Despite Arsenal’s spending record, Kroenke is still Arsenal’s REAL ongoing problem

Despite spending money, why Kroenke is Arsenals REAL ongoing problem by Jon Fox

Having just today read a fine article by Anders, where I agree with a lot of what he says but where I say he OMITTED my take on Kroenke, I want to give the fuller, truer, story about Kroenke:

Kroenke bought into Arsenal in 2007, the existing Board having, disastrously IMO, first ousted the magnificent and dedicated Arsenal fanatic, David Dein, who had always been such a vital part of Arsene Wenger’s glorious first decade. Thus, our Board made the worst and most costly mistake in our long history. Wenger without Dein was like fish without chips, like Morecambe without Wise.

Put simply, AW’s lifeline and steadfast great support and supporter was suddenly cut adrift, and thus the greatest boardroom bomb of a mistake of my own 64 years as a regularly attending fan, was catastrophically dropped onto our beloved Arsenal.

As if this was not bad enough, almost immediately in came Kroenke, a USA multi billionaire who had then, and still has, no real knowledge and no love at all of what he would call “soccer”, but which the world outside USA knows as football.

Our remorseless drift from the summit of Prem football began at that very time back in 2007 and though we have won several FA cups since then, the real test of a side, i.e., the Prem title, has become further and further from our possible dreams ever since.

My intention in this article is to show how many awful appointments to run our club have been made by this absent and uncaring owner, who lives on a continent over 3000 miles away and whose one TRUE sporting love is the LA RAMS, a team he has relocated at huge cost, right across the USA.

In this globally connected age of instant communication, Kroenke’s deserved nickname of Silent Stan is rightly directed against him and his belief in not communicating at all with we fans – who, indirectly, fund and adore his “legal possession”- is shameful. No person with proper human values who cares for other humans as friends, family, or even as “just” employees and paying customers, would DREAM of treating other people with such disdain and contempt.

But contempt for us at Arsenal is precisely what he has always shown… I will of course mention the morally bankrupt and instantly fan-crushed attempt to railroad us into the so called European Super League, which only a naive fool could fail to see was done ONLY to guarantee he and his fellow conspirators among the Super Six, PERSONAL WEALTH BEYOND COMPARE, FOR EVER AND A DAY! Despicable does not cut it!!

Under the Covid pandemic, this dreadful owner then summarily got rid of a number of hard working and loyal backroom staff with never a backward glance. To Kroenke, the “little people” do not matter and they are not valued or even asked their opinion.

Just summarily dismissed! UGH! And such people are, Im my honest opinion, the lowest of the low and it grieves me that our club is owned by such a person, it truly does. I could add far more about his appalling attitude to other decent human beings, but the purpose of this article is to highlight his dreadful appointments of those in charge of our club, and esp those who look after the day to day running of the non team affairs.

Because fan opinion on JA is so split on our three managers who have run team affairs under Kroenke, I have deliberately chosen not to include my personal views about the three full time managers who have run our team under Kroenke.

In any case, my personal views are well known and, though shared by some, are loathed and mocked by others, so I wish to avoid deflecting from my REAL PURPOSE in this piece, if you will allow me!

I was tempted to include those managers, but knew that if I did so, that the REAL PURPOSE of this piece would be ignored and overlooked, and I naturally wish to avoid that.
Kroenke appointed the dreadful and non-football experienced man, Ivan GAZIDIS, as our chief executive or CEO. THE TITLE IS NOT WHAT MATTERS BUT WHAT HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR, VERY MUCH WAS.

Gazidis was, by any rational opinion, nothing short of a disastrous appointment, and he presided over a steady drift away from the great first decade of AW and proceeded to feed we fans lie after lie, after lie and in fact he lost any credibility that he might have ever had at the time if his appointment.

He was IMO a snake and across his many years, he inflicted immense harm on our beloved club AND on our reputation as an honourable club. He was suited to Kroenke of course, as Gazidis too, was unconcerned for our feelings, our devotion and love toward our club and he lied and lied, again and again, about spending money, and promised us the EARTH while delivering almost nothing.

Having, at great expense, moved to the Emirates in 2006, he promised we fans real progress, whilst knowing that money was short and always just before season ticket renewals, he filled us with false hope. Unsurprisingly, when he was seen through and was under huge pressure from fans, he suddenly jumped ship for a better offer, to AC Milan. Good riddance I said at the time, and only wish he had never come at all. But for Kroenke, who, remember knew nothing about football whatsoever, taking AW’s oh so damaging recommendation of Gazidis, without doing proper research into his character, we could and should have avoided Gazidis altogether. I must partly blame AW, but the ultimate decision was that of Kroenke, who therefore MUST carry that can!

And we then had equally appalling and harmful Raul Sanllehi, who came into that role following GAZIDIS and who suddenly, almost overnight, was gone and we were never told why. There are many rumours of course and surely no person in that position just steps down almost overnight, UNLESS……! Well, I wish to be careful what I ALLEGE IN PRINT. AS LIBEL LAWS APPLY IN THIS COUNTRY.

My whole contention then, to sum up, is that Kroenke, having appointed someone in charge then happily leaves other hirings in their hands And my strong contention is that an owner who is a beneficial one, MUST be on hand and at least be on the phone daily and keep his finger on the pulse, as Dein once did so well.

So, Anders, I like the fact you are a thinking man, but I am sorry to say that, for whatever reason, your otherwise fine article COMPLETELY IGNORES WHAT I MAINTAIN IS THE REAL AND ONGOING ROOT OF OUR PROBLEMS.

IT IS KROENKE AND HAS BEEN EVER SINCE 2007. SIGH!

COYG

Jon Fox

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Tags David Dein Gazidis Kroenke

72 Comments

  1. FSG required nine years and sacked three managers, before getting their first major trophy at Liverpool

    Kroenke just increased his shares up to more than 90% in 2018, so he might need five more years before winning his first major trophy at Arsenal

    1. I like how you deduct the years, but chose not to mention the managers part. Perhaps should we sack our 3rd manager under them and hire the 4th maybe we will something by then.

      1. Kroenke didn’t have full authorities and interest, before he became the full owner of Arsenal in 2018. FSG got the full ownership of Liverpool in 2010 and look what they achieved in 2019, so let’s give Kroenke time till 2027

        As for the managers, perhaps Kroenke has to sign his fourth manager if Arteta can’t reach top four next season. I hope Kroenke gives him enough budget this summer

        1. Bahahahahaha. Let’s give him until 2027. You’re killing me here, GAI. You seriously believe that KSE has footballing ambitions with Arsenal?

          Arsenal plays in a merit-based league, unlike Pappa Kranky’s other franchises. In other words, it’s not a safe investment to chase thropies in such an environment. He’ll never invest enough towards a trophy-challenging side, so I say give him forever rather than 5 more years. And increase ticket prices a bit more. Why not?

          1. The amount of money Kroenke has been spending since 2018 is a big investment and it shows his ambition

  2. Unfortunately they ain’t willing to sell the club and i believe he’s a lot changed and better.

  3. 100% Jon, then all the other disasterous appointments stem from Kroenke’s ownership especially the self interested Sanllehi. A man without love is ‘nothing’ as in Corinthians 13, Kroenke was/is Arsenal’s ‘catastrophe’

  4. Silent Stan because he has set the model out and leaves them to operate within those set boundaries. Arsenal are essentially a not for profit… I don’t believe kronke can be blamed for dein being kicked out either. Why does he need to be on hand? That’s why he employs people much more knowledgeable than himself because he knows his limitations. Kronke has made his money by putting the right people with the right knowledge in the right positions. Yeah he didn’t make right decisions to begin with got took for a bit of a fool which why we ended up with pepe.. now kronke has what he believes is the right man (Edu) with josh kronke getting involved and learning building connections of his own. I don’t think everything your throwing at Kronke is really justified. He has corrected his mistake and brought Edu in. Why are you not so down on ozil about people being sacked? The man of the people… He was nothing but a leech who turned a team rotten… your opinions are very short sighted, you’ve interpreted things to fit your agenda such as kronke being problem in 2007 when he was only a shareholder one of many. We spend over £100m every summer we spent more than any other team in premiership last summer we may do so again this year with off top of my head..Pepe,xhaka,Tavares,Leno,Ballard,bellerin,torreira,AMN,Nelson and Mari, easy 100m maybe 150+ there we prob got 120m to spend already so the model we are using is developing still we can see that 15 years after his first involvement kronke still working to evolve methods and team and methods to win things and compete for the best players. You need to look at kronke time at Arsenal differently. The BSO and ASO before and after sole ownership. Kronke clearly wanted entire club so he could develop it his way and not essentially let someone else benefit.

    There has been a big difference in my mind since he took ownership. Our budgets are higher clearly even though goals we achieve are lower. There’s no sign of looking to make quick money, every area of the team has been looked at and adored to meet a modern teams needs. Friendships etc have been long forgotten and what needed doing has happened. People got upset but COVID gave an opportunity to fix some issues. Problems are quickly dealt with in this new disciplined, happy progressive team. People always complain when change happens especially when we are used to things a certain way, we get set in our ways so to speak. Anyway hopefully you will look forward with optimism and realise the long term future of our team is more secure than the teams you would prefer us actually be.

    1. That someone else benefitting I might point out has turned Everton into Top 4 team though ain’t he so I can understand why you would want kronke to help out putins mate with his dodgy cash he needs cleaning…. Pity we wasn’t in Chelsea’s position we be getting a new owner now and be completely uncertain about what we doing where we going who staying going or whether we have any money or not… now I come to think about it maybe kronke has actually been Arsenals saviour….

      1. Nigel,
        Truth be told, Kroenke has always been the problem.
        We need an owner who is more involved in the overall success of the team.
        Someone who demands success and accountability.

      2. Nigel, you fail to understand the WHOLE POINT of my piece. Which is that ANY owner needs to know the business he is buying OR ELSE he fails. You have ignored that point and made a lame and unviable excuse for it.

        But it is correct and profoundly so, despite your inability to see its truth.

        1. I disagree. It is not an immutable law that an owner must be “hands on” in the way that you suggest.
          You clearly have your own perspectives. Nigel has given different and, in my view, valid alternative viewpoints.

    2. So we should all forget the fake bid for Vlahovic and January inactivity that has cost us the 4th spot? Or how every bloody window, there’s at least one unasressed critical position? Or how the entire narrative about reaching the final two years of the contract means a player is transferred out? Or the missed opportunities to sell the likes of Guendouzi and AMN, when their prices were high?

  5. At least, I agree with Jon Fox on something. Kroenke is our problem. Anders only focused on his spending and interpreted it to mean ambition. But he spends on the Rams and also has keen eyes on them. Why not Arsenal?

    1. You got it wrong 😉
      My point was the other way around.
      The false myth about Kroenke not spending was/is used as proof as lack of ambition.
      If you want to use the amount of spending as proof of level of ambition, then the result would be, we are very ambitious. Because we are in fact a high spending club and we have been for many years.

  6. GAI
    just for reference
    His 100% share holdings mean he doesn’t need to disclose in full where as he did before but he was still the person at the helm who was leading us down a dead end street.
    The long and short is…
    JF you are totally right in everything you have said.
    He is the bane of every true arsenal fan
    The blame starts from the top and he sits firmly at the top of the pyramid

  7. We need to get it right this Window.

    Kroenke needs to be more involved.

    As for this summer, I would like Arteta to work on moving Martinelli to the CF role.
    The Gabriel Jesus deal is taking too long. We shouldn’t pay over the odds for him

    I would love this scenario

    In

    Gnarby

    Telesman

    Neves(this guy is an upgrade on Xhaka)

    Ivan Toney: He has the height and physical presence in the box. A good striker.

    Zinchenko

    Out

    Xhaka
    Torrera
    AMN
    Guendouzi
    Mavropanus
    Bellerin
    Cedric
    Mari

    Loan Out

    Tavares
    Lokonga
    Reis Nelson

    CF:

    Nketiah
    Martinelli
    Ivan Toney

    Attacking midfield/Wide Players

    Saka
    ESR
    Odegaard
    Gnarby
    Pepe

    Central Midfield/ Defensive Midfield

    Partey
    Telesman
    Elneny
    Ruben Neves

    Central Back

    Saliba
    Gabriel
    White
    Holding

    Full Back

    Tomiyasu
    Zinchenko
    Tierney

    Please Kroenke, make this happen.
    We need to get It right this window.

  8. Jon, nice article but there is one thing I disagree on and that is when and by whom Gazidis was employed?

    In 2009 Kronke was part of the board which consisted of Hill Wood, Fiszman, Friar, Keswick and Harris. Kronke never became majority share holder until 2011.

    So back then it was all put to the vote and not down to an individual decision. So I think we need to blame all of them not just Silent Stan for the IG appointment, although we can always speculate on who really held all the power since he joined the board of directors.

    Also, as much as we all love him Dein has to take some of the blame for the mess that we are in. I believe Dein introduced Kronke to the board and backed him to be a director and sold out to Usmanov when he felt it was all going pear shaped. So he isn’t innocent.

    But I agree with the rest.

    Unfortunately he is not going sell so we just need to either put up and shut up or keep being toxic as you labeled us in a previous post.

  9. I do agree that Kroenke’s football ignorance is the major reason for our beloved club’s decline. This leads to poor management from the other club executives.
    Also the people in charge of recruitment of players are to blame for our decline too. The number of bad players signings for the past 15 years has been more than the good signings that have been made.

    But how has Ivan Gazidis managed to lead AC Milan back up to winning the Italian league is surprising me.
    Perhaps one might say it is the difference in quality between the English and Italian leagues. I don’t really know.

    In all, I just want to see my beloved club win a major trophy once again.
    The Europa League is looking like the most realistic target for a major trophy after two semi-finals and one runner-up finishes in three attempts.
    We should head to the final this time and be the winners this time around.

    This can only be possible if we make good use of this transfer window and sign a very good striker, central midfielder, left back, and winger.

    If the transfer rumours are credible and to be believed.

    Jesus.
    Tielemans.
    Raphinha.
    Hickey.

    Saliba.
    Turner.

    These players added would improve us a bit. Let us see how it goes, though.

  10. Fine article @Jon Fox but you can’t talk about appointments in a football club without talking about the most important one which is the manager. Kroenke took over full control 2018. Between then and now we’ve had four managers, 1 interim and 3 permanent. Since 2018 till now he has spent over 400 mil. This shows one thing clearly, since taking full control he is keeping an eye on his business. You might not like his method but he clearly wants result. Forcefully retired Wenger, brought in Emery, sacked Emery, had Freddie interim, could have kept him but chose to go for Guardiola’s understudy. Sacked Raul. Wether we like it or not he has shown he is ready to sack anyone once they don’t deliver. He sacked 55 workers not because he is wicked but because he didn’t see their value to his business. Whoever doesn’t give Kroenke value for money will be sacked. Like GAI said FSG took 9 years to get it right. If Kroenke continues being ruthless he will get it right. As we can read he is delaying funds for Arteta’s signings, that should be a warning sign. If Arteta gets it wrong again he will definitely get the sack and Edu too. I think we need to give Kroenke a little more time, he made his son in-charge because he knows his son will be more committed and active.
    Just be a little more patient.

    1. Chapo It is incorrect to say SK only had full control in 2018. That year IS when he had all the shares but he had effective full control of all major decisions as a majority share holder many years previously.

      51% of shares gives you full control in making decisions. That needs to be understood but it seems you dont.

      1. Spot on. Ty-type fans don’t like facts that don’t suit their fantasies about Arsenal still being a great club.

        I mean, Arsenal IS a great club, just in the same fashion Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Everton are.

      2. @Jon Fox. No 51% doesn’t give you full control in making decisions, it might make you the Head but not full control. There are some decisions that still needs the consent of other board members. Until you fully own it you don’t fully own it.

        1. Chapo
          This is an important point. Being majority shareholder obviously gives you power and influence but these are not unlimited.

  11. I envision an improvement with this line up –

    Jesus.

    Saka. Odegaard. Raphinha.

    Tielemans. Partey.

    Hickey. Gabriel. Saliba. Tomiyasu.

    Ramsdale.

    SECOND TEAM (FOR FA CUP, CAROBA CUP, EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP STAGE) –

    Nketiah.

    Martinelli. Smith. Marquinhos.

    Xhaka. Elneny.

    Tierney. Holding. White. Cedric.

    Turner.

    1. Xhaka and Cedric should be sold this summer.

      They are not good enough for any club challenging for major honors.

      Xhaka has cost us a lot. Cedric .

      Gabriel Jesus is not worth 50m pounds Man city is asking for. We need a different kind of forward. A tall imposing Central forward like Haller or Ivan Toney.
      We also need a direct winger like Gnarby. He is top quality. An upgrade on what we have presently.
      Martinelli is a waste on the flanks.
      Arteta should move him to the central forward role. He tries to dribble too much on the wide areas. And most times becomes in efficient.

  12. Well Jon, as you to some extent have directed your piece directly to me, I will of course respond.
    I don’t know Kroenke, so I will stay away from the personal aspects.
    I have no desire to defend or attack Kroenke. I have merely pointed out, that the myth about Kroenke’s alleged greed causing Arsenal to fall behind because of not being able to spend is nothing but a false myth. For some reason, this myth seem to be impossible to kill, despite the facts being easily accessible to anyone willing to spend 10-15 min. checking up on the numbers.
    And as the myth exists it influences the debates, i.e. when someone claims, we have no ambition, because we aren’t spending. The myth, or lie if you like, is used to create negativity and confusion.
    But if you want to discuss actual actions or lack of action taken by Kroenke, or during his time as owner, I see plenty of things, that could lead to criticism. Personally, I think Kroenke was much too slow to realise, Wenger was past it, and we missed a huge opportunity to renew our approach in time. I would be very surprised, if Kroenke himself hasn’t concluded the same. At least the new structure points in that direction.
    Do we have the right people in the right positions? Time will tell.
    Are we doomed as long as Kroenke is the owner? I doubt it, but again, time will tell 😉

    1. I agreed with the majority of your article as well AndersS.

      I really don’t have a care for Stan as he has invested a lot of money into the team as well as being diligent in repaying “the elephant in the room” Ashburton Grove.

      We know what he is and how he operates so whats the point of going over the same ground?

      My issue is with those who run the club so in answer to your question “Do we have the right people in the right positions?” I can tell you No we don’t.

      So far I have seen Edu overspend on potential and keep Brazils economy going.

      Vinai, now if someone tells me what he does I might have an opinion but so far I have seen him do is duck all.

      But I have a real issue with Josh Kronke, he says that he is the voice of KSE at Arsenal. All I have heard is lies and false promises.

      If I was Stan, I’d be asking Josh “WTF, are you doing. I have left you in control of this club and all I have seen is that I am hemorrhaging money? Whose fault is that Josh? It’s your fault Josh!!

      You’ve spent too much time on your stupid beard that you have left a bunch of imbeciles run a part of my portfolio. If you don’t sort this out soon, I’m gonna give it to to your sister Katie.

      Surely she can’t a pigs ear of a mess as you have.

      Also, make sure you have cleaned your bedroom and don’t forget to feed the dogs”

      Sorry went off on a tangent… if you don’t laugh you will cry🤣

      1. “Surely she can’t a pigs ear of a mess as you have.” Should be
        “Surely, she can’t make a pigs ear of a mess as you have.”🤔

      2. Can I also add, no business can survive giving away and under valuing assets without the guarantees of replenishment from other means.

        This is a real concern, no matter how “toxic” these assets are.

        And I think this sums up the club as a whole. Amateurish and a lack of due diligence. I don’t recollect Gazidis giving first team players away and payingthem for the privilege?

      3. I think, after a bit of a wobbly start by Arteta, Edu and Josh Kroenke, they have agreed on the current longer term strategy, building a young team. I think it is a good idea, and I am happy, if they are given a bit more time to show if they can pull it off. I am also quite confident, if they should fail making progress next season, heads will roll.

        1. I’m holding you to that AndersS. 😇

          Heads should have rolled at Christmas in the 2019 and 2020 season.

          Personally as a regular match day goer the sooner these egotistical, narcissists go, the better. IJS

    2. Anders, interested to know who you think made the decision to only sign Petr Cech that summer which went on to cost us the title that season. Wenger or the board?

      1. EastLDN Gooner
        I honestly don’t know. Why are you asking?
        All I know is, Cech was signed in 2015, and already in the years before Arsenal were spending more on new players than all other clubs except City and UTD. So money for new investments seem to have been available.

    3. Anders, MY MAIN POINT is that an owner who neither knows about nor cares for a business , and not merely financially but in loving and cherishing it, is doomed to fail.

      You have ignored that part and focused only on his more recent spending, to which I agreed in my piece.

      But merely spending is NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH- you need to know about and love a business or else it fails.

      And NO business is merely about money but about people also and choosing and getting the right people and sacking those who fail.

      He did not do these things, until far too late and that is also why he is a failure as an owner.

      That WAS my point, but it seems to have passed you by.

      1. If this includes Artedu who has failed in transfers and performances then you have my vote John Fox.👍🏾👍🏻👍👍🏾

        If you could add Vinai and every letter in the alphabet except Y & Z, surname. I will ask the JA committee to declare you king of the world.

      2. @JonFox
        I know very well it is your point of view, that an owner needs to love and cherish a business (or is it only a football club?) in order not to fail.
        I just don’t agree.
        The business world is full of succesfull companies owned by a multitude of shareholders, who mainly invest to get the financial result.
        And in football? Does anyone know, if the owners of Man City truly love and care for that club?
        Do the owners of Liverpool?
        Although I sympathize with the idea, I just don’t see it as a reality.

        1. Anders, And you don’t even allow that football, because of its huge emotional pull and emotion being what keeps it alive, is FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT from, let’s say a bank or utilities company?

          I say you are ignoring the human nature factor, my friend! It’s hard to get emotionally fond of say, Tesco, as a customer, though even then, its CEO is clearly passionate about it.

          We will have to agree to disagree then.

          But I contend that even in a really successful NON football company . the most successful ones are where the ULTIMATE decision maker, is daily involved and it is his passion.
          Your view surprises me , coming from YOU of all people!

          1. As mentioned I sympathize with the idea, but I don’t agree that is how it is. Not even in football. I see no evidence the owners of Liverpool or Man City have a true an deep “love” for their respective clubs. I would say they are successfull at the moment, despite their motives may be financial, or in City’s case, maybe more motivated by a desire to make PR for a country/regime.

    4. Never securing all critical positions and later having that bite us in the a** is also a myth?

      Peter Czech only signing, inactivity this January, not buying a Partey-type for way too long, when it was painfully obvious we needed a Partey. That too takes under 20 minutes to research.

      1. It is a fact Arsenal have spent more on new players than all other clubs, except Man U and Man City for the past 10 years. Therefore it is false myth to claim, we aren’t spending.
        But it is of course not a myth, we haven’t gotten the results the spending could produce.
        I think several people have a hand in this, also our beloved Wenger, who just couldn’t stay ahead in the second half of his tenure. He spent money on players, but obviously not all the right ones.

  13. It was not the glorious first decade that shows the greatness of the legendary Arsene Wenger. After Dean departure and the move to the new stadium, had it been someone else the decline would have been very drastic. We have already seen it under Arteta with unwanted records despite backing and faith he has been given.

    To qualify for UCL every season with the most attractive brand of football the world has ever seen, doing that with academy promoted players and bargain buys, making profit after profit every year, those are worthier and way way greater than any trophy under the sun.

    David Dean didn’t bring out the best of Arsene Wenger, it was the other way around. David Dean was at Arsenal for a long time before Wenger destined arrival but there was no glorious decade before that was there?

    It was his genius, passion and commitment that brought success in the Highbury era. It was his genius, passion, commitment and sacrifice that kept Arsenal among the global giants in and out of the pitch during the Emirates era.

    Was it David Dein who turned a Serie A winger into the most prolific, the most complete and the greatest EPL player ever?

    David Dein played his role very well indeed but no I don’t agree and never will that the great Arsene extraordinary achievements were down no anyone but him.

  14. The debate about who is to ultimately to blame for our massive fall from regular title winners/challengers and CL finalists is always interesting because we all have our opinions but no-one can say with 100% certainty who is responsible. Now I’m probably in a small category of people who believes it’s a combination of the Kroenkes, Wenger as well as the board. So to qualify this, I believe it’s possible that their were times where Wenger wanted to spend money on new signings but wasn’t provided with funds by the board/owner but on other occasions maybe funds were available but he didn’t feel he needed to strengthen the team.
    Now where I can be a bit more definative is that if the Kroenkes were providing funds but Wenger refused to use to helps win more Premier League titles then why didn’t they sack him? On the flip side if it was the opposite why did Wenger just accept those conditions so willfully knowing that 100% of the fanbase would be right behind him if he demanded more from his bosses. So, see I can’t definitively say but as Owner in any business you are ultimately responsible.

  15. Arsenal will once again open the Premier League season, on Friday evening, 5 August.

    The opponent: Crystal Palace

    The location: Selhurst Park

  16. For the sake of argument, does anyone know if John Henry is on hand and keeps his finger on the pulse at Anfield? Does anyone know if Kroenke is involved on a daily basis with the Rams, Avalanche or Nuggets?

    I agree Kroenke has been ultimately responsible for some brutal appointments but disagree that fundamentally there is something wrong with him being Silent Stan and letting others make the important sporting decisions (as long as he puts the right people in charge – a big if).

    1. Voyageur But “he did NOT put the right people in charge” and THAT is a main part of my piece.

      You said that as a mere addendum to your post but it is far and away the MOST important point.

      1. My comment was with respect to your contention that an owner must be on hand and on the phone daily to keep a finger on the pulse. I’m questioning whether that is true and, given Liverpool’s recent success, am interested to know how involved Henry is in a running of the club.. I’ve seen some reports that he is more a Silent Stan than a Roman Abramovich but dont follow it close enough to know.

        No argument from me that Kroenke has made some.dreadful appointments. But so have I if I’m honest so have some sympathies for him in that respect.

  17. first and foremost, I’m no Kroenke Apologist…in fact, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time expressing my justifiable concerns about our absentee landlord’s time here, full ownership or not…so here’s a couple of important points that shouldn’t be overlooked when discussing such matters:

    (1) if you closely examine the Kroenke’s ownership formula, minus his about-face with the Rams in recent years, he leans into a narrative that would even make his in-laws blush, as much like Wal-Mart, he’s always tried to get the most for the least, with minimal personal investment…his interests have never been about winning things, it’s been about finding a sweet spot where one remains just relevant enough to get playoff/European competition monies, so that his long-term investment goals were easily achieved without risking anything in the process

    (2) as soon as David Dein was ushered from the facility our slow yet methodical descent began…this isn’t a coincidence, as he was the most seminal figure in our modern history, even though it would be hard to dispute that Wenger was a close second…the difference being that I believe that things would have been considerably better if Wenger had left, following our move to the Emirates, and Dein had stayed, due to the myriad of club/team building skills he brought to the equation…of course, it goes without saying that the best case scenario would have seen both of them stay on

    (3) Kroenke’s biggest mistakes, of which he should be held accountable, was that he never replaced Dein, much like Wenger never replaced Vieira, and the fact that he allowed an exceedingly fragile and egoistic Wenger to remain in the catbird seat for far too long

    all this chatter about Gazidis is ridiculous, in that as soon as he got out from under Wenger’s thumb he immediately “rebuit” a AC team which had been in an organizational malaise for over a decade…for me, the proof is in the putting and when he was given his shot he quickly proved his worth

    fact remains, the whole self-sustaining model was a Wengerian creation, not Kroenke’s and certainly not Gazidis’s…Arsene clearly resented the new “star” players, as he wanted things to be done in a particular “we” first manner, which means he wasn’t willing to kowtow to anyone…with this in mind, he likewise gutted out most of the “character” players so that no one would usurp his monopolistic control over all things Arsenal-related

    furthermore, he had an insatiable need to be regarded as the smartest man in the room and what better way to prove his “genius” than to take a team relatively bereft of “stars” and make them relevant on the world footballing stage…so when Kroenke didn’t place someone of Wenger’s equal in the room, things invariably went pear-shaped over time…unfortunately a similar dynamic has made it’s way back to the Emirates with MA, which is even more problematic because at least Wenger had proved himself as an exceptional manager and a great footballing mind

    1. I meant and certainly not Gazidis’s…it fit perfectly with Kroenke’s approach to ownership, at that time…just wanted to correct that point so it didn’t contradict my earlier point about how Kroenke generally conducts business when it comes to the vast majority of the teams he owns

    2. I don’t think it was possible for Wenger to leave following the move to the Emirates because of the (legal?) agreement with the banks who financed the stadium build that he would remain at Arsenal for a further five years.
      You’re absolutely correct about Gazidis proving himself at AC. I’m very surprised more people have not made an issue of this.
      As for Wenger, I loved the old boy and was devastated when he left. We’ll never see his like again.

    3. TRVL, Rarely have I ever agreed MORE with a detailed post like yours, APART FROM your take on GAZIDIS, which I much differ upon.
      I contend that DEINS genius was and still is vastly underrated by MANY on here SOME of who were either too young or had not begun supporting us when he was ousted.
      It notably backs up the whole thrust of my piece that DD was and remains HUGELY PASSIONATE about our and his beloved club.
      Without passion, pro football cannot and will not survive long at all. Kroenke has never learned that fact1

  18. For me it comes down to wrong people in management. Gazidis is showing what he can do away from Kroenke and Vinai.

    Raul was a disaster, and Kroenke should have known better. So he follows that up with Edu? Zero club experience, and a bit of stink on him with his coziness to agents.

    A more experienced manager possibly could have lessened our fall, but no way he would have received the leeway and excuses Arteta has.

    We lack an experienced head to lead the way, and responsible for a large part of our struggles.

    Losing massive money moving players out, overpaying in wages (Ozil, Auba, now Nketiah), and too often bad decisions recruiting new players.

    Pepe is one and 72 million at that. White for 50 million is another; wasn’t a necessity and worth half his price tag.

    I feel that too much is put on Arteta, he should just focus on coaching and developing players, and tactics.

    Is he wearing too many hats? I don’t know I’m just wondering.

  19. Sputter, sputter, choke ckoke, I’m in full agreement with all of your main points Jon Fox. The Kroenkes and Gazadiz have set the club back years and it will take forever to get out of this hole.

    1. Joe S I truly thank you for having the guts to actually agree with me, OF ALL PEOPLE .
      It must have been guttingfor you to admit that, as your witty first four words show us all.
      Lets agree again sometime, as it’s made MY day too, btw.!

  20. Arsenal needs someone more proficient than Edu to deal with transfers expediently and efficiently. I would not put all the blame on Kroenke. The arsenal board of directors lack vision and are insensitive to the new norms of the modern transfer market requirements, as,they are still living in the past and have not progressed with the times. Their dithering and lack of ruthlessness in timely decisions have caused Arsenal falling away from the pack of the top four teams. Opportunities lost cannot be regained, and more often than not Arsenal have blown away their chances of getting deals done swiftly or at all ,because of Edu ‘s incompetence or his ego. Let’s hope the team will be strengthened asap. Otherwise, heads should roll.

  21. Bloody hell Jon, you show admirable restraint and concern by not libelling Gazidis but do a complete job on Kroenke😱.
    Very enjoyable article. More like this please.

  22. We immediately see Kroenke’s lack of love for Arsenal. Spurs, Liverpool, Man City…..ALL doing good business (even our target Yves Bissouma is going to Spurs). Like an orphaned child Arsenal are flailing in the quagmire, and we supporters dream of a major flash of loving player attention. Instead we get “tomorrow, one day guys, maybe we will fall in love with you. Right now it our LA Rams we love, our true child” We have a club without ‘OXYGEN’. Kroenke is taking the piss.

  23. No-one seems to mention Kroenke’s ownership of the LA Rams.

    After some years of steady improvement, he threw the kitchen sink at recruitment last season and the Rams won the Superbowl.

    I suspect he would have done the same for next season at Arsenal if CL had been achieved, but now… he probably sees it as being a case of sit on your cash and buy players to achieve top 4 before being able to attrract the big players.

    The problem is that American football is different to real football. In their version, every team is in the same competition every year and has the same chance to win it, there’s no elite competition based on last season’s performance. They can build teams over the years, but the draft and salary cap work better than in “soccer” so everyone has a chance.

    As AW pointed out, the soccer salary cap is the usual stitch-up by top clubs to maintain the status quo.

    For me, football has become boring due to the excessive money in the game. I actively root against all the big money clubs.

    I hope one day all clubs will be owned by their supporters’ trust and commercial interests will be banned.

    1. @I DON’T KNOW WHY, I massively agree with MOST of your post. Sadly though, I am not as optimistic on massive future spending as you appear to be.
      I esp endorse your loathing of the huge money that I have long been saying onJA is killing the spirit of the game. I LOATHE grasping greed, in all its forms.

      1. Thanks for your reply jon, just to clarify that it wouldn’t be right to say that I’m “optimistic” about future “massive” spending – perhaps that I’m “hopeful” of “bigger” spending (when the time is right).

        And judging when the time is right is much more difficult in football than it is in gridiron because of the factors I mentioned.

        At the very least, Kroenke seems to keep Arsenal on a sensible business footing and in contention for… something… most of the time. Whether that’s a cup, the EL, CL qualification, they are usually involved in something late in the season.

        The EPL has been a distant dream for a while now – but that’s money talking, not football.

        When you look at the CL, the English and Spanish clubs have it largely sewn up these days plus Bayern – maybe PSG to some extent but they’re not doing well, not yet anyway.

        Players choosing a club in the CL outside of the clubs mentioned above (probably about 4-7 clubs in reality) are kidding themselves. Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Porto, Ajax… forget them, they won’t win the CL these days.

        Isn’t that just boring?

        The days when Porto came from nowhere, or Celtic could win it with all 11 players born within 3 miles of their stadium – that’s real football.

  24. First of all Dein was not sacked,he went behind the board’s back and cosied up with the Kroenke.he was the only board member in favour of the Kroenke’s take over which made his position untenable and decided to sell his shares for 75M and leave.having said that,no one can deny the good work he’s done for the club until that point.

    1. Incorrect! Dein was forced out and that is a well known fact, esp by those old enough to remember it!

      1. Jon there is no doubt that your knowledge of Arsenal is extensive,and that you know way more than me about our club’s history pre 1996 but after that, trust me when I say that I very much doubt it.i became a gunner in 96 after moving to London.the main reason for it was Arsène Wenger,when British people were asking Arsène Who?I was already a big fan of his,having grown up watching his Monaco teams,I also read every book on him and probably watched all the documentaries too,including those in which Dein took part.anyway,he was not sacked,as I said by going behind the board’s back he made his situation very difficult hence his decision to leave and sell his share.

        1. The internal wrangling at Arsenal over whether to accept an anticipated takeover bid from American billionaire Stan Kroenke today claimed a leading figure, with the club’s vice-chairman David Dein “leaving”his position with immediate effect.18 Apr 2007

  25. The FSG/Liverpool comparison is odd because, while Liverpool has won trophies, their over-all record is really not all that impressive in the Premier League Era under current ownership.

    Liverpool have won the Premier League once, the Champions league once, the FA Cup once, and the League Cup once. They also won the European Super Cup.

    It you look at number of honors, the Reds won 5 trophies. If you parse major/minor, the Anfield lot under FSG won 3 major trophies and two minors.

    Arsenal, under Kroenke’s ownership he became majority shareholder and controlling partner in 2007, Arsenal have won the FA Cup 4 times and the Community Shield 4 times; 8 trophies in all. 4 major trophies and 4 minor ones.

    While it is true that Arsenal have not won the league or the Champions League under Kroenke, it is unfair in suggest the team have not been competitive with him as owner. Eight trophies say the team is competitive.

    It is also self-defeating to define ‘success’ as the league title and nothing less. While hordes of Arsenal supports describe 20 years of top 4 finishes , 3 league titles, and 11 trophies in the Premier League era as failure, that simple is not the case. In addition to the titles and trophies, Arsenal were Premier League runner’s up 6 times, Runners up in the Champions League once, and runners up in the Europa League once. Being first or second 9 times in 30 years is not failure.

    As far as relative success under corporate ownership goes, Arsenal under Kroenke have an average position on par with Liverpool under FSG. Since FSG took control in 2010, Liverpool finished 6, 8, 7, 2, 6, 8, 4, 4, 2, 1, 3, 2. compared to Arsenal’s 4, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 5, 6, 5, 8, 8, 5.

    Winning the league since the arrival of nation-state owners and billionaire oligarchs has become a lot more difficult and this trend, given the FA’s unwillingness or inability to regulate the league, will continue. Newcastle joining the ranks of state-owned clubs will almost assuredly put the Tynesiders on a Man-City-like track upwards in spending power and on-field success, which will likely come at the expense of clubs, like Arsenal, that are expected to balance their books.

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