Stan Kroenke – it says on his badge
In a morning that has yielded very little in the way of interesting stuff about football related nonsense, the big news is that an American guy who owns a lot of Arsenal now owns a lot more of Arsenal.
American tycoon, Stan Kroenke, bought 9.9% of the club in 2007 and has been gradually acquiring more shares since. He now owns 62.89% after his company, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, nabbed the shares of Danny Fiszman (16.1%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%).
The trouble is, nobody knows what this means for the Gunners…
The general consensus seems to be that it’ll be business as usual for Arsene Wenger and his men. Kroenke has apparently been a very active member of the board and it sounds as if things will keep plodding along in the way they have been.
The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Sun all simply report the facts rather than making any wild claims about huge signings, while The Daily Mail has gone the most mental by claiming:
“The move could force Wenger to cave in to demands for pre-season tours in the US, but there is hope Kroenke would inject cash into the transfer kitty.”
Ahh… So there’s ‘hope’ he’ll give Wenger loads of money to spend. Hmm…
Anyway, Kroenke himself has said:
“Arsenal is a fantastic club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger.
“We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success. I am delighted that Peter Hill-Wood has agreed to support us by continuing as chairman.”
Hill-Wood appears to have changed his mind about Kroenke from 2007, when he said:
“Why don’t we want the American at our club? Call me old-fashioned, but we don’t need his money and we don’t want his sort.
“Our objective is keep Arsenal English, albeit with a lot of foreign players.
“Americans are buying up chunks of the Premiership football clubs and not because of their love of football but because they see an opportunity to make money.
“They know absolutely sweet FA about our football and we don’t want these type of people involved.”
Arsene Wenger seems reasonably nonplussed by the whole thing, saying:
“I have worked with Stan Kroenke at board meetings over the past couple of years and I believe he has the best interests of Arsenal at heart.
“He understands the club’s heritage and traditions and our ambition to run the club in a way which protects our long-term future.”
It doesn’t sound like Gunners fans have too much to worry about. Although you may be waiting a long time before you go shelling out £24 million on top-class players like Joleon Lescott.
In short – meh.