There’s something to be said about the sons of billionaires who follow their fathers into the family business. Just look at Donald Trump jnr if you don’t know what I mean. If the Kroenkes have an Eric hiding out somewhere, Arsenal could be in even bigger trouble.
Any Arsenal fans who held out a glimmer of hope that Josh Kroenke could be a saviour from his father were left crushed when he penned a nothing statement in response to a letter from a collection of Arsenal fans.
#wecaredoyou prompted Josh into the least amount of action he could get away with that would still generate headlines and he dropped his words on Tuesday, not doubt imagining a mic hitting the floor as he did.
Instead, they fell like a brick.
Like the manager, sorry, head coach, Josh Kroenke has mastered the art of rambling words that mean and say nothing. Well, nothing that they intend them to say at least.
The fact that he didn’t mention money at all tells us the stories about a limited £40m-£45m budget are true. Arsenal won’t be getting a penny more unless they can generate it themselves from player sales.
His pontification tells us that because the backroom staff have changed, they don’t really feel any of this is their fault despite it being them making the changes. It’s like me building an extension to my house and then blaming the previous owners when a storm blows it over.
It is the Kroenkes who have overseen Arsenal as they moved from a Champions League squad playing in the Champions League while earning Europa League wages to a Europa League squad playing in the Europa League on Champions League wages. Yet, for some reason, Josh speaks as if this was an unfortunate circumstance left to them.
What was left to them was a squad that always finished first or second in the Premier League, had just played in their first Champions League final and had just moved to one of the best stadiums in Europe.
It also spoke to the contempt they hold for the fans. Throw some platitudes their way despite asking (and receiving) a decade of patience through the austerity years meant to make us stronger, and the fans will clap like seals receiving their fish.
It’s populism for football fans designed to do nothing more than distract, placate and stop the difficult questions being asked – or answered.
I’ve never been an advocate of chequebook football. Even if you accept, as we must, that football is a business, when an owner has to pump cash in it is because the business is failing or wants to expand. Arsenal are being asked to both stop their on-going slide AND expand back into a Champions League team without any help from their owners. All while their rivals spend crazy sums just to stand still.
If Josh Kroenke meant any of what he said his family want for Arsenal, they’d back the club with some of their own money.
They don’t have to do it in every window or every season, but if you want to dig yourself out of the giant hole your stewardship has dropped the club in, then it might be prudent to cough up for a JCB.
The only thing Arsenal fans want, or need, to hear from a Kroenke is the sound of their money talking.
Everything else is just meaningless waffle.
This article was written for Paddy Power.