Why Arsenal Fans Should Want Owner Stan Kroenke to Take the £1.5 Billion Offer
When news of a potential £1.5 billion Arsenal takeover from a Middle East consortium surfaced this month, it certainly got Gunners fans talking.
For too long Arsenal have been hamstrung by their finances in relation to building the Emirates Stadium. While other clubs have been taken over by wealthy businessmen around the world and splashed the cash, the north London club have relied on their sustainable business model that has seen them unable to compete with their rivals both off the pitch and on it.
Many fans felt excited by the prospect of the takeover: finally a chance to spend some money, catch up with the rest and, most importantly, win a first trophy for the first time since 2005.
Others, though, were a little more conservative about the idea; they were proud of the way Arsenal was run as a club, even if it was having a detrimental effect to the team’s performances.
Here are five reasons why Arsenal fans should be in favour of the takeover that will take the club into the new age of football and finally bring success and silverware to the Emirates.
Playing Catch Up
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To put it simply, if everyone else is doing it, then why not join in?
The Premier League is no longer a level playing field and if Arsenal want to have realistic ambitions about winning a first title since 2004, then, as sad as it sounds, a takeover seems the only answer.
Chelsea and Manchester City have both won titles off the back of takeovers, and while the Blues are not performing too much better than Arsenal these days, they are only one summer away from making a few top-class signings to being back up there.
Manchester United may not possess that money to the same extent, but the Glazer family have the funds if needed.
It is starting to catch on in Europe too; just look at Paris Saint-Germain. They may not win the Champions League this season, but it surely won’t be too long until they do. Can the same be said of Arsenal?
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The problem with the current board is that it does not seem to understand Arsenal fans; the Gunners supporters do not have a voice.
Arsenal charge their fans some of the most expensive tickets (and fish and chips) in the world, yet the fans are not seeing a world-class team. More frustrating is that they pay all this money into the club, but the club fails to invest it back into the team properly. Where is the fairness in that?
Fans are being priced out of their own club.
It may of course be propaganda, but the consortium claims ticket prices will be reduced. What’s more, it also claims to want to “bring back some of the true supporters” who have become disillusioned with the club.
Can the same really be said about the current Arsenal board? When the Emirates is sporting a fair few empty seats—and it has happened a lot recently—does the board actually care? The majority of empty seats are those belonging to season-ticket holders, who have already paid their fee for the year.
So, no, it does not care.
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Perhaps a decisive factor regarding the arrival of the consortium is the future of Arsene Wenger.
Now I am not saying he should be sacked as he has been a tremendous servant to the club, but at least the possibility of it being able to happen would be there. Currently it seems Wenger could go on for years without winning a trophy and he would still be in the job as it is comfortable to resist change. The whole setup of the club is too comfortable and stuck in its ways.
More to the point, it seems nobody at the club even has the power to get rid of Wenger. When chief executive Ivan Gazidis had his interview with the club, Wenger was one of those in the room interviewing him. How should a manager be able to have that power over a chief executive?
If a consortium takes over, then it would be able to diminish some of that power, and if it keeps him, let Wenger focus on his duties as manager of the club and give him the ammunition to do so.
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It is probably safe to say that the current board has little if any ambition for the club. Except that is for finishing fourth, but only because qualifying for the Champions League gives them enough money for their business model to work for another season.
Real ambition would be wanting to see a club, which was champions of England nine years ago, challenging for titles once again.
Yes, the debts of building the stadium obviously have had an effect, but we always hear there is money to be spent, so why is it not being spent?
What does owner Stan Kroenke exactly do at the club? He comes to just the odd game and is happy to make a bit of money without seeing any success on the pitch.
Club shareholder Alisher Usmanov has previously accused the board of not having enough ambition and it seems the consortium would be prepared to work with the Uzbek billionaire to help build an ambitious club.
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Money is what makes the world go round in football.
When a world-class player like Edinson Cavani or Radamel Falcao leaves their respective clubs this summer, Arsenal will not be one of the teams fighting for their signature.
The new consortium would be able to provide the manager with enough funds to attract the world’s best players, affording both their transfer fees and their wages.
The current board cannot dream of buying players such as these, mainly because of the debts it has been saddled with since building the Emirates. The consortium would be able to wipe out these debts, letting Arsenal do business without a leash around their neck.
At the same time the consortium also promises to comply with the Financial Fair Play rules soon coming into play.
If Arsenal do not make the jump then they are in danger of slipping slowly to midtable mediocrity. This season could already prove to be a landmark season in terms of missing out on the Champions League, so who is to say what could be in store next for the club without some drastic change?