Stan Kroenke is Arsenal’s big problem – not Wenger

The days of glory and success are over….until Stan Kroenke leaves by Big Gun

I think it is safe to say that many of us fans on this forum are from abroad, me included. I have been supporting Arsenal since the early 80’s, but I think it grew as a brand and garnered more support just before and during the Invincibles era, a time in which Arsenal were regarded one of the best clubs in the world. These types of fans were welcomed into a club where winning was the norm.

Come 2005/6, when we moved from Highbury to Emirates (ironically the last time we won a decent trophy for ages), things took a major turn (for the worse actually and I’ll explain why later). Although we had built an amazing new stadium, signed some very lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals a few years later, it was the initial burden of funding the stadium that killed our chances of being able to compete with the top clubs for over a decade and up to this day. Through all this, us fans were patient, supported our team and manager through some tough times. I have always given Arsene the benefit of the doubt, as he managed a top four finish every consecutive year on a shoe string budget whilst having to rebuild the squad each new season after losing our key players.

I was very optimistic when in 2013 we began splashing out on some quality players. It felt as if the chains had finally been broken and Arsenal were on their way back to glory. Fast forward three years and things haven’t quite panned out as they should have. With Arsenal’s newfound financial muscle, and the decline and managerial changes of other clubs (Man United, Chelsea), it was the perfect opportunity for us to take the league by the scruff of its neck and win it. Arsene made some decent signings, but I felt it just wasn’t enough to mount a serious challenge, especially the CL (which is where a club of our stature should be aiming our sights at.)

We have lacked a world class centre forward since Van Persie’s departure. Our other strikers are far too inconsistent and waste too many chances. Ozil has the highest assists so far this season out of any EPL club, yet our goal/chance ratio is pathetic. Our defensive midfield has been in crisis since Silva and Vieira departed. Only now is it sort of coming together. Our defense too was in shambles for a long time and I feel is still a bit vulnerable.

It is easy to blame the manager for the above, for not bolstering the team when we had the opportunity. But I think we need to look at the root of the problem, because remember when Arsenal was dominating back in the nineties and early noughties, Wenger was at the helm. The manager hasn’t changed, but ownership of the club has and I believe this is why Arsenal are in the predicament we are.

Stan Kroenke is majority shareholder with over 66% shares, so he calls the shots. He is owner of multiple sports franchises all over the world, predominantly in his home country of USA. Many of us were skeptical of his takeover for many reasons, primarily his lack of passion for football. Therefore, Arsenal would simply become a cash cow, an investment for him and his family, with no real goal for success in terms of silverware. There were many rumours going around at the time, one of major concern from Nina Bracewell-Smith, a previous director and majority shareholder who stated in an interview in 2013 she had ‘deep regret’ of selling her shares to Stan Kroenke. You can read the article here. At a Sloan Sports Conference in Boston recently, Stan had the following to say about Arsenal and his intentions.

In a nutshell, our club has lost its meaning and true purpose, and to top it off us fans (especially the ones paying an arm and a leg for season passes) are being exploited to the max. I’m not really sure if a change of manager will fix the real issue, I guess time will tell because Wenger will not be around forever, BUT Stan Kroenke and his future generations will be. As long as he is majority shareholder (and he plans for his son to inherit his shares), Arsenal will NEVER be able to compete on the level we used to and deserve to be. Wenger’s replacement will be under the same restraints, low risk, minimum investment to guarantee a top four finish but not nearly enough to compete for top honours. Stan has found the happy medium with Wenger, this is why Le Prof earns 8M a year. But us ‘customers’ deserve better, and this is what it’s about end of the day as without the fans, THERE IS NO CLUB.

So get used to mediocrity fellow Gooners for a long time to come, unless we can somehow force Kroenke’s hand to sell shares to someone rich enough with a personal interest in the club? *cough*Usmanov*cough* I just think that Wenger is taking way too much flak, where the majority of it should be aimed directly at the Kroenke family.

Big Gun

Tags Kroenke Wenger


  1. we were lucky yesterday barcelona were only trying stylish football otherwise we would have lost 10 1.

    kroenke gazidis wenger need to go.

    chambers giroud ramsey walcott are championship players at best.

    Our club has turned into an utter shame and disgust

    1. You forgot Sanches he has been ordinary, Gervino and Chamack were better and they did not last. Let’s be honest here would any top team buy him over Campbell who does more and can kick with his left and right. Even Awobi is better and Ellerny will be the star for the future. CB

  2. stan and ivan are whats wrong at the club at a higher level.

    what you see on the pitch- all wenger
    did sir chips not say arsene is in full control of transfers training tactics- its all him everything on the footballing side

    1. People like you will point at what Sir Chips said and claim Wenger is some kind of god and will never be questioned…

      Remember when Wenger said that Nasri and Cesc would NOT be sold in the same year?

      The words of Nasri himself saying how the higher ups sold him, a player Wenger wanted to keep, a player Wenger was counting on for the season.

      Sir Chips has lied and you swallowed it like a cheap whore.

  3. There is a deep seated root of a problem with football in England. The fact that ManU can be floated on the US Stock Exchange shows our big clubs no longer belong to fans. Arsenal is a franchise for a rich American sadly. He is only interested in how the brand fits within his portfolio. Whether AW realises or not, he is part of that. What he says, ie he’s “bored” about etc shows a real lack of “being in touch” with what a lot of the fan base feel. Personally, at best the club has felt like it has been treading water for years, but now there is a real realisation that we have lost so much ground to the bigger European clubs that we look like minnows compared to the likes of Barcs, Bayern etc. We use to be able to hold our heads reasonably high within that group. As for the EPL. The struggle to make 4th each year is becoming a farce. The fact that other fans have coined the term “Wenger Cup”, is degrading for our mighty club. For all those who defend our endless mediocre performances, remember when we and not Barcelona were the club to beat.

    1. I remember when Arsenal was the team to beat… Barca beat us.
      Damn Mad Jens for getting a red card :'(

      As for Wenger being part of the issue… you jumped the gun there didn’t you?

      What power does Wenger have to tell the owner what to do?
      If Wenger told Silent Stan “I will spend £150 mil next transfer on rebuilding the squad” then do you think Silent Stan will keep him around long enough to do that?

      Arsenal have a real problem, the owner is a greedy yank who only cares about his wealth, the owner does not care about winning trophies and if anything he thinks that going for them will hurt the club in the long run!

      1. And Arsene Wenger plays that game for Stan. If you were a sports person would you be happy with 4th place, or would you try to be better? I think you would find that most world class sports people who love their sport and not just money would try to improve their performance.

        1. Owner wants profit.
          Have a look at Silent Stans sports teams in USA and please tell us all how many trophies they have picked up… Arsenal are his best sports team.

          Until us fans pull together and stop giving our hard earned cash to that yank then nothing will change, he wants profits and a lot of Arsenal fans are selfish enough to think “Ooooh I can afford it, so what some low life can’t afford it?” and when they get priced out of it then they will start moaning but as long as the stadium fills its seats then nothing will change.

          That isn’t Arsenals fault, that is capitalism, Arsenal fall into the capitalistic business ethics.
          Scarcity can drive prices up.

          Stadium filled, the scarcity increases and as such there is an argument to raise ticket prices AGAIN.
          What if the stadium was empty all the time??????????????????

          I have not handed a single penny over to Arsenal FC since Silent Stan took over and I will refuse to give anything of mine to that yank, he has more than I can dream of obtaining so he doesn’t need my money or your money. Hold onto our cash and wait for him to sell due to not having any profit and then splurge on your fav team.

          I honestly believe that if people would stop trying to push the blame onto Wenger like an IDIOT and took actions against Silent Stan then we may actually see a change happen.

          Until then there will be endless arguments on the internet and Silent Stan will just be getting richer.

          Time to make your choice, you gonna actually do something or moan and QQ like a child?

          1. Wenger is paid near enough £8m per year. That is one hell of a sum of money for any executive of a company. He has day to day control of the company, so is it’s operational manager. He is responsible for it’s performance on a day to day month to month basis. He is also a board member and a share holder I believe. He has a huge vested interest in Arsenal. He is not, therefore, in an objective position to review his performance. Once, David Dein made transfers happen for us. When he left, who took that over. That’s right Wenger. Once we had DB10 PV4 working along side AW on the training ground ensuring his ideas were something that could be translated into football. Who did he appoint to take over from them? Well enough said. Stan doesn’t get involved in the day to day management. Wenger is it. If you like to read about your footie in the FT great. I’ll talk EBITDA, Risk Registers Financial Performance Reports with you all day. I just love Arsenal club. I don’t want to give up supporting something my brothers and I use to take the tub to go and see as lads in London, and quite frankly, who the heck are you to get on your high horseand tell me to make a choice…. Think, if Arsene is a sports man does he want first place, if he doesn’t he should leave.

            1. As to your question what can I do? I think I can voice my opinion about the club I love, that’s what I think I can do.

      2. Kronke only cares about financial results not football ones otherwise Wenger would already have been sacked for failing to progress the team in the last 10 years.
        The truth is Kronke has no ambition and wenger has no clue and they desreve each other. I still think a different manager could do a better job than Wenger with the same resources. I’d like to see the back of both of them.

  4. last night again mesut didnt come to clap away fans – he looked mad- its happened alot recently.
    should we be worried?

    psg an juve have been sniffing around for months now

    1. Of course we should. He is World class and didn’t even make the Ballon d’or shortlist. He has said he want’s to win it, he wont with Arsenal playing as it does.

      1. I anticipate, that both Alexis and Ozil have clauses in their contracts that will allow them to transfer out of Arsenal if we do not qualify for a Champions League place. I understand that is now fairly common practice, and was probably the reason for Rooney getting £300K per week to stay at ManU.

        1. Whether Ozil is WC or not we the fans are more important than him at Arsenal so he needs to respect us more. Hell even bullies like Ibra and Costa cheer the fans, great players like Messi, Muller, Ney, etc do the same.

          I remember the first time he did that at the Etihad Mert put him in his place which was correct, its not our fault he disappears in big games anyway for him to get mad. Just proves that all the bullsh!t Wenger preaches about unity is a lie. If he wants to leave let him go and lets find players ready to bleed for our badge, if he stays fine.

          One other thing Kos is no captain material, his no Kompany, Vidic, Nesta, Adams, Puyol type of leader you need at the back in big games, great player no doubt but we need a leader next to him for him to play his natural game without pressure.

          1. I agree, but I think what I’m trying to say, is that Arsenal as a club doesn’t respect it’s fans either. Comments made by AW recently show he doesn’t care what we think, bored etc. The financial model is sound at the moment, but on a World wide basis, how long before English football looks relatively tame to German or Spanish footie. The gulf last night was vast, lets not kid ourselves, Barca played with us. The real match was Bayern v Juv. a real hum dinger close to the wire for a long time. Brilliant for the non partisan football fan.

  5. The key Target for ALL gooners should be the removal of Silent stan, Ive been trumpeting the same message as this article for a long time,I do feel Wenger is far too complicit in Stan Kroenke’s plans but its difficult to say where Wenger really lays in this web.
    Kroenke was the worst thing to happen to the club and while I feel theres little hope of dislodging him now (Alisher Usmanov may be a devout Arsenal fan but he’s very far from stupid and wont pay for shares that will be almost certainly be massively overpriced in order to prise Kroenke out of his ownership.
    Arsenal football club is now a cash machine for one of the worlds richest men and is there to be used as collateral for other ventures that Kroenke wants to get involved with.
    Alisher Unsmanov would have had majority control is Nina Braceweel smith had been more pprudent but Im sure the Deep Regret she feels is somewhat salved by the millions she recieved for her shares.
    Dont go thinking that if Wenger does go before his allotted time that we will end up with a manager that will drastically change things because we wont !! As much as Ive critisised Wenger a great deal and I still feel he has been fatally remiss in certain area’s BUT and there is always a but, the real pproblem as you have so rightly cited is Stan Kroenke AND a board who are far less concerned with the club winning trophies are far more concerned with running a business that pays millions in dividends into thier greedy pockets !!!
    David Dein was pushed out for suggesting that the way forward for AFC was heavy foreign investment, unyet now we have a majority shareholder that bring ziltch to the table and takes more than he could ever offer.
    The only real hope we have now is the african oil magnate Aliko Dangote and lets be honest he’s far from a mug as well and wont be paying three times the standard price for a majority takeover, these people care ONLY about money NOT about you and me. Theres plenty of soulless plastic fans at the emerites already who’s tickets are purchased by m’ma and P’pa and the waiting list for these seats is as long as your arm, Wenger maybe should have come out and siad it like it is but he too is either more interested in doing the best he can under difficult circumstances for the club OR only interested in the money Im not sure which it is but whats clear is that he made a huge error in NOT buying any outfield players last summer especially a marquee striker and also in my mind offering Theo (a player who to my mind is lazy and under talented) a new contract at twice his salary these alone would be enough to get him the sack at other clubs who DO care about winning.

    1. It felt good reading your post.
      I, along with you and a few others, we all have been screaming to people that Silent Stan and Ivan the Terrible are the points of issue.

      I’ve been banging this drum along with you for years.

      Oh and do people know that Ivan is a CITY supporter?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!??!??!!?
      The team that pinched half our squad for a cut price bargain!

      Well done Ivan, you done what was best for Arsenal….

      I don’t think Wenger is perfect either, I do have a couple issues with him but overall I am proud we have Wenger.
      I just wish he would stop having favorites… Giroud is a bench player yet starts so damn often. What has happened to Ramsey as well? Couple years ago he has that wonderful start to the season, I recall a stat saying he was putting in on average 4.4 tackles per a game during that period! That is more than a holding CM puts in on average. Ramsey was getting back to cover the less able Arteta. Now look at Ramsey… goal hungry forget everything else… pathetic. He needs to be thrown to the wolves by the manager for his attitude. I have no doubt that if Ramsey can refind that form then he will be one of the best CM in the world but is he gonna learn while being a fav of the manager???

    1. Monreal>>>Baines

      1. Sanchez >>>>> the entire Watford squad.

        But look what where that got us. Its about the team and not individual players. If the team decides to defend and attack together they can do great, at the moment we play as though we are 3 players shot.

  6. Yes it has been known for
    several years that 4th place
    is the model Stan, Arsene
    and Ivan believe in.
    Fans know but refuse to accept that.
    Blaming Owner, Manager + players is just delusion.
    Stan and Arsene know the odds of winning the EPL is low
    so they shy away from spending huge on new players.
    They instead aim to “win” a place in the top 4 every season.
    The trick has been to privately espouse the 4th place model
    yet publicly express a desire to win trophies.
    Seems to be working well because after 12 barren years
    most Arsenal fans still believe “next” year will be “the” year.
    It’s not just Gunners because Liverpool fans have believed in
    “next” year for 30 years and Spurs for 55 years.
    Nothing as queer as folk 🙂

    1. What happens if we don’t make 4th, take for instance the rise of other clubs? What happens then. West Ham look good. Spurs are promising. Man City and Pep mean business. Man U have to achieve or they will loose stock market value. Liverpool getting some rock N roll with Klopp must have some thoughts on ECL. That’s getting tight up there isn’t it.

      1. I was going to mention something along those lines yesterday. Wham Liv tott che are all getting new stadiums, or bigger ones. What happens when they have our type of wealth. If Kroenke is still in charge I am going to be worried. Liv and tott made nearly 100m in player sales and spent it all without a care, we do not have this type of owner. Then they still spent allot in trying to undo the bad signings. We are in trouble when these clubs get on the rise. Che will probably join Barca and Madrid echelon, might even rival them for players who do not care about sun shine. Back to the others though because they are the worry, the top is all ready too crowded for us to make an impact. What chance will we have when this day comes?

        Kroenke is basically having a long distance relationship with us, and we all know how they go. He has no presence whatsoever, leaves it all it would seem to Wenger. Wenger needs someone there who he respects or fears and so he can answer to him. Someone to ask why not add to what you have and see if that pushes these players into trying harder. Someone who will visit the dressing room to let them know that this is just not good enough. Abramovic does that with Che, I’m sure most clubs have input from the top, why not at Arsenal. This is only a small example, I’m sure someone wiser than myself spell out why this is a huge loss. The article was both good and fair, chow.

    2. “blaming owner, manager + players is just delusion”

      Isnt that contradicted by what you just said below? They don’t show enough ambition to go for anything but the fourth? Players can be excused, but theyre still not good enough as a whole group. manager? He’s bound by the owners guidelines, so he’s kind of excused, but Leicester shows how the owners input to a club doesn’t really determine 100% where you end up – so Wenger is not clear of blame.

  7. I’m sorry but I disagree,
    You can’t blame the owner, since £40+ million was spent on Ozil, followed by another £35+ million on Sanchez!
    The buck stops with the Manager, as he is the one who supposedly installs tactics and motivation into the team.

    The money has been there to spend but it is Wenger and his deluded belief that his team are good enough to challenge for major trophies, without the need of adding to his fine squad lol ?

    I think that Kroenke’s statement has been taking out of context, regarding Money over winning trophies!
    at the end of the day, Winning trophies will bring in more money!… In every department.

    There are examples of clubs overspending and still failing to win major trophies and then you have clubs like Southampton who have been selling their best players for many seasons and still seem to produce more from either their youth set up or by buying cheaper replacements who go on to double their value in just one season.

    And of course, theres Leicester. .. showing everyone that Spending large, isn’t necessarily the answer!

    So don’t look any further than our Manager,
    Because that’s where our real problem lies!

    1. @Fatboy Gooner
      The Ozil deal was far less that 40 plus million as has been exposed on football leaks it was more in the region of 32 million with verious clauses that enable REM to take a percentage of any profit we make on selling Ozil and I would assume there are similar attachments with the Sanchez deal, even our record signings are clouded in smoke and mirrors so let not run away with the idea that its all SWengers fault, if your employer is on your back and pushing for results then you perform at a higher rate and push harder where as Wenger has no push from above so doesnt go out of his way
      Kroenke doesnt have the culture around him to win trophies cos thats not his aim and that filters down to the grass roots at Arsenal and shows in Wengers transfer policy and in the players performance.
      Nothing is quiet what it seems over at Ashburton Grove let me tell you.

      1. I wonder what the real story is with David Dein. I doubt it is because he tried to bring in Kroenke when that is what happened in the end anyway. Dein sold his shares to what is probably the better candidate, whereas all the others went the wrong direction. I reckon it is because of the so called mafia links, Usmanov. David Dein is one of the goodfellas.

      2. @ Ozzy
        Your forgetting that Wenger has more control over the club than just his managerial duties!
        Hence ‘HIS’ statement of ” I built this club” ?

        Take them blinkers off and have a good look around you,
        You are missing alot by Looking in one direction!

  8. I would rather the article had stated the three culprits i.e kroenke,gazidis and yes mr. Bean..the problem with wenger is trusting too much in players who are either lazy and injury prone(ramsey and wilshere) or are average and not arsenal type(walcott,giroud,flamini,per,gabriel,arteta,chambers e.t.c)..he justifies the unjustifiable including by saying that the players are not available during transfers and that better ones than what we have are not available.such excuses led to us acquiring a single outfield player and hence the deficiency that has costed us the Epl (not to mention the uefa CL) for the 11th successive season.douglas costa,dyabala,vidal, kante,mahrez,payet,firmino,shaqiri,Reid etc are players of great quality that cld have boosted our chances and were available at prices that were within our reach but we cld not spot them.what are the scouts and the manager doing???when Arteta is the captain and Per the assistant then there is a MAMMOTH problem!!!

  9. Arsenals board members/owners were once lorded as being truly class. Everything they done was said to be shrewd, old fashioned, but very very classy. We always knew they had the best interests of Arsenal at heart. Lady Bracewell says she regrets it, imo she does not regret it because it turned out to be a smack in the face for Gooners. No, she regrets it because she knew it was a mistake from the very beginning. Like come on, how much background work would need to be achieved to find out this dude is all wrong. When he first acquired our club, I looked into his large portfolio of sports ventures, and came to the conclusion ..oh shit. The once very class AFC board members/owners are after selling us down the river. If I remember correctly there was a bit of a world wide financial crisis going on at the time, financial crisis

  10. “Nina Bracewell-Smith, a previous director and majority shareholder who stated in an interview in 2013 she had ‘deep regret’ of selling her shares to Stan Kroenke.”

    Oh the slut!

    Is that why she and the others made a pact to not sell to a single share owner and once the price of the shares raised she was selling the shares like they was gonna go out of fashion the next week.

    Dein had told the board about how Arsenal would have difficulty yet she sided with the old blood and they all benefited from getting a nice payday while the real fan, David Dein, sold his shares to Usmanov before they shot up in price just so Arsenal may have an owner who cared about football.

    Don’t believe the BSing cow.
    She isn’t so poor that she can’t afford people to give financial advice and what ended up happening gave he the best result she could of gotten, after that she acts like a victim???? PMSL! Don’t buy into people.

    She wanted as much as she could get and that is why they all made that BS agreement to not sell and then sold all together.

  11. It is all about what Kroenke calls “brand”. In other words if season tickets are still sold and stadium is full and top 4 finish achieved, merchandice sold them advertising/sponsorship money follows.

    If fan loyalty falls, season tickets not all sold, stadium not full, merchandice not sold then income falls, advertising/sponsorship money falls, share price falls, Kroenke loses money.

    I am beginning to understand what Kroenke means by “you (he means himself) do not get in to this to win championships”. He means that the aim is to make money. I am sure he understands that winning things keeps the fans happy and hence improves the brand.

    In summary, Kroenkes aim is to make money, as opposed to Abramovich and Sheik Mansour whose aim is to win things and o not care about the cost as long as they can keep on the correct side of financial fair play.

    1. I think fans frustration/anger should be aimed a Kroenke, he has to know that fans now want more than top four finish. He has to believe that fan support will start to fall along with income to arsenal and share price. He also has to believe that a sticking plaster will not work ie just changing the manager and all will be well next season is not enough.

  12. @ Big Gun, assuming Kroenke is the complete problem as you put it, is Wenger then not part of the the conspiracy? Hasn’ t Wenger got a legacy to protect? Is Wenger not ambitious?
    What is Wenger still doing in arsenal if the situation is as you paint it?

    Is Kroenke responsible for instilling confidence and a strong mentality in the team?
    With the squad that Aresenal has, which is one of the best in the premiership and with other top rival contenders not in contention, Arsenal should have an easy sail to glory this season. It is not the case because of Wengers mentality which has grown weak over the years.

    Let’s face it, Wenger is a major part of thecproblem and no more the manager he used to be and hence a need for a change come the end of the season. WE NEED A YOUNGER MANGER THAT IS MORE AMBITIOUS, MORE DYNAMIC, MORE VIBRANT MANAGER, HAS A STRONGER PERSONALITY AND MENTALILITY.

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