Arsenal fans don’t like Stan Kroenke, not many people do, but when it comes to Arsenal, why is that exactly?
I have no love whatsoever for billionaires and certainly none for Stan Kroenke. I’ve written at length about his dealings in America and despicable business practices. If I had my way, he would not be the man who owns Arsenal Football Club, that would be the fans, with shares amongst us all.
But he is, and we have to hate him because of that. Apparently.
As the news was revealed that Arsenal were able to splash £45m, and then some, to land Thomas Partey in a deadline day extravaganza because Kroenke had issued an injection of cash, I started wondering again what it is that Kroenke has done at Arsenal that has fans so against him, so I thought I’d ask you and then do a follow up piece with your responses.
Bear in mind, I’m talking Arsenal specifically as I feel I must be missing something glaring because how I see it all goes a little something like this, to put it basically:
Stan Kroenke bought into Arsenal. Little by little over the years he accumulated more and more shares until he had enough to make Alisher Usmanov give up and go elsewhere.
Usmanov buggering off is a good thing.
So, now we have Arsenal in the hands of a single person/business. It’s taken off the stock market and we have no idea how much money is being taken out of the club. That is not a good thing.
He got rid of a manager he wanted to keep in Arsene Wenger when we finally dropped out of the Champions League, he moved swiftly to get rid of Unai Emery when it was clear that’s what the fans wanted. He booted Raul Sanllehi when, well, you know why.
This summer he dipped into his pocket to the tune of £45m to land Thomas Partey and avert a global Arsenal fanbase meltdown. It’s easy to forget we also paid £23.4m for Gabriel and brought in a few others for a total spend of £77.4m with only £16.79m coming in through sales.
Last season Arsenal spent £144.36m. No matter what you think about how they spent it, they still spent £144m. Only £48.29m came back through sales.
The season before? £72m out, £7m in.
That is not an owner ‘not backing his manager’. How the money is spent isn’t exactly Stan’s fault when he wouldn’t know one end of Lionel Messi from the other.
17/18 spending was almost balanced, with a slight profit of around £5m. That’s hardly enough to offset the £101.7m that left the club for players the year before with only £9.32m coming back.
That’s a lot of numbers so TL;DR Arsenal have spent £533m buying players since the start of the 16/17 season and only brought in £223m from sales. That’s an infamous net spend of £310m.
Fans talk about an owner with no ambition to win things but we’ve won four FA Cups in the last six years. How many other sides have won four trophies in that time? How many have won one?
The list is short.
Of course, the FA Cup is not the Premier League nor Champions League, a competition we no longer play in.
In the 16 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League only Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Leicester and Liverpool have won the title. In the Champions League since we last reached the final, an English team has reached the final nine times and only won it three.
No team has any ‘right’ to win any of these competitions and splashing billions is no guarantee of success. If it was, Leicester wouldn’t have won the league and City and Chelsea would have won a hell of a lot more.
Unlike owners we see at clubs like Chelsea, Kroenke has shown loyalty to his managers and an aversion to knee-jerk decisions. This is a good thing, even if it did result in Arsene Wenger staying longer than he should. That would have been a decision Kroenke was advised on by people at Arsenal. You can’t, on the one hand, say Kroenke knows nothing about football (another stick used to beat him with when there are so many others) and then on the other hold him responsible for making the decisions.
I don’t want to be here writing an article in defence of Kroenke, and I don’t mean this as that. It is a genuine question. What has Stan Kroenke done at Arsenal that makes you hate him so?
When things are going wrong at Arsenal I hear cries of ‘This is what you get for having Stan Kroenke as your owner’ as if there has never been a period like this before he came along.
In terms of Arsenal, I just can’t work out what monstrous thing he has done to warrant the vitriol when I know it’s not coming from his existence on this planet or his actions Stateside.
So, this is what I’m doing, I’m admitting I know less about this subject than most of you reading this and I want you to teach me. I know that isn’t how this is supposed to work, but if we all go around pretending we know everything when we don’t, well, we end up with a world that looks a lot like the one we live in today.
Answers in the box below, cheers: