Josh Kroenke has moved to London temporarily to undertake a comprehensive review of all aspects of the club as the board continue to prepare for life after Arsene Wenger.
Kroenke jnr, who previously said he would like to see Thierry Henry as manager of the club, will stay in the city for three months in order to get a better understanding of how the club is run, according to the Mail on Sunday in their Rob Draper exclusive this weekend.
Arsenal insist that Kroenke’s move has nothing to do with an imminent managerial change but it represents a serious shift in how the Kroenkes have operated, preferring a hands-off approach until this point.
It seems like it might finally have dawned on at least one of the Kroenkes that somebody should have a clue how the club is run, and that is apparently Josh’s remit over the next few months.
The youngest member of the Arsenal board by some 16 years (Ivan Gazidis, at 53, is the next youngest, the rest are 70 or older), Josh Kroenke is also president of the Denver Nuggets and Arsenal’s recent transfer moves seemed to smack more of NBA or NFL dealings than what we are normally used to seeing from the club.
Speaking back in 2015, when asked if Arsenal served as a distraction from the family’s other sporting endeavours, Kroenke gave an insight into his own personality and a hint of what we might expect. While he wasn’t talking specifically about Arsenal or Arsene Wenger at this point, he clearly could have been.
“I’m one of the most competitive people that you guys will meet, so I want to win,” he said.
“I want to win as fast as I can, but I also understand it’s a process. So we’re not going to jump just to try and satisfy something that someone says we should be doing. We’re going to keep building, we’re going to stay patient, and at the end of the day, we’re going to win.”
Josh was 34 when he was appointed to the Arsenal board, about which he said at the time, “It is an honour to join the board of Arsenal. This reaffirms our family’s long-term commitment to the Club.
“Arsenal is in a strong position on and off the pitch. We are enjoying a period of growth for Arsenal and the Premier League. We look forward to an exciting future that includes winning trophies, increasing our already impressive support around the globe and extending our commercial opportunities.
“We strongly feel our experience in sports management, marketing and broadcast will be an asset to an already impressive board.”
While Arsenal are not expected to replace Arsene Wenger this summer and are likely to allow the Frenchman to fulfil the final year of his contract, the club are believed to want a resolution in place before the new season starts rather than endure another season like 16/17 when Arsene Wenger himself admitted the speculation caused problems for the team.
Kroenke has previously expressed an admiration for Thierry Henry, a man he would like to see at the helm of the club despite the fact he has limited managerial experience of any kind, no Premier League management experience at all, and preferred to work as a Sky Sports pundit than dedicate himself to learning his coaching trade at Arsenal.
With Kroenke jnr now deciding he wants a better idea of how the club is run despite being on the board for over three years, it seems we really are, finally, approaching the Wenger end-game.
What that means, where we go, or where we end up, however, is still as much of a mystery as ever.