Arsenal Supporters' Trust to vote against board re-appointments and wants shareholders to follow suit
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 25/10/17 12:08pm
Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) have urged shareholders to vote against the re-appointment of two of the club's directors at Thursday's AGM
AST issued a statement on Wednesday morning confirming they would not be voting for Sir Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke to continue on the Premier League club's board.
The trust says this demonstrates "dissatisfaction at the current ownership and governance arrangements" at Arsenal.
The move is purely symbolic, given the AST's tiny percentage shareholding, but it is the first time they have called openly for a vote against resolutions in the meeting.
The trust had previously written to Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke last Thursday outlining their concerns and urging the American to address the AGM to explain his vision for the club and address their concerns over governance.
The AST statement read: "The Arsenal Supporters' Trust will vote against the resolutions at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday to re-appoint Sir Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke to the Board of Directors.
"The AST urges all of its members who are individual shareholders, and other shareholders, to do the same.
"The reason for this course of action is to demonstrate dissatisfaction at the current ownership and governance arrangements at the Arsenal Football Club.
"In particular we feel that the present directors are not acting with sufficient independence, nor representing the interests of the small shareholders, or the future custodianship of the Club.
"In 2013 the Arsenal Supporters' Trust commissioned an independent review of corporate governance at Arsenal. This report, and the failings it identified, have been well-publicised.
"In particular it identified an ageing board lacking in diversity without the breadth of skills required to run a modern professional football club. All of the non-executive directors have been in office for far too long and are not regarded as independent under the corporate governance code.
"There is therefore no independence from the controlling shareholder, no one free of conflict of interest, and not enough diversity on the board or people with relevant professional skills, such as football expertise.
"Our action and vote is a statement that we believe significant corporate governance change is needed. Whatever the outcome of Thursday's AGM we call upon the directors at Arsenal to address these significant corporate governance failings."
Arsenal say shareholder questions will be answered during Thursday's AGM.