When Josh Kroenke came to the Emirates last year to look at the day to day running of the club, it was evident that something was going on behind the scenes and that Kroenke junior would eventually assume a bigger role.
Invisible Stan’s son has been more vocal in the short time he has been involved with the Gunners than his father has been since becoming the majority share holder and eventually sole owner of Arsenal.
There’s still a lack of clarity between the club and its fans but, it’s something Josh Kroenke apparently wants to change. The heir apparent to the Kroenke empire is aware of the mistrust of supporters who are livid with pappy’s failure to make the club successful.
Josh has established a growing influence at the Emirates and he may well tip the balance as it goes forward. This could even include becoming the Gunners surprise champions to reinvest in the flagging outfit, something absent for the majority of his fathers ownership.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 7, 2018
When Kroenke bought out Alisher Usmanov, KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) issued a statement on its American owners behalf to the London Stock Exchange, which implied that by making the club private it would assist with it’s “strategy and ambitions”.
“KSE’s ambitions for the club are to see it competing consistently to win the Premier League and the Champions League, as well as the major trophies in the women’s senior game and at youth level”
Well up to now, that’s all been hot air and lip service but it’s said that Josh Kroenke may be heading the new operation that includes Raúl Sanllehí as the Head of football, Vinai Venkatesham as Managing Director and possibly Edu as Director of Football at the Emirates.
The role of CEO is apparently out of the question because of Josh Kroenke’s commitments elsewhere but, don’t rule out the position of Chairman, currently held by Sir Chips Keswick (78).
It’s an appointment that could take place as early as this summer or at the latest the end of next season but, the disruptive winds of change continue to blow through the corridors of the Emirates.
It’s a situation that just makes you want to shout out loud ‘Get on with it FFS !’
Years of uncertainty and financial frugality have seriously damaged Arsenal’s ability to challenge on the pitch and if Kroenke junior is coming in, he needs to do it quickly.
Arsenal are in a state of flux and transition and in recent years, it’s generally recognised that they have been in dramatic decline. This season itself arsenal are 27 points off the leaders in the league and where knocked out of the FA Cup in the Fourth round itself however their performances in Europa have been their saving grace with bookies including various ausportsbetting sites placing Arsenal as favourites to win the competition this season.
The biggest thing the club lacks apart from investment is a controlling presence, someone that has a genuine interest and love for the club, someone who has a vision to bring success. Arsenal may look like a brand or a commodity, but to supporters it’s so much more.
It’s unlikely that Stan Kroenke will sell for any sum of money and his skin is as thick as a rhinoceros, so all hope rests at the feet of JK. Yet many of us still need convincing.
His carefully chosen words are encouraging, almost admitting that more change was required. Josh Kroenke said when he met with supporters this year:
“Trust will have to be earned.”
“We have obviously been through a period of change following a manager leaving after 22 years. A lot of things come along with a transition of that magnitude”
“Everyone in sports wants success right away. When you look at Liverpool, when they changed to their manager, it took a little time.”
“We have some things we are trying to implement as quickly as possible, but it takes time to get things as you want. There are a few boxes still to tick.”
“We know the main currency in sport is wins and we want them just as much as the fans do.”
How different the rhetoric is from his father’s ill conceived comments where he refers to the club as a brand.
“What did I learn specifically [from England]? You learn very quickly what that brand means”
“We’re all working on that and that’s the big opportunity. Michael Jordan showed it – 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.”
Josh Kroenke seems to be streets ahead of his dear old Dad in terms of his ability to avoid controversy and placate supporters.
As a brand, the new version of The Kroenke’s’ seems to be preferable to the original.