Sky interview with the Arsenal owner Josh Kroenke by Dan Smith
In his interview with Sky Sports, Josh Kroenke wanted to stress that he views his family’s ownership as starting in 2018.
I will give him the benefit of the doubt, as the perception for a while has been that his father would focus on the American franchises in their portfolio, allowing Arsenal to be his son’s baby.
In a couple of years Josh has managed more public interviews then his dad did in over a decade.
While KSE cannot get away with years of zero ambition, it’s smart PR (and maybe the truth) for a son not not be judged based on the sins of his parent.
Do I believe Josh truly knows the success of the Womens team? Of course not.
Was he caught out when he failed to name a player who his own playing style could be compared to? Yes.
But lets be fair, any owner being interviewed for a PR exercise is going to be prepped.
Any way you want to twist a stat, Arsenal are a business that have regressed.
When any business continues to fail and meet its target, eventually the buck stops with the owners.
That’s why Josh is smart enough to keep pointing out that officially it wasn’t till 2018 that his family were 100 percent in charge.
Of course, it’s over a decade since they had control, but Josh understandably wants to distance himself from the regression as most as possible.
I don’t know if I’m being manipulated but in a sense this interview was a success, because it left me with hope that essentially maybe we have fresh younger eyes overseeing the lay of land.
After all, I can give plenty of examplesof where Kroenke senior lacked ambition .
I can’t say the same about Kroenke Junior can I ….
Here are 10 takeaways from the interview ….
Josh kind of contradicts himself in this area.
He talks about mentality being something that had to be addressed in every department.
What he fails to realise is the perception is from many that standards were lowered from those in power at the very top of the Arsenal tower, and naturally that flows downhill.
Hence since his father brought his first share at the football club, the Gunners went from title contenders to a team who seemed to only care about being in the top 4 and the revenue that gained.
It has got to the point where some Gooners would view 6th as success.
Whether he means it or not, Josh speaks well, but openly admits to viewing the fixture list and ‘Knowing the first three games would be a difficult run’.
This is essentially Arteta’s employer giving excuses as to why it’s understandable to lose your first three matches with an aggregate score of 9-0.
Would Roman Abramovich say the same?
Something that I have clashed with some of my peers over is it is simply unacceptable for Arsenal to be finishing 8th in consecutive years and now viewing top 6 as progress.
Well, it’s now come out of the horse’s mouth, with Josh accepting that Arsenal have expectations that are not being met and that Arsenal fans should still expect the best, like they have done for so long in their history.
He says we shouldn’t accept the current position, that short term the target is to get back to the Champions League as quick as possible, which would make it easier to lift the title.
So, those are his word -s not just mine.
Having listened to this interview and the one with BFG a month ago, I do believe Arsenal as a club have an action plan that they haven’t had for years.
Whether that plan works no one knows, but it does seem the Kroenke Family have been pressured into at least formulating a long-term vision.
Josh accepts Arsenal were forced to do that once they stopped competing for a place in the top 4. He said it forced every department to look themselves in the mirror.
Again, his lack of awareness is funny. Of all those who got complacent and stagnated, his father was the main culprit and had the power to change things.
No man accepted ‘only finishing 4th’ more than Kroenke senior.
Not investing the Nasri and Fabregas money… how much talent we gave Man City… letting Van Persie go to Man United… resigning a Sol Campbell when we needed a defender,… the Suarez and a pound mess – Kroenke had the power to change all of that.
Perhaps the biggest test for Josh will be how he responds if Arsenal ever return to the top 4?
Will he stand still or strive for more?
Almost as a thank you for getting this exclusive, Geoff Sheeves tried to give the narrative that it might be hard for Arsenal to compete given the resources of Chelsea and Man City.
Thankfully Josh responded by reminding the interviewer that Arsenal also have resources
His Dad is the 14th richest sports owner in the world, valued at over 8 billion.
He’s simply chosen not to invest his own wealth like an Abramovich has.
From a PR exercise of course, Josh would play down Arsenal’s involvement in the Super League. The club apologised and it doesn’t benefit him to dwell on the subject.
Yet to describe it as a 48-hour decision that shouldn’t define KSE, trivialises the damage long term they were trying to do.
He simplifies the situation as Arsenal choosing to be involved was better than being left behind.
That’s the stance that Chelsea and City tried to put together when they were the first clubs to withdraw as founding members.
It’s naive to try and paint Arsenal as an innocent party who were being dictated to by their richer peers.
The Super League would have followed the American sports model of zero relegation and promotion, you would make money by just being a brand.
The US owners involved in the ‘big six’ are believed to have been the main pushers to get the concept over the line.
Stan is richer than Joe Lewis, the Glazers and John W Henry so it’s almost insulting to pretend he was simply being directed by others.
His current business model is that Arsenal make money regardless of League position due to TV money.
The Super League would have been similar, 300 million just for competing.
This is where it’s smart of Josh junior to base his observations since his family officially owned the club.
Even though KSE’s association with the Gunners lasts over a decade it’s only since 2018 Josh has had major involment. So, you can’t judge him on what came before.
That could be the truth or a genius damage limitation.
Under Josh’s watch he’s having more dialogue with fans then his dad has ever done, he’s refinanced the stadium debt, improved the training ground and spent the most money during a worldwide pandemic.
Never Again ……
In interviews like this it can be lip service.
Credit Josh for, when asked, insisting Arsenal would never try and break away again without consulting their fans.
Tracey Crouch’s review
He was more diplomatic towards the idea of fans being represented on our board.
Tracey Crouch’s fan led review is expected to share the view that that’s what fans want, something the Arsenal Supporters Trust have long wanted.
Josh says he wants to wait and see the final report before commenting.
Some claim that the Spotify owner bid for the Gunners as a publicity stunt.
Josh wasn’t in the mood to do that here, simply stressing that Arsenal are not for sale.
Who is Arsenal?
Both parties were aware in this interview that your audience will not all fall for buzz words and propaganda.
So, Josh wouldn’t have said it lightly that Arsenal have a reach that other in the KSE portfolio don’t have.
Josh himself is a huge Basketball fan, but accepts that the Denver Nuggets don’t have the worldwide viewership or social media numbers the Gunners have.
Nor do the LA Ram’s, Colorado Avalanche, the Rapids, etc.
Again, this might change the outlook.
It’s often been said that Stan would prioritise his American teams being an American sports fan.
Josh, on the other hand, sees this as his baby…
Let me know how you feel after this interview.
Maybe I’m being naive, maybe I’m trying to convince myself things will be different but I’m willing to judge the Josh Kroenke era separate to his dad’s.
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