Can Arsenal ever succeed while the Kroenkes are in charge?
Kroenke Sports & (occasional) Entertainment and the house built by Wenger.
A missed opportunity.
Under Kroenke, AFC (American Franchise Collection), we live in a time of perpetual “transition” where there is always “potential” in a “process” (see transition). Long-term planning for future success, rather than immediate, targeted change to bring success to our football club.
The problem is that transition means going from one state to another. Now, if this is a process, it’s pretty much the longest ever known to mankind, unless I include evolution!
When Stan started, our club had already moved from our spiritual home in Highbury in the Emirates (the house Wenger built) and with him we brought with us a suitcase full of debt. There was, however, the promise of being able to rub shoulders with and compete with the best in the world for the highest honors in the game. I didn’t believe it then and certainly not now.
The autonomous model created largely by Wenger and the accounting side of his brain meant that the debt accumulated on the stadium left us with no real financial power to compete with those willing to buy success. And that’s what they did (succeed that is!). Where Arsenal raised funds through match revenue, broadcasting and commercial activities, Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich financially doped (Tm Le Prof) the living daylights in their clubs… they were dope dealers and top notch facilitators! 😉
With the arrival of our billionaire, some thought things would change, but unlike the aforementioned duo, Stan said he was not in the business to win but rather to play Moneyball (maybe he has misheard and thought he was buying into Arsenal Moneyball Club?) . In 2017/18, Stan had invested no pennies in equity or debt finance in the club, while City’s Sheik had paid around £1billion in loan and equity payments since taking over the reins in 2008.
They (Stan and his son Josh) took money out of the club for strategic and advisory services at £25,000 a year each and in 2013/14 and 2015/3016 two tranches of £3m were also taken paid to KSE.
Between 2010 and 2020, KSE (as reported by the Swiss Ramble) invested £15m into the AFC for all operations and all areas of the club’s finances, while at the same time Man Utd had received £1.1 billion injected. The owners of West Bromwich Albion at the same time invested 7 million pounds more than us… Yes WBA!
Now many will say that money doesn’t always equal guaranteed success, and that is true and has been proven in United’s case. Money + vision and good management of funds, combined with an iron will, will generally lead to a positive and upward trend.
However, intention is everything. At least the willingness and inclination to do what they could (in the case of Man Utd) in terms of helping TRY financially to improve their chances as owners was evident. Stan, by his reluctance to invest in his own club, shows that it is just passive income (as someone once said, similar to a billionaire’s money order check)… from money for nothing if you want.
So, no passion for football, no lifelong love for Arsenal and no desire to invest in order to be the best. It was a recipe for disaster and the acceptance of ‘we’re just participating’ led to a culture of mediocrity that permeated the entire fabric of our club. Not only within the organization, but in the fan base where expectations are now at an all time low. Stealthily, the bar has well and truly been lowered over the decades and that is why the 5th in the league is now being rewarded with a new contract. Excuses for lack of success then became the norm.
Of course there are other clubs and fans who would love to be in our shoes whether they are in the Premier League or lower divisions HOWEVER I see too many years of wasted opportunities where we could have really leaned on on the success that was forged before, in those who truly wanted the AFC to be the greatest team the world had ever seen…
So what is my point exactly? well, I believe that as long as Stan and his KSE remain in control of our great club, we will always be hikers as well with a “potential” “transition” as part of a larger, distant “process”. They simply do not make decisions or act in the best interest of the AFC in order to achieve success on the field (WHERE IT COUNTS).
Therefore, due to our owners’ disinterest in making us a footballing powerhouse, we will never get the care and attention that our club deserves and, therefore, we will have to fend for ourselves, and second. Therefore, I understand why there are now such low expectations, but I will never accept it because Arsenal are better than that! We shouldn’t be a mid-table team or have such modest ambition.
Almost everything is cyclical in nature, so maybe one day our glory days will return. I imagine this will probably happen when Stan and Co are long gone at sunset.
I hope I’m wrong, but history is an excellent teacher.
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