We have all suffered from mediocre displays over the last years and as this season continues the questions have clearly grown. Why didn’t we spend any money this January and who decided that we shouldn’t? Ex-Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn revealed on Football Today that he knows for a fact Arsenal doesn’t have all the money the fans think they have. After the last years of profit we should have around at least £60million+ in the bank, but if Arsenal don’t have as much money we think – where has it gone?
Many of our questions regard Stan Kroenke and his involvement – or lack of involvement – in the club. We don’t know his plans for Arsenal and I personally haven’t read how he did finance the shares he bought from the late Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith. As we all know, Stan is very quiet with his business but in November 2011 he defended the Glazer family in an interview with Sports Business Daily.
EPL club Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke “described the Glazer family as ideal owners and said that they have every right to take money out of Manchester United.”
“Because in the States, you would never get this dialogue that you and I are having. ‘He took money out of the club.’ So what?” He continued, “[Lakers Owner] Jerry Buss takes money out of the club. A lot of owners in the U.S. do. No one ever says anything about it. What’s it about, in fairness? Did the Lakers win anything? Well, yeah. They did. How big’s their revenue? Pretty darn good” (LONDON TIMES, 11/1). Meanwhile, Kroenke said that winning “without breaking the bank would continue to be Arsenal’s aim.”
Those quotes are really worrying and from recent Ivan Gazidis quotes we will not “break the bank” in the summer either. The fact is – this is Kroenke Style. Money talks. Here are two letters that could have been letters to Kroenke from Arsenal fans but are in fact letters from two supporters to St. Louis Rams, a NFL club he owns.
“I remember when the club was a respected member of the NFL. Now, the team has been a laughing stock for most of the past 25 years. Look at your team’s performance today. The Rams gave up 268 rushing yards against the Cardinals. It was yet another horrible performance by the league’s worst rush defense, and no one can blame injuries on the team’s failure. A large chunk of the team is on injured reserve, but the defensive line and linebackers have been healthy all year. What about your coaching staff, Mr. Kroenke? How do you feel about Steve Spagnuolo punting to the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson (notes) again? You would have thought that your head coach would have learned from that mistake right? I guess not”… …“This is your football team. Please take responsibility for your franchise”… …”The Rams have a lot of money coming off the books in the next two years. Please make it count, Mr. Kroenke. If not, I’ll never spend another dollar on the Rams again”
Do you recognise the frustration? Here is the second letter questioning Kroenke’s plan of moving the Rams to Los Angeles.
This news came on the heels of the Rams three year agreement to play one home game per season in London, home of your Arsenal FC and a testing ground for the potential of a full-time NFL team in the future. With both moves, you exacerbated fears the team will take their leave of the Show Me State as soon as 2014 and move to greener pastures in sunny California or across the pond”…
…” So all I’m asking as a Rams fan is for you to be a little more straightforward. Don’t reveal all of the cards because we all understand you are a shrewd businessman, but also don’t leave us second-guessing and speculating on each public move”…
…”We have suffered through some bad football and have every right to be paranoid and upset after years of disappointment”…
The treatment of Stan Kroenke towwards the Rams and their supporters is the way he will treat us if our ambition collides with his interest. Will Arsenal play some matches in China or the US in 5-6 years because there are too many empty seats at Emirates? Will we also get cheerleaders and an American name like Arsenal Capitals or Arsenal Gunners or Canons because it suits Kroenke and makes more money? What I’m going to say now is like swearing in the church but I rather see a owner (Usmanov) that owns one team and watch some games at Emirates from his box than Stan Kroenke that owns 4-5 other teams and like to visit his four ranches to fish and hunt or to visit his vineyard or doing other business rather than care about Arsenal.
I don’t think he gets up six a clock in the morning a Saturday to watch Arsenal versus Blackburn on TV in Denver. The lack of genuine interest makes you wonder if Kroenke really is the good guy and Usmanov is the bad one for Arsenal. When Arsenal fans discuss Usmanov two things always appear.
1. His morale and uncertain past – he is suspected to have been a criminal.
2. He is an oligarch and former Soviet resident, and as we all know since birth we need to be suspicious against the Russians.
Well we didn’t complain about Arshavin being Russian when he scored four at Anfield. And regarding his morale – shall we really judge him for his past and speak highly about morale when:
* Our former captain – Tony Adams – went to prison for drink-driving and was lucky he didn’t kill anybody before he hit that house. We did forgive him.
* We also don’t think about the fact Graham Rix went to prison for having underage sex when we speak about his cross for Alan Sunderland’s last-minute winner in 1979.
* And now we are going to Nigeria on tour to receive money from perhaps local authorities and businessmen when this money could have been spent on the starving people and on the local market to support Nigeria. Is it morale to visit countries like China or Nigeria because they pay us a lot of cash when people are starving there and need that money more?
Who are we to judge Usmanov by his uncertain past and things that happened 20-30 years ago when he now certainly wants the best for Arsenal? Now he lives in England and if he was doing any criminal he would have been sent to prison by now.
We know that Usmanov doesn’t want to own Arsenal primarily to make more money. He is also the president of the International Fencing Federation, FIE, and there is no money or prestige in that kind of business. It’s not like being president of UEFA or FIFA. Kroenke owns us because it’s a good investment and why should he really be concerned about Arsenal slipping to seven in Premier League and not buying any stars? Since he bought his shares last April the prize of the shares has raised from £11 500 per share to over £15 000 per share. With his 41 574 shares they have raised from £478 million to £636 million – an increase of £158 million in 8 months! Why should he concern about lack of quality in the squad or mediocre performances now?
In the real Arsenal world, we still haven’t replaced Cesc and Nasri with new players despite Wenger’s quotes on Arsenal.com where he told us he would never sell Nasri and if we did we had to replace him and show ambition. That was an indirect message to the board as Wenger are too proud and loyal to speak directly about the truth.
“And even if you lose Nasri, to find the same quality player, you have to spend again the same amount of money. Because you cannot say that you lose the player and you do not replace him.”
According to the Forbes list, Usmanov is the 35th richest businessman with $17.7 Billion and Kroenke is 440th with $2.6 Billion – the same amount as Glazers but less then Steven Spielberg. Kroenke isn’t richer than the Glazer family which makes you wonder if he will really personally finance a loan with an interest of several millions each year when he will make his finally takeover. We, some of the Swedish Arsenal Supporter’s, fear that he will put the debt at the club as Glazers – considering his “lack” of cash to afford to buy Arsenal and considering his support of Glazers methods. Is that the reason we are saving money and don’t have as much as we think according to Winterburn? Are we saving to minimize the debt Kroenke will put on the club? We don’t know but we do know that:
* With all profits from recent years we should have over £100 million on bank accounts but Arsenal refused to sign any players (except Eisfeld) despite our injuries, our position in the table and the poor quality of the squad. No-one in the world understands why we didn’t buy in this situation.
*The club raised the ticket prices 2011 despite our big profit and our tickets already being the most expensive in Premier League.
*We borrowed Benayoun and Henry and wanted to borrow a left-back but in the end didn’t – when was the last time we wanted to borrow so much instead of buying? We are a top club.
*After Kroenke’s move last year we suddenly travel to Asia in pre-season to get more money. This year we are going to Nigeria despite Wenger prefers the harmony in Austria and despite the last tour may have affected our poor results this year.
* Arsenal have big staff under guidance of Tom Fox that works hard to raise the commercial revenues and they shall announce some new deals soon which should mean more money – but still we didn’t sign anybody this January.
*We bought Park but he never plays and will leave Arsenal next year to do military service. Did Gazidis want another Asian to sell shirts?
*It was Arsenal and not Kroenke who paid £3 million in transactions and professional advices when Kroenke bought shares 2011 which indicates that he wants the club to pay his business. Do we also pay his trips to UK and his luxury accommodation? Every board member receives some compensation but Lord Harris of Peckham decided to abstain his £25 000. The billionaire Kroenke did not abstain his money. See the annual report at Arsenal.com
We should be richer than ever but act like we are a poor club heading into administration. If you’ve got money, good business is not to be mean even if it’s a difficult economic climate. And if it’s the right way to do business right now then why do billionaires like Kroenke spend money to buy shares in clubs like Arsenal? He sees us as a good investment to gain more money and so shall also the club act – like Usmanov said in that interview. We should invest our profit in the squad as the best clubs and success gets the best commercial deals. But instead of doing that it seems like the club does everything to save money this season – the same period Kroenke will try to make his takeover.
It doesn’t make any sense that they didn’t try to strengthen the squad and at least show Robin van Persie we got some ambition. Now we all want to know where the money from all the profits we made during the years is. On our accounts? On Kroenke’s accounts? And how did Kroenke finance the shares he bought last year and plan to buy in the future? We don’t know anything and need answers now. We urge every supporter to support the team, the manager and the players at Emirates and away games but also to share this, highlight the situation, and try to stop Kroenke and the current board from ruining The Arsenal. COYG!
This is an Arsenal Opinion guest article from EKA and the Swedish Arsenal Supporters. These views are not necessarily reflected by Gooner Talk.
Share the post "Silent Stan – It’s all about the money"