The Kroenkes Are Not Joshing with the Club And That’s All We Could Ask For


With hundreds of millions in turnover every year, Arsenal football club needs responsible leadership and a value-based custodian. In an ideal world the club is owned by the supporters and the leadership – selected by the supporters – acts on the supporters’ needs and aspirations, both short term and long term. This model is near impossible at Arsenal now and the next good thing is a majority shareholder who is in it for the long term, respects the club’s history and values and have high ambitions for silverware.

Bergkampesque is an independent blog and is not financed by anybody or advertising. It is focused on the beauty of the Arsenal game and not afraid to give our version of the truth. 🙂 I have always said that I liked the way the club is managed and had nothing to complain about. We have a financial self-sustaining model and are developing exciting youth players, buy one or two top quality players every season (recently more) and don’t sell our best players anymore unless it makes sense.

To further support this view, I (TotalArsenal) am putting up a link up of a BBC interview with Josh Kroenke and the rest of the post is a comment made by GoonerEris re the custodianship of the club:

Goonereris’ recent comment:

The criticism of Kroenke for a “lack of investment” or “paying himself huge dividends” have been so misplaced, and I don’t say that in the euphoria of this window but just on the facts.

Since buying up a 62.9% stake in the club in mid-2011 (up from 29.99% he had acquired since 2008), the club started a gradual re-build and investment in people and technology like it had never done. By the close of the summer (transfer window) of 2013/14 season, Arsenal had spent more on players than it did in the last 10 years before his acquisition of a clear majority stake. That means within 3 years of his taking control, we spent more on players than we did for a decade.
The argument may be made that the period coincided with the rising player fees and that Arsenal were restricted in spending because of the stadium project, but the facts are the facts. Plus, we had the restrictions placed by repaying loans from the stadium project up until 2016, and still haven’t completed repayment of the loan, anyway.

As for the accusation of dividend payments, that was a farce as it turned out. The club has held onto a policy of no dividend taking, up until the man got full control (now, we can’t know and shouldn’t care since he owns the club, entirely, in effect). At the start of 2014 year, a £3m payment to one of his companies for Advisory/Consultancy services was seen by the AST as him taking out money and though the club defended it as a mere token considering the extent of beneficial consultancy services (re-jig of our commercial play, expansion of sources of revenues, Data analytics, new fan base build-up, etc.) received from the company, the payment was stopped.

Fact is Stan Kroenke has defied the naysayers and stayed the course, respecting the club’s philosophies and values, in the face of growing pressure to become a sugar daddy owner. I have always felt, if and when the times call for it, he is unlikely to hold back personal funds to support the club. The fans need to give him a chance. Sorry, that was a bit long but I have had to make this case to someone years back and assured him we will have successes under this owner, if we stay patient.


By TA / Goonereris

30 thoughts on “The Kroenkes Are Not Joshing with the Club And That’s All We Could Ask For

  • Funny you should talk about Silent Stan and Jovial Josh, Eris.

    We had always been frugal and traditional in our management of funds, and it seemed to go well with the fans. It not only meant that we are clean in the eyes of the FFP, and it meant that we only spend on what we needed, which is who we are at heart.

    The previous seasons had been Wenger working his magic, and this season Emery started rebuilding and the board gladly released more funds for him. I hope that we continue our way of managing the club and making sure that the players work as hard or even harder to achieve the club’s goals.

    Victoria Concordia Cresit.

  • I have always advocated prudence and insightful management and not rash, reactionary decision makers. A club can knee jerk it’s way to short term glory but not long term success and stability.

    I would like to think that in 80 years time my grandchildren will be as proud of Arsenal as I am. The GN5 Arsenal family roots go back (106 years) to when my grandfather watched the very first game at Highbury on September 6th 1913.

  • Excellent piece Eris! Not ‘too long’ at all.

    Euphemistically? Very hard to swim against a tide. Similarly? Impossible to gain traction against the online Arsenal groupthink that had begun manifesting since around 2010.

    Myself, having an interest in the club’s data analytics aspects? I tracked respective information as was possible between 2012 and 2017 (when, all info on StatDNA ‘went dark’). With some understanding of the nature of development of stat modeling? I’ve also been patient with the steering of the club.

    I’d had hopes that Le Prof would see the analytics side for the ‘new revolution’ that it is. But even the brightest, most understanding of managers– found it difficult to build that bridge without hesitation. It hurt my heart to see things play out the way they did. Arsene was afforded the opportunity to embrace the future. Instead, became a victim of his own reluctance.

    As for the club’s direction? I’d made some predictions here over the past couple of seasons. Saw some become reality, others come close. Much of it based on bits I’d found online, in articles; most just by keeping my antennae ‘up’.

    A hiccup after the 2017-18 season gave me pause as to whether I’d even been on the right track. When the club chose Unai Emery instead of Mikel Arteta to take the reins from AW? When Sven Mislintat departed? The structure I’d envisioned for KSE moving AFC forward– felt chaotic instead. The lull in last January’s transfer window, along with the imminent departure of Aaron Ramsey, caused me to rethink the model.

    Until Pépé.

    The signing of Nicolas Pépé was a jolt. A bolt-from-the-blue that has revived, for me, the sense of purpose by the club. Arsenal, making strides. Now, faster than I’d envisioned possible (to be fair to Raul and Vinai (and Josh)– there was a foretelling of intent– with the deadline day signing of Aubameyang late in the January 2018 TW.)

    The signs were there. All along. But even an optimist such as I– had doubt. Even with indicators, I feel I ought to have considered? I had only questions.

    Today? I’m once again convinced– that KSE and Josh Kroenke– and the rest of the executive group on down– are on the beam. To the good of the club, it’s supporters, and the wealth of Arsenal fans around the globe.

    (Thanks Eris– for the chance to get all of this out of my brain.)


  • Eris, a million thanks for saying it loud and clear. Below is an extract from my post of 27th June 2019:

    “Lets compare ourselves with Liverpool.
    We’re a more valuable club but they’re earning more than us.
    They’re also spending more than us, gross.
    But over the last 5 years our net spend is bigger than theirs in spite of our self sustaining model.
    What the last line means is that we’ve been spending the f****** money more than Pool.
    Only we’ve been woeful with our sales and purchases. The blame is more on Gazidis and co than on Kroenke.”

    Raul and co are now more aggressive in the market in both directions. Josh is making all the right noises. Now is time for our patience and support.

  • Eris, am glad for your comment on the playing out of the back. If it’s well understood by the fans, we’d give the process our patience and support even in the face of a number of bumps.

  • Playing out of the back really concerns me (especially at Anfield) but on the other hand I’ve always been miffed at the amount of times our goal kicks went directly to the opposition – I guess we will have a better idea on Saturday evening.

    My wife is from Liverpool and my in-laws used to get me tickets when we visited, believe me it is spine tingling standing among them, particularly when they sing the Anfield anthem – I just wish our fans could show as much passion.

  • Hey, TA, you kept true to your word to use that comment for a full post; and what a time to do so, right after Josh Kroenke came out again to gee us all up with some transfer (ins and outs) tough talk.

    Sorry, I am joining a bit late, but great comments from the lads too.

    Jk, good point. Stan was preferred over Usmanov because he gave assurances he would not deviate from the club’s conservative philosophy of spending what you’ve earned and he should be commended for staying the course in the face of moneybags bank-rolling player purchases at our rivals, while the fan base grows hostile for the want of their “new toys” to compete with the Jones’. I agree we continue our way because it pays off in the long run. As it stands, we appear to be matching our rivals on the wage front and have some of the most satisfied players. Now, time to have them return the trust with some trophies.

  • GunnerN5 posted: I would like to think that in 80 years time my grandchildren will be as proud of Arsenal as I am. The GN5 Arsenal family roots go back (106 years) to when my grandfather watched the very first game at Highbury on September 6th 1913.

    Hear! Hear!

  • Thanks, jw1. Post did feel long when posted originally a few days back😔

    I’ve always been strong on the fact that the Kroenkes will surely, sooner than later, want to bring glory to the club. Kroenke is a wealthy man whose stash may even be larger than he gets credit for (especially if you consider his wife’s net worth). I think if it does come down to it, he will “loan” the club some money and think nothing of it. It’s my view anyway. What he needs to improve on is his image as an uninterested owner; something Josh is now trying to remedy. Josh was right when he stated that most clubs were jolted at the positive aura of the club in the market (player pull? Still got it) and with agents, despite not being in the CL.

  • PE, great to see we agree on this point (as we agree on most things, anyway). We’d been spending money, but perhaps the rot had run so deep it needed more than one window (and all the stars staying on) to get us to where we ought to be. Wenger took some time to revert to his pre-emirates mould of buying the best players at the going price, after years of austerity. When he did, it appeared he could only address one or two areas at a time. He got Ozil for £42.5m (at the time, a British record for players coming into the EPL from other countries) same season Torres transferred for £50m to Chelsea from Liverpool. Did the fans appreciate that as spending some money? No. He got Alexis next season for £35m and then onto Aubameyang at £53(?)m.

    Then there was Mustafi and Xhaka at about £35m each. I may be wrong but I think Wenger was slow to appreciating that the club was able to afford these fees and willing to loosen the purse strings. After all, he got his reputation from operating at a good level with average players. That may have come back to bite him.

    Anyway, that’s water under the bridge now.

    Agree we need to be patient with the playing out from the back style we have adopted. It’s even more so that we are unlikely to win too many of the hoofed balls anyway, since we no longer have a certain Frenchman -Giroud- helping us win them in the air and holding up play. Best we build up slowly and take our chances.

  • Oh, and by the way, regarding predicted line up to play Liverpool, I will rather have AM-N against the pace of Mane. AM-N has this ability to make last ditch tackles and will match Mane and Robertson for pace. Mustafi will not do that but may be better going in for the tackle, at the risk of failing and opening us up.

    Mustafi will need to build up confidence slowly, via other routes/games.

  • Evening Eris,

    Well done for responding to everyone.

    The problem with AMN is that he now and again switches off and too easily let’s opponents put in a cross – he was lucky to get away with this v Burnley!! IMO giving Mustafi the nod would pay off in this one… but if it is AMN it will also be okay.

  • I’d not wager much TA.
    Saw direct quotes today from Josh Kroenke:

    “I would defer to our football operations staff, but I know there are a few names that have come up who might not see as much playing time this season, so whether that’s via loan or permanent transfer I know there are discussions going on,” Kroenke said.

    Seems clear he’s referring to Mustafi and Elneny.
    I’d not be predisposed to play someone awaiting a change of venue.


  • JW, by now you will know I don’t rate Emery highly. I would play Mustafi but that doesn’t mean I expect Emery to do so… He is done at Arsenal by all accounts.

  • Eddie scores for fun. He’s scored in all 3 games that he’s played in for Leeds. He’s scored against Salsford in the Carabao cup, got one for a high stakes U-23 game and now, this.

    So far, they’ve been tap-ins, which says a lot about how he senses opportunities and positions to thrive from them.

  • PE, clearly Willock and Ceballos will be key to our playing out the back. See how confidently he’s flicked that pass to Guendouzi, receive it back, before sending a raking pass to Ceballos in the middle to carry the ball into the opponent’s vital area. It was beautiful.

    We would need to have more players who are confident with the ball at feet.

  • TA, Eris et al

    Good post. A lot of the history in one spot really shows that KSE brought in a sound 10 year plan. And stuck to it, soundly. All good management practice. Thus, if the balance of spending and other things is right, we will, over some time, pass Pool (again) and see what we see. As long as it is financially sustainable and looks in part to the future over the present, then I am content.

    As for this weekend. Like game 1, which some turned in their minds into must win because the opponents level and various other assumed demands/needs/requirements — and the same for game 2 — some have focused this as being must win, or even “must lose” to prove a point.

    The boys will play, we will learn, hopefully good, things, and life will go on. As for who should start at the back. I see AMN, for speed, over Mustafi. Dont know of Xhaka’s availability, but felt both Willock and Guendouzi, especially together, were too much “bursting runs through midfield” than controlled passing and game control. Chambers there in front of Luiz would also say interesting things. Again, we will see.

    Early days yet!

    — jgc

  • Erie, incredible how those 2 boys, Willock and Douzi went through a crazy 6-man Burnley press. It upped my valuation of Willock.

    In the first video Ceballos was mesmerizing. Obviously the younger ones are more at home with it. Notice how Monreal was pointing for them to give a pass back to the keeper, in fright, as the young ones continued with their mambo dance. Monreal in his panick even forgot to show himself for a pass.

    A young midfield 4 (Douzi, Willock, Torreira and Ceballos) is cooking.

  • Yeah, Eddie looks on the cusp– of the type of season that could propel him up the ladder.
    Eddie Has The Knack.

  • Jgc- “Bursting runs through midfield” than controlled passing (in reference to Willock and Guendouzi.

    You know, that’s the kind of swagger that will provide a shock to the Liverpool midfield. They may just find that young set up hard to contain. However, I suspect we will see Torreira starting alongside Xhaka and Ceballos/Ozil. Guendouzi may just play a part if emery chooses to play the diamond, earlier predicted in the previous thread.

    We’ll see, for sure.

  • The videos cover good moments which don’t express the overall sense of the midfield footie on display. I think Geoff got it spot re lack of controlled passing. In midfield we need a combo of the young dog and wily fox, especially against Pool.

  • Éris et al

    Re: bursting runs..

    A. They show energy, and when successful, dominance … locally! Fans love it, and occasionally necessary vs rapid dropping défenses to close down space and being in defenders… very occasionally.

    Because, an old lesson I learned, the ball goes faster than the man/woman, meaning:

    B. They also allow the defense to get more men in front of the ball, drop, organise, etc. The right medium to long pass is way less exciting but more likely to creat serious opportunities

    An even older lesson, TA alluded to perhaps:

    “Age and experience beat youth and speed every time” … from some old joke about and old bull, a young bull, and some pretty cows…

    Cheers — jgc

  • Geoff, that is a great synopsis and I reckon at least 80% of the fanbase do not know/get this. Hence the love for Guendouzi – the free as a bird ball runner – and despair re Xhaka – the ‘slow coach’… 😦

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