Fans

Fans' Forum Voting | Gold Members

Arsenal crest on Emirates Stadium

Please find below applications submitted for the Gold Members' representative on the Fans’ Forum. Once you have read the applications, please submit your response in the form at the bottom of the page.

Andrew Stylianou

Skills and Experience
I have worked on diverse projects across many countries and cultures and embracing the best of the local expertise while enforcing the global standards of brands> I can also help the club connect as a retailer with the consumer.

Key Issues
I want to represent a ‘local fan’ living in the immediate area and helping connect the club to the area in a progressive and positive light,

Equally a fan base that has supported the club for many years and can understand how to embrace success while understanding that will not always be the case every year. It is about feeling connected and engaged with the club not just where we finish in the league or cups, we win.

As a lifelong retailer and customer service focused person I want the club to understand the fans are not just a customer or neighbour. I want the club to be the heart and soul of the community and what the fans feel loyal too.  This means the owners recognising the club is more than a few elite people working for the team or management structure.

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Brooke Harris

Skills and Experience
I previously ran a sports club at university, this involved managing a committee and being a bridge between the student union and our members. At Arsenal, I would like to think those that know me see me as a responsible person who would be committed to this role.

Key Issues
At some point ticket prices are inevitably going to increase. This will need careful handling and communication with members must be consistent when this happens. The last price change going into this season was poorly managed, as many have pointed out that although the overall cost for Gold members was reduced, fewer cup credits meant that average cost per game increased.  

Access to away tickets could be improved, although there is a balance needed between rewarding long-term loyalty and making them accessible for new Gold members. European games used to give an opportunity for points to be built up, but clearly this isn’t possible this season. A suggestion would be to follow the England Travel Club method, reserving the majority for those with the most points, whilst balloting the remainder amongst those with fewer/zero points.

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Christopher Cannon

Skills and Experience
Having been a season ticket holder since 1980 and as I attend every men's senior game home and away plus many youth and academy games I have experience many highs and lows following my team. As we know Football like life goes in cycles good and not so good. Calmness and patience in the difficult times, generally are rewarded in the good times. I am a group fleet manager for a London wide transport organisation that specialise in SEN children's school transport.

Key Issues
Generally it's only supporters clubs and groups that have opportunities to voice opinions on fans matters. I having been suggested to join the forum would like to represent the season ticket not part of such groups, who do not get heard of often with regard to fan related issues especially ticketing and general match day experience.

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Darren Epstein

Skills and Experience
- Original Member of Arsenal Action Group
- Founder of We Care Do You
- Member of AST
- Former Shareholder
- Worked with, spoken with, met with every CEO of Arsenal since 1985. Worked with the Arsenal Commercial Team  
- Owner of companies that have achieved over $100s of $m of commercial revenues in 20yrs+, and understands the commercial nature of doing business at the highest level.

Key Issues
To help bridge the gap between regular match going fans and the club. To heed a voice that goes to games and understanding the volatile nature of fans but can communicate with decision makers to make the fan experience one that can be improved, either via games or commercial aspects of the club.

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Dave Hastings

Skills and Experience
- I have many years working in committees in both work and private life.
- I know that I can be as effective in this role as I have been in similar roles previously.
- I will take note of fellow fans concerns and bring these to the table and would ne afraid to stand my ground when necessary.
- I am eager to participate in helping fans do what they can to influence the future of our club.
- I come from a long family history of Gooners, my grandfather’s ashes were buried in front of the North Bank at Highbury!

Key Issues
- Too many empty seats – Club level in particular.
- Kick off times – vary too much (TV influenced?)

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Dwayne Bingham

Skills and Experience
I would bring a new approach to the needs of the Arsenal Gold members, as I am not a long term Season Ticket holder I can see with a fresh pair of eyes the pros and cons of the new changes and future developments in place. I would utilise my platform as an Arsenal blogger of nearly 10 years to communicate the decisions and discussions that take place whilst acting as a direct bridge between the gold members and the Arsenal establishment to ensure the questions the fans really want to be raised are addressed. Being involved in a number of Arsenal in the community schemes over the years I’ve been able to interact with local Arsenal fans many of them season ticket holders and have always been in tune with their needs and views. Admittedly I’d be representing season ticket holders not just locally but from far and wide but I would take that into consideration by utilising the voice of all gold members through connections made over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms.

Key Issues
With now overcoming the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Gold members have felt in limbo over their place in the Arsenal fan hierarchy, are they still valuable by the Arsenal. Has their voice been replaced and/or lost in a jungle of social media entities. Does the new reward scheme truly reward the long term Season Ticket holders who have poured so much of their money into the Arsenal over the years or will they have to get with an evolving new and modern approach which could alienate those who aren’t comfortable with such dramatic technical changes?

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Faisal Khan

Skills and Experience
- A deep love and passion for Arsenal Football Club.
- A long-standing association with attending home games and travelling to away games.
- I am a people person – building relationships and communications are two of my biggest strengths. I also like to listen to people.
- By day I am a Chartered Accountant & strategist so I have skills I can use in this role.
- I have a very wide reach on social media platforms and am in good standing with most.

Key Issues
- Reconnecting with the club after so long away from stadiums & matchday experiences.
- Engaging, within reason, with the Board and Owners – feeding back concerns/issues.
- Consideration of health & safety matters for the safe return of fans to stadiums.
- The matchday experience – enhancing the experience, filling seats & noise.
- Pricing – of catering, merchandise, ticketing – particularly now.
- Equality – to eradicate racism, sexism, xenophobia – to make fans feel welcome.

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Fergus Keating

Skills and Experience
I am comfortable talking in public, I work for a large motor/finance company so feel that many of the skills I have from the job can easily cross over to the fans forum and understanding of how meetings of these nature are conducted.

Key Issues
Passionate but balanced Season Ticket holder who only wants the best for our club. I feel I can represent the Gold Members fairly and be objective in my views of the the fans and the clubs position.

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Ivor Jaswon

Skills and Experience
- Excellent problem solver & solution finder
- Able to identify crucial connections and synergies 
- Great experience of team work & networking
- Effective communicator
- Passion
- Poise
- Patience
- Approachable 
- Empathy
- Kindness, care and concern
- Vast, rich, and extremely deep Arsenal fan experience since 1992. Have been present at a thousand live games, from Highbury to Moscow, to Doncaster Rovers, to Baku, to Belgrade, to Ashburton Grove! 

Key Issues
- Restoring pride, passion, purpose and strong sense of connection, community, and engagement with the club. 
- Ticket pricing - I propose a one per cent loyalty reduction on Season Ticket renewals each year e.g. a member renewing for ten years receives a ten per cent discount.
- Affordability - introduce U16s, U23s, OAPs, Student, concession Season Ticket price options for ALL areas of the Stadium- not only the Family Enclosure.
- Accelerate action on implementation of Rail seating, potentially leading to Safe Standing
- Rename our Stadium “The Highbury Emirates Stadium”! 
- Redesign Arsenal Rewards scheme so that it fairly and properly reflects and appreciates fan loyalty. It cannot merely begin in 2021, it must back date to when each member started to support the club.

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Jason Carne

Skills and Experience
A 50 year old fan with the club in his blood. Member of the AST.

A qualified UK chartered accountant including 20 years as a partner in a big 4 accounting firm followed by a CFO of a Hedge Fund. Now an Independent Non-Executive Director (INED) on several boards. Highly comfortable with dealing with top decision makers at large organisations, providing vision and influencing decision making.

Key Issues
- Change the tone at the top to instil a high performance culture that drives and delivers success on and off the field.
- Appoint two INEDS, one ex-player and one a successful entrepreneur to drive global recognition and revenues
- Accept only elite CEO, Technical Director, Club Manager etc and provide crystal clear goals and timelines. Be ruthless and timely when removal needed.
- Show leadership through improved communication and engagement with fans.
- Enable fans to invest in shares.

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Kevin Whitcher

Skills and Experience
As editor of the Gooner fanzine for 20 years until 2020, an AISA committee member for many of those, and a Season Ticket holder since 1993. I have developed a good knowledge of the things that Season Ticket holders would like to see changed or improved. I can present the issues that arise for them in a constructive way and work towards solutions.

Key Issues
Feeling more valued by the club for their loyalty, not being regarded as customers who can just be tossed aside because others can take their place. This can take the form of improved communications and genuine benefits for their financial commitment each year. Improvement in their experience in attending the Emirates. The increasing use of technology casting long-term season ticket holders adrift. Fairer treatment of season ticket holders reaching retirement. A growing sense of the club losing the values it has historically represented.

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Lee Armitt

Skills and experience
I’ve been an Arsenal Season Ticket holder continuously since I was 13 years old (I’m now in my forties), so I’ve seen and experienced many changes from Highbury to Emirates Stadium.

I’m a Communications professional and have been working for over 20 years with people from all walks of life, so I’ll be able to represent my fellow season ticket holders in a clear and articulate way. I’m a good listener and will do my best to ensure that Gold members’ questions and concerns will be addressed and answered by the Club.

Key Issues
Fair and priority access to cup final tickets should Arsenal reach a final.

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Marios Ioannides

Skills and Experience
Having been an Arsenal supporter since the age of 8 and a Season Ticket holder for 32+ years I believe I have seen and experienced first hand, the lows (initially and presently) and the wonderful highs of (GG and Arsene) and these experiences give me and many of my fellow Arsenal supporters a keen insight into what makes this club successful.

I appreciate times have moved on in what is expected of a Premier League club by its present owners but I feel the values instilled by the Hill-Wood family which served the club so well over the years aided by the hard work of David Dein and Danny Fiszman should not be swept under the carpet but used as a benchmark for what worked and how to improve it.

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Mark Batt

Skills and Experience
41 years attending Arsenal matches of which 33 years have been as a Season Ticket holder.

Negotiator in my day job.

Honest & fair person, happy to speak up and speak out if I don’t agree.

Honest enough to share with you all that I’ve never done anything like this before but feel that something like this at this time with the club needs a fresh outlook from somebody who given a chance could make a difference.

Key Issues
- Cost / Pricing includes concession outlets & merchandise
- Atmosphere / entertainment including before / during & after the match
- Accessibility to Stadium including Security
- Rewards based on the new ticket rewards scheme
- Accessibility to events that involves players & team management

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Martin Warne

Skills and Experience
I have been a STH since 1995 and follow the team home and away both domestically and internationally. I organise travel and tickets for myself and my friends and understand the logistical issues that surround following a team all over.

Within my employment I am a very analytical and organised person who focuses on problem solving. Listening is the most under used but most effective tool. As part of my employment this is my key attribute in over 30 years of successful work.

I aim to listen and then use this, work with others, and implement effective change for supporters, home and away.

Key Issues
I’d like to focus on my experiences and make the whole process of following Arsenal more transparent and enjoyable. There have been many legitimate criticisms of the distance between the club management, supporters and both of their expectations. In today’s world these expectations are more increased often through social media which can be good and bad. I feel that these issues are not complex, they just need a ‘down to earth’ approach to resolve.

By making the experience more transparent, fair and open for dialogue there will be more harmony and trust. This has been an issue as the club has grown, but is not impossible to reduce. There is no such thing as a legacy fan or supporter. We’re all proud to support our clubs, ours is Arsenal. 

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Mike Maloney

Skills and Experience
I have been a fan for 50 years and have seen amazing times, good times and not-so-good times. I am not a knee-jerk supporter, I understand that the club needs to be sensibly run but I also demand that the desire and hunger shown by the fans is reflected in what I see on the pitch, in the dugout and in the boardroom.

My day-job requires me to be a good listener, a good communicator, sometimes a provocator and sometimes a diplomat – always with the aim of reaching the best collective decision. I will ensure that the fans’ forum works with the club to take decisions that balance the wishes of the owners with the wishes of all supporters.

Key Issues
All fans want transparency as to how the club is run and to feel that their voice is being heard.  We bring a passion and a desire for the club to be successful, but also that the club is run in the right way so that all fans can be proud to be associated with Arsenal in everything that the club stands for – on the pitch, as a leader within football circles and in the Community.

Issues specific to Gold members are the quality of the matchday experience such as pricing, security, hospitality and appropriate fan behaviour in the ground. We also want to ensure that there is a fair allocation of tickets to away games and finals that reflects the dedication of individual fans over a number of years.

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Michael Pearce

Skills and Experience
My career has focused on marketing and “customer relationship marketing (CRM).” CRM places the customer at the centre of a company’s business model in understanding customers’ changing needs and wants and organising themselves to continuously meet them. In this context, not all customers are the same with different segments reflecting different behavioural and lifestyle characteristics. I am well positioned to use my skills from this background to identify the needs of the over 60’s customer segment and articulate these to the club’s management.

I had a book published on CRM this year which reflects my passionate interest in the subject.

My career background is rooted in management consultancy in which I am a Fellow of the Institute of Consulting. Consultancy is founded on interrogating a situation and developing a practical solution in which “listening” to those operationally involved is a critical skill. I believe this experience is highly relevant to this position.

Finally, my football club is one of the passions of my life along with my family; who are all confirmed “gooners.” I first became a season ticket holder in the 1995/96 season. Hence, I will adopt a rational approach combined with a tinge of emotion (because I care)! 

Key Issues
- Scheduling of matches away from the 3.00pm Saturday slot.
- Travel to the ground
- Value for money – entertainment value for the high ticket prices we pay
- Queuing for catering facilities on match days
- Access to away match tickets
- Decline in team’s performance without seemingly knowing how to redress it
- Team’s ability to compete and challenge at the top of the premiership
- Knowing who’s accountable for what in the club’s decision making process and management  

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Roger Pinto

Skills and Experience
Excellent communication skills with the strength to discuss complex subjects with pros and cons taken on board. Ability to speak with people from all walks of life varying from board level down to fan level and anywhere between

Very organised and has a strong attention to detail. Trained as a chartered accountant so can understand the financial challenges the club faces during this transition.

A passion to do the best and contribute to a better relationship between fans and AFC.

Key Issues
Ticket prices are expensive compared to our London rivals and the quality of football has been decreasing over the last few years.
Fan’s opinion is that we are no longer important compared to the revenues that TV rights generate / debate here about Arsenal’s involvement in the Super League.

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Ryan Maskery

Skills and Experience
Working as a senior Procurement Manager, I am extremely experienced in being able to articulate, share, present and debate details and ultimately finding the best outcome for all parties involved when talking amongst a group of people. I will happily lead and collate ideas and discussions within the Fans’ Forum, providing required inputs and seeking a collaborative outcome to the benefit of supports and the club.

Having held my season ticket for 32 years and more recently 3 season tickets for 12 years, I have seen the highs and lows at Arsenal and want to ensure we work towards bringing back the highs as soon as possible. I am chairman of a local boys football club for 22 teams from U7s to U18s and over 250 kids, which as you can imagine comes with many challenges, however this is an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience and hopefully demonstrates my level of commitment as well as reliability and ownership in anything that I get involved in.

Key Issues
As we have already seen from the Chelsea match, demand is not what it has been in previous seasons, certainly not at Cat A prices. The match did not even sell out when offered to friends & family, something I cannot remember ever happening in recent years. This causes two significant concerns, firstly a loss of atmosphere within the stadium due the thousands of empty seats which were evident during the game. As we know, the atmosphere can already be an issue at the Emirates, even when full and this will diminish furthermore with a partially filled stadium.

Without a sold-out game, this has a significant impact on Gold members wishing to sell their tickets on Ticket Exchange as this is no longer an option until sold out. The Ticket Exchange is a fantastic facility, and we must find a way to either sell out games or ensure the effectiveness of Ticket Exchange and risk many thousands of supporters throughout the season being unable to utilise this option and hence lose out on significant revenue.

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Yemi Oguntolu

Skills and Experience
Given my background in Law, I have experience of how regulatory processes work which will help in organising our members into a coherent group with specific aims and objectives.  I have many years’ experience of organising events, engaging with customers and people of different interests, culture and views.  It is important that whoever is elected should bring everybody together to unite and make our members bigger, which will ultimately help the Club regain it’s position as one of the biggest, successful and family-friendly clubs in the world.

Key Issues
Based on my interaction with other members either through personal interaction or social media, there is a feeling that there is a disconnect between season ticket gold members and the club.  We all want our Club to succeed, but it is important that everybody is carried along and pulling in the same direction.  For example, gold members did not think there was sufficient interaction with the club with the new Arsenal Rewards Scheme, the processes of how Away tickets are allocated as well as the wider issues affecting the club including current footballing issues as well as the lack of communication with the owners.  Please see issues listed below:

  • Engagement with the Club – More tailored comms with Gold members
  • Arsenal Rewards – There is a need to iron out some issues with the scheme
  • Away Tickets – Gold members would like more clarity and equity in the distribution of away tickets
  • Clarity from Owners – There is a general perception that the owners are aloof and do not have or take the best interests of members into consideration, especially regarding transfer policy, club administration etc.

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Tony Alvarez

Skills and Experience
The first and most important skill I bring to this role is my absolute and undying love for AFC, as obvious as that may be I feel that it is vital that whoever fills the role is doing it for the good of the club and interest of getting the best relationships between the club and our supporters, not to gain celebrity and notoriety amongst the fan base which I feel only separates fans rather than bringing them together.

In a more academic point of view, I have a degree in journalism which has led me to being very skilled at asking the right questions, reading the room and also making people comfortable enough to give me honest answers rather than claming up.

Key Issues
As always ticketing issues are always going to be vital from the way the away tickets are allocated to the new cup final ticketing system which I feel hasn’t been well thought through and is essentially kicking the can problem down the road. There is also issues around safe standing which as a block 6 season ticket holder I know many would like clarity on as we stand for 90 minutes anyway.

I also feel the club need  to do more to engage with fans and explain what is going on, for example in recent weeks people haven’t received their season tickets in time for the first game, tickets arrived late for both Brentford and WBA away and we had no contact from the club, it was left to us to chase the box office and there was often waiting times of over 60 minutes causing more frustration.

There is other areas of engagement that could be much better, to be honest in recent years even though I love this club and will follow them all over the world I don’t think I’ve ever felt more disconnected from the club.

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