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How Stan Kroenke stacks up against other club owners

Stan Kroenke may be a respected figure in the world of American sports, with several ownerships across multiple sports, but it seems as if he does not quite convey the same level of respect when it comes to Arsenal.

There is absolutely no doubting his business acumen, but many Arsenal fans would certainly not shed any tears if he was to sell the club and return back to the other side of the Atlantic.

The 71-year-old has long since been a person who has drawn the ire of Arsenal’s most vocal fans, this is no less evident than on the social media platform Arsenal TV. Fans such as Mr DT and Claude have long lambasted Kroenke for not putting his money where his mouth is.

Kroenke seems to be persona non-grata at Arsenal, with very few admirers. That could change if he could deliver a league title. When compared to someone like Evangelos Marinakis, who is idolised at Olympiakos after backing the club financially and in turn assisting them win a whole host of trophies in Greek Football, he certainly lacks the support of fans.

Arsenal fans ultimately feel that Kroenke is holding the club back and using Arsenal as a way to not only generate funds for himself, but for the other sporting franchises that he owns in the States. The bottom line financially is no doubt healthy, but this is not transferring into success.

Admittedly you cannot forget that the club won three F.A. Cups in the past five years, something that arguably kept former boss Arsene Wenger in his job as manager for longer then he perhaps should have.

At the same time, the club has slipped down the league over the past few years. Rival fans would deride Arsenal for celebrating a top four finish as if it was a trophy, but they do not even have that to cling onto over the past two seasons.

A fifth-place finish in the 2016/17 campaign brought an end to a streak of continual Champions League football, and after their sixth-place finish in the table this season, it looks like they are set for a streak of continual Europa League football.

The fact that they have finished behind arch rivals Tottenham on successive occasions will have no doubt rankled fans of the Gunners. In occasions such as this, the obvious target is the manager for not getting the results required to fire the club back up the table.

However, with Arsene Wenger announcing his departure and a new incumbent soon to be installed, if the new man does not reverse the fortunes of the club, then that anger will only be deflected to one man, and that is the current Arsenal owner.

The fact that whoever takes over from Arsene Wenger is reportedly only going to be given £50m to spend is an indictment of just how Arsenal has seemingly slipped down the pecking order under the ownership of Kroenke.

When you ask yourself what can £50m get you in this current transfer market, the answer quite simply is not a great deal. It seems that if any additional funds are going to be spent over the summer, then the new manager will have to sell before he can buy.

However, when you look at the Arsenal squad, there is not a huge amount of value in the players that could be sold. The ones that command the highest fees will be expected to stay, and that means it will be the sale of fringe players – something that will not generate a great deal of transfer revenue.

Fans will rightly argue, why does Kroenke not free more transfer funds. Although there was a sizeable outlay for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, there is certainly money for more big names signing this summer.

It seems as if Kroenke is not willing to open the purse strings enough to give his club the best possible chance of once again finishing in the top four. After two seasons outside it, they surely cannot risk a third.

The longer you are out of that select quartet then the more difficult it is to get back in. Surely with a new manager ready to be installed, what better statement of intent would there be then by giving him the funds he needs to help Arsenal challenge again at the very sharp end of the Premier League.

If the funds do not materialise, it will only become a case of diminishing returns as revenues continue to decrease due to not being in Europe’s top club competition. If that does prove to the case, Kroenke’s own stock in the eyes of Arsenal fans will only plummet further.


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