“Arsenal is a big club. Our job is to do everything we can to keep it that way and push to make it even better” – those were the words of Stan Kroenke back in 2017. Arsenal are a big club – one of the biggest in world football – but is the American billionaire doing everything in his power to ensure that?
Whilst Arsenal sit in fourth place and 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool, and have the joys of facing Manchester City on Sunday afternoon at the Etihad Stadium, Stan Kroenke will be firmly sat with his feet up as his NFL giants, LA Rams, stand on the brink of greatness at Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.
71-year-old, Kroenke, is deemed a ‘hero’ in Los Angeles after his ability to regenerate LA Rams and lead them to the Super Bowl where they’ll face New England Patriots, but, he is held in a much lower esteem in North London – among Arsenal fans, anyway.
After the departure of Arsene Wenger in the summer and the introduction of Unai Emery, you would have thought Kroenke would back his new management regime and hand Emery the money that he needed to take the club forward, but that was far from the case.
Emery recently came out and announced to the media that the Gunners would be penniless in January and would only be able to negotiate loan deals – that one signing being Barcelona’s Denis Suarez who signed until the end of the season with an option to make the deal permanent.
However, that will add little to no excitement to the already dejected Arsenal atmosphere. Whilst Arsenal supporters are witnessing their club move into turmoil, newly-promoted sides like Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham are splashing the cash, and in Wolves’ case really benefiting from it.
Obviously, the financial background at Arsenal will change significantly in the summer, with a new Adidas kit deal emerging and the slight possibility of regaining Champions League football, meaning Emery will have a hefty budget to spend and have the ability to strengthen Arsenal’s squad.
Although, all of Arsenal’s current signings are being purchased through club operations, such as having European football, kit deals and sponsorship agreements. Naught of Arsenal’s spendings have come from ‘owner financings’. Stan Kroenke has invested £0 into Arsenal Football Club. Yes, that’s correct, a man with a net worth of $8.5 billion has spent absolutely nothing on the Premier League club he owns; Mike Ashley has invested more in Newcastle United amid fans slating the businessman whenever they get opportunity.
According to a recent report from Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble), Arsenal are the only club in England’s top division who haven’t had a single penny fed into the club by their owner, with Middlesbrough being the next highest on the footballing pyramid to hold the same record. Manchester City and Chelsea have both had over £500m injected into their clubs, while City have exceeded the £1 billion mark; both have clinched three Premier League titles in the last 10 years.
Leicester City are another club to have lifted the Premier League title after they had a dedicated and courageous owner in the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who injected over £200m into the club, before leading them to the most monumental event in the club’s history. The Thai billionaire – who was killed in a freak helicopter accident in October – handed free doughnuts and beer to fans prior to the club winning the league, indicating his true belief and passion in the club.
Stan Kroenke could definitely take a leaf out of Srivaddhanaprabha’s book on owning a top-flight football club, and instead of expecting miracles from his management team, he could be backing Unai Emery and his staff, and potentially gain more profit from his investments.
Due to the 71-year-old’s lack of investment, fans have become tired, with many claiming he is the ‘Scrooge’ of the footballing world, and others stating that ‘Arsenal will never win the league again with Kroenke at the helm’.
So, what are your views on Stan Kroenke, can he turn things around at Arsenal? Does he even care about the football club? Let us know in the comments below or on social media by using #AOF or tweeting us at @AllOutFootball_.