10 Premier League owners that were even worse than Kroenke

Plus, I don’t like writing about rumours everyday and I like my lists! And….it’s fun

10 – Ken Bates (Chelsea)
Our American owner has been nicknamed ‘ Silent Stan’ for his lack of involvement. No-one could accuse Ken Bates of that, he left Chelsea better than he found it, finding them struggling in the 2nd division and in financial trouble. He departed with the Blues an established top 6 side who would win the occasional cup. Unlike Roman Abramovich though he never stayed out of the limelight, few owners would make headlines quite like him (and not for the better). To confront crowd trouble in the 80’s he put up an electric fence then argued with the council for not approving it to be turned on, he used his programme notes to offend others, including his own supporters, and would fall out with his peers. Even Matthew Harding, who invested 26 million into the team was banned from the board for having an alternative opinion. Bates, in response to Harding’s death said: “I don’t believe evil should triumph and he was evil…it’s a much happier ship at Chelsea now he’s not around.” Bates probably cares more about the profession then Mr Kroenke but just not as nice a person.

9- Glazers (Man United)
This pair had a completely contrasting business model to our American owners. Man United are unhappy that while winning things, they have been put back into debt for the first time in years. We are the opposite, a self-sustained model yet further away from being champions than ever. So, it depends what you want, financially secure but zero ambition, or lots of funds but even more debt? United will argue they were in a position where they didn’t need to take the gamble (healthy on the Stock exchange at the time). Where the takeover is controversial is the club themselves have been used as collateral to get the loan to complete the purchase. PIK loans were taken out meaning every year if you don’t want to make a repayment you can just let the APR rise. The family have been accused of waiting 5 years till they made any payments, using not their own wealth but that of the asset they were paying for. It’s a vicious circle of the rules being manipulated, in the long term costing them very little.

8- Gillet / Hicks (Liverpool)
When a judge is forcing you to sell your lcub based on ‘lies’ you know your owners can’t be trusted. Both had a reputation of buying low, borrowing loads and selling high. They misled the Kop from day one, promising zero debt was involved and plans were underway for a new stadium. Worse, they stopped communicating with each other leaving most to wonder how they planned to repay a loan to RBS. Gillet was at least honest enough to know the break down in relationship made it best for all parties to sell up but as per the agreement Hicks could veto any deal. He naively thought the club were worth more than 500 million from offers that were made. In the recession, the bank insisted on a sporting director to raise 100 million but tired of the lack of communication, so gave them 6 months to extend the loan agreement while new buyers were sought out or pay what was owed. What follows is Liverpool’s board accepting bids which will clear debts with both owners rejecting them as they feel their asset is undervalued. Eventually RBS win a court battle forcing the Americans to take 300 million from New England Sports Ventures, 200 less than they could have got.

7- Tony Fernandes (QPR)
Here’s an example of how you can be a bad owner, but it doesn’t make you a bad person. In short Tony Fernandes is too nice a guy for this sport. He has since admitted that he was exploited, with managers, agents and players taking advantage. He clearly had the wealth and was willing to pay big money to keep QPR in the Prem, he just needed the right people to advise him. He was even naive in his interaction with fans. Could you imagine Mr Kroenke hosting a Q and A on social media? Fact is, supporters will only appreciate that if team is winning…

6- Mike Ashley (Newcastle)
The English version of Stan Kroenke yet different in many ways. You’re never going to see our owner in the stands, in a football shirt downing a pint. This was Ashley’s way of showing the world he was the everyday person who got lucky by becoming rich. Where the comparisons are fair is, he’s not afraid to hide that as long as Newcastle are making him money (being in the Prem) and he has no need to show ambition. He effectively uses the Toon to market and advertise Sports Direct. When a Kevin Keegan or Rafa Benítez wanted to take that extra step, he wouldn’t give up control. The only time he backed down due to peer pressure was changing the stadiums name

5- Assem Allam (Hull)
In 2010 the local businessmen wanted to ‘give something back’ to the area he had graduated from. He has become an example of someone with a brain for marketing but not identifying the bonds locals might have with traditions going back decades. Despite fans happy to be back in the topflight they protested plans for their name to be changed to Hull Tigers feeling Tigers, instead of city would help their identity grow worldwide. Where the likes of Cardiff eventually listened to their supporters, Allam would not be told how to run his own business. When the FA rejected the change of name and the council wouldn’t sell him the stadium to build a sports park, he stopped spending money in protest, reminding fans under his control they had been in the top flight, got to a cup final and played in Europe. The next time they won the play offs there was not the usual buzz compared to previous promotions. Fans didn’t sell out Wembley, while Steve Bruce left after with only 12 professionals in training.

4- Carson Yeung (Birmingham)
As bad as we think Stan Kroenke is at least he didn’t try to run the club from prison. Throwing the club in turmoil he was arrested for money laundering. While awaiting trial he had to get to permission to leave Hong Kong to come work in the UK. This led to a transfer embargo because all of Yeung’s financial results were delayed. Despite promises to resign to not damage the club long term he tried to choose who should be on the board, breaking rules due to his conviction, at which point he should have zero dealings with football.

3- Venkys (Blackburn)

The Venkys had a vision. They were going to use their popularity in chicken to make Blackburn a big deal in India. The two would advertise each other, the food on their shirts with the football team visiting the country to grow awareness. Look on YouTube to watch David Dunn eating chicken. Their original talk was to sign a Raul or Ronaldinho, someone with enough star power to raise the profile of the sport in that part of the world. This is a classic example of how people with little knowledge of the product should surround themselves with those who know the game. Ironically one of them could have been Sam Allardyce who they sacked when in 11th place. If nothing else Big Sam would have kept, you in the League. Instead he was replaced by Steve Keane (who had never been a boss) due to having the same agent as the Venkys. As soon as they realised they had been naive, they stopped caring. Relegation to League one was not as glamorous as the Champions League nights on their 4-year action plan

2 = Alexandre Gaydamax (Portsmouth)
If any group of fans wished they had been a ‘self-financed model’ it’s Pompey fans who must roll their eyes at our complaining. Yet they were a fanbase content with being an established Prem side. They paid massive wages, records later showing some were on salaries expected of those in the Champions League. Gaydamax funded this spending with loans assuming his worst-case scenario would be reselling value, while never assuming, after winning the FA Cup, relegation would be a possibility. Suddenly the recession hit, and banks wanted their cash back quicker and were less flexible. A fire sale began but they couldn’t find the balance between losing assets to pay off debt, while having a squad good enough to not lose Prem money which your counting on to not further harm your income. To be fair to the Israeli he waved off anything owed to him and pushed creditors to name him in the claim not the club.

2 = Ali Al Faraj (Portsmouth)
Ali al Faraj’s own wealth was described as ‘moderate’ with him seeing a chance to own a club on the cheap. That’s why today you have to prove you have the funds to be an owner. He simply found 17 million but was waiting for another 30, meaning players were now waiting for their wages. The Premiership were now withholding TV money to pay money owed to other clubs and put a transfer embargo on them. Relegation presented even more problems as the Football League have even stricter rules.

1 -Peter Ridsdale (Leeds)
If ever a club could act like a case of ‘be careful what you ask for you might just get it’ gooners, it’s Leeds United. They did exactly what we want Mr Kroenke to do, show ambition forgetting to do what Stan does, keep an eye on if the business is bleeding money. I got tired growing up hearing how they lived the dream’. In reality they got to one Champions League semi-final, something 6 English sides have done since. Hardly worth gambling your entire future on. Everything was fine as long as they always made the top 4. Given that their highest ever position was 3rd, they had no right to think it was a sure thing. That was their problem though …. arrogance
A manager and a young squad who thought they were better than they were, just stocking up in areas they didn’t need. At one point they were paying wages to Viduka, Smith, Fowler, Keane and Bridges. They never made it public but as soon as they finished 5th in 2002 a fire sale began. Still stopping the bleeding 15 years later.
Reviewing some of these cases, we could do a lot worse than Stan!

Dan Smith


  1. Kroenke has given us a 200+ M squad, but his financial power still can’t be compared with the sheikhs

    After Bin Zayed group have completed their takeover on Newcastle, it’s gonna be more difficult to rely solely on Kroenke’s money

    1. urhhhh..Kroenke did not ‘give’ us anything let alone £200 mil.

      He did take money out though!

    2. I live in Newcastle and have been following the takeover and can say that this takeover happening is extremely unlikely. The group are viewed with scepticism due to a failed takeover of Liverpool I believe (they could not provide proof of funds), there has been no information from them for the last 4 weeks since they were once again asked to produce proof of funds. They used a Dubai based DJ to make their first statement too which I would not consider the actions of serious bidders. If you also look at the actions of the club just now you wouldn’t believe they are close to a takeover.

      The mood on Tyneside is very sombre right now. They have lost their manager, several of their most important players and have employed Steve Bruce as their manager (on a 3 year deal I may add!!). I really do not think anyone needs to worry about NUFC right now….well, apart from NUFC fans.

  2. Yes but Not exactly. There were other board members too like Usmanov who had a significant ownership of shares in Arsenal.

    If you notice, since Kroenke has become pretty much the sole owner of Arsenal his budget for this summer is reported to be between £40-45 million. Which seems to me that Usmanov and other share holders twisted arms and put pressure on Kroenke to Spend. Now he’s the boss, he doesn’t need to

  3. I don’t care about other clubs. Just Arsenal.

    To be fair, we’ve had plenty of money to spend but it was wasted by Wenger.
    Ozil £45 million
    Mustafi £35 million
    Xhaka £35 million
    Alexis £32 million and traded him for Mkhitaryan
    Chambers £16 million (which was a lot for a youngster)

    We also let Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck etc leave on free transfers

    POOR financial management!!!

    Emery’s only bad signing is Lichtsteiner but that was a free transfer

    1. INNIT, be careful what you are saying on here. telling the truth about wenger might not go down very well in certain quarters. a list of questions might follow from the wenger brigade who still think the sun shines out of you know where. but maybe not, it is impossible to deny the truth in what you have written . and a lot more players could be added to your list, but there is no point. no need crying over spilled milk, eh.excellent comment , by the way .

    2. Innit, POOR summing up on certain things!!!

      Wilshere and Welbeck left after their contracts were not renewed…
      Ramsey left on a free after UE etc took back an agreed contract and AW had been out of the loop for two years…
      Chambers is still with us…
      Xhaka and Ozil both in contention for UE’s new captain, so UE doesn’t see it the way you do…
      Sanchez – Would you want him back?
      Mustafi…yes I agree…

      Apart from the above, can’t argue with your “excellent comments”.

      What do you think about the new stadium though, some think that was PERFECT financial management and design by Wenger alone and a dream come true?

      Hope YOU can answer these simple questions, as some on here don’t seem to have the ability to back up their comments.

      1. Yes poor old near perfect Arsene WeNGER eh Ken! Nothing was ever his fault! Not to you at least!

        1. Hi Jon, good to see you back.

          The only perfect person I have met is yourself old bean, at least that’s what you keep telling me!!!!

          Tell me old friend, why don’t you have a go at answering the observations and questions for Innit…I’m sure you will find a reason for everything being his fault…although, of course, he does see the Ozil situation a little differently to you doesn’t he?

          Does that signal a little crack in the saintly armour you have put around him I wonder?

          1. Hang on Jon, it looks like gerry burkes obsession with the truth might just see him answer the questions I posed yesterday – Hahaha – THAT’LL BE THE DAY!!!

            Meanwhile Innit and Jon perhaps you can answer the above?
            This trend of not answering questions to posts is becoming a trend, at least have the b***s to back up your thoughts and accusations.

          2. so so funny, in fact , so funny that you should consider being on the stage. i have checked the timetables, and believe it or not , there is one pulling out of town in 27 minutes, please, please be on it . hahahahahahahahahaha.

          3. Yet another untruth Ken as you well know. I have never ever said I am perfect and often said that I am as fallible as we all are on this Earth. But why let the inconvenient truth get in the way of a comical insult? But,if it was just meant as light hearted banter then that is fine. As for Innit, I totally agree with his above post(apart from him saying “we had PLENTY of money to spend”), but he is right in saying that what was allowed by Scrooge was largely “wasted by Wenger” and Gazidis ). Shame you don’t agree too, as he is telling the plain( to those of us who choose to see what is clearly in front of us) truth.

      2. You want specific answers to your questions so here goes: WILSHERE AND WELBECK, CONSTANTLY INJURED, WERE CORRECTLY NOT OFFERED NEW CONTRACTS. Ramsey was mishandled for years under Wenger and often played wide right instead of where h was naturallysited and sometimes Ozil was stupidly preferred to Ramsey so he got fed up. Had WeNGER NOT WASTED THR MONEY ON NEW CONTRACTS FOR oZIL AND NOT BOUGHT THE DREADFUL XHAKA, MUSTAFI AND Elneny, HE COULD HAVE OFFERED RAMSEY THE ADMITTEDLY GROSS NEW WAGE OF £200K PK HE WANTED AND WHILE HE WAS KEEN TO STAY. cHAMBERS IS STILL WITH US . SO WHAT? I MUCH PREFER HIM TO MOST OF OUR CURRENT SO CALLED DEFENCE. Disagree with making either OZIL OR XHAKA CAPTAIN FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT BOTH SHOULD LEAVE ASAP. NO TO Sanchez returning BUT it needs to be recognised that the main reason he became unsettled was because virtually no other player matched his energy and on field commitment when playing, until he got pissed off with the general demotivation under WeNGER. Mustafi, we agree he is rubbish. Emirates Stadium, yes WENGER DESERVES MUCH CREDIT FOR THE DESIGN AND WORK HE PUT IN. Always happy to answer your questions. Perhaps you could tell me why WENGER COULD NOT RECOGNISE A TOP CLASS CB IF ONE BIT HIM, CAMPBELL APART? KOS WAS NEVER REMOTELY AS GOOD AS Sol, Bould, Adams, McLintock and the true greats we had at CB AND ALMOST ALL WENGERS CB IMPORTS WERE RUBBISH OR SUB PAR, STARTING WITH SENDEROS RIGHT THROUGH TO MUSTAFI. Also tell me why he left the gaping hole left after Gilberto left at DM for a full decade and why so many players were just not motivated to work hard, esp Walcott, Mkhi and Ozil? Why did he keep serial injured players so very long costing money for not being fit? Diaby most of all? Why was he a slave to the 70th minute for subs?

        1. Jon, when you write a script as long as the one above, it would be much easier to read and digest, if you didn’t use so many capital letters and relied on people to understand your thoughts.

          You know the first point was tongue in cheek, shame on you if you didn’t.

          Second, you agree with me then, about Wishere and Welbeck were not offered new contracts…excellent.

          Third, Xhaka, Mustafi and Elneny have all been given new contracts under UE, along with selecting Ozil…so it follows that he doesn’t think they are dreadful…funny that from the man who you trumpet as a wonderful manager. Why offer contracts and select them?

          Fourth, I’m not sure if you wanted Ramsey to stay or not? The point was Jon and you COMPLETELY ignored it as usual, was that it was two years ago when the three musketeers were introduced to the club and took over the dealings of contracts…THEY offered the grotesque wage and then took it off the table…correct?
          If Ramsey was so mishandled, why on earth was a contract of that magnitude offered then? Have you even cosidered that scenario when you go on about “wasted money”

          Fifth, so the fact that manure and city turned the head of Sanchez had nothing to do with the last twelve months of his disruptive behaviour? You always tell others to be realistic, so I ask you then, do you believe he didn’t know what salary he could get from manure? He was a disruptive figure and it has been proved so at manure.
          Do I consider that a mistake was made by not selling him earlier? Yes I do…but tell me Jon, be honest here, what would you have said if that had happend and who would you have blamed?

          Sixth, and after Giberto? Well, you conveniently forgot to mention Song, Coquelin and Flamini…but I agree that they were not at the level of Giberto…just as Torreira and Guendouzi aren’t.
          The thing is Jon, we were so lucky to have had players like Gilberto in our team, they really don’t just grow on trees, as you seem to imply do they?

          Next, CB’s…well Jon, have you forgotten the Invincible pairing of Sol and Toure? Then of course, Per, Kos himself, Holding…so let’s take these players and the ones you mention and I will ask you ONCE AGAIN, how did we keep finishing in the top four year after year after year???
          yOU HAVE never tried or been able to answer this simple question, despite saying you answer all questions put to you…let’s see if you do this time!!!

          Chambers? It was stated we had sold him cheaply…I was pointing out, as you have, he is still with us.

          Your definition of working hard is based on your perception that one must be SEEN to give 100% in your eyes, BUT that doesn’t mean you are right, so I’ll ask you AGAIN Jon, why has UE selected these players who, in your eyes, are “bleeding the club dry and fooling the fanbase”?…Why are you not devoting the same number of capital letters to decry him in the same manner? It really does make you look rather two faced.

          Injured players…no argument on that one Jon, let’s hope that you will not have to question the likes of Holding, Bellerin, Monreal and all the other horrific injuries that you say was a major influence on UE’s first season…while you never considered that injuries might have affected us in previous seasons.

          I think I’ve answered all your questions Jon, not tried to deviate and perhaps you could now do the same?
          If I have missed any, you can repeat them when you answer my questions fully.

          Finally, the Emirates…you recently dismissed one of Dan’s posts talking about the clubs history and it’s owners…yet you do not hesitate to tell others that they need to know our history, as your age has allowed you to do (don’t know why age is relevant by the way).

          I was replying to a post that I believe you would have put in that bracket…it wasn’t praising anyone, just TRYING to do what you so often say we all should do and that is to know the facts.

          1. Great to spar with you yet again old friend. Further comments on your interpretation of mine , with which I take issue. Firstly on UE picking the hopeless players he has. I would remind you of a man called Kroenke and his meanness, which I am rather surprised that you have ignored. The difference between AW and UE is that AW chose to buy these flops and UE has had little viable alternative other than to play them much of the time. He would rather have not had to, I would suggest. Rather a pertinent point I would humbly suggest Ken!

            Secondly, my view on the Ramsey contract differs from yours in that two years ago AW was still manager and would have certainly had a key input into the decision to offer that new contract. UE, once installed, saw how hopeless was the financial situation esp given the huge waste of wages on both Ozil and Mkhi- neither of which I believe he would have allowed , were he manager at the key time. But he was not. I believe UE initially overrated Ramsey but once installed he saw holes in his game and gave the order to withdraw that contract. But it was mainly the contractual immovability of OZIL and his wage that SEALED that RAMSEY decision, IMO.
            On your injuries point, I do think UE was unlucky with key and long term injuries , but unlike Wenger he has not kept serially injured players eg Diaby, Walcott, Rosicky for years and years on high wages for hardly ever playing. I strongly doubt that he ever will do so, even if he manages us for 22 years. I see no cavalier in him; just a roundhead and one who puts the club above the individual player and thank Heavens for that!
            Finally, as to my use of CAPITALS FOR SPEECH EMPHASIS, as you are a forensis student of my past and others past posts , you must assuredly hav enotice the several times that I hav e told others on here why I USE CAPITALS FOR SPEECH EMPHASIS. Just as normal people do in normal face to face speech(unless, Rooney like , they speak in a mumbling monotone and bore folks to death!) Happy to carry on debating if you wish and always happy to answer your questions, if only to put right your strange perception of the truth what I actually write, which perception(of yours) is often missing or incorrect.

          2. Jon, in answer to your replies:

            First, you didn’t address the new contracts offered to those “dross” players UE considered deserved them, so I would like your answer on that one.

            Injuries? Yes I concede that, following the proud traditions of our club, we have looked after players that cost a lot of money…as I say, let’s hope we don’t have that kind of decision to make during UE’s watch.

            Second, sorry Jon, but you are hiding behind our ex manager regarding Ramsey’s contract offer and you know it. Surely you remember the day gazidis introduced the three wise men just over two years ago? That was the day that we were told ALL transfer and contract negotiations were to be conducted by them.
            A day of monumental significance was the description – but know you are back peddling to suit your argument.

            Are you know saying that UE had no idea of the financial situation and what each player was earning? Oh come on Jon, you don’t think he would have asked about these things?

            As for having little viable option but to play them, you seem to have forgotten the files of each and every player that was touted as being so significant in him getting the position…It obviously didn’t stop him from taking it did it?

            YET AGAIN I ask you how you explain that, with these flops, as you call them, we were able to make top four, CL and fa cup wins?
            In fact, UE managed to get to a european final with these players as the backbone of the side. ..SO PLEASE JON GIVE ME THE REASON as to why this occurred?

            Glad to see that you didn’t contest the sanchez , Chambers and Gilberto issues, perhaps we are getting somewhere?

            No one is arguing about anyone’s rights are they? What I find amusing is the reason you have given regarding the article on past owners.
            How many times have you berated others on here regarding their knowledge of our history? This, during heated
            debates about current issues of the here and know, I should add.

            You say I misunderstand the truth of what you write…that’s the truth as you see it of course.
            I see you as always bringing in my passion for ensuring that what AW achieved, both good and bad, is not lost by false allegations and twisting of facts….you always turn this into a situation that encourages others to mislead my thoughts as a blinding worship of the man. That is not true as you well know.

            Anyway, look forward to, at last, getting an answer to the question you always seem to duck out of.

  4. INNIT, be careful what you are saying on here. telling the truth about wenger might not go down very well in certain quarters. a list of questions might follow from the wenger brigade who still think the sun shines out of you know where. but maybe not, it is impossible to deny the truth in what you have written . and a lot more players could be added to your list, but there is no point. no need crying over spilled milk, eh.excellent comment , by the way .

    1. But that bus is late…oh of course!!!
      Arsene Wenger designed the timetable, manufactured the bus, is actually driving it and has arranged the road repairs so it arrives late, lying and cheating about everything on the way!!!

      Never mind gerry, you live in your world and I’ll live in mine…I’ll answer any questions to back up my views…such a shame you can’t/won’t do the same.
      Over and out!!!

      1. what are you babbling on about nowold chap, i have no idea. buses, timetables, late, repairs. sorry, i am not with you on this one mr.kennith.

        1. Exactly old bean, if YOU can spout rubbish that makes no sense, then so can I OR as the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them…it really is infuriating isn’t it?

          Anyway, as I said, your world / my world…no more unanswered questions, no more wasting time, just over and out:

          1. tis the hot weather really gets to the seniors, they babble on and on . but it will be gone soon, so order will be restored.drink plenty of watter.

          2. Gerry, Jon fox, Ken1945, Phil, Kenny Rolfe, myself and probably others on here are of similar ages. Even though we may not always agree, we agree to disagree and are all long term Arsenal supporters.
            I would speak up about anyone, who talked about people posting here being “wet behind the ears” and lacking life experiences; similarly talking about “seniors” and “babbling” has no place here.

  5. This does not make me feel any better..

    Chelsea, man utd and Liverpool have all won things during our prolonged spell of austerity and isn’t that what football is about after all? I won’t mention hull and Birmingham;)

    We were promised competing with the best before our move from Highbury and it just hasn’t transpired.

  6. OT: about the Koscielny situation, since he wants to go back to France, and ASSE wants Saliba to be loaned back to them, why don’t arsenal propose adding Koscielny to the transfer fees for Saliba, and ASSE would have a replacement, and we also can have our guy right away, rather than wait for a whole year, when our defence needs immediate fixing

      1. “May”, you said, not “won’t”…… we won’t know for sure, unless we make the offer

    1. Like most clubs in France or Europe for that matter, saint Etienne are a selling club,I doubt they’d go for it,they want cash also koss is 33 and high wages,it would be bad business for them!

  7. What most fans would like (I think),is a middle ground between spending and being competitive!

  8. If we are in the market for the truth, look at all of Kroenke’s American franchises/clubs. There have been a lot of owners in the UK who bit off more than they could chew or who saw pounds floating above their heads. They are in no way at all worse than Kroenke. Kroenke didn’t give a money’s peanut for St Louis supporters and he doesn’t give a monkey’s peanut for you. There are no mitigating circumstances for Mr Satan Kroenke of the murder hunting channel. He is more of a low life that even Leeds ex gangster owner. Arsenal cannot shine under Kroenke. It cannot happen. A 100% of the time Kroenke thinks of Kroenke. Never the supporters…..ever.

  9. It has come to a real state of things when our owner is compared to a load of lowlife scumballt who also owned Prem clubs. Shame is is imposssible to compare them with good owners , like Fenway Sports and even the oil rich billionaires who own Man City and bankroll them for endless funds, thus making all competition one sided.Though the Sheikh is not a nice person, he does at least put his money in, unlike SATAN KROENKE AND SON. Huge shame David Dein never built on his one time 41% holding. He would have been the perfect owner . Sigh!

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors