Next Friday, Peter Hill-Wood will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his appointment as Arsenal chairman. This season, Mr Hill-Wood will be contributing a regular column to the Club's official website. He kicks off on the eve of the new Premier League season by discussing his milestone, the first year at Emirates Stadium and the latest on Arsène Wenger's future.
I'm always very excited about the start of a new campaign. I remember my first match, coming as a child with my grandfather in 1948 and pulling up in a taxi on Conewood Street. I'm still like that small boy now I think - very excited.
It is almost 25 years since I became chairman and, thinking back, there have been great changes at the Club. When I joined we were a very small operation and the idea of employing 400-odd staff just wasn't on the radar. There were probably fewer than 30 non-playing staff then.
I think most of the changes have been for the good. One of the main improvements is obviously the new stadium. This is the second year at Emirates Stadium and I have to say I was absolutely delighted at how things went in the first. I feel I'm in a position to say just how well it's gone because the move wasn't down to me, it was down to the many people who have been involved in organising the relocation, responsible for running matchdays and the other many events that go on at the stadium.
The other main change for the good is the football. I think in the main we've always played good football at Arsenal, though there was a time when we were a bit more defensive. But in recent times we have played some of the best football that I can ever recall. You have to remember that we are in the entertainment business. If you can do that and win trophies - which we've been able to do - then that's the ultimate goal.
Arsène Wenger is the man behind that style and, at the moment, his new contract is often being talked about. But I don't see any problems with the situation and I think it will be agreed in the not too distant future.
I'm sure he's happy here and he's building a great team which is exciting for everyone. It's a young team but actually now an experienced young team who've played a couple of seasons for us and I think they will give a very good account of themselves this term.
Looking forward I think this season is likely to be as exciting a year as I can remember. You can sense a buzz around the place but it's very important to get off to a good start. If you asked me what we can achieve this season I'd say we'd like to the Premiership and the European Cup of course. And the FA Cup too. Why not?
We certainly aim high, we always do at Arsenal and this year I think we're going to surprise a few people.
Peter Hill-Wood was speaking to Andy Exley and Richard Clarke.Copyright 2013 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 10 Aug 2007