10 talking points from Josh Kroenke’s Arsenal interview

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 ….

 

Mentality

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?

 

Standards

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.

 

Plan

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?

 

Competing Financially

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.

 

Super League

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.

 

Fan interaction

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.

 

Daniel EK

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.

 

Be Kind in The Comments

 

Dan

Tags Arteta josh kroenke Kroenke

16 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Kudos to the Kroenkes for sticking with Arteta/ Edu and for giving them big transfer funds. The top six target has been achieved in November

    It’ll be difficult to keep it till the end of the season, because of the other clubs’ resources and their managerial experiences. But we can do it, as long as we maintain the players’ and the supporters’ harmony

    1. Dan kit says:

      What top six target are you talking about ,I haven’t seen this mentioned,I must have missed that and would have thought being 6th in November was definitely not something that was talked about as a goal .

      1. gotanidea says:

        I said he should be replaced if we don’t reach top six in November or December. Of course he’ll get the boot as well if we’re out of top six in the end of the season

        1. JEMMAN says:

          Yes you did☝️

    2. Johnze says:

      Because of other club resources ?! Let me smile…. We are closer to top6 on a resource point than any other team out of top6. Do west ham have more than us ? Leicester ? Villa ? Etc… 6th should be our position GAI. We have the 5th payroll of EPL and we invested the most this summer. So we should not /never complain about resources. We should be 5th or 6th if standing based on resources.

  2. Adajim says:

    I really do not care so much if things are going in the right direction.
    We really don’t need to hear from him if we are competing on the pitch and winning trophies, and to be fair, things are really taking a new turn this season, both men and women team including u-23

  3. Val says:

    Firstly, anything related to pre -2018 is not on KSE, they weren’t in total control of the club so for me that all falls on the past stewardship, as Josh syas in his interview, he doesnt count anything before they took control, i can understand that.

    They came in and it has taken time for pretty much a complete restructure of the club, from pitch to business, its all changed.

    How i took this was that when they came in, they wanted to put into place this younger model but also had to use ” quick fixes” to basically sustain performances – Luiz, Willian, these spring to mind for that.

    But they did invest in youth or younger players when they appointed UE, with KT, Pepe and Saliba.

    So this idea has been around for a while so kudos to them.

    He also brings up the broken transfer record and how that mistake lead them to re evaluate how to go about their transfer business.

    With everything that has happened to the club over the last 3 years and coupled with that interview, i can see the direction and model the club are trying to achieve.

    You cant say the managers we have had in that time have not been backed financially either, there has been a lot spent, some good some bad.

    I am starting to see the bigger picture and its very different to what other clubs are doing or have done so i am interested to see over the next few season how it pans out.

    1. Eddie says:

      Exactly Val, it was interesting to listen to everything he said 👍🏼
      I thought getting a full transcript would’ve made more sense than Dan trying to narrate it though

      1. Admin Pat says:

        The whole interview has now been posted on site, Eddie….

  4. Tomorrow says:

    From a point of view of the board.
    The current media work, both interviews with SS and the new serie pn Amazon, the club are looking to show they do care and do have plans.

    A 70 year old Amercian is never going to be visible in the UK. He lent on Wenger so much for so long and in some ways, the club was in safe hands.

    I always felt a few years back Josh was the man to manage Arsenal. And here we are, the man to take over the empire is at the forefront of Arsenal!

    In terms of the football. If a future self told you that arsenal would be 6pts off top spot and 3 puts off 2nd and ahead of 2 of the so called top 6, would you be thinking your future self is a little loco?!?!!

    Huge well done to AFC but as Mikel says, nothing is done yet.

    And admittingly the stats look good but we still havent scored freeflowingly, as much as our forward style has been aggressive..

    So I still see our footballing potential, much like that of the KSE owner with alot yet still to do!

  5. Eddie says:

    I like Josh, he seems to be a nice guy and he’s interested in the club. Now if it’s PR, I don’t know, but also he’s spent a lot since he got in charge. He admitted to trying quick fix by breaking the transfer record after we lost the UCL but they had to realize the club needs a total overhaul and rebuilding.
    Even though the process hasn’t been completely interesting.
    It’s moving forward, the shift in culture, reconnecting the players to the history of the club. Though that one is all on Arteta.
    Arteta seemed to have gone from coach to manager and now to an interior decorator.
    It’s great reading all the new changes and touch up he has initiated at the club which includes having a huge picture of Arsene Wenger that players have to high five before stepping into the gym.
    I think these set of men deserve time, there’s a plan, and they’ve done well this past summer.

    Josh Kroenke is 41
    Vinai Venkatesham is 40
    Edu Gasper is 43
    Mikel Arteta is 39.

    These are still young men who definitely do have something to offer differently from the old horse regime.
    Put into consideration all the new appointments and letting go of Raul also, the signings lately, and you’d be willing to give them a chance.
    This season will say how far we’ve come over the last 2 years

    1. Angus says:

      Said awhile back when Josh was turning up to training sessions that he seemed to have got the football bug a bit. It was going to be one of the focuses of my positive article series as an interested Josh could only be a good thing but the Pandemic struck just as I’d outlined them and the transfer ones were made redundant so I shelved it. They didn’t have sole ownership so anything they did before then particularly cash injections but literally anything besides the results would be shared with the other shareholders hardly ideal.

  6. jon fox says:

    DAN though I have, on the huge majority of times over the years, praised your articles – and I DO SO HERE TOO- you personally are very difficulty to ever get a word of agreement with, whenever I post.

    But I bear you no ill will at all and have deep respect for your writing ability and generally fine and proper analysis, as this excellent piece once again proves.

    I can agree with all you say but I make the point that, as far as we know, the club actually and legally belongs to father, not to son and we cannot nor should not take for granted that son has the final say in financial or directional decisions, when push comes to shove.

    What if they fall out! IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN BETWEEN FATHERS AND SONS, I SUGGEST.

    I agree that JOSH seems, on the surface, to be a different animal from STAN, BUT I ADVISE CAUTION TO THOSE WHO ASSUME THAT IS SO.
    IT IS NOT PROVEN AND MAY NEVER BE.

    IMO, both Kroenkes value money above almost anything else and certainly above AFC and what its fans crave.

    Tell me I am mistaken if you dare . I wish I were but don’t think I am. Not for a single moment do I ever think that,when judging BOTH Kroenkes.!

    1. Daniel Smith says:

      No your not mistaken

  7. Mike M says:

    I have long been of the opinion that Arsenal were screwed by David Dein who seems to be something of an Arsenal folklore hero for hiring Wenger (kudos to him for that. but it WAS his job), yet has never been held accountable for cashing in $75m selling to Usmanov. Let’s be clear, Dein made a lot of money in that deal (at the time it was a fortune), and left Fizman holding the baby, putting him in an untenable position. He didn’t think selling to Usmanov was a good idea (Abramovich #2??) so any references to KSE not being Abramovich seem pretty clear, Usmanov would have been preferable KSE.
    With hindsight maybe Usmanov would have been better, but I don’t believe that. From what I read, he’s extremely shady. KSE were entrusted with the stewardship of Arsenal by a majority of our shareholders, there must have been a reason for that, and it wasn’t money (Usmanov would have paid more).
    It’s understandable that KSE didn’t want to make Usmanov more money using their money. Is that fair to Arsenal, to play a waiting game with the future of our club? I don’t really think it is but they got what they wanted and now they’re in control. I think they have a lot of “making up” to do for us as fans but I also believe they’re doing it, because now as the club grows, in value and stature, so does their investment, and they benefit 100% from it instead of 60%.
    We got caught in the crossfire of a hostile partner and we’ve paid the price. Let’s see if Josh and Stan are ready to step up.

  8. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    this wannabe Bond villain will say just about anything to protect THEIR best interests…meanwhile back at that ranch they’re plotting any moves necessary to try and secure a Super Bowl victory in LA regardless of the inherent costs…where the f has that desire for championship hardware been hiding since his arrival in North London…Josh is nothing more than a poisoned puppet with a far more palatable demeanor than his absentee landlord of a Father

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