Are Arsenal now classed as ‘also-rans’ under Kroenke?

What do the rich want the poor to keep? By Charles Veritie.

As we know by the time Arsené Wenger had delivered his vision of a state of the art modern new stadium for Arsenal, funded within the financial ability of the club, football had entered a new world.

The world of the oligarchy, billionaire or country funded football clubs for whom bank notes were more plentiful than confetti bits at a billionaires splash wedding.

In England the two main beneficiaries of ‘pounds from heaven’ have been Chelsea and Man City, to a lesser extent Leicester, Wolves and Forest and others have also benefited from this world in which money falls on our heads like raindrops in a monsoon.

When the vision for Arsené’s Arsenal became public and set in place we were told that the new stadium would make it possible for the club to compete with the likes of Man Utd and the ‘big’ clubs in Europe, this hasn’t happened.

In fairness to Arsené and the club, the team has benefited from the extra money with the 20,000 extra seats of the new stadium, we have bought players and paid salaries at prices we could not have afforded with the income the old stadium provided the club.*

*Yes I know other sources of income have also increased spending power for Arsenal and other clubs, but one aspect at a time please.

This increased income is now ‘peanuts’ to the millions that are available to the known big clubs and new big clubs (as far as money from outside the club has made them.)

As we know when all the hard work of the new stadium was completed and we were ready for our self-financing rich ‘promised land’ not only were we ‘out-moneyed’ by events we have no control over, we were sold off to a faraway billionaire who takes out and doesn’t put in.

Yes he does ‘put in’ – into his own pockets. Forget Fagan, ‘You’ve gotta pick a pocket or two’. Its: You’ve gotta pick a club or two, or three, or four, or five and may be more’. This is his money recipe.

So it is instead of being one of the ‘new rich’ at home with the rich clubs, whose league we aspired to belong to, we are back among the ‘also-rans’ on the margins of the ‘promised land of the rich, big and mighty’. Left to compete in the shadows of the rich, where we were before the new stadium.

Back in the 1980s English football had all manner of problems, we were even banned from Europe, but money was flowing into the game from television and sponsorship.

The big clubs of the old First Division weren’t too happy to say the least that their share of this bonanza wasn’t as big as they thought it should be. As now as then the Football League was visionless and failed to understand what was happening in front of their eyes, and so refused to negotiate with the then ‘big clubs’. And so it was that the Premier League was formed and the big clubs get a bigger and bigger share of the ‘money pot’.

This season is nearing its end. When we look around Europe we can’t help but see that the league leaders are the regular leaders of their respective leagues, barring accidents they will be leaders next season as they were last season. Unlike our home fat controllers of football. Uefa is wide awake to the situation and realises that if it doesn’t kowtow to the rich clubs of Europe and give them more money ‘the rich’ will form their own league, a sort of European Premier League, and UEFA will be left among the also runs, counting and controlling sheep.

In my view a European League is inevitable, independent or part of the UEFA set up remains to be seen, but as things are it can’t be too far away.

Will Arsenal be a member of this New European Rich League? I don’t think so.


Because to answer the question: What do the rich want the poor to keep? ‘Their distance’.

Charles Veritie.


  1. People keep banging on about the Emirates, but that played a huge role in our regression. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we clearly shouldn’t have left Highbury. It had a far better atmosphere than the Emirates as well. It’s almost as if the Emirates is cursed!

    1. I agree, due to the cost of the move. The funds could have been better soent on the success of the team. Matchday revenue is not critical to a club’s financial success in the EPL.
      Arsenal supporters were “sold a pup”.

      1. The best thing to do would have been what Liv done, build Highbury on. It’s just a pity that they wouldn’t sell up around Highbury, but I don’t think we tried hard enough. Tott had that problem at their new site, individuals holding out for a big payday.

  2. Opponents feared highbury but they don’t fear the emirates.
    We used to have passionate fans singing for 90 minutes but the emirates destroyed that as well. Unfortunately a lot of the current bunch of supporters will never know the feeling of the north bank rocking back and forth.
    Its all about money now and nothing to do with sport and the history of our great club.
    Kroenke will bleed us dry and maybe occasionally we might get lucky and win the odd cup.

  3. If the stadium was the problem Spurs would not have been prepared to spend far more on a new one than Arsenal did, Everton are planning a new stadium too. Equally Spurs have done more with less than Arsenal for a few years now so its not just about money. Kroenke obviously is a problem, arguably any American owner would be as they expect sports franchises to make them money not cost them money. Not really sure how commercially successful a European league would be. The premier league is a money spinner because its actually competitive where most leagues in Europe really aren’t. If a few clubs left the premier league it wouldn’t just curl up and die. If Bayern left the Bundesliga it would actually be more competitive, equally if Juventus left Seria A. All those leagues would still be on TV. So would fans really prefer to watch a European league with no promotion or relegation ?

  4. Great article

    Arsenal is still a popular brand that can attract new investors

    The EL trophy will increase that popularity and that’s our only hope in this season

  5. Poor article imo. Just Kroenke bashing again and whilst I’m no fan of his he’s not “owned” us outright for a year yet and I don’t think he can be criticised for not spending until after the next window. He sanctioned big money for Ozil, Laca and a Auba before he took 100% control and I think some people may have to eat their words come August.
    Standing back getting ready for the flak….. from the usual suspects……

    1. I actually think you’ve brought up an interesting point, as I was talking about this the other day with a friend of mine.

      I personally do not think Kroenke will change, and there is certainly the potential for things to get worse, now that he has full control. Saying that, he could now flex his financial muscle a little, given he can now do what he wants. I guess only time will tell.

      Irrespective of investment from Kroenke, I do think we can be successful now that we have the changes in manager, CEO, and so many other areas behind the scenes. Because the previous team we were not performing. We lost around £200 million on just Sanchez, Ozil, and Ramsey over the last 2/3 years, let alone all the other players, which we could have used to reinvest. We won’t see our biggest assets running down their contracts again. We kept giving average players huge contracts (Walcott being one of the worst offenders, and Ozil one of the worst in EPL history), and I think this stop as well. We have wasted so much money down the years, and missed out on so many big sales, which crippled our transfer budget every year.

      I really hope Kroenke puts a bit in, but even if he doesn’t, I do expect to see our transfer budgets get bigger in the coming years.

        1. Some good points their Third-Man. I think that actually highlights our problem a wee bit too, we have to do everything right, sell the right players – buy the right players, get value in the market, we need allot of top coaching – and our tactics must go to plan and not become stale, we can’t let up. The others have a helping hand from their owners when they need it, that extra bit of cash to get them a VVD, or to break a record in bringing in Pogba, or just to plump up your second squad a wee bit. We don’t have that, and maybe Tott are the only other top club without it. The others are starting a full second before the starting gun goes off, it’s a good advantage to hold. At the same time yes, we should be aiming to do things right, but over the long haul it needs to be a bit special. Early Arsene special, or dogged Leicester special, or when we went away to Liv all that time back and beat the odds – special. Look at city and pool, and you know manu are not gonna sit for this, city and pool of all teams. Liv only lost one game all season, yet city still have it in their hands surprising so.

      1. I am tickled to see that you regard Walcott , in your opinion,as “average”. I would use far less flattering words to describe that total failure. Even so, your post was full of truth , though I have far less confidence than you do that Kroenke will ever invest any real money.

  6. Arsenal will be part of the European super league if reports from a few months are anything to go by. Der Spiegel ran a report with a leaked document showing the details.. I admit it was a report so take a pinch of salt with it.

  7. Charles, it wouldnt matter at all if only Fagin (NOT Fagan) would “Review the situation”. Though I remind all that the final verse in that song states, ” I’m a bad’un and a bad’un I shall stay”……! So weep, as we all must do. The pick a pocket or two(or many more than two actually!) is apt and sadly true. Sigh!

  8. A part of me wants to see that Super-League, it would be one hell of an incredible league you gotta admit. Some are saying: sure we already have that with the CL. A cup is a cup, it doesn’t compare to a symmetrical format. Luck plays its part more so with a cup, I don’t need to mention why that is because you already know. The only thing that turns me off a wee bit from it, other than dismantling the PL or lessening its appeal – The top Spanish teams already dominate Europe and now that we’re starting to earn bigger monies in England and are aiming to threaten the top European sides, it seems that they want it to happen more than ever now, but they did always want this I think.

    So a part of me thinks that we would be giving Spain back the advantage that they held over the whole of Europe. That’s the bad. With PSG and Juventus now on the rise financially speaking, and some English clubs becoming more capable, right now Spain might not have it as easy as they once had.

    However, there’s no doubting that they would be fighting at the very top of the Super-League – if it ever comes about. It would be an amazing sight in witnessing all of those famous European clubs scrapping for all important points.

    Saying: would we even be invited into it, that is nonsense, of course we’d be in it. Sure Ajax and Feyenoord/PSV would be there, Porto, Lisbon, Celtic, Rangers, maybe even Copenhagen, and you’re asking if we would enter it, we’d enter it before Che and Tott would. Manu – Liv – Ars …these are the ones that they broached with for more than 20 years now.

  9. A thought provoking article which highlights the need for vigorous financial controls to be introduced to protect our great game from owners who regard football as an investment pure and simple.Of course the fans of the likes of Man City care little for the future and are content to bask in their present glory whilst their neighbours along the road at Bolton are facing administration.Simplified FFP rules must be introduced on a pro rata basis to protect the weak and the loan system which is a form of human trafficking should be restricted to the lower division to prevent the likes of Chelsea from hoovering up youngsters who could be serving a real apprenticeship at a club like Bolton Wanderers.

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