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Arsenal fans lash out at Stan Kroenke for his ‘passive ownership’ in strongly worded statement


Disgruntled Arsenal fans have joined forces and lashed out at Stan Kroenke’s ‘passive ownership’ of the Premier League club.

A collection of influential supporters’ organisations, fanzines, blogs and streamers have called for ‘better leadership’ of the club in a strongly worded statement.

On the eve of their third successive season without Champions League football, a total of 16 signatories published a statement on Monday morning.

Arsenal fans appear to have reached the end of their tether with Stan Kroenke
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Under a heading of ‘#WeCareDoYou’, the statement criticised the imbalance of the Arsenal board, the ‘soulless’ atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium, and the club’s lack of transfer strategy.

“As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team’s football performances have declined over the past decade,” the statement read.

“When Stan Kroenke began buying Arsenal shares the club had just competed in a first Champions League final.

“Twelve years on, Arsenal are about to play in the Europa League for the third year running.”

Kroenke invested in the Gunners shortly after the defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League final in 2006
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Kroenke began purchasing shares in April 2007, just less than a year after Arsenal had lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League final in Paris.

Through his company, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, he continued to increase his stake until he became majority shareholder in 2009.

He then took sole ownership of the club in August 2018, a move which included the 71-year-old using his right to buy all remaining shares, many of which were small investments held by supporters.

“Off the pitch, fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued,” the joint statement continued.

Defeat in the Europa League final in Baku meant another season without Champions League football
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“This was sadly illustrated when Stan Kroenke forcibly bought out the last remaining supporter-shareholders without even a word of appreciation of their custodianship role in the club.”

The timing of the statement is likely to be no coincidence, given Arsenal face Colorado Rapids – a Major League Soccer franchise also owned by KSE – in their first pre-season match on their tour of the United States in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Arsenal’s transfer dealings in the current window have been considered farcical, with moves for Wilfried Zaha, Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Pepe all reportedly falling through due to the club lacking funds.

Failure to qualify for the Champions League means Unai Emery has just £45million to spend this summer as he bids to return the Gunners to the top table in European football.


Arsenal’s ‘worst transfer dealings’ in the last four years, according to The Sun

But now the signatories on this latest message, which include the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust among others, have called on Kroenke to show ‘meaningful action’ to ‘reinvigorate’ the club.

“It feels as though Arsenal is at a crossroads,” it continued. “Things need to change.

“What all of us as signatories to this statement want to see is meaningful action by Stan Kroenke to reinvigorate our football club.

“This requires work to strengthen the club’s board and football executive and once again make Arsenal a place where fans have a real sense of belonging.”

The statement went on to claim Kroenke was using Arsenal as an ‘investment vehicle’ with ‘passive ownership’.

As well as calling for an ‘independently-minded’ director to be appointed to the board and for an ‘uncoordinated’ approach to transfers and contracts to be addressed, the signatories also want to see the ‘soulless’ Emirates Stadium reinvigorated.

They called all for Arsenal to clarify their position on any potential European Super League, saying the club should ‘have no part’ in what they described as the ‘franchisation’ of European football.

The message signed off by asking the club to respond and show that they care about the club, with the statement’s hashtag ‘#WeCareDoYou’ trending on Twitter soon after it was released.

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