Last week it was mooted that there was some big news set to come out of Arsenal, and it has materialised in the form of a takeover bid from Stan Kroenke. Whilst given the history of Hicks and Gillette at Liverpool, American owners are immediately mentally repelled, this particular move can only really be a positive change at the club.
The majority of Arsenal fans only tend to care about two things; the first being the safeguarding of the future of the club, and secondly the connection between the board and the playing staff. Arsene Wenger has said repeatedly that he would resign if Alisher Usmanov took control, and consequently the positive of this move is that the Russian will have no chance of gaining the power he craves. Kroenke has a good track record in sport, and will provide the sustainability that the previous board desired, whilst keeping both the backroom and playing staff fundamentally intact. Kroenke is a by-word for stability.
The link between the playing side of things and the board is where Arsenal have been lacking over the past few years. Wenger has single-handedly been charged with building the bridge between the two, and whilst Ivan Gazidis has helped affairs somewhat, there has always been a need for greater clarity and direction from the top. In the last six years or so, has anyone really known how much money is in the bank? Does anyone really know what the ambitions of the manager are in comparison to the board? These are the crucial questions, and they should be resolved by Kroenke’s arrival.
No-one is asking for Arsenal to change the habit of a life-time and air their every thought in the public arena. The problem has been, however, that Arsenal fans, a majority anyway, feel a little peeved and rightly so. There is absolutely no information about transfer budgets or anything else related to the team emanating from the board when they pay some of the highest rates for season tickets in the country. There is an issue of respect – if the board want people to buy season tickets, it is only right that they inform them of the direction into which the club is headed. Kroenke shall be under pressure to do that, and if he follows his previous habits, he will.
This will place the pressure on Wenger firmly back onto the pitch and outside of the boardroom. No longer will the manager feel obliged to utilise his economical training, and he will be given clear information about what he has to spend, whilst players shall not be forced upon him in the manner of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea. The pressure to win trophies will be higher than ever, but this move should facilitate that happening with more regularity in the future. Kroenke should be welcomed with open arms for he intends not to pile Arsenal with debt, but to merely attempt to bring back success whilst keeping to a sustainable business model, something which should be lauded.
Read more of Tony’s articles at Gunnersphere.com