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Arsenal AGM

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Sounds like this man...


Saved these man again...


#afc boss Wenger delivers terrific rousing speech. No questions though. But best speech he's ever given at an AGM. Standing ovation
Very, very feisty #afc AGM this year. I would say a large section unhappy with answers to questions. General dissent reflected perhaps
Q: Why is a representative of Red and White (Usmanov) not on board. Hill-Wood: "We don't wish to change the constitution of the board."
Shareholder calls for Peter Hill Wood to stand down and bring back David Dein to work with Wenger. Big applause. PHW says no plans to go
Several shout out: Answer the question. He's (PHW) yet to do that once...
Stan says Arsenal is a wonderful club and praises Danny Fizsman. Says he was offered involvement in many Premier League clubs but Arsenal had elements for success... Stan's speech was brief - said he and his family are hanging around for long time and then sits down. Not really what you would term satisfactory engagement...
Peter Hill-Wood says Gazidis passed all the criteria for his £600k bonus on top of £1m basic salary. Doesn't say what they were...
Glyn Taylor of AST Board asks for equity injection to make up shortfall in commercial revenue. Club say no and will stick to only fans putting in

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Videos on arsenal.com

nothing we didnt know already came out of this tbh

although i'd like to see the part when questions were put forward, PHW got a roasting I hear

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Good afternoon - thank you for your welcome.

I am happy to have the opportunity to speak to you. Usually I speak to you through the media and they do not always reflect what I say.

I am happy as well to be part of the fact the club celebrates 125 years of existence and my dream is one day a manager will stand in font of you and say 1,000 years - don't worry it will not be me. You may not be here as well!

Personally, I have the privilege to be in charge of this club for 15 years and I am very grateful that you place such a high confidence in me for such a long time.

I know that I am at a special club. If I have one merit, I think I have been loyal to this club and committed. I do not say I was always right. I knew always it was always a privilege to be at this club because I always had the support of people and the freedom to work the way I want.

I hope as well that in many years, people will look at this period and think that we have put the club on the right track and defended the right values and think that together we were not too stupid.

I believe that the values we defend are highly defendable because we want to do things with class. We want of course to be very ambitious. We want to be very brave. I believe that this club has always been very brave in its decisions. The courage is a quality I admire because it is a highly needed quality in the modern world.

I can see a lot of fear and discontent among you and I can understand that because we live in a world where we fight with people who have extremely high resources.

The way we can compete is to try to be intelligent but as well to be united because it is very difficult to be consistent in football. We have been more consistent than anybody else in the world in the last 15 years. To stay at the top, top level, we have to be united.

That doesn't mean I am not to be criticised. I accept that is part of my job and that the board has been criticised but to the outside we have to show we are united because that is the only way to survive at the top. It is difficult enough if you are united. If you are not united, you have no chance.

We defend values as well that at the time are questioned - the self-sufficient model. Do we want to change that or not? I believe, and I take full responsibility for this, that we can be competitive the way we run the club.

The players that we bought - I heard we lost two world class, I agree with you and we lost even more - but do not judge the players we bought too quickly because I think they are top, top level.

And I would remind that some world class players arrived in August and not played before September or November, some of them, and became world class players after that. We had a very difficult start and a very difficult environment at the start of the season and we were under tremendous pressure.

I would just like to come back on last season. Because last season was the season I must tell you maybe the most difficult to accept with its end result.

Somewhere some days I thought maybe it was completely my fault because I convinced the players we can go for all the four competitions, and that we can win every single trophy.

I believe overall we had a very good season performance wise, yet it finished very badly. We were competitive in all competitions. We lost unfortunately in the last minute of the Carling Cup final, we went out of Europe in the last minute against Barcelona, and I believe at home against Barcelona we played the best game Arsenal Football Club has ever played against a team.

We lost in the last minute of Liverpool the [chance of the] championship. After, everything was judged in a negative way. But the overall performance the team has put in last year was much better than the credit we got in the end.

We had a problem to get over the line, and in the end it was disappointment after disappointment, and it was very difficult.

We played 27 games in November, December and January. We paid for it in March and April, when we lacked a bit petrol to get over the line. Fabregas played I think 19 games in the Championship, and van Persie 17.

We were also not very lucky with the injuries we had. The overall performance was not as bad as it had been judged. We managed to get over the line and qualify again for the Champions League.

We also had some positives like the emergence of world-class players like Wilshere who has shown at international level how good he is.

We have a very good basic situation. I was under a lot of pressure to buy goalkeepers and we were faithful to the keepers we had - everybody would agree we have sorted the problems out.

The basis of our team and its potential is right. If you take the young players we have and manage to come back and compete at the top level again, I am much more positive than people are.

In the media, we do not get credit we deserve. The team is on the right way, it has a fantastic attitude and spirit. We are capable of competition and we will.

Where we will finish at the end of the season? Frankly, I don't know. I know just one thing: that these players we have at the moment are ready for a fight, because I see them every day and they are ready to have a go.

Not many people at the moment are behind us, but I believe we can be a positive surprise. Let's stand behind this season. We started at the Emirates with a very difficult environment because people were very sceptical, but they understood two things - if they do not get behind the team, we have no chance and secondly people realise this team has the right attitude and spirit.

Even during the difficult periods in the last few home games, the fans have been absolutely fantastic behind the team, what we had not seen at the end of the season.

It is time to realise that yes, times are more difficult, but yes we can still be successful under one condition, that we all stand behind the team, and are united.

At the end of the season, we will see where we stand. Then if we give absolutely everything and do fight together for every single game in every single competition we can still look back at the end of the season and be proud of our attitude and what we have achieved.

I am personally convinced that we have a chance to qualify again [for the Champions League] and I know as well that in the modern world the ticket pricing is a problem. We spoke about that a lot at the board before that decision has been made.

But just to keep the players we have to put our wages up so high that the financial situation becomes more and more difficult for us.

That's why I can understand that you feel punished by that, but it is not a decision that we made for that, it is just a decision that gives us a chance to keep our players and unfortunately it is the real situation we face at the moment.

I know I have been talking too much already. I would just like personally to turn round the scepticism that is surrounding this club at the moment. For me it is too high. And if I just would like to achieve one thing today it is: trust us, this team has qualities, this team will fight.

And if you help us to do that I think we will have a successful season.

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All this can't be good for hill wood

Here's hoping stress and old age resort in him stepping down due to ill health

Not saying I want him to die, but it's getting to the stage where I'm literally waiting for him to die

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Q: Ticket prices increasing, no silverware, big players leaving… is the sustainable model the most important thing?

Peter Hill-Wood: CL 14 years in a row, remains the focus. Sustainable model is the right way forward for the club. Future is in our own hands – providing funds to invest in the team.

Q: Will the club plug the gap in equity with new commercial deals? We need to remain competitive.

PHW: Not considering an injection of equity capital. Convinced it’s the right way forward for the club. We will we not match some of the vast sums of other clubs, but it does mean that we’re not reliant on any one individual. Confident we can keep and attract young quality players and compete at the highest level.

Q: Season ticket prices continue to rise while CEO bonuses – such as that of Tom Fox – remain. Will they be stopped as the club is stagnating?

PHW: Renumeration committee set targets for Gazidis. He’s passed them. Don’t want to go into details about Tom Fox’s bonus. Commercial opportunities are extremely good. Five new commercial partnerships this year. Fruits of those labours will come through in the next year.

Q: How will you continue to act in the best interests of the club with Kroenke coming in?

PHW: Legal duty as directors to act in best interests of club and shareholders. Will do so and continue to do so.

- At this point PHW thanks Ken Friar for his contribution to the club. Bust of Friar to be placed in entrance of Emirates. Unveiled. Applause.

Q: Season ticket prices increase. Replaced two world class players, with two who clearly aren’t. Will board reduce ticket prices if we fail to qualify for CL?

PHW: We will not accept second best. We never have. Will strive to maintain the performances that we have in the last 14 years. I think Arsène is getting it right again. During close season we brought in nine players. We will continue to strengthen the squad as Arsène thinks best.

Q: Man City and Spurs have got stronger in the past two years, whereas we are weaker. Not sure if we’ll quality for the CL next year. PHW should stand down. Bring back David Dein as chairman – the man who got Arsène. You are so out of touch with this club. He is the man who can bring trophies back to this club.

PHW: I have no intention of standing down. This is the decision from my board colleagues also. I regard it as an honour and privilege to be chairman of this club. I am also a fan. I want us to be successful. We have the best man for the job in Arsène. Stan and Ivan can take the club forward off the field.

Kroenke: “We’re all fans. Peter has our support. We’re with you. We’re fans too.”

[Heckling from the crowd]

Q: Fanshare Scheme just over a year old. Great success. Over 2,000 supporters own a bit of the club. Want to play a part in club’s future. As result of takeover, it’s harder for scheme to buy more shares. Will board reiterate support for concept of Fanshare? Review how it can provide support to the scheme?

PHW: Fanshare scheme is highly valued by its members. Complexity recognised with new shareholder environment. Will further consider the matter in due course.

Q: Why are you refusing to allow Red and White Holdings (Usmanov) onto the board?

PHW: We’re all comfortable with the constitution of the board. We care deeply about the long term success of Arsenal. We all bring expertise to the board.

Heckles of “Answer the question.”

Q: Arsenal infrastructure in terms of personnel has changed little. Suffered since David Dein left. Too much centralised control. Wenger has to carry a huge burden. Who gives assistance to Wenger? How can he delegate like Fergie?

PHW: Infrastructure has changed significantly. We ensure that all parts of the club operate in an effective way. Wenger works closely with Gazidis and board. Manager given all the support he wants and needs to take the team forward.

Q: Positive perspective. Same number of points for equivalent fixtures last season bar one. Can the board and team travel in one aircraft to away matches? Cost consideration seems fairly irrelevant to you.

PHW: Board and players travel separately sometimes but not always.

Q: How many season ticket holders did not renew? What’s the length of the waiting list?

PHW: I don’t want to disclose the actual figures. We can assure you that it’s relatively small and tens of thousands of people are on the waiting list. Loyal supporters.

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See that, thats why Wenger will never be sacked and why Wenger is Arsenal.

Our chairman Peter Hill-Wood definitely is a man who's present and future is in the hands of what Arsene Wenger. They have no plan B, they still just working on the 2005 plan.

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you can't deny that Wenger has great contribution to the club , but in fact i don't think he will stay a long time , in the next several years , it will be his last period in Arsenal !

needs fresh air there ! :mellow:




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Never really speak ill of the dead


Can't wait to till the rest of the cunts follow Fiszman down to hell

Bar Wenger obviously

Thats OTT caz :lol:

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Arshavin got the one leg up stance cos he knows to keep his guard up when there is an American in the room.

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Arshavin got the one leg up stance cos he knows to keep his guard up when there is an American in the room.


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'Silent' Stan Kroenke has given his first in-depth insight into his vision as Arsenal's majority shareholder.

The US tycoon, who has splurged £400million on buying into Arsenal, outlined his views on Robin van Persie, Arsene Wenger, Manchester United American owners the Glazers and why he chose to buy the club.

Kroenke also told how he nearly became a journalist, reveals he mixed with Chelsea fans on Saturday and explained that he got his love of football from his son.

It was a 40-minute interview, held at the club's at the training ground on Monday after Kroenke had addressed the players.

Here is a full transcript:

You went to Chelsea on Saturday, had a great weekend and addressed the players [on Monday]. Tell us about it...

"It has been very enjoyable. I think the experience of being able to go to the game at Chelsea was great - I had a great time the whole day. I got out and walked as it was such a nice day. I walked to the stadium and the fans were having as good a day as I was. I spoke with a few of them along the way. Of course, the game was spectacular. It was a beautiful afternoon and nice to be there. I thought our team responded well and I am certainly proud of them because they have had their share of challenges and it's a huge win. I don't know - it's fun. We are involved in a lot of sports [Kroenke's company also owns US major-league American Football, basketball, ice hockey and football teams], as you guys know, so you are involved for a lot of different reasons, and I was out there on Saturday afternoon when I could have been anywhere in the world. I wanted to be there and it was a great place to be. I was proud to be involved in our team and the sport. Sports are a very important part of our modern society, and I think particularly the Premier League and the visibility they have around the world. It does a lot of good in a lot of ways that often aren't pointed out so I was happy to be there."

How did Chelsea fans react to you?

"They were fine. They were very good. They were talking to me a little bit about the stadium. They care about it. It is interesting that they can see with our stadium... that, as a fan, they like seeing things like that. It has been developed, we have a strong economic model - something they don't have - and it is something they are interested in."

How do you define success here and how long can you wait for a trophy?

"The other day somebody pointed it out that I said I wasn't so sure why everybody was so interested in me speaking. Maybe it's because I look at the club differently. These clubs are bigger than one person. They are a lot more about a lot of things than just one person, one fan, one manager, one anything. This club has been here for 125 years, It has had its periods when it was up and long periods when it wasn't so up. But I am proud of the club. We have been around the club for four years at one stage or another and you always like to win trophies. We were very close last year but didn't get there. You are not going to win trophies every year. I am smart enough to know that. I think it is fair to say we have a broader experience than anybody in sports, because we are involved in so many different teams. You don't win trophies every year - you'd like to. I have friends who are owners in the leagues in the US who have never won a trophy and they have been in it for 30 or 40 years. We have been fortunate to win a few. I am very proud of our management and I am certainly extremely proud of our manager and I am very proud of the way the club has been run. I said it the other day, for us to be involved in a club - and we had lots of chances here in England and elsewhere - but to be involved with Arsenal was something different to look at and this is a place where we are glad we are involved here."

Which other clubs did you look at before Arsenal?

"I don't really want to go into that. Suffice to say it was more than eight and less than 15. How's that?"

What drew you to Arsenal?

"First of all, I love London. We deal with this in the States. When you look long term, and that is us - if you look at our history we are long-term investors - we don't get involved just to be here, be gone tomorrow, flip and make a profit, do whatever. That's not us. We like to get involved in things that we like to get involved in and think we can help develop over time. London is a great place and a great market. So, comparably in the US, you would talk about Los Angeles and New York. There was a study done in the States and if you ask any 20- to 30-year-old person where they would most like to live if they didn't live where they presently lived, they will tell you LA and New York. It's interesting because players are a lot of times 20-30 years old, so where are they most likely to gravitate? If you ask players in the US, they'll say being in LA or New York is a pretty good place to be for 20-30 year olds. So those markets to me have an inherent advantage as far as recruiting. Maybe that's just me, but I think London is a great place to be. I think, long-term, if you want to attract players, it is a great place to me. If you are in London, Arsenal football club. 'Wow. 125 years, great tradition, great manager, great model but lots of opportunity.'"

Where did your love of football start?

"Well, my son played the game from the time he was very small. When he got to be 14 or 15 he was so tall, and he was a very good basketball player, [so] the coaches at that level, when you start moving to the elite level in these sports - I'm sure you see it over here in European football - they really want you to focus on their sport and spend all your time on it. So he had some choices to make and since he was into that elite group in basketball, they were wanting him to spend a lot of time there. At one stage, he was chosen for what they call the Olympic development programme in the States for soccer. He had a huge interest in it and I used to go to all his games and it was a game I didn't get to play when I was young. We played baseball, a lot of basketball, ran track and all this. But we didn't have European football, so it's a sport that has grown in the States and the interest level is certainly at an all-time high in the States and the interest level in the States has a lot to do with football over here. I mean, I'm not saying that in a bad way, because the MLS has grown. We are involved in that. It has grown substantially in the States but there is a huge interest. Our game [against Chelsea] on Saturday was on one of the main national-TV channels and a lot of people watched it. People were texting some of the guys [who were] with me. It wasn't because we told them, they were just interested."

Arsenal have a business model. But how do you compete with a team at the top of the league, Manchester City, that's fuelled by billions?

"We have done that in the States, too. We compete with people in our league in the States who have the same resources as anyone in the world. You can check it out. The NFL restricts spending, so it's a bit different. In the NBA, they sort of restrict spending but not really, so if you want to spend you can spend, you just have to pay a penalty for it. I think what you have to focus on... I understand it in the short-term...your business is to write articles... short-term... the long-term good of the club is not always in the short-term interest of the next thing you want to write about... I don't think you can... and I am proud of the fact that Arsenal has had this sustainable business model. I think you can have people, and we have had them in the States, where they will spend a lot and they will do it for a little while and they might have some success. And then the person everyone is relying on maybe gets tired of it or has a financial reversal, but what you are doing is that you are putting the focus on one person, one resource. Is that really in the interests of a long-term situation for a great club that many people identify with and rely on? I would much rather, and I would be much more proud, if all our leagues were developed with the idea that you are competing on the basis of intellect and work and effort instead of just simply, 'I am going to throw dollars against the wall.' That's one side of it. Another side of it is that, in the States, it doesn't always work. It does work sometimes, so I understand what you are getting at. If you look at Arsene, as a good example. He has been here 15 years and you look at what the club had as assets and revenues, it's fantastic the growth that has occurred within the club. It has been done very responsibility and they have the record for participating in the Champions League for the most consecutive years. For the long-term stability and an approach to excellence, I think that's unsurpassed, really. That's my view."

Are you worried, as Arsene Wenger is, whether the Financial Fair Play rules being introduced can work?

"I think Arsene or Ivan (Gazidis) are better people perhaps to chat about that.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis: "I would be happy to, but I don't want to waste your time with Stan."

Is there anything you've seen from the US sports leagues you would like to see here?

"The greatest league in the US, on the basis of most things, is the National Football League. The National Football League's revenues are far greater than any other league's. The fan following is huge in the States. They implement and have restrictions on spending and what that does is restrict people. Now, it's all about, 'How smart are you in selecting personnel' - utilising these resources so you don't go signing a player to a long-term deal and the guy is over the hill, for example. What really happens in our system is that, if you do that, it will penalise you greatly, because you will have less resources to spend everywhere else - and it will show up, believe me. I've watched the teams that have done that. They will make a big run, then say, 'We will spend on everybody' and they bring in a lot of free agents, [but] the free agents don't work out because they're too old. They have a thing called cash-over-cap and what happens is you then have less to spend on other things and invariably those teams are among the worst in the league. Anybody who is a sportsman would rather compete on the basis of intellect, cleverness than they would at being able to throw money against the wall. Anyone can go and buy a player, but it takes a lot more to identify that player, develop that player and position him. I'm not going to start throwing out that there's a direction that the Premier League should take. It's a tremendously successful league. It's a little presumptous of me to start dictating rules."

Can Alisher Usmanov join the board?

"I think the view - it's a board matter - has been outlined and I don't think I should get into it."

Gazidis: "It's a board issue. As Stan has said, it's not about one individual, not Stan, not Usmanov. The board is running well, aligned on direction and very happy with the way it's running."

Kroenke: "I think the board should be given a lot of credit. I've been around this thing for three or four years now and it goes back to what I said earlier - If you go back to where this club was, revenue-wise, in the early to mid-1990s, in terms of assets and things, then it's dramatically different. That didn't just happen by itself, it's not easy to do the things that they have accomplished. The board should be given credit for that. A lot of people are happy that the board is still around."

Does it taste sweeter when you win things because you don't spend so much?

"I think there are a good few people who would argue that - a few people from other clubs who would argue that. Would I rather be successful spending less or spending more? What a question! If you run responsibly and do it well... if you look at our manager, he's a great example. I said recently that there's a film out in the US called Moneyball. Moneyball is all about being smart in sports, specifically baseball. There's a wave in the US now of statistical evaluation - this whole science of sport goes a long way. There's some very smart people - we employ some of them - who are analysing every stat and who are connecting every bit of data and trying to make sense of it. But that really started with Billy Beane, who is the guy in Moneyball. And Billy Beane's hero truly is Arsene Wenger. He loves Arsene. There's a reason and maybe the reason goes directly to what you are talking about. He's proud and is a fan of Arsenal because he realises what it takes to succeed and be responsible and that is different."

Can you compete on player contracts?

"That is a loaded question."

Can Arsenal compete on the money?

"Here's the thing. Could you? Yeah. You could. Do you want to? Maybe you don't. See what I mean? What I told you earlier - sometimes you can overspend for the wrong assets and you end up shorter in the long run. Or you could say, and you might, 'Well, just buy him anyway. The whole has unlimited resources, go out there and spend anything, stockpile everyone and maybe you'll win. You buy to win.' But you might not. There's examples where you haven't. Now I think that you want to be sure that you want to spend the money and I think that's what our manager does. He makes that evaluation. That's his job. It wasn't because the money wasn't there. We have money. And it wasn't because, Ivan can tell you, anybody sitting here ever said, ' Don't spend it.' Now, if you spend it all and there is no more money, you guys come and say, 'Well, Stan, we're short now, you need to spend some more money.' Well then you could blame me, maybe, but I don't think you can blame me now, because I think it's a philosophy. I think this club is run a certain way and I think people are proud of the way it's run. And I think our fans are proud of the way it's run. Now, does that mean there are people who wouldn't like to see you spend more? I think there is a natural tension there. I think maybe they would want you just to make the biggest offer out there. A club could go into a bunch of debt again, spending debt - there was various proposals, we should do different things, I didn't think we should do them and it's turned out fairly well. The club has no debt now, because the cash resources exceed the amount of debt that's on the team."

How confident are you that Fabregas and Nasri transfer situations won't happen again?

"Well, here's the thing. I think you know that one of the players who departed had nothing to do with money. I think our manager would tell you that. There was a specific personal circumstance that happened. Maybe I am saying too much. That has nothing to do with money. So we say, 'Well, we've seen players depart.' Well, then you could say, 'Well, the other player departed for money.' Well then, you get into an evaluation. That's where being smart and not being smart comes in. You've got one year left on a player's contract. You've got a large sum of money being offered. Can you employ those resources better than you could had you not taken the money, taken a chance on losing the guy for nothing in a year or perhaps overpaying for him now and having less resources later? I don't know. That's how I would see the evaluation."

There have been some tough times for your fellow American owners, Hicks/Gillett and the Glazers, recently...

"What was so tough about the Glazers' situation?"

Lot of fan protests?

"Okay, guys, let's talk about it. But they won. And they have increased revenues by a huge amount. If I was a fan of that club, I would still go there and go, 'Wow', because how could you do it any better? That's what I would say."

Manchester United fans would say the Glazers are taking money out of the club...

"But they still won. We don't need to get into an exchange here but I don't know, as a fan, how could you do it much better? They have increased massively. Some of their players have taken money out, and maybe they haven't performed. We have a whole different philosophy I think in the States, maybe, but I think it's time maybe for everybody to think a little bit. Maybe I am saying too much, but I think they ought to think a little bit about who invests in these clubs. What do you want for the long-term? Because, in the States, you would never get this dialogue that you and I are having. [The Glazers] took money out of the club. So what? Jerry Buss [owner of basketball's LA Lakers] takes money out of the club. A lot of owners in the US do. No-one ever says anything about it. What's it about, in fairness - did the Lakers win anything? Well, yeah. They did. How big's their revenue? Pretty darn good."

How do you propose making money for yourself?

"I don't know the specific situations [about Liverpool] and I don't think it's fair for me to comment because I'm not that close to them. George Gillett and Tom Hicks, they had that situation and I really don't know too much about it."

But how do you propose to make money?

"Well, we'll see. That's the risk. There's no guarantee I'll make any money. As a matter of fact, believe it or not, you can actually lose money in sports! I know you'll find that shocking."

There was a lot criticism after the 8-2 loss at Manchester United in August. But it seems to have got better since then. How much faith does that give you in Wenger?

"I think I've said all I want to. I've never departed from that. Arsene Wenger is an unbelievable manager. I think he's a tremendous person, I just think he is as good as there is. Now, do you lose some games? Do you have tough losses? It happens. You cant judge a manager on one game or on one stretch of games. You judge him over time. That's how the really good ones are judged."

The Silent Stan label - how do you feel about that?

"Perhaps bemused? We are busy. We do have a lot of obligations. Sometimes I think if we engage too much, it's a matter of who did you engage with?, were you fair to people?, how much time do you have to give to them? We have very capable people, like Ivan and Arsene. We have lots of very capable people - they wouldn't be involved if I didn't have lots of confidence in them. I think it's more about that. The gentlemen who created it said, 'Well, I'm creating a character.'"

Did keeping a low profile breed suspicion? Should have put yourself out there more at the start?

"Perhaps. I have a lot of friends in the press. Some of them laugh because I tell them that journalism was my love early in my life and that I almost went to study journalism at the University of Missouri. At the time, that was the number one journalism school in America. I chose not to, but they all think that's quite funny now."

It was said recently that there are overseas owners who want to scrap relegation from the Premier League. What do you think?

"It would be presumptuous of me to comment. The history of the league is a great history. I think that is for people who have studied that and understand it. We don't have a point of view on that. Ivan and Arsene might have - and, by the way, none of the American owners that I know have a point of view on that."

What about Robin van Persie and his current contract situation? Do you have a message to the fans?

"I think Robin van Persie is a great player. I think he's doing a great job. He's captain of the club. Arsene said the other day, 'Can we succeed if we are not together? Absolutely not.' If we are together, we have a chance. I thought it was extremely important that Arsene said that. I think that everybody needs to think about that. I think that Robin van Persie gets that, and I think he has shown real leadership. I have watched him and had a chance to chat with him. I think he has done a great job of that. But I think asking me to talk about Robin van Persie at this stage is not fair to Robin van Persie and is not fair to Arsene and Ivan. They are the guys who know the particulars of that situation.

But Nasri had 12 months left, as Van Persie will have next summer, and you made a business decision [Nasri was sold to Manchester City]?

" Arsene made a business decision. I understand why you guys want to do this, but I don't think it is fair on any of the parties for me to start talking about this."

What was your message when you met the players this week?

"That I'm proud of them. That they have faced adversity and have shown a real class and spirit in fighting through it. By the way, it was a lot of fun to watch that game Saturday. Great game. Great win. It was hard early, maybe gave up some things you shouldn't have done, went in at half-time, they scored right before half-time and then you come out. Tremendous spirit and fight."

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Manchester United Supporters' Trust chief Duncan Drasdo said: "If I was an Arsenal fan this would be ringing alarm bells.

"Backing the Glazers may not be surprising. But considering the debt burden they imposed on United and their lack of passion for the club, it is certainly revealing."

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