How Kroenke’s USA successes can help drive investment in Arsenal

The Stanley Cup & Why Arsenal Should Care by Rob Thomson

Arsenal and Ice Hockey. The two are not exactly synonymous with each either but neither are they mutually exclusive, not this year at least anyway. There is no denying that Arsenal fans’ relationship with their clubs American owners, The Kroenkes, can be fraught at best. As an Arsenal fan born and raised in England but now living in the States, I can tell you that most Americans do not understand how the in’s and out’s of running a football club works. The U.S. leagues work on a trade system, where teams trade for players from different franchises depending on how much money they have left before they reach their salary cap. Buying and selling players based on a valuation that seems to get randomly plucked out of thin air doesn’t really gel with how they are used to doing business.

But no matter which side of the pond you are on, winning is winning. And winning is addictive. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment own a variety of different sports teams across some of the biggest sports leagues in the world. Last year saw them invest heavily in their NFL team The LA Rams, and it worked. The LA Rams were able to clinch the Lombardi Trophy after a run to the Super Bowl. This year the Kroenkes NHL team, The Colorado Avalanche are now one win away from lifting the Stanley Cup, ice hockeys biggest prize.

So why should we care as Arsenal fans? Well, did I mention that winning is addictive? But not only is winning and the euphoria that comes with it addictive, but so is the cash! That’s right! Cold hard cash! It’s no secret that success on the pitch translates to commercial success for the teams and its owners. Keep winning games and fans keep filling seats. They spend more on food and drink at the stadium. They spend more on merchandise and apparel. Go on a good cup run and all of a sudden you have a chance to sell more tickets, even more opportunity to fill up the stadium and so on and so on.

Arsenal and Ice Hockey may not be synonymous with each other, but maybe, just maybe, the success of the Kroenke’s teams in other leagues will allow them to more clearly see the long term financial benefits of investing in Arsenal Football Club and its success on the football pitch.

Rob Thomson

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  1. Good article. Kroenke has been seriously building his Arsenal team since he got the full ownership, so it’s only a matter of time before he gets his first major trophy

  2. Denver Nuggets NBA Bought 2000. Titles . None.
    Colarado rapids. MLS Bought 2004. Titles. One.
    LA Rams NFL. Bought in 1995. Titles Two.
    Colarado NHL Bought 2000. Titles One.
    Arsenal PL. Bought 2009. Titles. None.
    Total years all Franchaises. 102
    Titles 4.
    This would suggest one PL title in 20 years is perhaps achievable under the Kroenke model.
    To be fair the majority of USA Sports franchise owners have similar records because of salary caps and draft systems. Which makes Man City’s and Chelsea’s victories more stark pointing to financial doping. Perhaps a draft system and a salary cap should be introduced in the PL.

  3. just to correct a few things, both from the article and the above misguided info:

    (1) Kroenke’s ownership of the Rams occurred in 2010, not 1995, and he’s won one Super Bowl, which was last season; he won this as a result of making major financial investments in finished product players

    (2) Kroenke had nothing whatsoever to do with the Avalanche’s 2000-01 Stanley Cup victory, as he had just bought a readymade team, from his in-laws no less, and since the time of his arrival they haven’t won jack, albeit they’re in the finals this year. They’re model has been to convince their best players to take below market value contracts under the guise that this was the only way a supposed “smaller market” team could ever compete for things. This model was their attempt to replicate the Tampa Bay financial model, but with far less success, as the Lightning have won the last 2 Cups(btw that’s who the Avalanche are playing in the finals right now)

    (3) the Avalanche aren’t one win away from winning the Cup, as this is a best of 7 series…presently the Avalanche won the first game of the finals

    (4) the NFL model isn’t based on trading, albeit this is certainly an important component nowadays, but more on drafting effectively and having the best creative accountants on staff to somewhat circumvent the hard cap, which isn’t too dissimilar from the NHL…the present NFL team building model is quite analogous to our present situation, in that the key to success is drafting players who can produce right away while they’re still fairly inexpensive, then surrounding them with readymade “veterans”…unfortunately, we don’t seem willing or able to properly adopt the latter part of the plan

    1. Thank you for this. You did my work for me haha. While being a massive Arsenal fan I live and watch sports in the US. Hearing the comparisons from the UK are ridiculous. Completely different models, systems, playoffs, etc etc etc. Apples to oranges. Doesn’t excuse the Kronkes from making mistaking with Arsenal but managing NFL/NHL/NBA teams and PL teams are all wildly different

      1. Plus KS&E have major financial issues to address regarding law suits pertaining to the relocation oc the Rams from St Louis to LA.

  4. Problem isn’t money and investment; 250 million in 2 Summer windows, likely well over 350 million after this window.

    Problem is the decision makers in upper management. Transfer fees, contracts, the people in charge are not up to scratch.
    Has Vinai made a difference?
    Edu busy importing the Brazilian national team, someone should check on him and kickbacks.
    Arteta still on his training wheels and excuses are ripe and in full season.

  5. The US system does not have a competition that’s based on last season’s performance.

    In soccer there’s the CL and when you don’t get in it, top players don’t want to play for your club, so investing in anything worthwhile is difficult.

    Then there’s the top clubs within those that do qualify, they get better pickings than the next tier down.

    Then there’s those who have oodles of cash and seem to flout the FFP rules, hide their activities in clever accounting then take the weak punishments that are handed out to them when they are caught.

    So the US system also benefits from good governance and policing of the rules.

    Also, the NFL have a rules committee whose remit is to review the rules each season, aiming for an average of 35 points per game. The Italians wouldn’t have won much lol.

    It really is difficult to comapre US sports with football for so many reasons – overall they do a much better job of ensuring that each franchise/club has a chance to win each season.

  6. I see no reason whatsoever why a different sport in a VERY different country , run in a very different way, has ANY effect on Arsenal at all.

    The writer has merely hoped there will be similarities but has made no actual case that makes any sense for it being so, at all IMO.

  7. For those trying to make comparisons to the way Arsenal or other PL teams are run to US sports teams 1. It’s apples to oranges 2. The closest thing this MLB. In baseball there is no salary cap thus you have teams like the Yankees and Dodgers who have historically outspent their competition(see: Man City, Chelsea, etc.). The NFL, NBA, and NHL all have hard salary caps. You can’t out spend your rivals. Drafting well and bringing in the right free agents, general managers, coaches is how success is made. It’s not bought. Stop trying to show that because Silent Stan won in the NFL he’ll use those tactics for Arsenal: he can’t.

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