The last week for Arsenal has defeat to a title rival (again), a thrashing by Bayern Munich (again) and fan protests about the manager, the Board and the direction of the club (again). In response Arsenal took the rare step of making a statement. Purportedly this came from Chairman Sir Chips Keswick (insert eye-rolling emoji).
Clearly Sir Chippendale, who may have been named after a bit of antique furniture in recognition of the fact he looks leathery, is expensive to maintain and doesn’t move about much, did not write the statement. It was hand-crafted by a crack team of PR men under the watch of Mark Gonnella and approved by Ivan Gazidis.
The protesters at the Bayern game wanted to know what Ivan does, and a mere two days later a statement appears. There you go, question answered.
But what does the statement actually mean? Allow me to translate:
“We are fully aware of the attention currently focused on the club”
We don’t like troublemakers focussing attention on the club
“and understand the debate.”
and we wish they would mind their own business.
“We respect that fans are entitled to their different individual opinions”
We wish we didn’t need the long-term fans and season ticket holders (60,000 tourists taking selfies would be fantastic); we wish when we planted stories in the press our supporters just believed them
“but we will always run this great football club with its best long-term interests at heart.”
but we will always run this rich and valuable football club with the majority owner’s best long-term interests at heart; after all, we sold him all our shares, gave up the idea of custodianship for a fat profit and we still get all the perks we believe we deserve.
“Arsène has a contract until the end of the season.”
We’ve even offered a pay rise, but he hasn’t signed an extension yet.
“Any decisions will be made by us mutually”
We’ve told him we want him to stay
“and communicated at the right time in the right way.”
and we’ll communicate that after the next decent result so as to minimise the outrage.
Thank you for your interest in our statement.