Tag Archives: stan kroenke

Too late to start protesting Stan Kroenke

Boycotting and protests pointless for Arsenal fans

The time to protest was 6 years ago.

That is when the club went stale under the leadership of-then majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. It was 6 years ago Arsene Wenger should have left the club, and 6 years ago that Ivan Gazidis should have been held accountable and the ticket price inceases were a final straw for many.

It was December 2012 the the Black Scarf Movement (BSM) were at their peak as a fans supporters group. Thousands signed up as members, making them the biggest Arsenal supporters group, and thousands turned up for a march through Islington showing their disgust at the way the club was run.

It was at this point that supporters groups should have come together, backing the BSM to create a collective voice. Twitter was in its infancy, but there were already key social media influencers. There were also countless bloggers and a few podcasters (not as many as now).

6 years ago was the time to rise up as one.

Instead, people looked after their own interest. Did other Supporters groups and influential bloggers also fail to back the march , was it in fear of losing their place at the top table and some nice custard creams with Ivan ?? who knows….

That meant the momentum from that original BSM march was lost. It failed to gain the backing of other groups and bloggers as they were scared of losing the feeling that they were important to the club. In recent years, those people who sucked up to Ivan et al have realised that the club do not care about them.

So what would boycotting or protesting Stan Kroenke taking full control of Arsenal get now?

Well it would not make Kroenke decide to call it a day, to sell up.

He is about to invest another £550million into the club. Why would he make that decision to then sell up because a few fans stand shouting on a round-a-bout?

As for people talking about boycotting, about hitting Kroenke “where it hurts in the pocket”, lets look at the facts…

  1. Season tickets for the season have been sold. Arsenal already have 3/4’s of the yearly gate receipts in the bank.
  2. The vast majority of revenue comes from TV companies. Boycotting will not stop TV companies paying our share.
  3. Emirates are secure as our shirt sponsor until 2024.
  4. The value of our new kit manufacturer deal is linked to how many units they will sell, not how many people turn up to a game.

So boycotting will not affect the 4 main revenue streams of the club. Not buying a pint or a scarf from the club shop has very little affect on revenue.

So why bite your nose off to spite your face? Why stay away when it changes nothing? Why stay away when the time to boycott and protest was 6 years ago.

On Sunday, turn up and support the team, the new regime. The changes at Arsenal in the last couple of months have been huge.

Boycotting and protesting will not make Kroenke suddenly decide to sell up and walk away. It will literally change nothing.

Myself, I am looking forward to Sunday. It is going to be a great season.



Wenger GONE… Gazidis GONE… Usmanov GONE…

The fall out from today’s news about Stan Kroenke being set to take full control of Arsenal was as expected. It was overwhelmingly negative.

I have always thought life is too short to be negative about everything, especially about football which for me is a release from the Monday – Friday of work.

When the news first hit, my thoughts were simple.

“I can not wait until Sunday to have a beer with my mates and watch some football”.

You see, football is not just about the 90 minutes. It is about meeting up with friends, old and new, having a few beers and releasing the tension from the working week.

The reality is as Arsenal fans we can do nothing about Kroenke taking full control. Just like we can not do anything about South West Trains having delays every single day, or the Central Line being boiling hot.

Protests, petitions and moaning on Twitter will do nothing.

And what are we protesting? What are we petitioning? What are we moaning about? We do not know Kroenke’s intentions will be as sole owner of Arsenal Football Club. Fans are getting their knickers in the twist based in rumours, based on speculation. Based on the unqualified Arsenal Supporters Trust releasing fake news.

If the deal goes through this week, will it actually affect me, as a match day going fan? No it will not. I will still go Sunday. Meet my mates. Have a few beers before, during and after the game.

In fact, The George shutting will have more of an affect on my life than Kroenke being sole owner of Arsenal.

How about we look at the positives of the situation of Arsenal?

We have long complained about Arsene Wenger’s influence on the club. His 22-year spell at the club went on too long. His autocratic style of leadership centralised power in his office. Wenger is gone. Unai Emery is in charge.

Power has also been further spread around with the appointments of Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat. No longer do we have one single man in charge of the entire football side of the club. Overseeing everything from set up to scouting, transfers to training.

We have seen the effect of the new men this summer. We have spent nearly £70million on some very good signings and moved decisively in the market.

Ivan Gazidis was also holding the club back.

Ignore the fact that he let Wenger remain in charge too long – although he was key in removing the Frenchman and if it was up to him, Wenger would have gone a year earlier.

Gazidis oversees the business side of the club. It is up to him to oversee the commercial team who bring revenue in.

For too long, this commercial team has under performed.

I ma not expecting Arsenal to be up with Manchester United. Their £268million in commercial revenue (and growing) is incredible. Alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona they are a level ahead of every other club in world football when it comes to reach, fan base and brand recognition. And that feeds down to the commercial revenue.

But to be £151million behind them is poor. To have the 5th highest in the Premier League is poor – although Manchester City’s high commercial revenue comes from within.

I do not see why Arsenal, with a motivated and successful commercial revenue team could not be close to £200million a season.

Manchester City have just signed a £50million deal with Puma; Chelsea’s deal with Nike is £60million a year.

Arsenal’s £30million deal with Puma runs out at the end of this season. Taking into account our shirt sales and brand – which are both superior to Chelsea and Manchester City – we should be looking at a minimum £60million a year from Adidas or whoever we do the deal with.

Kit manufacturers do not really care who is “successful”, they care how many units they sell. It is why Liverpool still command high sponsorship revenue despite it being 28 years since they last won the league.

We have recently signed a very good £10million a year deal with Visit Rwanda.

Under Gazidis the commercial revenue team has under performed, leaving us nearly £100million a year short of where we should be.

£100million a year is a lot of money. In very simple terms, it would enable us to buy an additional £80million player on £350,000 a week, every season.

How much better position would we be in if in the last 4 summers, we were able to have purchased 4 £80million players?

The commercial revenue team have held us back for years, and Gazidis is ultimately to blame.

If Josh Kroenke does come in as CEO, as expected, he brings a world of knowledge as president of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Avalanche with him. American sport is the bench mark as to what commercial revenue you can bring in.

Gazidis leaving should be seen as a positive.

Then we have the final change, the biggest. Stan Kroenke buying out Alisher Usmanov.

For too long, Arsenal have been stale, not really moving anywhere, and I am certain the civil war between the two largest share holders was the reason for this.

One had to go for Arsenal to move forward under the vision of a single owner with no restrictions. Whether you think Kroenke or Usmanov was the “better choice” does not really matter. What is important is the Arsenal Civil War 2007-2018 is over. And hopefully Arsenal can move on and rebuild as one unit.

Rather than be negative, and return to protests and divisions on the terraces, lets look at the positives.

Wenger is gone
Gazidis is going
The Arsenal Civil War is over



Stan Kroenke set to take complete control of Arsenal

Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has made a cash offer to buy all remaining shares int he club in a deal worth £1.8bn.

Kroenke, who owns 67.09% of Arsenal through KSE UK, has received “an irrevocable undertaking” from Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov to sell his 30% stake in the club.

Stan Kroenke said: “We at KSE are moving forward with this Offer leading to 100% ownership of the Club. We appreciate Mr Usmanov’s dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the Club represents.”

Kroenke’s holdings in the club began with an initial 9.9% bought from ITV plc in April 2007. Initially treated with hostility, Kroenke fell into favour with the board upon when Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and London-based financier Farhad Moshiri bought a stake held by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein through Red & White Holdings.

Kroenke brought his stake in the club up to 20.5% following a purchase of shares from fellow director Danny Fiszman.

On 1 May 2009, Arsenal announced that Kroenke had bought a further 4,839 shares from the Carr family, including Richard Carr, also a director, which made him the largest shareholder of the company with 28.3%.[17] On November the same year, this increased to the maximum 29.9% limit.[18]

A rival bid for the club came from Red & White Holdings, as Usmanov grew his share in the club to 18,204 shares (29.25%) of the club. This is the largest single stake owned by a non-board member.

This led to press speculation of a bidding war between Kroenke and Usmanov. However, Kroenke agreed not to purchase more than 29.9% of the club until at least September 2009, while the rest of the board agreed not to consider a sale of their shares to “non-permitted persons” until at least April 2009, and had first option on each other’s shares until October 2012.

In April 2011, Kroenke extended his ownership of the club by purchasing the shareholdings of Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%), Danny Fiszman (16.11%) and other directors of the Arsenal board, taking his shareholding to 66.64%.

In recent weeks, there has been speculation that Usmanov was willing to sell his shares in Arsenal.

There is plenty to fear of Kroenke owning 100% of Arsenal, the main one being that if he owns every share, he could take the club private. That would lead to the clubs money being his money to do with as he wishes. He would no longer need to submit public accounts, and we as a club would be at the mercy of him.

With Ivan Gazidis set to depart for AC Milan and Arsene Wenger having left the club after 22-years, Kroenke buying the entire club will be just create even more turmoil in the boardroom.