Josh Kroenke has written an open letter to Arsenal fans in response to the statement released earlier this week from a group of Arsenal supporter groups, blogs and websites.
It was the opening salvo of the #WeCareDoYou campaign, something that we wholeheartedly support here at JustArsenal.
The statement highlighted the frustration that we the fans feel in terms of where the Kroenke family is taking the club.
The statement did not call for the Kroenke family to relinquish ownership or sell up, it simply laid bare the unhappiness that we as Arsenal fans feel is happening with our great club.
It expressed how we have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued and urged Stan Kroenke to take whatever steps were necessary to reinvigorate the club.
It further pointed out the failure to live up to promises of Premier League and Champions League success.
The statement also questioned the clubs stance of transfers and the direction of the club.
The full statement can be read here
In response, Josh Kroenke has come out with a defiant open letter defending how the club is being run and where they are taking the club.
The full letter is below and we will leave it to you to judge.
Dear Arsenal Supporters, Fans, and Gooners worldwide,
I’d like to start by clarifying that my family owns Arsenal together, and when it comes to the Club, my father and I are in constant dialogue. So when you hear from him you are hearing from me, and the other way round. So, I pen this on behalf of myself, my father, my family and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
We know we have some of the most passionate fans in any sport, anywhere in the world. It’s part of what makes us such a special and unique club. And while we understand, appreciate, and agree with concerns about our club failing to achieve our goal of qualifying for the 2019-20 Champions League, we respectfully disagree about our club being at a crossroads and that things need to change because so much change has recently occurred.
Over the past year we have turned the page from our traditional model of football operations that included a Manager and CEO, to a new chapter of Arsenal Football Club that is led by a Head of Football and Managing Director. Since their appointments and that of Unai Emery as our Head Coach we have continued working to develop a modern infrastructure, designed to move us forward. This will take time to play out, but this was always going to be the case after such a long period of time operating under a different model. For us, the most important thing to achieve was not simply change for the sake of change, but to ensure we put the right people in the right roles to work together in a positive environment to achieve our stated goal of winning silverware both domestically and in Europe.
We know this can bring uncertainty, and perhaps everything we’ve done in the past 12-14 months have brought about additional uncertainty during a period of unease when supporters, coaches, players, and management are rightfully frustrated by lack of success on the pitch. With all the work we’ve done on the structure of football, commercial and operational departments, we would say that the Club now needs a period of stability rather than additional change.
We want to be clear we are in sports for one reason and one reason only…to win. There is simply no better feeling in sport than winning at the highest level. We know there is a lot of hard work ahead and understand that supporters want success now. We will continue to push forward trying to balance the short and long term vision without abandoning the core principles of the Club that have sustained us for the past 133 years.
We believe that in professional sport you are as only as good as your last match, and unfortunately the last 45 minutes of our season were not our best. On behalf of my family and KSE, I was in Baku for the Europa League final, and was on the pitch after the match representing our Club as the second place medals were passed out to our players and staff. I saw and felt the same frustration that was visible on the face of every Arsenal fan, player and staff member, and the most important thing that I saw in that moment was how much people care and a resolve to face the failure and work even harder.
As Raúl said in our recent announcement regarding the appointment of Edu Gaspar as the first technical director in Arsenal history, Edu represents the final piece of a very important jigsaw puzzle that is our new football operational structure. He is first and foremost an Arsenal man who understands the ethos of our Club and, as an Invincible, he understands the mentality required from top to bottom across the entire Club for us to return to the level at which we all expect to be competing. He joins Freddie, Per and Steve Bould, all winners with Arsenal DNA, who love our Club.
We are not naive in our thinking that our ambitions can be achieved overnight, and are putting processes in place to ensure we are stacked not only with talent, but talent with the proper mentality to help us achieve our highest goals in the future.
We know we have a job to do and we will attack it daily. Our Club has a beautiful history full of honor, class, trophies, commitment to the community and player development in which we all take immense pride and will no doubt continue to honor. We also must be aggressive and creative in the modern day transfer market to push whatʼs possible both on the pitch and how itʼs evaluated in pursuit of the biggest trophies in English and European Football.
As for our supporters, we say thank you. Thank you for your passion, thank you for your commitment, and thank you for being the lifeblood of our great Club. There will be both victories and defeats in our future together and we thank you for your continued support through both competitive experiences as we push forward to create a new, proud, history of Arsenal Football Club. “Victoria Concordia Crescit” is our Club’s famous motto, and one that we all hold dear to our hearts.
May North London forever be Red…
Letters do nothing to people like Kroenke
What worries me in Kroenke’s letter is the part “we would say that the Club now needs a period of stability rather than additional change.”
If this transfer window remains like this for arsenal and you go watch any games this season at the emirates. You are a big part of the problem
So many attendees don’t give a single fawk about where Arsenal finishes that season as long as they got their chance to watch an EPL football match in London. The big part of the problem is the biggest part of Arsenal supporters.
There’s literally nothing die-hard fans can do that will make any change as far as the club is concerned. I mean, the voice of the fans, don Robbie himself failed to sign that letter. That alone speaks volumes. Or did he sign without me noticing?
You will get slated for that, however, I totally agree
People on here moan then but the new shirt lol
I agree with WMT4TG about the tourists and day trippers. Many old Arsenal supporters either may no longer live in London, because of housing prices/rents or don’t have the disposable income to afford to attend.
Reyes I second you
The downhill spiral has been going on for years and under kronkes ownership it should have been addressed ages ago. Josh’s letter makes it look like he and his dad have just woken to to the fact that we are a pretty average side and theyll start to do something about it now which is way to late.
Shallow words and an attempt at lip service……. too little to late!
Yet $45m transfer budget is enough to get ya back to where we need to be.. yeah right
A cunningly written letter which may fool the naive ones among us but which will cut no ice at all with those who really understand life and how con merchants operate. At face value Kroenke Junior speaks sense but only a total fool will believe his cunningly written lies. In life one should always take note of actions -or LACK of them- way above words. The club is drifting big time and we are not fools. IF Josh puts serious money in, then and only then will he have a prayer of being believed . He wont do so IMO and so neither will he be believed.
You are right. He spouts words not action. ‘Talk the talk’ and not ‘Walk the walk’. Exactly how Josh Kroenke is trying to fool us, his father previously fooled Arsenal’s shareholders. Con men.
Talk is cheap, particularly when you are as rich as the Kroenkes and you have access to the best media consultants.
Surely, the Kroenkes don’t believe that this response (at least made quickly) will cause their problems to go away?
We care do you?
Same old tripe as usual. Silverware and trophies? What about Kronke not getting involved to win titles?
Involved in European trophies? Since when? Rd 16 exits for almost 20 yrs shows it’s a ploy for money grab, not compete fot CL title.
Agressive in market? Like Tierney, Saliba, and laughable Zaha bid?
Want to stack club with talent? So you let Sven go (arguably best in the game) because Emery and Raul thought they were smarter and knew better?
Letter not worth paper it’s written on. Stan fooled everyone with his Emirates stadium pitch for success. Josh trying same old tricks. Blood boiled hearing this clown talk about trophies.
How many trophies and titles have all of Kronke’s franchises won the last decade? Jog on Josh, jog on.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Fans eyes wide open now, Wenger not here as a buffer, and they roll out same tired and stale talking points.
I’ve seen a lot of people treating this response with disdain, acting like it’s meaningless PR talk, empty words to give the impression of consideration etc., or people responding to it saying “it doesn’t mean anything unless you spend money!” Though, it was stated clearly that the fans’ letter was not about demanding that they spend money, but that they talk to us, that they take responsibility for what’s been happening and make it clear that there is accountability and a plan in place going forward.
I don’t understand what people can complain about since this response has been extremely quick, and in my opinion provides clarity on what was already apparent with the staff changes. I don’t think anyone was truly expecting them to come out and apologise and suddenly give us more money to spend, as anyone who understands FFP knows that that is limited. However I think the statement about how we should be excited indicates that KSE is at least suggesting that they are actually doing what they can to make things happen despite the well known financial constraints the club is facing.
Like everyone, I am extremely frustrated with the fact that Tierney and Saliba have not been signed yet, however with what’s going on with those deals in the media, I’m increasingly confident that they will be done. Then there’s the possibility of the Ceballos loan and the Everton deal as well, now it may be far fetched to think they’ll all be done, but if we accept the possibility is there, then despite us not getting an immediate CB, that would be all of the positions we need. Especially if there’s anything with Dani Alves that’s real too.
So I at least think it’s entirely fair and reasonable to allow some optimism and patience for this season as a minimum, if not the next 2.
Of course Ceballos getting done quick; it’s a loan and we only pay £3 million for his salary.
Club facing financial issues because of owners hands off policy, which was mention when they were called passive owners.
Also they sat back for years as Gazidis and company mangled commercial deals potentially costing club millions.
Atrocious player sales; Coquein for £12 million, little for Gabriel, only £17 million for Giroud and unproven Solanke goes for £19 million. Lost £13 million on Perez, it goes on and on.
Rightly called club portfolio invest to them, and actually used club to give Rams a boost in new LA home.
Should have asked why Rams get princess treatment and Arsenal get step child treatment.
I said on previous thread their franchises have couple good years, sell players, and wander in wilderness for next decade while they build cheap as possible.
That’s what he meant by “patience.” He can’t fool people who know about his American franchises. Evidence been pilling up for 2 decades here, and easy to find on internet.
Snakeoil peddled as change, austerity as patience, and fans treated as wallets.
CannonBoy, you make some interesting points regarding what the protest letter said and his reply to that.
My belief is that kronkie is the poison chalice behind our fall from grace, added and abetted by past and current regimes at the top.
The real litmus test will be what happens during this transfer window, not as you suggest the coming season or two.
We only just failed to obtain CL football and, while there can be no denying that we need to strengthen with two or three top players in the right areas, the impending doom scenario is way over the top.
BUT if we do not strengthen the squad with these players, there can be no hiding place for the kronkie dynasty.
It’s not down to UE or any of the backroom staff now, the family simply must change their direction and support the structure they so proudly trumpet in this letter.
Only at the start of the season will we know the score, then and only then can we judge them on this piece of paper as being either complete BS or a sincere message to the supporters that they are serious with The Arsenal.
Ken, I agree with you that the transfer window now will directly show just how sincere this letter was. The fact that he said we should be excited is him taking responsibility, putting his neck on the line that they are bringing people in.
I think at this point it’s extremely unlikely that we won’t make anymore signings, we’re too deeply involved and the pressure is too high for the club to bottle it on all of these signings. They know the backlash will be severe if they don’t do something meaningful. What the actually signings and the ultimate outcome of them will be, only time will tell.
I will say though that throughout the letter, particularly when discussing the backroom staff and coaching team, he says “us” and “we” and so it at least implies that he counts himself/KSE in the team in the back ground involved in the changes etc. And to be fair, the change in the structure of the club management must have had involvement from KSE.
I agree that there’s been little evidence in the past to show any willingness for KSE to get involved and to help, and I don’t know if they will ever actually invest, but I think the structure change coming after Wenger left may indicate that they were waiting for him to go before taking on these changes.
Ultimately it is the results that matter. They need to ensure they’re doing their best to help the club succeed, and I believe that now they know they’re under a lot of pressure to show us they’re not as cold and uncaring as they have seemed.
oh wow !!!.
So how come spuds
Pay 1billion for their ground
Offer the same for saliba
And offer 50m for bale
FFP ? as Jon Fox said only a fool believes this
Does FFP only apply to us
CannonBoy, SPEAKING AS AN OLDER AND WORLDLY WISE FAN, I WOULD RESPECTFULLY REMIND YOU, AS YOU APPEAR TO IGNORE IT, THAT THE KROENKES HAVE OWNED US SINCE 2007 AND PUT NOT A PENNY OF THEIR MONEY IN . TO START BELIEVING THAT THEY MAY BEGIN TO DO WHAT THEY CLAIM THEY NOW REALISE IS NECESSARY IS NAIVETY SUPREME. I DO NOT WISH TO BE RUDE BUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR THINKING TO START BELIEVING THIS TOSH FROM JOSH? Leopards do not change their spots, as those of us who have been around the block in life and in Arsenal, for 60+ years in my case, know full well.
What shite Kroenke talks. Over 85,000,000 signed the petition and he opposes what they say. In that denial the truth is shown. Lies, more lies and then try to pull the wool over the supporters eyes. His response is the shallowist response possible. Denial. They do not want to spend money. They will not sign top players. Maybe he is beginning to feel how despised he and his father are….by 85,000,000 of us.
we haven’t got 85 million fans! 85 thousand you mean surely
“stability not more change”?
Put your hand in your pockets you greedy Americans and make the club as stable as it needs to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not one word about injecting more cash? They can try to talk the talk but I’m not buying it for a second! 🙂
After reading the letter, my frustration increased further. The final European match against Chelsea is not the pivot. What is the direction of Arsenal F.C? so far(2009-now) Arsenal poorly participated in the transfer market of IN and OUT, what is the strategy to win? Is the academy fruitfull? the outcome says NO. Then, what is the plan?