Arsenal fans have voiced their frustration at Stan Kroenke’s ownership, calling on the American to ‘reinvigorate’ the club in an open letter.
In a combined statement on behalf of several different supporter’s groups, Arsenal fans have voiced their concerns over the club’s decline over the past decade, calling for Kroenke to take ‘meaningful action’ to help restore the club to former glories.
Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League last season, failing to secure Champions League qualification for a third consecutive season, and the club’s supporters have now urged Kroenke to make major changes.
“As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team’s football performances have declined over the past decade,” the letter reads.
“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.
“Off the pitch fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued. This was sadly illustrated when Stan Kroenke forcibly bought out the last remaining supporter-shareholders without even a word of appreciation for their custodianship role in the club. It feels as though Arsenal is at a crossroads. 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.
“Change needs to start with better leadership. In his takeover document Stan Kroenke said: ‘KSE’s [Kroenke’s investment holding] ambitions for the club are to see it competing consistently to win the Premier League and the Champions League.’ We see little evidence of how this is to be achieved. Instead, our club feels like an investment vehicle, personified by the owner’s statement that he didn’t buy Arsenal to win trophies.
“It is sad that an institution like Arsenal FC has such passive ownership. All of us want to see a clear sense of purpose and direction. KSE should start by being more open and accountable and explain how they intend to achieve the goal of winning the game’s major trophies.
If Stan Kroenke is going to be absent from London he needs to make sure the board he delegates to is fit for purpose. There is a desperate need for some new and dynamic appointments.
“Arsenal have invested money in recent years but their approach to both buying players and paying wages looks uncoordinated and appears to lack strategy. There has also been a lot of turnover in the senior football personnel. A strong board would be proactively managing this.
“On a matchday the Emirates Stadium can be a soulless place. The atmosphere is poor and there are thousands of empty seats blighting almost every game. If Arsenal really cared they would make sure seats weren’t left empty by investing in an improved ticketing system and actively supporting initiatives like safe standing. The club uses the strapline ‘Always ahead of the game’. It would be good to see action to demonstrate this.”