Were Arsenal fans really lied to over the Emirates move? Or just unlucky?

WAS THE REASONING BEHIND BUILDING THE EMIRATES STADIUM THE LIE SOME CLAIM IT WAS OR DID CIRCUMSTANCES INTERVENE? by Ken1945

Those of us who remember the wonderful Highbury stadium, will always look back with great affection at the home of The Arsenal from 1913 until the end of the 2005 season.

It’s hard to believe that this unique stadium holds an incredible record attendance figure:
Imagine 73,295 fans watching us play Sunderland in 1935 – let me just repeat that figure 73,295 fans – so how did the majestic, one off masterpiece stadium compare to other major English home grounds back then?

Liverpool’s record attendance stands at 61,905 in 1952.
Everton’s record attendance stands at 78,299 in 1948.
Manures record attendance stands at 83,260 in 1948…against The Arsenal – but at Maine Road!!!
Chelsea’s record attendance stands at 82,905 in 1935…against The Arsenal
Spuds record attendance stands at 75,038 in 1938.
City’s record attendance stands at 84,467 in 1934…still the biggest attendance for a match played at their home ground.

So, in the days when football was, indeed the “working class game”, we were capable to hold massive crowds, although from personal experience at the age of seven, one was never guaranteed to see any of the game when they actually got in to the ground… but the atmosphere was electric!!!

However, following the decision to make major football grounds all seater venues at the start of the 1994/95 season and following the Hillsborough disaster, the capacity at Highbury dropped to 38,419 spectators, nearly half of that record 73,295.

Highbury was renovated three times, in 1932/36, 1989 and 1993, but the club realised that to compete with the major clubs with bigger capacities, the decision was taken to move home and Highbury was closed on the 7th May 2006.

The supporters were told that this move was, not only to accommodate more of the, reported, 100,000 plus fans on the season ticket waiting list, but to also allow the club to start investing the vast increase in revenue on players from across the world.

The move happened in 2006, with the first match being a testimonial game for the wonderful Dennis Bergkamp and the stadium itself took our breath away.

It was magnificent – built on time – on budget – no hold ups, and all was in place to fulfil the promise and the dreams of millions of Gooners worldwide.

We had finished fourth in the league in 2005, but at last it seemed thousands more Gooners would be able to lend their support, both vocally and in monetary terms and the sky was the limit.

Just to give you an example of what the difference was on matchday revenues between us and Manure, we made a reported £45 million, while they made £92 million for that 2005 season…and yet we were competing with them on the pitch for every domestic trophy… so if we could compete with them with regards to revenue as well, what on earth could go wrong?

Our well respected and long serving board, along with Arsene Wenger and David Dein, were about to make the dream come true and we were ready to conquer the world… so what did go wrong?????

Well, the vision and planning started way back in 1999, with the first construction beginning on the Ist February 2004, once the funding needed was found and completed.

Such was the power and image of our manager Arsene Wenger, it was demanded by the banks that he was to be our manager until all the works were carried out, something worth remembering as part of his and our history.

At this time, there was no billionaire owners, such as Abramovich around, nor was the money that media outlets such as Sky, BT etc even considered. Then the whole footballing world changed in the blink of an eyelid, as we were building and starting to repay the debts of The Emirates:

1. In 2004 with debts totalling £80,000,000, Chelsea were bought by Roman Abramovich and has spent over £2billion since then, acquiring some of the world’s top players.

2. In 2008, Sheikh Mansour brought the City Football Group for £265,000,000 and has spent over £1billion since then, acquiring some of the world’s top players.

3. In 2011, Stan Kroenke became the sole owner of Arsenal and has spent nothing of his own money in acquiring players.

4. The board turned its back on the fans, by selling out to the man once described by the then chairman Peter Hill-Wood thus: “Call me old fashioned, but we don’t need Kroenke’s money and we don’t want his sort. Our objective is to keep Arsenal English, albeit with a lot of foreign players. I don’t know for certain if Kroenke will mount a hostile takeover for our club, but we shall resist it with all our might.”

Blink…they all sold out to him, lock, stock and barrel and walked away with a fist full of dollars!!!

5. As far as I am aware, the only board member who has shown any remorse regarding the sale of shares is Lady Nina Bracewell, who sold her shares of 16% in April 2011. Her ladyship then complained she sold them too cheaply… since then, and to put the record straight, she says she “deeply regrets selling to Kroenke” and claims he has no passion for the club!!! Well done Nina, you got one thing right and we are all grateful for your insight.

6. In April 2007, the board and Kroenke sacked David Dein, terminating THE most successful partnerships in modern football with Arsene Wenger.

Dein reported that Wenger asked him whether he wished him to resign in support of his friend. Dein answered by saying that he mustn’t leave Arsenal, as the club would suffer greatly from his loss as their manager.

This ridiculous sacking was initiated (so it is said) by Kroenke, the man who Dein introduced to the club – you couldn’t make it up, you really couldn’t… but it happened, and that’s when, in my opinion the club lost its integrity.

7. Sky TV began offering huge amounts of money for the right to show PL football and in 2015, they paid £4.18 billion for five of the seven packages on offer – BT paid just under £1 billion for their package and the BBC agreed a £204 million deal for MOTD highlights.

8. The PL currently has twelve billionaire owners, with a reported and combined wealth of $90.8 billion (it seems only one of them, Stanley Kroenke, does not believe in using his personal wealth of over $10 billion to acquire and strengthen the playing staff… and was the only billionaire who asked his players to take a pay cut of 12.5%), with Roman Abramovich being the first of these owners.

Before him, there wasn’t a single billionaire owner around when The Emirates was first envisaged in 1999.

Blink of an eyelid (or just twenty years) the picture had been changed for ever.

Now, let’s go back to the original question and that was “were we lied to regarding The Emirates Stadium?

Well, the fact is, if we are just given a yes or no option, then it has to be Yes.

But I believe that, at the time, every one of the listed eight statements were of a completely unknown and utterly unthinkable happening.

It was stated that due diligence and planning should have been more thorough, but I challenge anyone to honestly say they could have predicted back in 1999, or even 2003, that one, let alone these seven examples would happen.

So technically, we can throw our arms up in the air claiming we were lied too, but my view is that greed – outside influences – timing – billionaires and circumstances are behind the reasons why The Emirates stadium has not yet produced what it was built for, so I really do believe that the claim was made in all sincerity and not a lie, as some would say it was.

I am sure we will compete with the top clubs once again… just as we did at Highbury and once Mikel Arteta shows Stanley Kroenke what he could actually do with a little assistance from his ownership and wallet, the sky will be the limit… the big unknown is will Kroenke listen and invest?

Blink of an eyelid and we could see Partey and Aouar signed if Stan wants it to happen.

My glass is half full as usual and being an optimistic realist. I hope Silent Sam turns over a new leaf, once he realises what a gem we have in Mikel Arteta.

ken1945

61 Comments

  1. Adam Triggs says:

    Absolutely top article. Agree with every word. We are not asking for the type of money City and Chelsea have received but if Stan can’t release the purse strings a bit let’s sell out to this African guy. If you can’t beat them join them.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      From what I understand isn’t selling Stan’s decision?

  2. Adajim says:

    Lot of issues address in one beautiful post. Good work Ken.
    I will focus on just one, my question are
    1. Can’t arsenal run a self sustaining model successfully?
    2. All the TV right reimbursesement and consistent UCL qualification fees, where have they gone to?
    3. How did arsenal got here?
    From the post there are currently 12 billionaires owing EPL club, and out of the lots, only 2 exceptions are willing to lavishly spend their personal funds on transfer /upgrading the team; this shows are billionaire /investors are profit driven
    Let’s assume Kroenke decide to be spend drift like Abrahimovic, with his lack of football management experience and proper monitoring, would arsenal be a better team? My answer is No

    Ken, am aware you respect Wenger and Mark Dein a lot, would you rather say their judgement are clouded by emotion or personal interest or are delusional? Because it was Dein that introduced Kroenke and AW vehemently opposed the Russian billionaire (who was the 2nd majority holder) from putting his personal funds into upgrading the team, in fact according to report AW preferred kroenke self sustaining model to external funding system of Chelsea or city, and moreso, it’s too late for external funding system now that FFFP rule is active.

    To answer the question pose by the post, I think we weren’t lied to based on the event of early 20 prior to abrramovic takeover, we were unlucky the plan took effect at the time an uncertain event of billionaire coming into EPL to invest.
    However, we were undone but the wastrel we appointed to manage affairs and till now we are yet to recover from the Gazidis blunders

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Adajim, David Dein not Mark Dein.
      As Ken has explained Chelsea were £80 million in debt, when Abranovich bought the Club for virtually a “peppercorn” or £1. Arsenal on the other hand, even then on the self sustaining model were virtually debt free at the time the loans were taken out to build the Emirates. When David Dein introduced Kroenke and Usmanov to the Board, it was because he foresaw the need for external funding. When the Board members sold to Kroenke rather than Usmanov, Dein was forced out. As far as I am aware Kroenke denied Usmanov with 40% ownership a seat on the Board and therefore he was unable to fund Arsenal. I was unaware that Arsene Wenger had any say in Usmanov’s funding for players being refused. We all know that Usmanov finally gave up, sold to Kroenke and took his money to Everton FC.
      I also have the same questions as you regarding where has the money gone. 25 years of qualification for Champions League, ground attendances, TV rights, prize money etc all squandered away by the subordinates Kroenke Sports & Entertainment to manage their Arsenal FC asset.
      Having 40 years involvement in strategic planning, economic analysis, project management, through design, contract and constuction, asset management and maintenance of major infrastructure, I am conversant with the risk assessments undertaken at all phases. With the Emirates Stadium, due diligence should have included a SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. As examples, external funding of Arsenal would be seen as an “opportunity”, funding of an opposition club would be seen as a “threat”. Increased TV money would be an “opportunity”, but also a “threat”, because increased coverage could encourage spectators to stay home and watch from the comfort of their own home, rather than the hassle of travelling to and from the ground, with the resulting loss in match day revenue. From my professional experience, I can’t understand that such an analysis would not have been done, as they were commonplace from the 1980’s onward.

      1. ken1945 says:

        ozziegunner, thanks for this, great to have your input.

    2. ken1945 says:

      Adajim, thanks for your comments:

      As ozziegunner says below, our club has always been run, more or less, as a self sustaining model.
      The old board members were always very aware of ensuring the bank balance was in the black and that’s how we got the nickname as “Bank of England” from the media.

      Again, on your second point, ozziegunner, Durand and a few others have consistently asked this question “where has the money gone?”
      I assume osme was used during the building of The Emirates, but from 2006 onwards, the club must have made a fortune in gate capacity, CL football, top four placings, new sponsors etc etc but where it went is a mystery to this day.

      As for how did we get here, that is an easy one for me (of course it’s only my opinion). Kronkie and the board selling out to him. If you read what kronkie said when he got final control, he made it obvious that he was not going to be a hands on benefactor, far from it.

      AW and DD partnership: I assume you were not around when these two men got together?
      It was a match made in heaven, with both parties helping the other to succeed.
      If one reads what each says about the other, the total respect isthere to this day and when kronkie and the board sacked David Dein, the slippery slop began.
      I suggest you read whatothers say about these two men, nothing delusional whatsoever and, if I had the money, I would erect a statue for DD right next to the one being made for AW!!
      Yes, Dein did introduce kronkie, but as ozziegunner says, it was purely for the investment purposes and that’s why he opposed kronkie so vehemently later.
      Must say, I have never heard that AW openly opposed Usmanov, so that’s worth investigating.

      Finally you last point regarding gazidis, 100% agree with you.

  3. SueP says:

    An interesting article, Ken

    I never thought of the stadium being built as a lie. You rightly pointed out that all seater stadiums became law and there were more people wanting a ticket than seats available. I just saw it as a natural progression that English football was taking off, Sky started the revolution in live football and the revenue brought in the super rich who either saw it as a way of making more money – Kroenke, Mansour for influence and Abramovich as a possession that gave him power, enjoyment and success

    The departure of Dein, a supporter, was a grave moment in the club’s history. He and Wenger worked well together and the Kroenke dynasty is cold. Icy cold.

    At the time the Emirates was planned the future could not have envisaged.

    I was excited by the Emirates and when the Covid crisis passes will look forward to seeing full houses and rousing moments. This will happen because someone at the club eventually had the foresight to offer Arteta the job

    1. ken1945 says:

      SueP, the “lie” tag came from us being told that, once the stadium had been paid off, we would compete with the top clubs around the world.
      I contend that this all changed with the kronkie ownership, rather than a lie from the then board and groups of shareholders.
      I remember the first time I glimpsed the playing surface and seeing 60,000 gooners in one place – epic memories for me epic!!!

      1. SueP says:

        Ah
        Get it now. That was a lie from Kroenke but I believe that AW and DD were in it for the right reasons- the love of our club

        1. ken1945 says:

          100% in agreement with that conclusion SueP.

  4. Sean says:

    Stan wont invest, it’s been said numerous times we need to raise funds ourselves to buy new players. In saying that Stan did clear our stadium debt with a loan from KSE this summer so he might help out but I doubt it.

    The Emirates should never have happened, Highbury should’ve been extended just like Anfield has been, it was home and since then we have never recovered. The proof, we are worse off now than we ever have and that’s with all the revenue, sponsorship & players over the last 14years!

    Dein being sacked by the man who he introduced to the club for investment was a sign of hiw this operation under Stan was going to work.

    Arsene is as much to blame in that sense as the banks demanded him to stay so that gave him so much power at the club that he didnt want Usmanovs money (who couldn’t get a seat in the board with 40% ownership still baffles me) and lied to the fans quite alot to back/support the board. He may be our greatest manager ever but he has a lot in all of this as I’m sure he believed we were going places with the stadium and doing it the right way, on our own with our own profits.

    FFP was also a key factor just after Chelsea’s was bought as we were led down a garden path to believe you can only spend within your means but there has been loopholes since day one for billionaire owners.

    Football is a business now not about the love of the game or the badge on the shirt, its money, power and fame!!

    1. NWL Dan says:

      It’s worth pointing out that in order to extend Anfield Liverpool started buying properties from residents around the stadium and leaving them empty and in disrepair bringing the area down and forcing house prices down which eventually forced the remaining residents to sell to Liverpool and move out.
      Pretty poor behaviour in my books.

    2. Jax says:

      Permission to develop Highbury was repeatably refused by London Borough of Islington. Much of this was to do with the Highbury Hill residents objections.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Correct Jax, there was, reportedly, one resident who was a spud supporter and he /she refused to co-operate in any way.
        Not sure g true that story is, but for sure, the club tried very hard not to leave Highbury.

    3. ozziegunner says:

      Sean, I too have training in Corporation Law, and I always thought that Australia’s Corporations Act was similar to parallel legislation in the UK. The only reason Usmanov could be denied a seat on the Arsenal Board with a 40% shareholding, would be in his being deemed to be “not a fit and proper person.” I can find no evidence that was ever the case and with 40% he should have been a director with a seat on the Board, with voting rights commensurate with his shareholding. Are can’t understand how the remaining Board members with 60% could deny him these rights. Ancient history now.
      The second worst thing Kroenke did behind forcing Dein out, was the forceable purchase of the small shareholders shares, such as those of the Arsenal Shareholders Trust members. Many of these shares had been handed down through families over generations. It was an act of sheer bastardry, even though legal.

  5. NWL Dan says:

    Good article Ken. There is bits of info in there that I did not know.
    To answer I would agree that the unforeseeable outside factors, the changing landscape of football in general and mismanagement of the club have been a major factor in the stadium not producing what was promised.
    I read an article earlier this morning on “She wore a yellow ribbon” titled “KSE right NOT to inject cash into Arsenal to buy players”.
    It outlines that Arsenal FC run a self sustaining model and we should not want to be heavily in debt to our owner.
    Some of the points are “Since 2016, (sic)Arsenal have invested heavily in new players:

    2016/17 – £101.77million
    2017/18 – £137.5m
    2018/19 – £72.1m
    2019/20 – £144.3m

    That is £455million spent across the last 4 seasons; an average of £113m.

    The problem at Arsenal is not that we have not spent enough, but that we have bought (and sold) poorly.

    Imagine being a CEO going to an owner asking for a cash injection to buy players. The first question the owner will ask is “why should I inject cash in to buy players when you have spent the clubs money so poorly”.
    And that would be followed up with “you have 32 players in the first team squad. Sell players you do not need firstly, and then come back to me.
    We have bought poorly in the last 4 years.

    Shkodran Mustafi – £36.9m
    Lucas Perez – £18m
    Henrikh Mkhitaryan – £30.6m (book value in Alexis Sanchez exchange)
    Lucas Torreira – £25.8m
    Sokratis – £14.4m

    That is over £125m squandered on players.

    And that does not take into account £72m spent on Nicolas Pepe on the £350,000 a week Mesut Ozil is on”.

    Some good points there.
    The article also goes on to outline the losses we will make because of Covid-19. I won’t list these as the article is worth a read and deserves people hopping over to their site to read the full article.

    What I have written here was copy and pasted from She wore a yellow ribbon so all credit goes to them and also credit goes to Ken for an excellent and informative article.

    To close I am not coming out in favour Kroenke. I would like to see him gone from our club. I am merely looking at all sides from an objective point of view.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Thanks NWL Dan, will look for the article you mentioned – I will have a look.
      Good points as well – especially thekronkie one at the end!!!

    2. ozziegunner says:

      NWL Dan, I agree with the sentiments expressed in “She wore a yellow ribbon”, regarding putting good money after bad. My argument with KS&E has been the quality of the Board and senior executives they have employed/retained to “manage” (I use the word advisedly) the financial and player assets of Arsenal FC. Forcing David Dein out and retaining the “mental pygmies” were major factors in the Club’s declining fortunes.
      Unfortunately myself and obviously others of like mind don’t have access to the £2 billion plus to buy the Club, so I have developed the serenity to accept something I can’t change.
      One positive about KS&E is that since 2015, they have ceased taking the £3 million “management fee”. In addition there appears to be no evidence that they have stripped any assets from the Club. It is a concern that they may be using the Arsenal FC asset as collateral for raising loans. Even though this is their right as 100% owners, it involves exposure to risk for Arsenal FC.
      My point is to indicate that Arsenal could have worse owners potentially.

  6. Gworm says:

    Slightly related; the Panorama programme on money laundering last night was an eye opener and made me glad we didn’t go with Usmanov. Interesting that third party ownership has been cited as a factor in the Partey deal when it has been banned.

    1. Siamois says:

      Abramovitch’s name came up too,he was named in few SAR’s (suspicious activity reports)from different banks!!

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Wait until the investigations come out into Deutsche Bank by the German Government and the New York District Courts investigations into Donald Trump’s finances.

        1. ken1945 says:

          What a time bomb that is waiting to happen – I wonder why Trump doesn’t want anyone to see his returns!!!!

  7. Siamois says:

    My answer to question is no we were not lied,I truly believe in that Arsène,Dein…all thought that moving to a bigger and more modern stadium will increase our revenues,but like this good article pointed out from the time the funding was in place, work on the stadium started and finished and the stadium paid off,the PL landscape was a different one due to this wave of billionaires new owners, something no one could have predicted if we’re honest, having said that it doesn’t excuse all the bad decisions, mismanagement, running of the club…. hindsight is a great thing.

  8. GunneRay says:

    “To compete with the very best” were the words I remember coming from the Hierarchy at Highbury back when The Emirates was in its early planning.
    The biggest factor in building The Emirates was to build a stadium that would attract the best players, best sponsors and best investment!

    Of course, Kronke came in and changed all that. He forced the shareholders to sell out (with only Usmanov putting up a fight) which meant any chance of attaining the core values and reasons for building such a stadium was never going to happen. The yanks are more interested in the “money machine”, NOT the values, not the fans and not for the English game of football!!

    1. ozziegunner says:

      GunneRay, I’m still waiting to be “very excited”.

  9. Siamois says:

    Ken,I hope you were being sacarstic when praising her Ladyship,were you?

    1. ken1945 says:

      Absolutely Siamois, only pleased she feelsshafted for selling them in the first place!!

      1. ozziegunner says:

        And ken, we can only hope the “shafting” caused some discomfort to her Ladyship.

        1. ken1945 says:

          That made my eyes water ozziegunner – but totally agree with your sentiment

  10. Andrew Elder says:

    Great article Ken requiring immense research, thank you. The nostalgia is already welling up, I spent some of the best moments of my life on the East Stand (especially the odd night game). I was ‘adopted’ by a family of 4 from Edgeware who always brought extra sandwiches for me. I don’t believe we were lied to because both DD and AW were involved and genuinely believed the move would take us to a new financial level in order to compete with the big clubs here and in Europe. I’ll level with you though, the move changed the way I viewed the club thereafter, there was a sense of loss not gain. I wonder if they looked at other options, I know the council would not allow them to build ‘up’ following complaints from local householders but some time ago I read an article relating to an architect’s plan to fill in the 4 gaps thereby creating a further 7500 seats and increasing the capacity to over 45,000 at a relatively low cost. Whether or not it was presented to the board, I do not know but it’s all water under the bridge now. I believe that the growth of the club has been seriously hindered buy the owners by refusing to invest personally in their own football club. But things can change and this is what we must hope for. COYG

    1. ken1945 says:

      Thanks my friend – for us oldies The Emirates will never replace that place called Highbury and, as AwW said, we left something behind when we moved.
      I was lucky enough to have “obtained” two of the tiles that were in the West stand with the cannon engraved in the middle, when they were starting the demolition work.
      I really do believe that time, in the form of billionares, overtook the grand plan, but I have faith that Arteta will bring back the glory days.

      1. Sue says:

        Obtained?! Tell us more, Ken!.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Well Sue, if you remember, the club decided to auction off some memoribillia, including ones season ticket seat, when Highbury was being taken down.
          There was a certain amount of tiles, featuring the cannon and badge that were saved for that purpose, while the rest were deliberately damaged or destroyed.
          On a match day ( can’t remember the game) I was approached by one of the builders and asked if I was interested in buying one of the damaged ones for £5.
          He showed me two that had nicks on them and I bought the pair for £10.
          I was told that one came from the ladies toilets (!) and the other from the passage at the top of the west stand.
          Dont know how true that is and I have tried many times to get them restored, but was told they might be destroyed.
          So I have them wrapped away in my “room” for safe keeping.
          Never got my seat though, as the club stopped selling them, due to some Health and safety issues.
          I wonder who bought the desk that Arsene and previous managers used?
          I believe that sold for thousands of pounds!!!!

          1. ken1945 says:

            On further reflection Sue, if you watch the celebrations after we beat the spuds at their ground to win the league with Henry leading the charge to our fans, the camera, at some point, goes to our fans…there is a chap with a beret (not Phil this time!!!) doing the usual celebrating – that was the guy who approached me and sold me the tiles!!!
            Still see him occasionally amongst the crowd, though not for a while, at the Emirates.
            I wonder if he contributes on JustArsenal???

            Also, the game when I bought them was at the Emirates and I was showing one of my grandsons around Highbury and the main entrance…reminiscing again!!!

          2. Sue says:

            That’s amazing, Ken! Wow, both for a tenner, can’t be bad!! And I’m glad you said they’re wrapped away in your room… as I remember when you said your wife threw away your piece of turf 🙈 (bless her!)
            Hahaha not Phil this time – brilliant!
            I’m going to have a butchers on YouTube of the clip you mentioned….
            It’s hard not to reminisce… all those incredible memories of yours – love hearing all about them 👍

  11. Frederik Christensen says:

    David Dein and Arsene Wenger what a great partnership. I think It was David’s long standing belief that Wembley was a much better idea for the club.
    Look at Arsenal’s stats at Wembley. He was absolutely right.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Frederik, that’s correct and he actually opposed the Emirates in favour of the move to Wembley.
      It was this and the fact that he sold his shares to Usmanov (I think I’m correct on this) that infuriated kronkie and the board.
      They sacked DD and agreed between themselves not to allow any further board members – hence Usmanov waste frozen out.

      1. Jax says:

        I never supported the Wembley idea as a permanant home (with it being out of our vicinity) and at the same time was also against Ashburton Grove, but in favour of Kings Cross with it’s multi transport links. The Emirates is a nightmare to get away from on match days.
        The other much earlier idea of the ground share at Ally Pally appealed to me as I was living at Muswell Hill at that time.
        I’m now 150 miles away on the west coast and gave up my season ticket.

  12. Sean Williams says:

    Really interesting article for me. Everything about Kroenke makes me feel sick. He is the man who wanted to start a Hunting Channel in the UK. The man who conned our shareholders. The man who stuck a knife in the back of St Louis. The man who has an LA project worth nearly $3billion, which is the reason he does not want to lend Arsenal any money. We are a safeguard for his $3billion project . He is pure slime. He has killed our club. We had the best reputation, marble halls and a status way way at the top. Now we are owned by a man who initiated the decline of Arsenal. What gets me is that every big company in the world invests in products and people…..but not Kroenke. He is a slimebag. We drew the short straw, and many young Gunners who have not know otherwise see that as ‘Arsenal Normal’ and accept it. That breaks my heart.

    1. Frederik Christensen says:

      I fully understand the point, but some of your comments are rooted in polemics.

      1. Sean Williams says:

        Frederick

        It would be OK if it was just polemics, but look at Kroenke’s record with his clubs. It’s empirical and not polemical.

    2. ken1945 says:

      Sean, on that my friend we agree 100% – the Arsenal of today is so different from before kronkie took over.

      1. Sean Williams says:

        Just ordered the book and a few still on Amazon Hardback for £2.99 with delivery. I used to sit a few seats from Ray Davies of the Kinks in the Upper West stand. When we beat Tottenham 1 – 0 to win the league I was queuing with Ray Davies to get a ticket. Those were the days.

        1. Sean Williams says:

          At White Hart Lane.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Enjoy the book Sean, it is a Gooners must have story.

    3. ozziegunner says:

      Sean, he hasn’t killed our Club yet as the finances are sound; however his stewardship of the Club has been poor.
      Just imagine if the Sheiks withdraw from Manchester City, the Thais withdraw from Leicester City or Abranovich has to return to Russia or Israel? If Arsenal fails KS&E takes a devastating hit, such that they would sell first while they still had an asset to sell.

  13. Highbury Hero says:

    Excellent article Ken. I didn’t know a lot about our stadium your article is an eye opener. And as an insightful person as you are it’s really wonderful to see always showing your appreciation of the great Arsene.

    1. ken1945 says:

      HH thanks.
      Can I recommend a book for you?
      It’s called “The Official Illustrated \history of Arsenal 1886 – 2004” by Phil Soar and Martin Tyler, with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.

      Brilliant read and you will learn a lot about our fantastic history.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        Thank you for your suggestion I will check it out 👍👍👍

  14. AndersS says:

    Lied to in what way?
    By building Emirates stadium, we have been able to increase our matchday income through ticket sales but for sure also through corporate hospitality. It has been part of securing us a place among the richest clubs in Europe, if not the world. It is a big part of us being able to be one of the highest nett spenders on transfers over the last 5 years, and one of the clubs spending most on players salaries for several years.
    In short, there is absolutely no lie. As promised, we have been able to compete financially with most clubs around the world, and we have had much more investment into players, salaries, training ground facilities etc. than the likes of Liverpool, and Spurs.
    Unfortunately, the high spend has not produced the results, we all have hoped for.

    1. ken1945 says:

      AndersS, the view by some, is that the promise of competing with the best in the world, has not happened.
      That is the “lie” that I refer to and my reasons as to why it hasn’t been fulfilled.

      1. AndersS says:

        Well, the stadium has delivered as promised. The financial fundamentals to compete with the best in the world. Unfortunately, those in charge haven’t been able to deliver the results to go along with the money spent. That includes Wenger. Nothing to do with lying.

        1. ken1945 says:

          AndersS, you seem to believe it was me who used the word “Lie” whereas I was addressing what I saw as the opposite…and, of course, AW made mistakes, so I’m not sure, again, what point you are making.
          What should have been a step forward, turned into a step backwards, simply because of outside influences, a board that sold us down the river and kronkie stating, quite openly, that he wasn’t intereste in winning trophies.
          When one compares our record regarding the Emirates to that of the Wembley and spuds stadium fiascos, we can hold our heads up high – a brilliant exercise from top to bottom.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Ken, the positive thing is that despite Kroenke saying KS&E didn’t buy sporting teams to win things, Arsenal has still managed to win trophies.

          2. ken1945 says:

            And funnily enough, he was at Wembley when we won the cup against Hull – not sure about the other two finals.
            Let’s hope we’ll see more of him, as we sweep away any opposition under MA!! 🙏

  15. jon fox says:

    Most enjoyable Ken and very well written and put together too. Much to concur with of course. You did not specifically mention Gazidis I notice but along with Kroenke he was the biggest obstacle to truth and success in how the club was run. A great majority of our steady regression was down to Gazidis and his long lasting incompetence with finance , not being a football person AND the absence of Kroenke who OUGHT to have sacked himyears earlier but just let things rot.
    Where I blame Arsene was that he steadily became a corporate captive and took the party line instead of doing what MA has already done and spoken out honestly, publicly and to the point about needing investment now.
    I do blame Arsene for accepting the corporate shilling , even though as a man I will always have the highest regard for him.

    We supporters were kept in the dark but with false promises made by Gazidis, deliberately in my view, as he must have known the financial position and yet conned us with his many lies. I almost but not quite think he tried to believe his own lies. If I were to be kind I could say he honestly thought he could bring the extra spending we were promised way back, into fruition. But I honestly do NOT think that.

    As a total realist – BTW, I DO NOT SEE HOW A TOTAL REALIST CAN BE EITHER OPTIMISTIC OR PESSIMISTIC PER SE, as the realism depends entirely on the situation and not ones view of it, in my book – I DO NOT THINK KROENKE WILL PERSONALLY INVEST IN THE TEAM.

    I CLING TO THE HOPE, FOSTERED BY MY DEEP ASSESSMENT OF THE FINANCIAL HOLE BROUGHT BY THIS DISEASE, THAT KREONKE WILL BE FORCED TO SELL UP, ERE LONG. Our long term success at title level depends entirely on that, as well as keeping MA , of course. Great article, my dear pal.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Jon my friend, thank you for your assessment and where are your second and third follow ups?

      I always find it amazing that you and I agree on so much regarding our club, yet vehemently disagree on the self same subject!!!!
      One thing is for sure, I don’t think we will ever disagree om Arteta…and that inccludes whatever he decides to do with MO.

      Not sure if you read the news that Moyes and two of his players have tested positive for coronavirus earlier today?
      The nightmare continues to blight everything and everybody.

      1. jon fox says:

        Ken my dear chum, on all the most important life matters -and that sadly cannot include football, whatever we both think – I doubt that even a cigarette paper divides us both! I say this despite our chosen different political paths to the same end.
        I have long had , as in many decades past, serious moral doubts about whether I can even justify, i n a moral sense,supporting our club at all Same applies to all Prem clubs and even some larger lower level too. The older I get, the more I am repulsed by gross greed and disregard for those who struggle on comparative peanuts and I just cannot agree with such huge, obscene wages being the norm. It is wrong , plain and simply.

        That is my personal dilemma and I cannot be alone, for sure, in that stance. I have since childhood been passionate about humanity and politics(politics in the broad sense where ordinary people are concerned, though not necessarily party politics).

        My regular antipathy on here to gross greed has made me unpopular with some but I just care nothing for personal popularity, as I know that such regard is shallow and meaningless. Truth is everything and I constantly strive to promote it.

        Of course the arguments come when two or more opinions on what actually constitutes truth emerge. I freely admit to being a determined and at times feisty person but how else can one defend vital truth?

        My longer term aim is to play even a tiny part in trying to educate other fans to what I sincerely think is a vital moral stance. The business of top level football is sick to its core , though the actual game is magnetic and wonderful.

        These are powerful forces pulling me in polar directions. Of course, like us all on here, I am addicted to football and esp our club but I hate what I love, essentially. That position is the prime cause of our many arguments. I sincerely believe. I can to some extent assuage my moral doubts when players are seen to deliver 100% effort (and you know where this is leading, I realise!) but anythingless than 100% is cheating us fans and the game itself.

        I have enormous respect for those fans everywhere , not just AFC fans but all who try to redirect this sick business in top football back in a more moral direction. Without this succeeding, I just cannot foresee this endless wage obscenity doing anything other than put the game out of business completely.

        Together with Covid it is becoming daily closer to doing so. PART OF ME ACTUALLY WANTS THAT TO HAPPEN. The other part, of course, does not! If the game is not run for the fans benefit, as we are the lifeblood , then what is the point of it at all, say I!

        It has been a chaotic week at home with two bereavements of close bowling friends coming together but I will endeavour to get part two of my article to Pat before the week is out. KEEP SAFE AND BEST WISHES TO SUCH A REAL GENT!

  16. RFrancis says:

    I learned a lot from this article – thank you ken1945.
    I think the government and the league should have done more to protect the interest of fans. No doubt, cheap oil money and billionaire speculators had a big impact on the league and this will get less and less over time for various reasons. The recent decision to block the takeover of Newcastle was a step in the right direction, so I feel we should be competing again for top honors in the very near future. Not sure if we will be in the hunt this year though.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Thanks RFrancis, glad you got something from the article. Ever onwards and upwards!!!

    2. ozziegunner says:

      RFrancis, the UK Government should stand condemned regarding the sell out of Association Football Clubs. Maybe the Newcastle United situation, as hard as it is on that club in the short term, is a step in the right direction.

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