You can run but you can’t escape it. It has finally happened, that Arsenal is the last of the club in the Premier League with rich historical significance to fall in the hands of foreign ownership. To be fair, someone mentioned on Twitter that prior to this, we were already under foreign ownership. That is of course partly true since Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov already owned more than 50% of the Arsenal share.
I won’t be putting any links here. You’ll find plenty in any of the media outlet or any other Arsenal blogs for that matter. I don’t want to quote specific figures either. All that is clear is that Kroenke has acquired enough provision to which he is bounded by the law to make offer to the rest of the shares. Of course, those in possession of these shares still have the option not to sell.
I’m just here to put my views in on how I see the whole scenario. First off, there is now one single individual who own the majority of the share and thus holds a blocking power that is no different from a veto power. If and should his view differ from the rest of the board and the management of the club, Kroenke has every right to block that particular decision.
Secondly, he is an American. Argue all you want that Arsene Wenger is French and a big chunk of our squad are non English but I would still prefer that the custodian of the club still comes from that part of the world. Arsenal are a club so steep and rich in history, passing down of custodianship from generations to generations, something which is well worth admiring. This is not a case of a rich owner who is a supporter of the club in the sporting side of things.
Thirdly, with a billionaire on board, there is bound to be the issue of money. This time, an abundance of it. Kroenke is rich enough to fund mega transfers befitting the best players in the world. The fans would like to see that happen but I have a feeling that it contradicts the plans that Wenger has for the club.
This portion will be the one most hotly contested and debated. It is clear for all to see that an addition of experience or two and Arsenal could very well be winning trophies, let alone challenging for one. The cries for a new goalkeeper and a central defender will intensify. The damage might be that should Wenger not go out and purchase those kind of marquee signings, the dissent from fans and supporters will increase tremendously.
Until Kroenke comes out with what his actual plans for Arsenal are, I think we all deserve the right to be sceptical and suspicious of his notions. I’m quite happy to let the existing business model to continue. I’m still a firm believer in the Wenger project but only time will tell how this acquisition will change the landscape of the club.