Arsenal have appointed Vinai Venkatesham, our former commercial officer, as the replacement for Ivan Gazidis in the post of Managing Director of the club, and he will be the man in charge along with Raul Sanllehi.
He has known the Kroenke’s for some time now and he believes that the American is fully committed to taking the club back to the top. This is what Venkatesham said: “I’ve known Stan and Josh a long time, very well for probably five or six years. Raul and I a couple of weeks ago were out in Los Angeles, that’s the last time we saw Stan and Josh face to face. We’re on phone to them all the time. Their very very, very clear – they are 100% committed to this club, want to get the club back in the Champions League, back competing for the Premier League and competing to win the Champions League.
“They’re 100% committed behind that vision. Two individuals who are hugely passionate about the sport, very energised and excited about the future opportunity we have. The fans are everything around what a football club is, they’re the lifeblood of this club. I don’t think fans should be concerned around any lack of engagement with the club going forward.
“One of the key things we’ve been speaking about over the past few weeks is how we can continue to step up our engagement with fans, look to build more constructive relationships with our fan groups as well. These aren’t just words, these are things that are very, very important to us.”
I am of the opinion that they ARE just words, and sounds exactly like the guff we got from Gazidis every year, especially when he goes on to say that Kroenke will not be investing any of his money towards improving the team. When asked about a reported loss made on the last financial year, he continued: “I’m not going to get into speculation about what our financial results may look like on 31 May 2019, which I think is what people are talking about. What I’ll say is we have a self-sustaining business model at this football club. That means all the investments we make on the pitch are funded by the revenues we generate off the pitch. And we’re really confident we can be successful with this model. The ambition we have for this club is completely possible to be achieved in the business model that we’ve got.”
So everyone who thinks that Kroenke will be more ambitious now that he is the sole owner is going to be disappointed. He is committed? Maybe, but not THAT committed!