8 Days Remaining

Friday 27th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

ARSENAL shareholders used the club’s annual general meeting yesterday to voice their displeasure at the current board.

In a rare move to show their unhappiness with the set-up, shareholders voted down two resolutions to re-elect chairman Sir Chips Keswick and director Josh Kroenke.

This was despite the fact they were told majority shareholder Stan Kroenke had already voted by proxy in favour of retaining the pair — with his 67 per cent holding swaying the vote.

At least 200 shareholders, many of whom were left standing at the start of the AGM as not enough chairs were provided, turned up to Ashburton Grove to hear from Keswick, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and manager Arsene Wenger.

Most of those shareholders in attendance voted against the re-election of Keswick as well as the re-election of Kroenke’s son to the board.

Poll votes took place in the room but were defeated as billionaire pair Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov — who owns more than 30 per cent of the club and has made noises about attempting to buy out Kroenke — voted in favour of the pair being re-elected.

Earlier, Keswick defended the £2.6 million payout to Gazidis, with shareholders questioning why his payment remained the same despite a poor season on the pitch.

“Ivan is doing a fantastic and first-class job … it is important the remuneration of all the club’s management remains competitive in order to attract and retain talent,” said the banker.

The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust had issued a letter on the eve of the meeting urging shareholders to vote against the re-elections.

There have been protests against Kroenke’s ownership, including chants at recent games, as fans turn their angst away from Wenger and focus more towards the board.