It is sometimes a perception of the way things are in a football club that is important.
From yesterday morning's reports, it is clear that the Arsenal shareholders have a perception that the management of that club are not doing enough to bolster the team and to win trophies. Coming on the back of two defeats, one in the Premier League to Norwich, and one in the Champions League to Schalke, I think that they may well have a point.
At the end of the day, the fans want their team to win games. It is as simple and as complicated as that.
The average fan who has forked out a large sum of money for the privilege of sitting in the stands at the Emirates is not, in my experience, very bothered with the financial arguments advanced by Ivan Gazidis and Stan Kroenke yesterday. They want to see a team that can score goals, defend well and win games. End of.
Granted, it is nice to see that Arsenal is sound financially. However, the average fan and to an extent even the average fan who is a shareholder wants his team to win. That is where the pride is. The Board, in my view, fails to understand this. Gazidis called for 'patience' - how much more patience must Gooners have? Since winning the FA Cup in 2005, nothing more has been won. For a top flight club who prides itself on its style of football and winning mentality, that statistic is breathtakingly awful.
Buying the Emirates in 2006 was supposed to have injected the cash needed to challenge the big European and domestic clubs. This has not materialised. Despite a handful of signings this season, some which are excellent in my view, the club remains static, continuing to have problems with its defence, midfield and dare I say it, with its striking force as well.
Huge gaps left by the departure of Fabergas, Nasri and Van Persie have not been satisfactorily filled and in their last two games I thought that they looked lost. Plainly put, they were unable to find even one goal in reply at Norwich, although they had 70 minutes to do it in, and completely outplayed by Schalke in every department.
This brings me to Wenger's remark yesterday that in his view, qualifying for the Champions League is more important than winning domestic cups. I see where he is coming from, and in my view, there is some validity in this argument. Winning the Champions League is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown, therefore qualifying for it for the past 15 seasons in a row must be seen as being an outstanding achievement in itself.
However, turning back to what I have said above, the elation of qualifying for it, is soon erased when Arsenal has on every occasion been knocked out. True, the coffers of the club has swelled as a result of qualification, but the average fan still feels cheated when his team loses.
That is why I think that the management's arguments, although sometimes making some financial sense, are wearing thin.
Without the fans, there is no club. The Chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, should remember this. Yesterday he ended the meeting by telling fans “Thank you for your interest in our affairs.” This high-handed out of touch comment which divides the fans from the club is unhelpful at the very best, and downright rude at the very worst. He is out of touch with reality, and in my view there is no place for him on the Board if his mindset was evidenced by that remark.
What a shame!
image: © dyobmit