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Five points for Arsenal board to consider as Stan Kroenke prepares to jet in for talks with Arsene Wenger
Posted by: eduardo
Date: 20/02/2012 00:10
Five points for Arsenal board to consider as Stan Kroenke prepares to jet in for talks with Arsene Wenger
Arsenal's failed season will be top of the agenda when the club's board meets. Jeremy Wilson lists what should be the key talking points...

Food for thought: Stan Kroenke (left) is due to fly into London Photo: PA
11:00PM GMT 19 Feb 2012
1 Comment
1. Constructive support for Arsene Wenger
George Graham was right when he observed that Arsene Wenger remains very powerful at Arsenal. In one sense that is a good thing, but the danger at Arsenal has been of almost blind support for their manager.

Wenger sometimes needs pushing over the line when it comes to spending big money and he should also be encouraged to evolve and freshen up his coaching team.

2. Overhaul the wage structure
It is bizarre to hear stories of Arsenal being reluctant to push the boat out in salaries for players of established quality, yet so generously reward unproven or average squad players.

This has drained the club of resources on players who they no longer need and are struggling to sell - such as Nicklas Bendtner, Manuel Almunia and Sebastien Squillaci - while struggling to compete on wages for genuine stars. The wage structure should be more closely aligned to performance.

3. Strengthen squad with established quality
The Arsenal model is not completely wrong - it has just been pushed too far to an extreme. The club are right to focus heavily on recruiting potential stars but they must better balance the squad with players of proven quality.

Spurs have shown that adding players like Scott Parker, Rafael van der Vaart, William Gallas and Brad Friedel does not detract from young players but actually helps them

4. Improve commercial revenues
This is perhaps the key focus for Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis. While Arsenal remain among the leading clubs for generating matchday revenue, they lag behind Manchester United on their commercial deals. The good news is that many of their main deals are up for renewal over the next few years and so there is real scope to grow.

The club must also continue to expand overseas and, in that regard, they are planning trips to China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Nigeria this summer

5. Get the feel-good factor back
The hike in ticket prices last season could not have been worse timed and caused significant unrest among fans. It has left supporters feeling like they are taking for granted; that they pay among the highest prices in the world and yet the club do not use the money to adequately invest in the squad.

Ticket-prices are an important element of the club's income but a relatively small reduction could be priceless in improving the matchday mood inside the Emirates.

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