Notes of Meeting Of Arsenal Football Club Supporters’ Forum, Held on March 30, 2013

Supporters’ Forum membership 2012/2013

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

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

Minutes of previous meeting – Mick Padfield Arsenal Supporters Club Domestic
Mick Padfield raised question of whether fuller detail of the meeting discussions should be included in the minutes. The chair made the point that the minutes were not designed to provide a full transcript of the discussions. It was suggested by Steve Cooper that minutes should reflect actions agreed. The chair agreed to look at future minutes production.
Retail products (Steve Cooper, AST Representative)
Is there a style guide in place? There are various scarves on display, each with a different shade of red used
A detailed Style Guide was made available to all Licensees and for items such as scarves there was not a problem with them providing scarves in various shades of red to allow choice.
The store stocks blue mugs, why?
Navy is a Club colour and is always popular.
Query around poor quality control; Gunnersaurus toy has illegal band on neck, it should be stitched and not loose around neck, and some had stuffing coming out of stitches.
The Club was aware of the problem and the supplier was no longer providing this item. The continuing sale of the item in the Arsenal stores would be investigated.
Poor and wrongly chosen packaging on products.
An assurance was given that discussions were taking place with suppliers regarding the required standard and style of all packaging and the packaging style guide had recently been revised.
Steve Cooper offered to have a meeting with the retail team to try and progress things further.
Ticketing (Angel Georgiev, Overseas Supporters Club Representative)
Ticket Category Price formations (Cat A v Cat B v Cat C)
Cat A is almost 236% more expensive than Cat C, and 165% more expensive than Cat B (Upper Tier calculations, Lower Tier have very similar numbers). Can those prices be adjusted to have lower prices for Cat A matches even if that means higher prices for Cat B matches, so it represents a more even distribution?
A huge amount of work had been undertaken prior to the introduction of the 3 Categories, working on the basis of no loss of income but a much higher proportion of lower priced tickets. The option presented was felt to be the best and achieved the goal of creating 90,000 cheaper priced tickets.
Club Level Ticketing (Mick Coppock, Club Level Representative)

Why are Club Level Members once again being asked to pay for their Season Ticket prior to the end of the season? This year’s deadline is April 12th. This is never the situation for other Season Ticket holders, whose deadline is usually 1st June.

The early deadline was necessary because of the time involved to process the renewals and then allocate any seats that were not to be renewed to supporters on the waiting list. The question was raised as to whether Club Level members could be asked to commit by 12th April but not have payment taken until 1st June, the same as Gold Members or incentivize people to renew by 12th April. This would be referred to the relevant people.

Club’s employment of ex-players and Legends (Connor Kielty, Red Member Representative)

This year we appointed Steve Bould as assistant manager which I think is a great appointment & I was just wondering Is there any talks or plans to bring in ex-players to the Arsenal set up in any capacity from coaching or even as new members of the legends stadium tour?
I know we have Liam Brady in charge of the youth set up & Steve Morrow working in an international commercial role as well as others, but I’m sure the likes of Keown, Adams, Dixon, Winterburn, or Henry (once his playing days are at an end) could really benefit the club in some sort of capacity.
I know a lot of fans where left feeling bitterly disappointed with Man City appointing Vieira in such a key role with their club when he was one of our most beloved legends and it is a shame that Dennis is involved as an assistant Manager of Ajax and not with our club is some capacity.... but hopefully he will return to The Club one day.

The responsibilities of running the Youth Academy were enormous and it may be that a very experienced Coach would be required to fill this role, although it was agreed they would need to have a strong sense of playing the Arsenal way.

Meetings were taking place with Pat Rice and Bob Wilson to set out a proper recognition programme for former players with a certain number of appearances for the Club.

Matchday music (Lesley Williams, Shareholder Representative)

What happened to the ‘theme song’ when the teams walk out?

The consensus of supporter opinion showed that the ‘theme song’ was not embraced by fans as an anthem so it had been replaced with the “Countdown to kick-off” montage, to help improve the atmosphere as the players came onto the pitch .

There was a general discussion about match atmosphere and it was recognized the responsibility is with fans and team performance. AISA are holding a meeting on Thursday April 11th to discuss the issue.

Matchday programme (Lesley Williams, Shareholder Representative)

Can the Club change the red lettering against the grey background on the league table in the programme? It is difficult to read.

As it was felt that this might be an opportunity to make other changes to the Programme it was agreed that a questionnaire would be sent to the members of the forum asking for their views on various areas of the programme.

Mark Gonnella reported on the following:
Spam email update

Hopefully the problems that were being experienced with a spam email that was repeatedly appearing in the forum representatives’ inboxes had now been resolved and the email facility was again working well. If anyone receives offensive emails through the supporters’ forum portal they should report it to the Club.

100 Years in Islington

September 6 was the Centenary date. A number of proposals to celebrate the Centenary were being discussed with the aim of thanking the people of Islington for having us and also highlighting the work we have done in the borough over the years. Key projects include:

• Islington Museum staging an AFC 100 years exhibition
• Tickets being made available to local residents
• Making donations to local community initiatives
• Invite special Islington guests to an event the night before a match
• Photographs of players would be taken in locations around Islington

AISA have also been involved in looking at ways in which the centenary can be recognized.

Gay Supporters Group

Gay Supporters representative Stewart Selby congratulated the Club on the fantastic work undertaken to improve the experience at matches for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters. He was very pleased that Arsenal was at the forefront of social change. The Gay Gunners supporter group was launched at the Blackburn Match and already had 50 members. He also pointed out that the Rainbow Flag was now shown on the advertising boards.

Retiring members and forum purpose

It was agreed that for the sake of continuity it would be beneficial for members to serve more than two years on the forums. It was agreed a four year term was more appropriate. Therefore members who were due to retire were welcome to re-apply to continue in their posts if it was their wish. To re-apply members should email Laura Rogers (lrogers@arsenal.co.uk).
Mick Padfield raised a question about how the forum could be used more effectively to ensure there was engagement in club decision-making. The chair explained this is something which will be explored further.

Stewart Selby raised the possibility of holding a meeting during the summer. It was agreed to hold a summer meeting if sufficient agenda items are submitted.

Ivan Gazidis overview

Ivan gave an overview and made it clear the Club’s goal is to create a winning team who could win trophies and win in an inspiring way.

This would be helped by the Club’s improved financial position over the coming years which are being created by strong performance on the commercial agenda.

He stated the Club was in a robust condition and set for an exciting next chapter.

Copyright 2014 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 18 Apr 2013