I’m getting sick to death of the utterances of Arsenal chief Vinai Venkatesham and Head of Football Raúl Sanllehi, who insist on talking about the club’s strategy and the ‘hugely ambitious’ Kroenke.
It’s alright talking the talk, but there’s very little evidence of walking the walk in the eyes of Arsenal’s fans, because if Stan Kroenke had wanted to show a degree of intent, surely he would have done so by now.
FFP and UEFA regulations are partially responsible for Arsenal’s current transfer woes, but what about the countless years before, when Arsenal were challengers and after the move to a new stadium ?
Venkatesham underestimates the tensions between the fans and the club’s owner and there are aspects of his recent statement that conflict with the owners unguarded comments from 2016.
“Stan and Josh Kroenke are in sport because they’re passionate about sport and because they want to win,”
Yet in 2016, Kroenke said:
“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”
Someone at the Emirates needs to communicate or at least do a degree of research on the owner’s previous comments because to all intents and purposes, the managing director looks like a dumbass.
“So when I talk about the strategy around making our fans all across the world proud of their football club and competing to win the Premier League and the Champions League, that doesn’t come from Raul and that doesn’t come from me. That comes from our owners.”
“They’re hugely ambitious around where they want to take this football club and they remind us of that all the time. They’re massively involved.”
“They’re really, really passionate about Arsenal.”
In the Evening Standards article from 2016, Kroenke made Arsenal sound more of an investment, devoid of passion, when he said:
“You can get paid a whole lot more if you can extend your brand. Manchester United showed it. They established benchmarks that people had thought heretofore unattainable, but their brand extension made people want to pay for it.”
In 2017, Ben Burrows of the Independent observed:
“Kroenke talks about Arsenal as a business – as they are undoubtedly are – but for so many they are so much more.”
“He doesn’t and has never got that. Perhaps he never will”
“Long term has been the vision for too long. Long term is stable and long term is admirable but long term but is also no league title in over a decade.”
He then quotes Kroenke desperately trying to connect with the fans:
“Arsenal is a great club,”
“Our job is to do everything we can to keep it that way and push to make it even better.”
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“Admirable words but actions speak louder.”
“Kroenke just doesn’t get Arsenal. That is clearer today than ever”
That was two years ago, little has changed.