Tag Archives: stan kroenke

KSE right NOT to inject cash into Arsenal to buy players

In recent days, people demanding Stan Kroenke (and KSE) inject cash into Arsenal to buy players has increased.

Over the years we have been supporters of the likes of the We Care Do You? collective and Black Scarf Movement.

We have been highly critical of the way Stan Kroenke has owned the club. He allowed the club to drift under the guidance of Ivan Gazidis and failed to hold Arsene Wenger and Gazidis accountable which contributed to our demise.

But we also understand business, and do not expect KSE to put their hands in their pocket and inject hundreds of millions into the club to buy players.

A self-sustaining model is still the right way forward. We do not want to be in heavily debt to an owner just for the sake of buying a couple of players.

KSE are right to not be injecting millions into Arsenal to buy players.

“Do better with what we have”

Since 2016, Arsenal have invested heavily in new players:

2016/17 – £101.77million
2017/18 – £137.5m
2018/19 – £72.1m
2019/20 – £144.3m

That is £455million spent across the last 4 seasons; an average of £113m.

The problem at Arsenal is not that we have not spent enough, but that we have bought (and sold) poorly.

Imagine being a CEO going to an owner asking for a cash injection to buy players. The first question the owner will ask it “why should I inject cash in to buy players when you have spent the clubs money so poorly”.

And that would be followed up with “you have 32 players in the first team squad. Sell players you do not need firstly, and then come back to me”.

We have bought poorly in the last 4 years.

Shkodran Mustafi – £36.9m
Lucas Perez – £18m
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – £30.6m (book value in Alexis Sanchez exchange)
Lucas Torreira – £25.8m
Sokratis – £14.4m

That is over £125m squandered on players.

And that does not take into account £72m spent on Nicolas Pepe on the £350,000 a week Mesut Ozil is in

Arsenal have at least half a dozen players they want to sell (Calum Chambers, Mustafi, Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis, Ozil).

These players could generate above £70million in transfer fees and reduce the wage bill by nearly £40million a year.

That is £110m we have in players we do not want.

Arsenal’s biggest issue is not that Stan Kroenke does not invest in the playing side of the club, but we do not spend our own money well enough.

It is like going and spending all your wage over the weekend and then having to beg your mum for bus fare to get to work during the week.

Kroenke is right to demand Arsenal “do better with what we have” before asking for more.

Buying players

So Arsenal are after Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar.

The pair would cost the club around £100m in transfers and a further £15m a year in wages.

A further cash injection of £180m from Kroenke would buy both and “pay their wages” for the 5 year deals both would get. But it is a temporary fix.

Even if he fronts the money for the transfers, and left the to finance the wages, it would still be an investment of £100million.

Remember above? We have spent poorly in recent years. We have over £100m in “talent” that we are looking to get rid of.

Why would a business owner invest £100m, when the business has £100m of sellable assets, and has purchased so poorly in recent years?

Kroenke is right not to inject cash into Arsenal’s playing side, which at the minute is a blackhole for money.

KSE have already injected £160m

Earlier in the pandemic, KSE took out a loan that enabled them to loan Arsenal money. In turn Arsenal paid off a huge chunk of the bonds they owed on the stadium, dramatically reducing the debt to the bank.

The terms of the loan from KSE to Arsenal have not been released, but it is likely these will be much more favourable than Arsenal’s repayments to the bank.

What the loan also allows is some flexibility.

Arsenal had to repay the loan to the bank each month, each year. Defaulting would dramatically damage Arsenal’s credit rating.

With the money now owed to KSE, a decision could be made that Arsenal do not start repaying the loan until 2021 or 2022. This would free up over £20million a year in Arsenal’s finances, reducing the pressure on Vinai Venkatesham and Edu to make further cuts in both the playing and non-playing sides of Arsenal.

Keep the powder dry

Arsenal are set to lose publish an estimated loss of £44m for the 2019/20 season. For 2020/21, it will be £80m. It could end up as high as £120m if teams play the entire season behind closed doors.

Add the £3m loss made in 2018/19, Arsenal could be close to losing £200m over 3 years. That is huge.

If KSE were to inject further funds into Arsenal, it would make more sense that those funds are used to manage Arsenal’s debt and offset the huge losses we are set to make, rather than buy Partey and Aouar.

 

An owner should only be injecting funds in a business when that business is struggling financially. A good owner will finances the debt allowing the business to continue trading and rebuild.

With everything going on in the world, everyone’s finances are going to be stretched, whether you are a day labourer or a billionaire.

It is more sensible that Kroenke keeps his powder dry, and only injects cash to help offset losses, rather than inject cash to sign 2 new players.

 

We appreciate Kroenke is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that he let the Gazidis / Wenger show go on too long. But we also understand business.

Arsenal’s management need to do better with the money the club generates. Need to buy and sell better. Stop offering contracts that are over market value.

Also you do not want to be too much in debt to an owner.

It is all well and good demanding he injects cash to buy players, but what then if he puts a high interest on that loan and begins to take money out of the club?

Finance from Kroenke should be a last resort, used to help with club operations, not to sign players.

Arsenal were established 131 years ago. We do not last another 131 years by getting heavily in debt buying a couple of players during a recession

If Arsenal lose £200m across 3 years, Kroenke will need to inject cash just to keep the club running.

Lets focus on the long term future of Arsenal, not a short term injection of cash to buy a couple of players

Keenos

Stan Kroenke backs “games abroad” in $50 million deal

A source within the club have told us that Stan Kroenke has instructed Raul Sanllehi to vocally back the idea of playing games abroad during meetings of the Premier League.

The idea of playing games abroad has been floated for some time; with “Game 39” being backed by all American owners.

We have been informed that not only does Kroenke back Game 39, but he also wants “at least 10 games a season” to be played in America.

Kroenke’s investment company, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment , are currently overseeing the building of the  Los Angeles Stadium for his Los Angeles Rams side. At $4.963 billion and a 100,000+ capacity, it is one of the most expensive stadiums in history of sport.

According to our source, Kroenke believes that in the future Arsenal play at least 10 games a season in Los Angeles, with the remaining Premier League, cup and European games taking place in London.

The deal will be the reverse of the Tottenham deal with the NFL – where the NFL pay Tottenham to rent the stadium per game.

If Arsenal were to play games at the Los Angeles Stadium from 2021, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment could charge the club up to $5 million per game in rental fees – generating up to $50 million a season if Kroenke gets his 10 game wish. This would go a huge way to paying off the loan that KSE have taken out to finance the stadium.

Kroenke is reportedly backed by the Glazier family and the Fenway Sports Group, who own Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.

SheWore

Dispelling a Stan Kroenke myth

I am not one to defend Stan Kroenke, although in recent days I have found myself doing so a bit on Twitter.

Personally I do not think he is a bad owner. The only thing he did was let Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger sail along too long, earning themselves millions.

In terms of an owner, he buys into the self-sufficient model that ensures longevity of a football club.

It is a self-sufficient model that sees the likes of Juventus, real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Manchester United dominate over long periods – I am talking about 50-years plus.

The likes of PSG, Manchester City, Chelsea. These are boom and bust models.

The owners are pumping in billions and unless they can break the glass ceiling and turn their sides into self-sufficient clubs making hundreds of millions from commercial revenue, they will eventually fall off. Whether it be due to the money drying up, boredom or death.

If you want success over a long period, you need to be self sufficient.

Liverpool run a similar model to Arsenal.

The owners, FSG, do not put in any money. They do not use their own funds to buy players. Liverpool have financed a title winning team due to good recruitment and good coaching; not through their owners pumping in billions.

Stan Kroenke’s biggest criticisms seems to come from an Evening Standard article in 2016, where the headline was Stan Kroenke: I didn’t buy Arsenal stake to win trophies.

It was only this afternoon that I actually read the article. Before, that I had just followed what everyone had said on Twitter. That Kroenke was not in Arsenal to win trophies. This is what he actually said:

Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston he said: “For me, being an individual owner, I have to have some sort of reality involved.

“If you want to win championships then you would never get involved. I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.

“Over there [in the Premier League] it was sort of like ‘well, we’ve got guys from the Middle East, the oil price is over $100, they can spend anything they want’.

“But the problem I saw with all of that; those people can lose interest. It doesn’t mean that they will, but I sort of threw that out there: ‘What happens when the Middle Eastern family, this thing’s costing a lot of money and they decide to go home?’ I said what really happens in those situations is the fans get hurt because the players get picked up and paid if they’re good, the front office gets other jobs.”

At no point did Kroenke say “I didn’t buy Arsenal stake to win trophies”.

So let’s delve down into what he actually said.

We’ve got guys from the Middle East, the oil price is over $100, they can spend anything they want’ – What he is clearly talking about is Manchester City. That the wealth they have is incredible.

If you want to win championships then you would never get involved – The closest quote to the “I do not want to win trophies” misconception.

When you put these two together, it is clear what he is saying.

He is not involved in football just to win titles. That if you came in to football as an owner just to win titles, you are buying the club for the wrong reason. That with the financial wealth of Manchester City owners, even as a billionaire you can not bankroll your club to success.

Whilst Kroenke has a net worth of around $8billion, he does not have billions available to pump into Arsenal. Any fan that thinks he does is unrealistic.

The Manchester City owners are only in football to win championships. Sheikh Mansour, has an estimated individual net worth of at least £17 billion and a family fortune of at least $1 trillion.

As Stan Kroenke says, they can spend anything they want.

Their is a fabulous story around Simon Jordan and how buying a football club is the quickest way for a rich man to become poor. If you attempt to bankroll your club into winning trophies, there will always be someone richer, who can outspend you. And eventually you run out of money.

This is exactly what Kroenke was talking about in 2016.

The Evening Standard were so concerned with the sensationalist headlines that they ignored two key aspects of the interview:

“I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.”

He is talking about running the club like a business. That once you have the business side sorted (ie commercial revenue) you can then go out and get the best players. That then leads to success. You do not have to rely on other sources of income.

‘What happens when the Middle Eastern family, this thing’s costing a lot of money and they decide to go home?’ I said what really happens in those situations is the fans get hurt because the players get picked up and paid if they’re good, the front office gets other jobs.”

Did we not all say similar about Roman Abramovich? What happens when he gets bored? Deported? Or worse? you end up with a club billions in debt, no way to function. And ultimatel it is the fans that lose out.

What Kroenke was clearly talking about is that you do not buy a football club to just win trophies. You buy it to be part of something. To build something.

Just like as a fan you do not support the club you love due to trophies.

If fans only supported their club to win championships, no one would go to the hundreds of games up and down the football pyramid. They would change the club they “support” depending on who is the successful side of the day.

Kroenke is saying ownership is the same. You do not get into football – or any sport – just to win trophies. You need to have “some reality involved”. you can not expect to compete when your opposing owners can spend 1/3 of your net worth bank rolling your opponents.

It is not defeatist.

Look at Leicester. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha did not buy Leicester to win the league title. He knew that he did not have the financial strength to bank roll them to the league. But they won it. Through good recruitment, coaching and togetherness.

And I bet the Leicester City title success was sweeter than any bankrolled success at Manchester City.

Kroenke did not buy Arsenal with the goal of bankrolling us to success. He bought the club to build something, to grow the side. And we are now growing.

It is perhaps time to put the “Kroenke did not buy Arsenal to win trophies” to bed.

He did buy us to win trophies, but win trophies the right way. Through running a successful business, being self-sufficient.

Kroenke can not bankroll us to success, nor should he have to.

Is the sole reason you follow Arsenal to win trophies?

Keenos