Is Josh Kroenke now a true Arsenal fan, while Silent Stan never was or will be?

Is Josh Kroenke NOW a real Gooner, even though Stan is not? by Jon Fox

Until fairly recent times, perhaps a year or two ago, I was so very anti the Kroenke family owning our club, and said so often and forcefully. But little by little, my attitude, towards Josh at least, has softened a good deal.

What has become plain is that, unlike his stone-faced father, Josh has all the people skills of a skilled and top-class communicator. That is not to say that he tells us fans what is going on in the corridors of power, as that would be unrealistic and, though of interest, would not serve much purpose in helping the club.

We fans, taken as a whole – and apologies to the many patient ones on JA – do not exactly help ourselves in befriending the Kroenkes. Ever since they bought in back in 2007, they have been regarded with hostility and, at best, suspicion and mistrust. I have to say I am firmly among that number, and until more recent times, with good reason too.

I have always maintained and still do, that an owner OUGHT to be a fan. I see no hope of Stan ever being a fan of anything other than wealth and asset riches. But Josh, his son, and a son I believe he is devoted to, seems to me to have become a real fan. I suspect that many are incredibly surprised at that, including Josh himself.

Josh seems to have become an Anglophile and a lover of English football. Either that OR he is one of the best actors around, which IMO he is not.

For his part Stan – and whenever I type Stan, it comes out as Satan, which might be telling us something, or might be my subliminal thoughts guiding my fingers – seems to have human loving qualities towards his family at least and very glad I am to see that too!

For it cannot be sensibly denied that these last very few windows, Stan has allowed our club and manager to spend heavily on new players and wages. The transformation from the days before he had total control is VERY NOTABLE.

I also believe that, guided by Josh, who is far more in daily touch, and knows far more than his father about the real qualities of actual people involved in running day to day affairs, has decided to back MA and EDU to a level that a club of our historic and worldwide status fully deserves.

To my mind, it is inconceivable that Kroenke Senior would have backed such as Wenger or Emery in this fashion, as back then Josh was still a businessman first and had not fallen in love with our club. NOW he has done, and the difference in KSE spending cannot, IMO, be explained by any other reason.

Some argue that it is only since he took the club private again and gained 100% control that he has spent freely, and that seems true. But is that the real reason, OR, as I believe, is the real reason that he has backed Josh and his love for our club to the hilt?

No, my friends, I do not believe this leopard changes his spots so totally, UNLESS true affection for his son is involved.

Affection and love are the key words, and that is WHY I maintain any owner OUGHT to be a true fan and love their club. Well, perhaps we have to make do with Josh “loving us” and hope that in the fullness of time Stan signs the club over to Josh completely. That is probably a vain hope but in life you can never be totally sure.

While not altering one jot my opinion of Stan as a businessman through and through, but not a fan of football at all, let alone our club, I am now hopeful that, thanks to Josh and Stan’s clear love for his son, our club is set for a prolonged period of real progress ahead.

One final thought; those who wanted Daniel Ek, who owns Spotify, to have bought Kroenke out, even though that was never on the cards, have avoided a probable disaster, given the parlous state of Spotify today.

I am keen to know your thoughts, my fellow Gooners.

Jon Fox

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  1. I think Stan Kroenke has grown some emotional attachment to Arsenal, otherwise he wouldn’t have provided huge transfer budget for Arteta’s and Edu’s project

  2. Kroenke could well be as shrewd a businessman as the late Henry Norris, one of Arsenal own old Stalwart.

  3. Imagine spending your own money to make more money for share holders who were not willing to chip in. I understand why Stan waited until he had 100% control before he started spending

  4. Jon, I do believe that you have watered down the power and decision making that Stan Kronkie had before he gained full control of the club.

    Due to his dislike of David Dein, we lost a true Arsenal man (albeit with his own faults) and ensured Arsene Wenger was always having to sell our top players (albeit that AW had his own faults as well)
    Further down the line, he also failed to back Unai Emery, before facing the wrath of the fans, following the failed “Super league” debacle.

    From the very first day of his involvement with the club, we were in a downward spiral, both on and off the field.

    I believe that it was the failed super league episode, where he sent his son over to face the backlash, where we started to see the changes that you refer too.

    I assume that Stan still has the final say on everything happening at the club, but the influence that Josh seems to have, started with the backing of MA and that continues to this day.

    We can now be proud of the owners son and his commitment to our club – it took an awful lot of courage to face the fans and admit that the kronkie’s had got it wrong.

    They seem to have understood, finally, that they will never succeed against the oil rich clubs, if they follow the “self sustainable” idea that Stan hid behind for so long, while letting others be the scapegoat for his failings.

    Enjoyed the article and hope it doesn’t get lost in the “will he won’t he” Rice saga.

    1. Ken do you REALLY think I watered it down? I dont think I did , as I mentioned that prior to Josh falling for our club , STan was ner going to givereal maonet AW or UE tom spend . And he did not eitehr I could, had I deemed it necessaryor helpful to the point I made about JOSH, I could haVE SAID FAR MORE ABOUT HOW aNTI satan as an owner ai was and still am But that was not the purpose of my piece.

      So that is WHY I so called “watered down” my still present belief that SK, way back then, should have done far more. It would though have fooled some into thinking that was my main point , when it wasn’t!
      Sometimes the art of knowing what NOT TO STRESS is part of being a proper writer.

      That point apart, I agree with all your post said and thought it a sensible and wise one.

      1. There was so much that you missed out, that those of us who have followed the club for so many years, knew was wrong with Kronkie and the sacking of David Dein was the action that (for me anyway) really started the warning bells about him.

        That culminated in the botched attempt to take us out of the PL.
        Until then, Josh was really just seen as nothing more, with regards to The Arsenal, than his son.

        That is the point I was making, along with the fact that, since that public apology, we have seen the financial backing that was unheard of before then.

        In summary then, I agree with your article, but felt you needed to explain why Stan Kronkie was seen as a awful owner….. and how Josh has changed that view, which you have done.

        1. Soory to have to disagre with YOUR point again Ken. But the point you make, though definitelty true, is the point YOU wish to make!

          Well, you have made it .

          My article was about what I wished to say and I ALSO MADE IT.

          I will ask you this: have you ever seen two articles by two older GOONERS that both mention EVERYTHING the other one wished to say?

          Because I have not and never expect to either.

            1. On Rices transfer, when completed , our club cannot win either rwy with such moaning minnies of fans we have on JA.
              Not all by any means, but some criticise us for not enough spending .

              And then WHEN WE IDENTIFY A TOP CLASS PLAYER OUR MANAGER seems desperate to buy, lost of fans disrespect Rice with negative comments that he’s not good enough.

              Well, I for one think those fans profoundly wrong . As well as his top class play he is a great character. A full hearted warrior type and a good human being too, as various clips on media show us so well. And he wants to come to us too, which is a massive plus.

              I think that YES,ITS A LOT OF MONEY. But if you want a Porsche, not a FIAT, then you need to pay for that undoubted top quality.

              Trouble is KEN, some on here seem to want the Fiat and not the PORSCHE. What type of thinking enters THEIR heads, if any, escapes my keen brain.

  5. I think the Kronkes now deserve our respect & thanks.It’s been a learning curve for both parties but now it appears we’re as one.
    They have been cautious investors from the get go & we know why.Now I’m sure they see the vast potential of a world wide recognised club & can see what can be achieved .I have no doubt they now want Arsenal to be the world wide equivalent of their other winning “ franchises”

  6. Many valid points, well made Jon.

    Whilst I certainly believe that Josh is closer to Arsenal in particular (compared with their other sports franchises) than his father, I also think that finance, sports franchises have evolved a lot recently, and those controlling them have too.

    Three of KSE’s franchises won championships in 2022, and I think Stan has “mellowed” from merely chasing profits regardless of position to actually enjoying outright success. While I hesitate to believe that he can now be considered either a benevolent owner or an Arsenal “fan” per se, I guess we can all welcome it as a move in the right direction.
    Additionally, while I DON’T believe the current massive investment will become an annual event (not least because payment of the majority of any sums agreed will be spread over several years), I do think in the short term that Stan now recognises the need for a strong platform for sustained success, and that the cash sloshing aroung football in general and the EPL in particular demands that any winning team must speculate to accumulate.
    Whilst Josh surely has influenced his father, it is Stan himself who has sanctioned the major outlays of the last two seasons, but we need to be ready that Arsenal will still be expected to be self sustaining at the end of this squad build ie by next season at the latest – not least because FFP rules will then become a factor.
    But until then, let’s enjoy the ride!

  7. We have had different rumours about different Billionaires wanting to buy Arsenal throughout the last decade but Kroenke has never entertained it.
    Even when that Spotify guy was doing his own publicity stunt about wanting to buy us Kroenke made it clear Arsenal were not fir sale.

    The Kroenke’s are a sports franchise family. They own different sports franchises in the US, Canada and Arsenal. They never sell them. So I think they are here to stay. Arsenal is Josh’s favourite Toy and he seems to be looking after it..

  8. Good article Jon Fox. I think you’ll find that Josh Kroenke is his own man, and as others have said, he takes Arsenal seriously. Maybe we are seeing the new Kroenke generation coming through. Stan won’t be around for ever,, the young man is stepping up. He backed Arteta when he wanted Aubameyang out of the club, and that was a massive gamble which paid off in the long run. Aubameyang seemed to down tools the moment he signed the new contract. I remember alot of people on this site saying it was equivalent to a new signing when Arteta talked Aubameyang into signing a new contract. Aubameyang’s body language said it all. He was pathetic. He sparked up briefly for Barcelona,, and the moment he went to Chelsea he downed tools again. Things look promising with Josh so far. Time will tell, early days yet

    1. PJ Good points you make What strikes me as ultra important for the future is never again to buy players who are pure mercenaries, like Auba definitely was.

      And before then Ozil, an even more talented but even lazier mercenary.
      No ambitious club with real intent to be the number one can possibly afford to carry shirkers such as those two low character oiks.

      Rice is , I firmly believe, cut from a VERY DIFFERENT CLOTH ALTOGETHER, as his WHU career showed us all so graphically.

  9. Whilst not criticising the Kroenkes at all, as I really do think they are in it to win it and though I believe Josh is the driving force behind them backing us, I am sure he still needs to get approval from daddy for the big money decisions.

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