Last year, whilst discussing Josh Kroenke, I remarked that Arsenal’s chairman of the last 7 years, Sir Chips Keswick was soon to retire. That’s subsequently come true and it leaves the door open for yet another reshuffle that will surely herald the arrival of Kroenke junior at the club.
Josh has become a regular feature in North London and has faced the camera in a way that his invisible father never had to talk about the club and its plans. Many have sensed his growing influence indicated a role other than that of a director. With the role of CEO gone, it was only natural that the role of Chairman will go to Josh, who else would fill the position?
Before you start suggesting Arsene Wenger, just think about how he was treated before being unceremoniously dumped by the club he served for so long. Then consider how he was derided by a section of the fans, surely he wouldn’t even consider it.
Other than young Kronk, it’s hard to see who would want to take the job unless they have a Gunners icon waiting in the wings to build a bridge of trust between the club and its supporters, but that appears to be a fanciful notion.
In all honesty, it’s a role that I wouldn’t even consider Josh Kroenke for. It needs a dynamic, fresh and independent approach from a committed Arsenal man and that could include a former player but unfortunately, Tony Adams need not apply.
Mr. Arsenal, as he is dubbed, is just too hot for this collection of self-serving dust collectors and financial whizz kids. Aside from that, Tony Adams lacks any form of a natural filter when it comes to the actions of those at his former club.
David O’Leary? Too passive one suspects. Pat Rice? Too much of a company man. No, it still looks likely that it’s Kroenke junior or a complete outsider.
I, for one, won’t miss Sir Chips Keswick because he has presided over a period of complete and utter chaos at the club and the only saving grace was that he claimed expenses rather than a massive wage, which shows how much gravitas the role has at Arsenal.
It appears to be a bit like a Vice President position in the United States, full of waves, smiles, and niceness, but which lacks any real clout or pedigree. It’s good for a photo opportunity because he is a ‘Sir’, something companies crave when announcing their composition but other that, Sir Chips Keswick hasn’t really had a finger on the pulse of a club of individuals with varying agendas.
Sir Chips Keswick was a belligerent and aggressive adversary for fans who perceived them impertinent first challenging or questioning the club’s moves. He never had Arsenal’s best interests at heart when he stood idly by and allowed Kroenke to out muscle Usmanov and the remaining small investors in a shameless compulsory purchase robbery for their shares.
He was a fossil, an out-of-date symbol of the Arsenal’s dusty old dynasty under the likes of Peter Hill-Wood, who believed that supporters were supposed to shut up and pay up. The majority of Arsenal fans opposed his re-election but he did enough through the old boys’ network to ensure it was beyond doubt. A safe, unquestioning pair of hands that never got involved in controversy and followed the script he was given.
So, the Arsenal bus has no brakes at all and is left in the incapable hands of Head of Football Raul Sanllehi, Managing Director Vinai Venkatesham, and Head of Football operations Huss Fahmy. I exclude Edu because he is the only genuine football man behind the scenes and he could yet be Arteta’s closest ally.
We knew this was coming but now we have to wait for the next installment in the Arsenal managerial merry – go – round. Just Ken Friar and Lord Harris of Peckham to go before Stan can fill every position with his team of nodding dogs. That’s why Sir Chips Keswick had to retire – neck ache!