Ivan Gazidis takes open Q and A session as AISA launches Arsenal History Society

By Tony Attwood

I appreciate that for the vast majority of people who attended last night’s AGM of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association meeting, the big event – indeed the reason for being there – was the appearance by Ivan Gazidis and his willingness to take open questions from fans.

It was an amazing occasion, and I’ll be dealing with it more in another article on Untold, but for now I wanted to speak here of a history matter.

Arsenal History began two years ago as an adjunct to AISA, and during those two years it has grown considerably in size.  As a result the executive of AISA have decided that Arsenal History should become a society in its own right – but still very much associated with AISA.

In short, if you join AISA you are a member of the Arsenal History Society, and if you join the Arsenal History Society you are a member of AISA.

As members of AISA found last night there is a huge benefit of being a member, not least because all members will receive a copy of “From Dial Square to Woolwich Arsenal”, which is the publication that launches the AISA Arsenal History Society.

I am of course hopelessly biased in this matter because with Andy Kelly I co-wrote the publication, but I think this publication does mark the start of an era in Arsenal history.  As I said at the meeting last night, there are at least 18 major and significant errors in Arsenal’s earliest history that are corrected in his publication.

I also outlined some of the things that Arsenal History has done thus far, and even though I say it myself I think it makes fairly impressive reading.  The list includes

1: This web site of course – which now has nearly 400 articles on it, and which has led the way to investigations of the club’s past no one else has ever touched.  Just take our revelations of the way the club’s name has changed – a totally different story from the official one put out by the club.  Or the history of George Allison’s journalism…

2: Our own meeting with Mr Gazidis and the proposal for putting up the Humble and Chapman statues outside the ground.

3: The contact made through this site with members of the families of Arsenal players.  I am really hopeful we will take this further.

4: Our contribution to the club programme that starts this season – there will be the series “Arsenal Uncovered” in every home programme, exploring other issues in Arsenal’s history.

5: The publication of Making the Arsenal, which is now for sale in the Arsenal shops at the ground and on line

6: The contribution to the book Arsenal Til I Die


That’s not bad (though I say it myself) for two years.

So now we have our own official base as the AISA Arsenal History Society.  Join AISA and you will be a member, and will get subsequent publications following on the “Dial Square to Woolwich Arsenal” free of charge – and much more than that.

To everyone who has supported us in the past two years to make all this possible, very many thanks.  A special thanks to Andy Kelly for tirelessly correcting all my errors in Arsenal’s past.  And to the Executive of AISA, thanks for taking the society forward to the next level.

And to everyone at the AISA AGM last night, thank you for voting through the proposal to set up AISA Arsenal History Society.

Support Arsenal, join the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association

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Support Arsenal, join the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association

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5 Replies to “Ivan Gazidis takes open Q and A session as AISA launches Arsenal History Society”

  1. OK and thanks for the spin Now – let’s get back to serious issues. Joey Barton’s tweets on the violence in our cities has caused me to see him in a different light, as someone who is actually intelligent and sensitive to social problems and not the thug, only, that media portray.
    If not too late, let’s invite him to join the team.

  2. What he should be doing is either

    > giving Wenger support because he has too much responsibility OR

    > stopping Wenger from dictating every bloody thing.

    Difficult because Gazidis knows little about football. Like Kroenke and like most of the aged Directors.

  3. Great job so far Tony!!!! And Andy Kelly!

    Keep it up. Looking forward to more articles on whatever medium you bring them.

  4. @Walter likewise
    @Chris ,you gave 2 comments/options with regards to Gazidis,giving Wenger support and/or to stop wenger dictating to everybody,finishing with ‘he knows little about football..kroenke,blah blah’. Seeing as this post was titled twofold,Gazidis being there and the launch of aisa history site I will opinion my response in a twofold manner,firstly History. Ivan Gazidis attended Manchester Grammar school where he excelled as a ‘footballer’,he then went onto Oxford uni where he was awarded two blues playing football for Oxford. In 1994 he joined the founding management team of MLS in the USA later becoming its deputy commisioner,so I think he knows more than just a little about football..Secondly I think the job of every CEO is to give to support to the mananger and who are you to say that Wenger dictates everything?
    Being at the meeting personally last night,(I admit the big draw was having Gazidis there),whilst listening to him something suddenly dawned on me. How many other of the so called fans of top four clubs in european/world football have the opportunity to have a Q and A session with their CEO? How unique and lucky are we as Arsenal fans to have such brilliant mediums such as aisa,aisa/history(new out today!),untold,a weekly column to feature in our programmes this year…the list goes on and on.

  5. Great news, Tony! I have just become a member of AISA. So I’m a new member of the Arsenal History Society too. Even living far away, you can count on me with some help.

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