It’s been suggested that Josh Kroenke has already spoken to Raul Sanllehi and that he will be venturing to North London for a hands on meeting with the rest of the board and Arsenal’s coach Unai Emery.
Reports in the media claim that the majority of the board are still supporting the Spaniard, but that he now has a mixture of friends and foes in both the boardroom and dressing room.
I suspect that Josh Kroenke will be looking for positive signs when he arrives to either confirm his faith in the coach or to rescind his appointment and the situation may well be decided very quickly after that visit.
I expect Kroenke to be present for a number of reasons next week. The crowds are starting to disappear again, as supporters voice their disapproval by their non attendance. The atmosphere has once again turned toxic after a season of shambolic performances and Kroenke can’t afford to see basic revenue streams evaporate.
He will be aware of the tension and fragmentation behind the scenes and may want to gauge the temperature of the situation for himself. If it’s beyond repair, which it appears to be, the outcome is inevitable.
He will also want to canvass opinion with the board, who it’s alleged are at odds because of a row over the appointment of former player, David O’Leary to the hierarchy.
It’s also said that Sir Chips Keswick is considering his position after the Southampton game but just to add some perspective, I already published an article in AD that said Keswick’s departure was already agreed and that Josh Kroenke would assume total control of the North London club at that point.
Keswick is not the power broker that he may have once been and his position was upheld as more of respectful nod to his long term services rather than out of a genuine need.
However, according to the Metro/The Athletic:
‘Sir Chips – who has been chairman since taking over from Peter Hill-Wood in 2013 – felt ‘compelled’ to consider handing in his resignation. He feels he has been frozen out from the decision-making process over Emery’s future and does not want to ‘carry the can’ for the current discontent.’
In the meantime, Josh Kroenke will now try to unite Arsenal from the stands to the pitch and up to the boardroom, which was never going to be easy. He has to show an appetite to lead the club now that it’s in trouble and make decisions that puts the focus back on the team and how it performs.
He may have inherited a major problem not entirely of his making but it’s now time for him to show that he has the vision, skill and credibility to solve it.