Is it time for Arsenal fans to give credit to Josh and Stan Kroenke?

With news that Stan and Josh Kroenke have become co-Chairmen of Arsenal in a board reshuffle, some Gooners have felt obliged on various platforms to question ‘Do our owners now deserve some credit‘ and ‘have they proven their doubters wrong?’

I’m glad I’m finally in a position where I have to answer the question, as I never thought under the current stewardship I would have too.

Let’s be clear; having one good season doesn’t mean a section of our fan base were wrong to say all the others were not acceptable. It’s fantastic what we have accomplished in this campaign and every department deserves credit for our current status, but I have never heard a business model state it’s okay to underachieve for years if it leads to one good year.

That’s like a school failing their Ofsted for a decade. When they finally get a decent report you’re relieved and happy, but it doesn’t change the past.

Your first point of call is to determine when and how long the current regime had power over the club? It suits their agenda to ask to be judged since they officially brought the club in 2018. That would absolve them of a lot of blame but many (including myself) view them having power over the club since they brought their first shares in 2008. By 2011 they owned over 60 percent of shares. So in other words for over a decade Stan Kroenke had the final say in what direction the club were going in. Him not wanting to invest while Usmanov was on the board isn’t okay.

He believed in the action plan designed before his arrival that the Gunners, after paying off the debt from building the Emirates, would be a self-sustained model.

The club continued to insist that knocking down Highbury would be worth it in the long term, once loans were repaid we would compete with the likes of Bayern Munich on and off the pitch. The opposite happened. Arsenal needed Champions League revenue as part of a repayment plan to pay back creditors, having spent money that was already owed to them. I remember writing at the time that only when Mr Wenger left would we realise how hard a job it was to ‘only finish in the top 4 under his employers. The same readers who mocked Mr Wenger for 4th, praised Arteta for 8th and 5th. The standards under Stan Kroenke changed. No longer were we title contenders. We were a club content on being in the Champions League but never competing to win it. When the club needed a little bit of help, such as replacing Van Persie, our billionaire owner still refused to spend a single penny of his own money. The TV contracts, especially those overseas, meant that Silent Stan no longer even cared where we finished in the League table. Like a lot of teams in his sport portfolio the 75 year old made money off Arsenal the brand. Success wasn’t everything to him ,because merchandise was still going to be brought, tickets were still being sold, and if a few thousand wanted to protest, he was aware plenty of more were on a waiting list.

This attitude contributed to our worst finish in 25 years, zero European football for the first time in quarter of a century. Arsenal not being in any UEFA competition was unthinkable when he brought his first shares. This is what we left our beloved home for?

This time last year he awarded his manager a contract extension without even knowing what UEFA tournament we would be in. He had sacked Mr Wenger and Emery for failing to make the top 4, but now was handing out pay rises for the same outcome?

So again, just because we are 11 games away from becoming champions, that doesn’t make anyone wrong for saying the previous years have been unacceptable, on and off the pitch.

How can we credit this ownership for making progress when they took us to rock bottom in the first place?

If any other business had been regressing since 2011 you wouldn’t give them a round of applause for finally meeting their targets years after their target date.

Many Gooners are experiencing a title race for the first time.

Fun, isn’t it?

Better then 8th?

Better then 5th?

See now that fans of a certain age have standards and were not going to ever be told that we should accept anything less than the Gunners trying to be the best version of themselves.

If you were miserable for the first 9 years of marriage but year 10 finally your partner fulfilled some of their promises, has it been a happy marriage?

Do you forget those 9 years?

Does it make you wrong? Of course not.

Because never forget how low we had to go for the Kroenke Family to almost be pressured into caring, and don’t assume they care about us being title contenders every year.

Never forget what their intentions were with us. If they had their way we would be playing in a Super League right now. The concept was their dream scenario. Zero promotion or relegation, zero reason to compete, Arsenal would get paid 300 million for just being the brand they are.

Fixtures would have slowly been moved to America and our name could have been changed.

I believe the turning point was when Kroenke Senior essentially gave Arsenal to his son as a pet project.

With his father more of a fan of the US franchises they own, Josh has made a better first impression with gooners then his dad did. He’s already conducted more interviews and is in more direct contact with the club day to day.

Credit must go to Arteta, Edu and BFG sitting down with their new boss and making an action plan over every department of the club, from scouting, age of players to recruit, and enforcing principles.

Again though, look how far we had to fall for that to happen.

8th was our rock bottom. That, combined with trying to destroy the pyramid system of English football forced Arsenal to change.

Maybe Josh simply cares more than his dad and has actually made a connection towards the club.

If we become champions, something tells me Josh will get more credit than his dad?

If we lift the Prem, the Kroenke Family will be part of our history, a moment no one can take away from them.

Yet they are also the owners of the worst Arsenal team in quarter of a century.

You’re not wrong for pointing that out.


Tags Kroenke family


  1. Kroenke has shifted up a gear since he bought all Arsenal shares in 2018. He didn’t seem to want to deal with the nitty-gritty at Arsenal, but it’s changed after he brought his son to manage the club

    So glad we have him as the owner. I think I’d stop watching Arsenal if the club is bought by a state-owned sovereign-wealth company or an oligarch

    Hopefully what happened to Walmart won’t force him to sell Arsenal to Qatar or a royal-family-owned company

  2. Yes the Kroenkes deserves credit they have back the manager to the till , today Arsenal is one of the best place to be, Congratulations in order sirs

    They are those who will say the owners have ulterior motives,
    That would be conspiracy theory.

    OT: Arteta told Gary Stonehouse yesterday he ranks today match against Crystal Palace
    as the most important game of his coaching career .

  3. Dan…

    It is refreshing to read an article like this, where you are rightly giving credit to those who deserve it; especially when many wanted Arteta out and the board saw something we did not. That indicates the sign of a visionary – someone/people who can envisage a brighter future that others don’t and typically chart the pathway to such a future.

    I have always used the example of a dilapidated building being rebuilt: the problem was that you never saw the rebuilding process as a long-term event instead as an instant event.

    Thankfully, many who saw the process being laid down, had faith that the edifice would eventually rise to the gladness of all.

    I am glad you finally see the edifice rising, but remember the building is not complete and there may still be need for further demolition. When it does happen, remember to focus on the edifice and the brighter future, and try not to live in the past.

    I also hope to read an article from you about Odegaard being the right man to lead our team as captain. Think about that! *smiles*


    1. Let’s be humble mate and wait and see if he leads us to the title first before you boast
      Caus if we bottle it then I was right

      1. Dan..

        I am not saying we will win the title, how can I, when the future is but a probability to be unveiled… Furthermore, humility is truly a virtue that we all need to observe at this point, rightly said..

        However, the discussion here isn’t about winning the title, or whether you were right… Rather, about progress!

        You never even believed we could make top 4 and now you talk about winning the title or not! Seems the goal post has shifted, isn’t it?

        I read your articles noting your demonstration of deep reasoning and a thought process worthy of commendation… I will keep that in mind even when we converse!

        Let’s be hopeful!


      1. Dan…

        19 years over different coaches, right?

        However, how fast did you expect the resurgence to happen under Arteta?

        Instantly, isn’t it? Hence, you always used the 8-8-5 argument…

        However, it could never have been instantly actualized over a single season… It always needed time under Arteta for a rebuild to occur… Hence, the reason why we needed to understand the process… For which you are now rightly giving credit to the visionaries who deservedly saw the future…

        The point is that, the past is essentially required for the learning process, but it should never become a place of habitation…


        1. Yeah but does winning title or challenging now make those years of failure okay ?
          Well done for fulfilling something that should have been done years ago ?

          1. No it does not…

            But does relieving and repeating the failures of the past for the sake of doing so change the present and the future?

            Are you living in the past? So why should the failures of the past become a need that must be justified?

            1. Because the topic was called have the Koronke’s been a success ?
              So I judge them over their whole period of time at the club

              1. I thought the title reads “Is it time for Arsenal fans to give credit to Josh and Stan Kroenke?”

                Isn’t that a function of the present?

                Will you have been debating about giving credit to the Kroenkes if we were in the past?

                The point here Dan, is that the past is essential for learning, for analysis, but not for justification… We cannot change the past, so why should we keep recalling it simply with an intention to justify why the past has occured, e.g. Why did we have to finish 8th in the past… Such an attempt only keeps us depressed… It has happened… We now must exist in the present with a vision to improve the future!

                Essentially, I would understand you better if you were drawing lessons from the past towards ensuring that such should not be repeated… Instead, it seems you only want to keep flogging the dead horse of the past!

                1. I admire your fortitude for keeping going on that, Fire.
                  Last paragraph gets my highly commended gold star!⭐️

                  1. Sue…

                    Dan’s articles are frequently thought-provoking, hence the motivation to maintain a respectful conversation with him…

                    I also believe that the time has come to let go of past failures and embrace the present and a potentially prosperous future…

                    If you may recall, my percentage probability for Arsenal to win the league was not strong, however, it has increased to 80% (just an idea of how much I think they may win the league)… However, since the future is unknowable for certain, I can only hope we win the league in the end, but even if we don’t, I believe this season has been exciting and commendable!

                    Wishing you well Sue!


                2. Fire, your final paragraph is a stunning rejoinder to DANS negativity and is so very true. I like all you say and how you are so positive, even to people with whom it is clear you do, albeit privately, disagree.

                  I wonder why you are not an international diplomat, for sure! PERHAPS YOU ARE!

                  1. Jon…

                    Your sense of humour came at the perfect time for me… Thank you for putting a smile on the face of a quiet man located somewhere faraway on the face of the globe! Such actions, I believe, are the very essence of life!

                    Although I have always chosen to doubt it for a while, it appears to me that for Dan, it is more about proving the concept of “I was right”… And when reality appears to contradict his expectations, he would typically resort to recalling the past…

                    At the moment, we can only wish the team well, and we hope that with our support and their dedication, they will win the league!

                    Looking forward to reading your thought-provoking articles Jon!


  4. Is a shame palace haven’t seen the project/process Patrick has started at palace. I know people that know pat and have heard his side. He had a 3 year vision to get palace as a top 10 club. The club was in decline like ours and needed a project. Unfortunately for Pat they took the, let’s get safe route. They have put his project in hold till next year. Might come back and bite them in the arse if we win today. They look in trouble.

  5. I have two hugely contrasting thought on DANS well argued piece Firstly, I DO agree with nearly all he says and esp about Josh , though not Stan, having bought emotionally into our club .

    Secondly,in contrast, I also think DAN is using an argument that DOES hold water to once again , for the umpteenth time, be relentlessly negative about our club.

    I regard DAN as a long lost cause, as he is determined to find negative things about our club EVEN at the moment we may well be about to go eight points clear Wise fans will easily be able to distinguish my thoughts from each other.

    In THIS article I FIRMLY AGREE with Dans take.
    However,on so very manyof his other negative pieces I think him, as I repeat, a lost cause.

    I also firmly disgree that eighth place waa ever “rock bottom”. That phrase he used, twice, is so REVEALING about how he thinks.

    Only a man far too young to personally remember when we were close to relegation in the early midseventies can possibly regard being eighth as “rock bottom”!!

    That claim of Dans alone shows how very self entitled he has become. We, nor any other club, has a divine right to be at the top and mature fans, of all ages,well understand that.

    God help him if ever we got relegated. I reckon he’d drop our club like a shot! NOT how REAL fans behave, Mr Smith!

    1. Not really because I havn’t left the club I support have I ?
      I maintain 8th was unacceptable for a club our size.
      I started following Arsenal around 96 so for my age group having zero European football at the Emiraites was rock bottom .
      Again Job , you were many who abused the likes of Mr Wenger for only finishing 4th ?
      Look at Conte
      Finished 4th , is currently 4th and look at his press conference
      Because he’s a winner Jon and has standards

      1. DAN Without you seeming to realise it , you have entirely reinforced my point. By your own admission you have never seen our club finish lower than EIGHTH.

        You have been spoilt, my demanding fellow Gooner. Life at Arsenal did NOT begin with Arsene Wenger, though it did for you.

        You are unable , rather sadly, to accept the conceptof being out of the top four.

        When I started attending in 1958, being in top four was very rare indeed and was only done regularly under AW.

        Which is why you Dan and many, many other younger fans have been spoiled by Arsene, though we can hardly find HIM guilty for doing that!! Can we !!

      2. DAN SOUNDS TO ME THAT YOU AND CONTE may well be related. Both throw your toys out of the pram at the prospect of not finishing in top four.

        Only a very unwise Gooner would praise the clearly unstable Conte on an Arsenal fan site, esp while we are miles clear of his bunch of…..! And while he is plainly seeking to get sacked and walk away.

        Loyalty is an alien concept to you both, IMO!

  6. I will also make the point , which reinforces both Dans and my own agreement about Josh being the one Kroenke who actually HAS emotionally invested in our club, that Stan has IMO allowed Josh a large degree of financial and overall decision making, whereas he, Stan, has remained emotionally cold and removed from the club.

    BUT, as a father, it seems clear to me that while Stan has little or no emotional invovement in AFC, he has plenty for his son.
    Let us therefore rejoice that Josh SEEMS to have, finally, in stages over the years, become a GOONER.

  7. Can I ask why did you then use to give Mr Wenger such a hard time when we were finishing top 4th?

    1. Please try not to move the goalposts about what we are discussing DAN. Deflection from the subject under discussion is a classic tactic of those beaten in a debate but I am far too worldy wise to fall for that one.

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