Yesterday, around 48 hours after the footballing world had apparently turned on its head, after 12 teams decided that they wanted to shake football to its foundations through the creation of the European Super League, the project and plan was essentially doomed with all of the English clubs withdrawing their support for the Super League.
That, in itself, is something to be pleased about and for me certainly, there is some relief.
But that relief lasts only fractions of seconds because what we have witnessed over the last 48 hours has been the end game of KSE and the Kroenke’s. Their hand has finally been played after eight year’s at Arsenal with a seat on the board, two-and-a-half of which as full majority shareholder at the club. During that club we have declined on the pitch, but our values have declined off it. We have seen executives come, fail, and go, pointing to a lack of leadership at the top and an inability to bring the ‘best’ people to do the ‘best’ job at the club in the football administration. We have seen wasted money, a lack of investment from KSE (they have put NOTHING in at the club. Read this excellent Twitter thread from Darren here to get more info on that), poor management decisions, broken promises, disbanding of accountability and voice for the fans, a reduction in the engagement with fans, then, finally, what we witnessed over the last few days. There was no comment from KSE on Sunday night with the announcement of the European Super League. There are enough people in this world who know enough of the people running Arsenal day-to-day to know that most of the staff at the club knew little of this. We know this was a KSE driven action along with the US owners or influences (Gazidis…cough) of other clubs, looking to create a greed-infused European Super League. This was their power play after all these years. They thought that the impact of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC would give them the leverage to reshape football.
And they failed. Spectacularly.
But I’m not rejoicing. I’m not jumping up and down having read Arsenal’s statement and apology, of which there was once again no comment from the owners who told us to ‘be excited’. That’s because whilst we still have the stench of KSE and the Kroenke’e metaphorically permeating through the walls at London Colney, Highbury House and the Emirates Stadium, we know that they will be pushing for this NFL approach as long as they can.
There was talk and rumour yesterday of the possibility that KSE have become dismayed by the response and are considering pulling out of Arsenal. I do not believe it for a second. They have shown they care little for the will of anyone associated with Arsenal. They have shown their hand, they have lost, but they are still going to hold on to their chips for as long as they can. We are their most expensive and prized asset. They will simply bide their time and wait until they can find another opportune moment with which to make their move. The statement they released even said they would “reconsider the appropriate steps, in order to reshape the project”. This isn’t going away and you can bet your bottom dollar that until the door is completely shut – whether that is the rumoured 51% fan ownership that the Government is supposedly looking in to, or something else – KSE will still want a stake in Arsenal because they will knwo the second something can be ratified they will be in for a cash windfall.
That is what it has been all along for them. About five year’s ago I thought Stan Kroenke was around for ‘the next TV deal’. The money kept going up and up and I thought he’d see that TV revenues were reaching a peek and he would cash in on Arsenal and make a ton of money by selling his shares at a premium price. I know now that it was a foolish thought; Stan wasn’t looking to make a few hundred extra million, he was looking for a billion or two. He clearly decided he was not rich enough.
That’s why the fight isn’t over. As an old and well used adage goes “the battle is over, but the war has just begun”.
And that, my Arsenal SUPPORTING friends, is where we cannot let up now. We must act. There must be a concerted effort to try to drive these despicable owners from our club. I still remain skeptical we can prize Arsenal from their grasp, but we must all unite from across the fan base to make our voices heard. I don’t care what differences we all have, who we don’t particularly like in the fan base, whether you were Arsene In/Out, Arteta in/out, don’t like this player, don’t like that one, can’t stand this YouTube channel, hate that podcast, never read a blog or subscribe every day and read on, one thing is clear: We must all come together in the face of this common enemy.
That enemy is KSE. It’s like the banner at a game once said: L0ve Arsenal, hate Kroenke.
Do whatever you think is right and you can, but make yourself heard. We have shown that we have a collectively loud voice. You don’t have to get behind a campaign, you just have to get behind that mantra that we want KSE and the Kroenke’s gone.
The statement by Arsenal last night said that as a result of listening to the fans the club made it’s u-turn with regards to the European Super League. Well if the club are listening then they will see what has been unlocked now and I hope it is a mass-movement to show just how many people want KSE gone from The Arsenal Football Club. I hope it wasn’t just Arsenal listening, I hope KSE heard loud and clear and take action in the form of selling up. Arsenal are valued at $2.8billion. KSE will get a handsome payout if they left. Let’s find a buyer who will pledge to be a better owner, an owner who will instill back into the club the values that we all held so dear, an owner who hopefully cannot re-enact the events of the last few days because he/she are legally bound by law that they have to consult fans (the rumours about fan ownership I mentioned).
Let’s have real change happen now. And let’s all be together in doing it.
Catch you all tomorrow.