Looking at Stan Kroenke’s recent record with franchises in the United States, what can we learn about the possible future of Arsenal Football Club?
101sports.com recently argued that despite the Los Angeles Rams’ strong season in the NFL, Kroenke’s history suggests success won’t last.
The Rams finished third in the regular season conference, despite having the second youngest team. They dropped out in the first round of the play-offs, but are feeling positive about the future.
Yet maybe they shouldn’t be so optimistic. The 101sports report points out that Kroenke’s other teams generally sell their best players after a good spell.
Colorado Avalanche won the Central Division in 2014, and over the next two-and-a-half years they sold two of their three top scorers and their coach resigned. The players they sold were just coming into their peak years.
Similarly, the Denver Nuggets moved their best players on after reaching the NBA Western Conference Finals in 2009. Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, the two leading scorers in the team, left within two years. Their highest paid player from the team left in 2011 as well.
Kroenke reportedly said at the time: “I went over the salary cap this year by 20 million dollars, and they (the LA Lakers) are over the salary cap by 75 million dollars. I can’t compete with them. I can’t win an NBA Championship.”
This probably sounds pretty familiar to Arsenal fans.
The Gunners have just watched their 2016/17 top scorer leave for Manchester United. If he’d stayed, Alexis Sanchez probably would’ve become one of the club’s highest paid players. Instead, the club decided to move him on.
That’s not to say it wasn’t the right choice. In many ways, Arsenal actually look a far better team without the Chilean. Still, the parallels between the Gunners and Kroenke’s other sides are starting to look like more than mere coincidences.
The way Arsenal are acting in the market is generally a bit more positive at the moment. Signing players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is something I would’ve struggled to imagine just a few seasons ago.
Hopefully Arsenal continue to buck the Kroenke trend in the summer, and don’t fall into the same patterns as his American sides.