The board and Gazidis, with the catalyst for change, are seemingly progressing.
The change, as it stands, is apparently happening.
Wenger, the great man, has gone.
Wilshere has gone.
New coaches are here.
And new players are arriving.
And we’re doing transfers early for a change, without any last minute rush.
So it’s understandable that we’re feeling more energised and hopeful.
So how can the club sustain this? The relationship between the fans and the board has been strained somewhat.
In order to get things back on track, let’s see what more can be done to sustain it:
– Increase stadium capacity
Our good friends will soon complete (though hilariously behind schedule and way over budget…) their bigger stadium. But this isn’t why I’m raising this point. the only thing they’ll have over us is that, so let them have it. Oh, and more European trophies, but then they haven’t reached a European final let alone semi-final in decades, so let them have that also.
I raise it since our season ticket waiting list is long, and it would simply mean more people getting tickets. There is the scheme to expand Club Level, which is in progress, but then there’s no reason (bar architectural/construction concerns, or council/government planning) why the top tier cannot be expanded. If we can have 65,000 or even 70,000, fans at home games, it would make things more inclusive.
– Food tellers
The food at the ground is currently unhealthy and overpriced. £8 for a bag of chips? You what?! One can go to any chicken, kebab, or McDs/Burger King nearby and get something the same size and far cheaper.
There also are not many veggie options either. I’m not a vegetarian/vegan, but then it makes sense to be as inclusive as possible (simply because more options means more sales).
Why not have themed food days? Maybe have French food, Spanish cuisine, even Gabonese cuisine, reflecting our multi-cultural squad? I wouldn’t mind trying some Greek food, considering Sokratis is now our player. A pre-match Moussaka or meze? Sounds good.
There could also be approved club vendors, who pay a licence for a monthly or season-based rent, to sell food on the concourses or outside the ground. If there is littering, then they will have their licences retracted, or fans will be penalised.
It would offer more variety, and cheaper food to boot.
– Christmas sales
There already are Christmas sales, I bet. But then why not have it 50% of any current club shirt?
Or for one’s birthday, then offer 50% in the month of their birthday? If one was born on 2nd July, then for all of July, s/he can have half price off anything in the club stores. They would need to bring their ID of course to prove they were born in the month, but if the club gets a rise in income, it’s worth it.
– Fan participation
Could fans have a place on the board? Possibly the AST could have a fans’ spokesperson, who relays fans’ concerns, and actions them. If there were specific company by-laws or rules that said the club had to enact given fan actions per season, then it would go down well.
It would also make the board more relatable, and given the last AGM, it’s something they desperately need to do to get things onside.
– Renaming a stand after Arsene Wenger
Yes, he’s gone. And yes, there were divisive views on him towards the end. But then he was our most successful manager, and did wondrous things for our club. He warrants full recognition of this. I would gladly sit in an Arsene Wenger stand, and possibly like to walk down Arsene Wenger Way. Why not rename Drayton Park road after him too? Or the short road from Holloway road to the roundabout opposite the West Stand club store?
It would be a fitting way to celebrate Wenger’s achievements and legacy at our club.
And as a related point, make Wenger an honorary life president. If this only means attending official events, or giving the speeches at the AGMs, why not? The great man is clearly a fine public speaker, and I think this is why Kroenke, Gazidis, and Sir Chips, shoved him in front of the mic at these events. It’s also something, I believe, Wenger enjoys, in communicating and connecting with others. and this something elementary in being a good coach. So it’s a win-win all around.
The Board must be apparent and vocal
The board these days only make comments when big events happen, or to mitigate crises.
Before Kroenke came, the club was owned for decades by the Hill-Wood family. Peter Hill-Wood, the former club Chairman, was often in the press giving his thoughts on various club matters, and its intentions.
Of course, David Dein was very prominent, as much for his role at the FA, but we still knew what he was planning and thinking for the club.
These are some points, in which the club can enhance its standing amongst fans, and build on the good vibes currently.
Let’s hope that with the new signings, we can get back into the top four next season.