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Home   /   Fan protests advance at The Emirates as Stan Kroenke declines takeover bid from Spotify Billionaire.

Stan Kroenke, dubbed ‘Silent Stan’ is largely unpopular among Arsenal fans. His sole purpose is to maximise profit margins since becoming a majority shareholder in April 2011. Fan protests have called for the Arsenal owner to sell up amid a potential takeover from Spotify owner and billionaire Daniel Ek. 

Kroenke became a shareholder in Arsenal Football Club in 2007, eventually hoovering up the remainder of the shares to become the majority shareholder in 2011. The American billionaire is out of favour, with the Arsenal Supporters Trust calling for a few things. One being that Stan Kroenke leaves the club highlighting that the ‘current board is simply not fit for purpose’. Another being that Kroenke sells up some of the shares in the club, parting ways with his 100% ownership and introducing the 50+1 model that has been demonstrated in the Bundesliga. 

I personally think that the 50+1 ownership model which allows supporters to acquire shares in the club wouldn’t get Arsenal to where they need to be. This ownership structure is only being suggested if Kroenke doesn’t sell up, so the fans can get a foot in the door on decision making. Kroenke needs to become more of a figurehead by attending games, showing transparency and coming off that backseat in the United States if he wants to win over the fans. 

A takeover from Daniel Ek was backed by ex-Arsenal professionals: Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp. Henry and Ek have been spotted attending recent games at the Emirates in a joyous mood. The fanbase believe that this takeover will not be focused on maximising profit margins but it will put the thoughts of the fans first. Decisions will be made out of love for the club and to take it back to the top where it once was back in the early 2000’s. 

Arsenal were one of the six clubs that agreed to become a member of the European Super League. Although it was axed just a few days later this angered many fans seeing the breakaway as pure greed by imposters interested only in maximising profit, in this case Stan Kroenke. Since the ESL and because of Arsenal’s involvement, protests have worsened with the Arsenal Supporters Trust describing it as the ‘tipping point’ by the owners. The Trust also added that the breakaway league was “a disgraceful betrayal of the principles the club should, and used to, stand for.” 

An article by James Benge of the Evening Standard back in 2016 was titled ‘Stan Kroenke: I didn’t buy Arsenal stake to win trophies’. James picked up on a quote that Kroenke had expressed prior to Arsenal being knocked out of the FA Cup in 2016 against Watford: “If you want to win Championships then you would never get involved.” From a fan’s perspective you would look at this quote in one way and one way only. If the owner is not doing all they can to lead Arsenal back to the top then they shouldn’t be in control of the club. Fan protests have been ongoing for years since this article was published with the AST supplying banners to supporters to hold up in the stand. #Krexit, #KroenkeOut, #FansIn and #SellArsenal are just some of the phrases that have been displayed on banners. 

Utilising statistics from Statista, since the 2014/15 season each year up until the season prior to the current one (2020/2021) Arsenal have created between 400 and 500 million Euros in revenue from matchdays, broadcasting and commercial. It is clear that the club makes the owners a very large chunk of money annually. For some of Arsenal’s most passionate supporters, the call for Kroenke to sell Arsenal is deep rooted and has been expressed on Arsenal’s Fan TV. DT, a regular feature on AFTV suggested in January 2019 that, “Everyone stops buying things at the Emirates, stop buying food, stop buying drinks, stop buying merchandise” as an act of fan revolt against Arsenal’s ownership. 

Combining the comments made by Stan Kroenke regarding his reasoning of why he bought the Arsenal stake, the statistics from Statista revealing the annual revenue produced and their support for Arsenal to become a member of the European Super League, it has become quite apparent to supporters that Kroenke is not the right owner to take this club to competing in Europe and performing in the Premier League. Arsenal supporters have been crying out for a takeover by someone who will do exactly what Stan Kroenke isn’t, which they can see in Daniel Ek and the ex-Arsenal players. 

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