Tag Archives: ownership

This Is The Voice We Need

Some saw it as a shameful publicity act, aligned with certain Arsenal social media-affiliated names that use airtime to push their own celebrity agenda.

But the #WeCareDoYou movement was done with the club firmly in mind.

It was almost holistic. How could we as fans band together and make those who run the club, see that the direction the club is going in is filled with peril and needs a course correction to amend the alarming slide we seem to be in?

The powerhouses of Arsenal Twitter joined forces. Those that push articles on a daily/weekly basis. Crucial parts of the fanbase that circulate the Arsenal message worldwide, essentially the ripples on the water of football news.

The message was clear and avoided the inarticulate chuntering that has followed previous ‘protests.’ It pleaded with those involved with Stan Kroenke that this model of ownership has done nothing to align itself with the manifesto that was used when Stan was in the throes of purchasing all shares of Arsenal FC.

That manifesto said that they were in it to make Arsenal a European giant, a perennial contender.

Now, just like the #WeCareDoYou message states, we are further away from that than ever.

We are about to embark on our third successive Europa League campaign.

We are a huge gulf away from competing for our own domestic title, never mind battling with the big guns for the Champions League trophy.

This is far removed from what we were promised when we moved to The Emirates. This is in stark contrast to the painting that KSE Holdings showed us – a supposed vision of our future under the Kroenke’s stewardship.

Do we have a right to voice our displeasure? Damn right we do, and the #WeCareDoYou movement made their first step in the most erudite way. It garnered such a  response with their fellow fans that it prompted Josh Kroenke to issue a statement on behalf of the ownership.

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This statement made promises again, one surrounding expensive signings. The use of the word ‘expensive’ was the wrong choice, as it peeled back the veil a little on the attitudes of the sterile Kroenke clan. They think that we just want them to spend money. They think we want them to shake fistfuls of currency at the club in a glib manner, just as long as the cash is flowing.

Wrong. We want our club to compete in the transfer market, but we don’t want to be over-reliant on the Americans, nor any other. We just want what was promised to us, and what is justified for a club on our scale.

A scale that will soon start to shrink in terms of modern football powerhouses.

The #WeCareDoYou statement said that further steps would be taken should this abject approach continue, as we skate blithely toward ignominy. It is quite infuriating as we see our rivals go out and throw their weight around, and we continue to avoid strengthening to such a degree that weaknesses in the team remain even when they stare us all blankly in the face.

We want an ownership who cares, much like the hashtag infers. We want to be ushered into this new generation we all envisioned with an enthusiasm, rather than the coasting nature that we have all been privy to.

Even in our biggest matches, we see hide nor hair of Kroenke. We seem to be a mere trophy on the walls of Kroenke’s office, ignoring us as he plays with his precious LA Rams. His collection of sports teams is quite extensive, but most currently tread water. It is quite terrifying how we seem to be circling the drain to obscurity in the last few years, much like they did too.

The Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and a few more are currently in his pocket. These clubs, LA Rams aside, have not been near a trophy for quite some time.

We are dealing well with the loss of the lucrative Champions League revenue, but when our rivals are proactively strengthening their teams whenever weakness is perceived, it then sees us lag behind even more, rather than aiming to catch up.

The #WeCareDoYou movement is a shout from the fans that we aren’t happy with the current direction we are facing in. Instead of craning our neck to look up, we are staring flatly across at a hard-baked desert, with nothing of note on the horizon, just the shimmer of a promise – a mirage.

This is more than a hashtag, it is a chance for us to unite for once instead of being divided over the trivial. We all represent The Arsenal and this banner we are now flying could well make an impact on the ideals of Kroenke and co, if the first step is anything to go by.

Let us all make this voice louder than any before it. The manner in which this hashtagged group made their first move is the right one, and together we can make leaps and bounds in the new direction that we want to.

Arsenal – The Business

The news of Stan Kroenke purchasing Alisher Usmanov’s shares – and taking him above the threshold to mandatorily acquire all remaining shares of Arsenal Football Club is news that – as a fan – should be watched very closely.

The removing of the club from the stock market, and having a sole owner, means that business decisions from Kroenke and his son Josh can be pushed through without much resistance.

The amount of fight in decisions beforehand was pretty minimal anyway, but now, KSE Holdings can act on what THEY see is fit for the club.

The key point here, is that they will go in the direction of business. If it rolls in the revenue, then fans will take a back seat. If there is a moneyspinning tour of a continent in pre-season, then by hook or by crook, Arsenal will be on the plane.

Will it be good for the team? Will it be good for the fans? It won’t matter so much.

Ticket prices, friendly fixtures, CEO appointments, and much more will now be decided by Kroenke and his henchmen. The American has hardly been a villain thus far in his time with the club, but he hasn’t exactly enamoured himself with the fanbase either.

The management consultant payments, the non-existent attendance, the stand-offishness of his appearances in the previous AGM, Stan has made it abundantly clear that this isn’t a move of passion, or love for Arsenal.

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It’s about the readies.

His sporting portfolio is an impressive one, with one of his teams in every major league sport in America. He owns the Rams in the NFL – formerly of St Louis but now LA, the Nuggets in the NBA, the Avalanche in the NHL, the Rapids in the MLS and the Mammoths in the Lacrosse League. He has even recently invested in the Overwatch League, which is a massive video game competition.

What can we expect then, if we look at these teams?

Well, the Rams have had some recent success; they won the NFC West in 2017 and made the Playoffs.

The Nuggets share their Pepsi Centre home with the Mammoths and the Avalanche, and these teams haven’t tasted success for quite some time. The responsibility of these teams falls on Stan, Josh and Ann Walton Kroenke, and the chase for glory has been a long one for each franchise.

Arsenal Football Club will be run for profit, and like it or not, we have been a business for quite some time. Money not only makes the world go round, it pushes teams into a different league, and if investment is done right, then the silverware will follow – see Manchester City for example A.

What we have to be watchful over, is that if we are to partake in more sponsorship deals, more corporate dealings and more focus on our bank balance, that it is done to benefit the team. We can all be called cynical, and that we have lost sight of the magic of the game, but we need to constantly be in the search for a new vein of gold to dig up to keep up with the Joneses.

Kroenke may well be the man for that job, his history speaks volumes, as well as his bulging coffers – but is he the man to make sure the club stays on track it has been on since day one? To ensure the link with the fans is not broken, to ensure the values of the club stay intact, to protect our standing and enhance it?

As long as the numbers keep rolling, then there will be no bumps in the road, no swerving or deviation from our current path. But now Stan has all ten fingers around the club, we are at his mercy. This may sound dramatic, but there are a plethora of horror stories of clubs falling into the pit thanks to the fiscal decisions of the organization’s hierarchy.

A large portion are distressed, but we will keep supporting the club no matter what. We do though, have the right to speak out at the club losing its fan representation – no matter how measly. We have a voice that is well entitled to raise concern over where the club now has a chance of heading.

Kroenke will not run the club into the ground – we are far too lucrative for that to happen. We can however, lose what makes us Arsenal. Our fanbase may be fractured at the best of times, but a lot of us are worried, and it is fair to worry.

When the team eventually hit a hiccup, and if a slide down the table occurs, can we rely on Kroenke to dip his hands into his pockets to ensure we rise from the canvas?

With Gazidis leaving another gap to implement a Kroenke crony, KSE have the tightest grip on the club.

Watch this space.