shares, he has no interest in our club’s history?

It is disturbing that Ivan Gazidis was amongst the members planning this.

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One member wrote: I would be surprised if you get any positive comments regarding the Super League.

But we did, & for balance here they are:

I am fully in agreement with the proposed super League and Arsenal’s participation. It would encourage me to renew my season ticket.

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I support the Super League. It will benefit Arsenal. I also support a new Board for the club, the current board is dragging the club down. 

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If the ESL happens then I want Arsenal to be part of that. We need to be in the elite class not left out as we were with Abramovich and Man City Saudi backers and Leicester Thai money.  

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Among Arsenal friends, I am willing to concede that I think we’re lucky to have been admitted as I can see few signs on the pitch that we’re going to win our way into it or anything else for that matter.

Providing the action does not affect our ability to play in the Premier League and domestic cup competitions, then why not. When the Premier League was created there was a huge uproar about it being a league for the elite and rich, but it has turned out to be the best league in world football (arguably). The Champions League is already a ‘league’ for elite clubs and the format needed changing (bear in mind we haven’t played in it for 4 yrs). The only issue I have is that the founding clubs cannot be relegated, that removes some of the ‘competition’ element. But it could be another ‘Premier League’ shake- up, so I would give it some room and see what happens.     

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Thanks to everyone who contributed. The results of this survey were presented to Josh Kroenke in the meeting outlined above.

JOSH KROENKE APOLOGISES FOR GETTING IT WRONG

Key messages from today’s meeting for representatives of Arsenal Supporters’ Groups.

Josh Kroenke today apologised for Arsenal’s involvement in the European Super League.

Talking to representatives of Arsenal supporters’ groups, including AISA, he said that while the Board believed global and European fans want Super League, English fans still want, ‘a cold night in Stoke,’ adding, ‘We got it wrong.’

Kroenke also accepted that trust had been shredded by the events of the past few days, but that he wanted to rebuild it by becoming more visible in the future. This would mean greater interaction with fans, for instance, through events like the Fans’ Forum. ’We would like you to trust us and build Arsenal Football Club,’ he said.

The meeting took place in what Arsenal Chief Executive, Vinai Venkatesham, who was also at the meeting, called a, ‘difficult week for football,’ emphasising that Arsenal was not the author or driver of these latest Super League proposals. He said that there are frequent Super League proposals and Arsenal listen and act according to the club’s best interests. In this case, ‘the train was leaving the station,’ and the decision was made on what it would mean if the club didn’t join. In the event it was, he said, a bad decision for players, staff and fans.

When pressed on budgets, Kroenke assured the meeting that KSE will fund any default costs from the ESL and any losses incurred during the Covid pandemic, plus they will fund any transfer costs in the next transfer window.

AISA pointed out that fan representation on Boards is a live issue (see item below) and asked Kroenke for his position on it and would he welcome this at Arsenal? He promised to give this consideration.

AISA acknowledges and welcomes that the club was able to meet supporters and apologise for the debacle of the Super League plan, and we will be looking to hold Josh Kroenke and KSE to their promises.

FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION (FSA) SAYS TO LOBBY YOUR MP

While the idea of the European Super League is dead, at least for now, the work to ensure that it can never return is just starting, and the first step in this process is demonstrating that there is political support for the much-needed reforms to the game.

The Government has launched a fan-led review of football to be chaired by former sports minister, Tracey Crouch MP. It will be “a root-and-branch investigation into the governance of football and into what we can do to promote the role of fans in that governance”. The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) to which AISA is affiliated is asking all supporters to get involved so it genuinely puts fans front and centre.

The FSA wrote an Early Day Motion (EDM), tabled by Ian Mearns MP. They would like all fans to contact their MPs and ask if they’ll sign the EDM and back supporters’ arguments in Parliament. Their website has listed some basic arguments fans might want to include. It also has links to help find and contact your MP.

 

https://thefsa.org.uk/news/lobby-your-mp-to-ensure-football-reform/

 

AISA ASKED YOU

Many thanks to all of you for your responses to our email sent earlier this week. We had an unprecedented response to the AISA statement and the short questionnaire. Although events moved so fast that we didn’t need to present the survey findings to the club, we will still analyse what you told us and present it on aisa.org/members and via emails. But suffice to say there was an overwhelming majority of members – around 98% – who opposed Arsenal’s involvement in the ESL.

Here’s our podcast from the Remembering David Rocastle evening.

And there will be a special Rocky-centred matchday programme on Saturday for the Liverpool match that you can buy from the club.

Here’s the video we played. It’s using ‘Spanish Dancer’ from Arc of the Diver album by Stevie Winwood – and entirely without copyright clearance(!) so please keep its use private! Thanks.

2) The FSA recently had a briefing on VAR from MIke Riley and Adam Gale-Watts.  The report is here

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 3) And have you seen the new AISA badge?

You can buy one on our ‘Shop‘ page.