Arsenal Football Club Supporters’ Forum
12pm – 1.30pm April 2nd 2017
Board Room
Highbury House 

Supporters’ Forum membership 2016/2017

16-21 Year Old Representative - Mr Connor Runswick
Arsenal Supporters Club – Domestic - Mr Martin O’Donnell
Arsenal Supporters Club – Overseas - Mr Lars Lundstedt
AISA Representative - Mr Daniel McCloskey
Disabled Supporters - Ms Anne Hyde
Club Level - Mr Steven Downey
Family Enclosure - Mr Ryan Maskery
Gold Member - Mr Mike Maloney
Red Member - Mr Connor Kielty
Over 60 Year-Old - Mr David Sharp
Ethnic Minority Representative - Mr Vik Dattani

Gay Supporter Representative - Mr Dave Raval
RedAction Member - Mr Sam Blackman
Shareholder - Mr Michael Francis
Away Scheme Member - Mr Soran Hourami
AST Member - Ms Lesley Williams

Arsenal representatives

Arsenal FC (Chair) - Mark Gonnella
Arsenal FC - Ivan Gazidis
Arsenal FC - Mark Brindle
Arsenal FC - Alun Francis
Arsenal FC - Ivan Worsell
Arsenal FC - Charles Allen 

Apologies:

Lesley Williams – replaced by Tim Payton
Daniel McCloskey – replaced by John Williamson
Ryan Maskery

AGENDA 

  1. 1.     Welcome and agree minutes of previous meeting (Mark Gonnella)
  2. 2.     Ivan Gazidis overview
  3. 3.     Questions (see attached document)
  4. 4.     AOB
  5. 5.     Retiring forum members
  6. 6.     Date of next meeting 

Questions

Club Direction/Manager
Martin O’Donnell - Arsenal Supporters Club – Domestic

Division amongst the Fans
It is well documented that there is a wide division forming amongst Fans in relation to various issues, principally the position and support of Arsène Wenger , Stan Kroenke, etc. Everyone has their ‘expert’ opinion on what is right for Arsenal and some of the more celebrated Fans voice their opinions ever louder through mainstream and social media.

I receive ‘many’ emails of discontent and also of firm and loyal support through the Fans Forum. Roughly 60/40%. My question is not on those matters.

Is there some way that Arsenal can present an improved message to the body of Supporters, to clarify the aims of the Board and The Manager and try to heal the division among the fans?

Robyn Bopari – Women’s Representative 

The past few months have been both a challenging and frustrating time for Arsenal, what is the strategy both team and financial  from the following viewpoints: 

The Owner
The Board
The CEO
The Manager
The Coaches (can we have one of the coaches do a presentation to us) 

How can we encourage fans to support this? 

AST 

In the last week the AST has conducted a survey of all our members into how the Club has managed the contract situation with Arsène Wenger. Usually the AST only holds surveys into issues at Arsenal to do with on the pitch and football management matters during the close season when a wider perspective can be taken of the previous season’s performance and prospects for the next season.

However events and results in recent weeks have led us to believe that it was important to secure supporters views now. The situation around the manager’s contract and how that issue is handled is of great importance to the future of the Club. We also note that the Arsenal Board recently issued a statement on the matter itself demonstrating that it is an important subject for current debate. They also said they respected the views of supporters.

The results of this survey will be concluded on 1 April and we will then forward them to Arsenal. We would like to hear a response from the Club to the survey’s results on the manager’s contract and how the Board has managed this issue at the Fans Forum and in particular to be given an explanation as to why it has got to the stage whereby it is early April and no one has any idea who the manager of Arsenal will be next season. This is surely not good long term planning?

Vik Dattani - Ethnic Minority Representative 

"Arsène is ultimately accountable to the fans—they ultimately make judgement. If you are seeing the relationship between the fans and the manager break down, that is unsustainable"

Ivan Gazidis - 2011  

With a split fan base and constant arguing/fighting in the stands (home and away) - it has actually become unsafe to go to games. (It's negligent to believe there are only 100 or so fans unhappy by the way). So what does the CEO make of his accountability quote now? Is it now unsustainable?  

Furthermore, why does the Manager not report to the Owner, CEO or Board like anywhere else?  

"As we look to the next two, three years we will have an outstanding platform on which to compete with any club in the world."

Ivan Gazidis - 2012 

We are not competing. In the Premier League or Europe. And we cannot sugar coat the facts of how far we are from winning the elite competitions.  

Arsenal in the Premier League
Arsenal in the Premier League

And in 2016-17 (with Arsène's "best ever squad" even the "top 4 trophy" is looking at risk.  

Our Champions League record and lack of progress is also damning:  

Champions League Last 16 record
Champions League Last 16 record

Fans appreciate that you cannot win all the time - but we are not even getting close to the Premier League or Champions League.

And we are also often beat by embarrassing score lines. 

"The changes [we're making] will keep us ahead of the game. Our strategy is youth development, player signings, and player retention"

Ivan Gazidis - 2015 

Our Youth Development success rate is very questionable. To be clear we are talking about high impact youth players. Not players who have fostered careers elsewhere. 

We didn't sign a single outfield player last season - the only team to do so - and ended up trophy-less. We spent big this summer, and none of the signings have been overwhelming. 

In terms of retention, we have serious doubts about the futures of our only 2 star names. As well as others entering their final year. We have let contracts wind down previously as you well know. Add to this it seems nobody knows if the Manager will be here or not next year. How would you assess this strategy? Are we ahead of the game? 

"If you want to win championships then you would never get involved."

Stan Kroenke - March 2016

 Whilst we take your word Stan has come in and not interfered too much with the Club, and is often at games, does this quote and his overall silent stance, suggest a majority shareholder who is ambitious?

That shares the fans desire to win trophies? 

What is the target for the Club each season? Is there a minimum target? 

We constantly see managers and other staff members dismissed for not reaching goals.

What are the tangible, measurable on field goals of this club? 

Ivan Gazidis

Ivan responded to the various points raised by saying he and the board are very aware of fans’ feelings and share those feelings themselves. He accepted it has been a “disappointing couple of months”.

He reminded the forum that our vision is to make people proud of the club and that involves competing to win the league and challenging in European competition. That is the vision of our owner and our board. That was behind the investment of £110.5m in players last summer and it remains our goal. He said we have also invested in pursuit of that vision in people and facilities. We built our medical centre three years ago, our Academy a Hale End has been completely transformed and we are rebuilding our Colney Training Centre. In addition to significant investment in our people and expertise in all these areas, and the investments in players referenced before, we have invested over £35 million in our academy and first team training facilities. These are now all world leading and will serve the club as we look to the next decade of our development. 

He said in the first part of the season we had tremendous optimism. We went 20 games unbeaten and we won our Champions’ League group. This has eroded in recent weeks and he acknowledged we are not where we want to be. 

We need to use this as a “catalyst for change” and think carefully about the right steps we need to take to move the club forward. He said the most important thing is that we evaluate accurately and carefully and that we make the right decisions. He accepted people want us to communicate what is happening and provide a blow by blow account but it is not productive to conduct a thorough evaluation in the public eye. He accepted we will get criticised but he reassured everyone that the board will put the club above everything and make the right decisions.

He referred people back to the club statement on the manager’s future which made it clear a “mutual” decision will be communicated in the right way at the right time.

IG stressed we haven’t given up on the current season as we have lots to play for, namely Champions’ League qualification and the FA Cup.

Turning to the Academy, he said the new facility was spectacular and he has high hopes about the quality of talent coming through the age groups. Alex Iwobi has recently broken through and he is confident about the ability and potential of several younger players.  He said the recent departure of Academy Manager Andries Jonker to Wolfsburg provided further opportunity to identify someone to lead us forward in this area. 

Bayern Munich - supporter issues

Sam Blackman – RedAction Member

There were huge issues with access and directions for away fans that led to many problems at the recent Munich away match. Can we have a debrief of what went on there and how we can avoid a similar problem happening again? Thanks.

AISA – John Williamson

We note the decision of the Club to conduct an identity check independent of local procedures at the recent match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. We welcome all measures to increase the security and safety of supporters and suggest that the club consider introducing a ticket collection system for supporters travelling independently, perhaps similar to that operated by England.

We also note that other problems were caused in Germany because of the decision to require all Arsenal supporters to enter the stadium by one entrance, which was the furthest away from the closest U-bahn station to the stadium. This was exacerbated by the poor lighting and signage from the U-bahn station to the Arsenal entrance. Lastly we also ask that the problem reported by an Arsenal wheelchair supporter gaining access to the disabled toilets needs to be avoided in future. (see additional document)

Answer – Mark Brindle (Supporter Liaison Officer)

Firstly we need to clarify why there has been an increased level of checks from an Arsenal point of view at away Champions League games. After the game in Paris in September 2016 due to some socially unacceptable behaviour by a small minority of Arsenal supporters the Metropolitan Police asked us to provide the names of all persons purchasing match tickets before any future away games in Europe.

This fact was clearly advised via Arsenal.com and in emails to the ticket purchases prior to all subsequent away games in Europe (copy issued at meeting). If the club do not follow these procedures there is the potential that allocations of tickets could be reduced.

All access and direction information was published on the ticket page of Arsenal.com. Tickets were dispatched with fan info guide and map of ticket check point enclosed (copies handed out at the meeting). Lead client was emailed with the full process prior to the match.

MB said on the day of the game we carried out a ‘pre-visit’ to the stadium and walked the route from U-Bahn to the away entrance. We noted that it was not signposted and therefore took the decision to post Arsenal Stewards along the route from the South Entrance around to the North Entrance. It would appear that many Arsenal supporters failed to read the information supplied and missed our Stewards who were attempting to show the correct way as well.

There was a steady flow of supporters arriving at the ticket check gates from when the gates opened at 18.45 and the vast majority of the early arrivals appeared to find their way easily. As we approached kick off there was an upsurge in numbers arriving at the checkpoint and an increase in frustrated supporters who appeared to have got ‘lost’ on their way round to the North Entrance. We helped these supporters through the ticket checks as quickly as possible although there were sometimes a few hold ups caused by supporters turning up with tickets in other people’s names and then demanding to know why they could not access the match etc.

Further issues did then occur at the Munich security checks where it did appear that supporters were held for an unreasonable time. We have fed this back to UEFA / Bayern.

Once past the security checks there also seems to have been a few problems with accessing the Arsenal section, in terms of general block numbers but again there was a clear map provided on the fan information guide and the stairwells for our section were at a maximum 250 metres from the actual entrance we came in at.

We have also fed back the comments regarding the lack of stewarding in the general concourse area.

Final point with regard to the Arsenal Ticket checking we will look at potential alternatives to this procedure at future European games and each match will be assessed on an individual basis. We have discussed ways of improving procedures and many of the comments and suggestions made as a result of events in Munich are being considered.

Empty seats at Emirates Stadium

Sam Blackman – RedAction Member

The issue of empty seats at home games for sold tickets continues, does the club have a plan in place for this? Home attendance credits have been discussed for some time, are we any closer to implementing that? Are the club against it? Why/why not? There was an email pre-Lincoln to all members, was this a trial? Was this deemed a success? 

Away credit hoarding is still an issue, are there any plans in place to stop fans who buy away tickets simply for the credit with no intention of attending themselves?

Answer – Ivan Worsell

No-shows are an industry wide issue which is not unique to Arsenal. We are in a far better position than most other clubs due to the Ticket Exchange services we have in place.  In respect of home match credits, it is a sizeable project and we believe there are more things that could be done before we go down that route, certainly around the donation aspect which also helps the Arsenal Foundation and the great work they do. As previously mentioned, it is key to drive supporters to post seats as early as possible to give both season ticket holders and members the best opportunity, which is what we did for the Lincoln fixture.  In terms of success, it is hard to measure a specific number however there was definitely a positive to doing this. 

Ticket Exchange - Numbers 

Ticket Exchange offered for sale - 87k v 77k - Uplift (18%)
Ticket Exchange Sold - Uplift (21%)
Ticket Transfer - 25k v 34k - Uplift (41%)

Cashback

IW said the cashback service went live at the beginning of this season. This service is doing well and we estimate by the end of the season c.15-20% of all supporters who use Ticket Exchange will redeem monies via this facility. By the end of this season we will have had seven redemption periods which are generally once a month September – April (Excluding Dec) and take up to ten working days to process. It is our long term goal to develop this service to into a more real time solution

Away ticket distribution - Sam Blackman – RedAction Member

Away credit hoarding is still an issue, are there any plans in place to stop fans who buy away tickets simply for the credit with no intention of attending themselves?

Answer – Ivan Worsell

IW said there is a current work stream taking place to look at better ways of policing methods of away tickets. The data obtained through the checks in place for European away fixtures has enabled us to take action against a small number of season ticket holders who have sold tickets on at an inflated price - we will continue to drive this. That said it is extremely difficult to police in order to determine if the actual member is attending a specific away fixture.  If supporters know of any members that are purchasing away tickets purely to gain an away point and to then sell on social media etc, we would kindly ask them to make the club aware so we can take the appropriate action.

AST

Silver Member use of ticket exchange

Silver members are required to purchase tickets two months in advance of the fixture, often the fixture can be rearranged or circumstances mean the member cannot longer attend. There is no official way for them to pass on their tickets and often attempting to get a refund in writing can be a long-winded process. The ticket transfer & ticket exchange process has been praised by many and could be even better if Silver members were allowed to use it to either sell their tickets or transfer it to friends officially. This would help fill empty seats & even contribute to the atmosphere. The same could even apply to red members if a game is rearranged. 

Answer – Ivan Worsell

Unfortunately this would not be a practical solution for a few reasons; using the TX service you are only reimbursed should the ticket sell, so members would run the risk of not selling the seat and therefore no refund. We do accept refunds up to 72 hrs in advance and our Accounts Department turn these around as quickly as possible. Speed is often driven by the number received which is generally within a working week.

IW said Silver and Red memberships are not transferable, however in respect to ticket transfer if we did make this available to these memberships, this would open the doors for ticket touts to have a relatively secure distribution method.  Currently touts have to pass over the physical membership card/s to the purchaser then retrieve the card/s after the fixture, whereas they would be able to forward electronically which would actually make it more difficult for our stewards to check/ validate the membership.  We have already experienced a small number of issues from season ticket holders, who either knowingly sold their ticket at an inflated price or unknowingly have transferred to a friend who then touted the ticket, so we police very carefully. 

AISA – John Williamson

If, as we all hope, we are successful in defeating Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final what system will the Club operate to allocate tickets for the Final?

 Also what, if any, further progress has been made in regards to the FA making more tickets available to the finalists?

Answer Mark Brindle

MB said the procedure for cup final tickets was agreed at a fans forum previously and there will be no change to that procedure this year.

He pointed out that thanks to a strong campaign led by Arsenal around the time of our last cup final against Aston Villa, the allocation to each club has now risen from 25,000 to 28,700. Not perfect but a step in the right direction (14.8% increase).

AST 

Safe Standing Survey

Last month the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust organised a survey of Arsenal fans on the issue of Safe Standing at football. This follows the announcement that the Premier League that they were looking into the issue and would do further research including asking for views from Supporters.

The survey received 6,749 responses making it the largest ever specific survey on this subject. We were aided in its circulation by REDaction, AISA and BSM. A copy of the survey results are attached and it would be good if these could be circulated to all other Forum attendees. The headline results show overwhelming support and are summarised below:

The main question asked ‘which most describes your opinion about standing at football matches?’

I would like to be able to watch the match from a Safe Standing Area:                                     76%  

Although I don’t want to stand, I would like there to be a designated area for those who want to stand                                                                                                                                                                                    20%                         

Standing should not be brought back in any form                                                                                    2.7%

No opinion                                                                                                                                                                  0.7%

 In response to other questions the following results were recorded

88% said they would consider buying a ticket in a Safe Standing Area

94% said they thought that Safe Standing could improve the atmosphere

70% said they thought Safe Standing would improve relationships between fans and stewards

92% said Arsenal should champion the introduction of safe standing in the Premier League

94% said Arsenal should offer to stage trials of safe standing

84% said Arsenal should formally consult all season ticket holders and members about the introduction of safe standing

In light of these results we would welcome a further update from Arsenal on this issue. We welcome their support for the Premier League review but we would like to understand why Arsenal won’t join with other clubs and campaign for change (as 92% of Arsenal fans would like) when it has previously been a policy Ivan Gazidis said he and the Club would support.

We would also like to hear feedback to the suggestion that Arsenal consult all season ticket holders on this issue. And finally we would ask whether a specific meeting can be arranged to address this issue specifically so there is more time to understand the issues and consider the best way to move forward on it.

Sam Blackman – RedAction Member

Please can we have an update regarding safe standing, where we/the league stands on it?

Answer – Ivan Gazidis

IG said he has always been open to safe standing but whatever is done has to be done responsibly and be right for fans today and in the future. The Premier League has begun a formal process to look into the viability of allowing standing in stadiums. We supported this review and now we need to wait to see what the broader findings are. He said the questions were in part about ensuring a safe environment for those standing but also about making sure the game does not go back to some of the behavioural issues that plagued it in the past. That is where more information and understanding of clubs like Celtic and from Germany will help.

Club Level Price Increases - Steven Downey – Club Level Rep

I have been contacted by several Club Level members who are disappointed and angry at the recently announced increase in their season ticket prices while prices for the rest of the ground have remained unchanged.  There is no justification for any ticket prices at this point in time given the Club’s current financial position.

I have attached a letter that was sent to the Chairman and Chief Executive and was forwarded to me with permission for inclusion in the minutes.  The letter was signed by 31 members who sit near the author but it is reasonable to assume that many other members would agree with the sentiments expressed.  I will not repeat all the points made in the letter as they speak for themselves but raising prices during the current television deal seems particularly egregious.  Attempting to justify this as necessary to “improve” Club Level facilities is not credible.

As the Club is aware, Club Level is populated not only by corporate members but also by very many long-standing supporters who should not be treated in this unfair manner and I would ask that this price increase is rolled back.

Answer – Mark Gonnella

MG pointed out that IG had previously responded in writing to the original letter as follows:

 I appreciate the concerns you and your fellow supporters have raised. As we stated in our email informing you of the prices for next season, we have not made an increase in Club Level since the 2014/15 season and this is only the fifth increase since we moved from Highbury. At the same time, our operational costs have been increasing considerably.

As you are aware, we have also continued making significant investments in Club Level, including over £2m last summer on initiatives designed to improve the matchday experience for our members. These have been well received by the vast majority of Club Level visitors.

Your point about the increase in broadcast revenue is understood, however we still need to continue to grow our income to allow us to make future investments across the club, all of which are designed to help us compete more effectively on the pitch.

We stand by our decision, respect your concerns and hope you are able to continue your support of the club. 

Disabled supporters’ membership update and lift issue - Anne Hyde – Disabled Supporters

The Arsenal Disabled Supporters' Association now has a committee that consists of committee members representing all of the disabilities except the ambulant disabled.  Our AGM will be held on the last match of the season and we are grateful for the support that Alun Francis has given us in arranging this at The Hub.  Our membership has increased to 187 from 124 in December 2016 when the Association was reformed which we are delighted about.

Disability Supporters still have issues with the lifts, especially after the final whistle.  Lift Attendants do their best to stop staff using the lifts and continually receive argumentative staff giving various reasons as to why they need to use the lifts.  Please can the Stadium Management remind staff regularly the rules and suggest that if there is a valid reason that staff give priority to people with disabilities and avoid using the lifts for 1/2 hour after the match finishes.  If staff have a reason e.g an injury, they have some kind of document that they are able to use the lift but still avoid the peak time.

Answer – Alun Francis

Alun said he was concerned that supporters were still experiencing issues using the lifts. Stewards have been reminded about what is required. We will also take up the matter with suppliers who use the lift on occasions.

Cashless stadium - AISA – John Williamson

Can the Club provide an update about the work that is being carried out regarding “going cashless” in regards to paying for refreshments at the Emirates Stadium?

Answer – Mark Gonnella

We have written to AISA in respect of this question in the last few weeks but we can reiterate that the club have no plans to go ‘cashless’ in the foreseeable future. 

Half-time Food and drink service - AST

Members have contacted us about the speed of the food and drink service at half time. Many have commented that it takes almost the entire half time period to be served as the queue is very long and this is making people leave the first half five minutes early. Is there any specific reason as to why it takes so long? Is it a staffing issue? A payment issue (some blocks have card only payments – are people getting to the front and holding the queue up because they didn’t know?) are there not enough staff? Are they trained? Or is it a simple capacity issue? 

Answer – Charlotte Kenny

We've recognised the pressure points on half time in the kiosks and over the last 2 seasons we have implemented the following to assist with delivery of food and beverage and speed of service:

  1. New beer system – delivers a better quality and consistent pint.  Speeds service up as less maintenance issues during the match. 
  2. New hot drinks dispense system – speeds up service of coffee, tea and hot chocolate due to increase dispense points. 
  3. Brand new till system installed making it easier for staff to key in and process orders.
  4. Increased the number of tills accepting credit card s from 36 to 291.  Card Vs. cash payments has increased from 15% to 50% in the first year which in turn helps the speed of service.  Cash transactions average 30-45 seconds compared to credit card transactions from 7-9 seconds.
  5. All staff attend full induction course as well as on job training. Unfortunately we have faced a short fall in staffing levels on a few occasions which has required a reliance on drafting in agency staff. we are working with all partners involved to address this and minimise disruption

We are aware some concessions have bigger volumes of people than others (usually due to habits) and we are exploring additional ways we can help improve queues or advise fans to move to other refreshments points nearby with no queues. In the meantime please continue to pass any feedback to me.

UAE Human Rights - AST

At the last forum meeting in December we asked this question: 

There has been a lot of focus on the Human Rights record of Qatar in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup. Similarly, the UAE does not live up to the Human Rights standards that we in Western Europe expect and have long enjoyed. Given that Emirates, effectively the UAE state airline, is a major and now long-standing sponsor of the club, benefitting from constant virtually free advertising through the stadium name and a level of respectability through its association with Arsenal, does the club have a position on the Human Rights issue or recognise any conflict with its own values? For example, Arsenal actively supports LGBT initiatives while homosexuality in the UAE is a capital offence.  

The answer from Mark Gonnella began with the words: “I will not speak specifically about the UAE.

But the question was specifically about the UAE! 

Mark went on: “We have robust policies and procedures in place to tackle discrimination and this is fundamental to what we stand for as a club. This is part of what makes us an attractive partner for organisations like Emirates.”

No one is disputing what Arsenal does or stands for. The question is around what the UAE, owner of club sponsor Emirates Airways, does and stands for. We know Arsenal is an attractive partner for Emirates; Arsenal is an established and highly respected British institution. The question was whether Emirates and the UAE are attractive for Arsenal in the sense of shared values.  

Mark finished by saying: “They [Emirates]… buy into what we stand for as a club.”

Perhaps he can expand on exactly how they buy into what Arsenal stands for – which includes equality and anti-discrimination in all forms – when these are clearly not the values of the UAE. 

Answer – Mark Gonnella

Emirates is a global business which has to comply with the laws and regulations in each of the countries in which it operates. As an example they have made a public declaration committing to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act.

The UAE government, which is a member of the UN Human Right Council, is aware of the need to place a high priority on respect for human rights in accordance with international human charters and customs and is firmly committed to promoting the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Emirates have long been a massive supporter of the Club, and have contributed in areas such as the Arsenal Foundation along with promoting the Arsenal brand on a Global scale. 

Shirt sleeve sponsorship - AST

Man City have just announced sponsorship on their shirt sleeves. Does Arsenal's deal with Emirates allow other sponsors to appear on the shirt and  if so will a deal be done?

Answer – Mark Gonnella

Detail of our commercial partnership agreements is confidential, so we are unable to answer the question fully.  Clearly opening up of sleeves to sponsors creates a new opportunity and we expect a number of different approaches to this opportunity.  (1) Clubs that sell the opportunity immediately, (2) Clubs that do not sell the opportunity immediate due to contractual restrictions and/or to time the sale after any impending shirt/stadium sponsorship sales processes, (3) Clubs that feel they maximise commercial value but keeping the shirt ‘as is’ with one brand retaining exclusivity.

End of season Members’ events -  Connor Kielty – Red Member

Are there any plans for members to be able to play at the Emirates or any anything similar this summer-if so when?

Answer – Mark Gonnella

Unfortunately not. We have limited access to the pitch at the end of the season due to stadium works. The only games available will be to commercial partners as part of their contractual rights. 

Fan forum election process plus attendance by owner -Conor Runswick - 16-21 Year Old Representative 

In the past few seasons there have been numerous calls for increased fan influence within the club and in principle this forum acts as a key element of dialogue between fans and club. However, we as representatives currently join the forum by applying to the club for approval.

Would it not be more representative of the fan base to allow club members to elect their representatives to the forum?

This could be done online, with elections of representatives at various intervals, e.g. every three years.

Additionally, Stan Kroenke has also spoken on several occasions of his willingness to engage with fans.

Will Mr Kroenke agree to meet at least once annually with this forum in order to address its concerns and improve his relationship with the fans?

Answer - Mark Gonnella

In terms of elections to this forum, you have to remember we are trying to find fans that represent various elements of our supporter groups. Your suggestion makes some sense but bearing in mind anything we do online is global, it is not particularly practical. We will look at approaches taken by other clubs to see if there is anything more we can do.

Your point about Mr Kroenke addressing this forum has been raised previously. As you may know he attends the Annual General Meeting every year and has expressly asked Ivan to attend all supporter forum meetings as his representative.

Forum Extranet - Martin O’Donnell - Arsenal Supporters Club – Domestic

This item was discussed at the previous two meetings. Would it be possible to have a group email Forum Format for next season?

Answer – Mark Gonnella

The forum extranet is being developed as part of a wider intranet upgrade across the club. This will help improve communication flow between forum members. It will hopefully be up and running next season.

Emirates Stadium Security - Robyn Bopari – Women’s Representative 

What additional measures, if any, are there in regards to security at the stadium? Concerns have been raised regarding places where there are large groups of people. 

Answer – Mark Brindle

As you will be aware, we have extensive entry checks in place around the stadium before home games. These are assessed on an on-going basis in consultation with counter terrorism experts and we are confident that they are appropriate and working effectively. We are never complacent and in the current environment remain vigilant.

Presentation to retiring forum member

Connor Kielty 

AOB

David Sharp (Senior Citizens’ Rep) thanked Ivan Worsell for the time spent discussing his proposals for concessions. He said he had been reassured by the knowledge his input will form part of the club’s approach in this area. 

Date of next meeting – to be confirmed

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
25 Apr 2017