Invincible is a Mindset

You are not seeing things, Bond aka Charlie Tweeder, is back in the blogosphere with some Arsenal updates. If you have been listening to the podcast then you already know that I have lost complete faith in the Gunners’ organization and my fandom is waning. My foray back into blogging stems from a terrible 2007 day when Stan Kroenke purchased a 9.9% stake in Arsenal Football Club. Over the course of the next four years Kroenke was able to increase his ownership stake to 62.89% in 2011. By this point Kroenke had assumed full control of the club and eventually bought out the other remaining owner, Alisher Usmanov, in 2018. For many Arsenal fans across the globe Usmanov was the clubs last best hope to avoid having the Kroenke’s in complete control of Arsenal Football Club. That day in 2018 was a massive blow to the fanbase and the organization as a whole.

Since Stan Kroenke first purchased ownership in Arsenal Football Club the first-team has failed to win anything besides 4 FA Cups and as well as their subsequent community shields. Stan Kroenke’s ownership has been an absolute plague to the football club because he has absolutely zero-presence around the club. It has been rumored that Kroenke has failed to attend an Arsenal game over the last several years and, in football, if you have an owner that does not care to show up then your club is going to be in serious trouble…Arsenal are currently 10th.

While many fans are annoyed with the building of the Emirates it must be said that Kroenke was not invested in this process as the stadium  was completed in 2006 and Kroenke only established his ownership stake in 2007. However, that stadium symbolizes everything that Kroenke’s ownership represents to Arsenal fans around the world, American greed. For years Kroenke has utilized his ownership stake in Arsenal to further his interests of professional sports teams in the United States. He is the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, an organization that has recently moved cities and built a state-of-the-art arena for their fans. 

What Kroenke fails to realize is that Football, EUROPEAN FOOTBALL, is not something that can be bought and managed like a business. The old saying is you never go into football ownership to make money, and Kroenke goes against everything that football represents. The simple fact is that the majority of owners of football organizations do not make a significant profit, they do it because they want to provide the best opportunity for fans and players to experience the beauty of the game. Kroenke, American owners in general, do not understand that. They do not understand that because the American sports profession is a business and it is all about the bottom line. American teams can move cities if they so desire, but in football the clubs are the cities, whole towns are sustained because of the love of the club. 

For years Arsenal fans have been pleading for Kroenke to sell his ownership in the club to someone who actually gives a sh*t and they may actually have the opportunity to do so. Arsenal were pegged to be one of the clubs picked for the European Super League (they don’t deserve it) but over the course of 48 hours players, coaches, and fans derailed the attempts made by the big clubs to create a breakaway league that entrance to was not based on competition. The blame was put squarely on the shoulders of American owners in England whose clubs have not  been performing well enough to enter the Europa League let alone the Champions League. Arsenal was one of these clubs. The fans know the club does not deserve this and the fans know that this would never be happening if it was for the greedy ownership of Stan Kroenke and the other North American based owners. The two clubs who were the first ones to want to pull out of the European Super League agreement, hell they did not even want to be there in the first place, Manchester City and Chelsea, are the only two clubs who do not have an American based owner. Do those two owners pump a shit ton of money into their clubs? Yes. They do that because they want to win trophies, not increase revenue. The same cannot be said for the owners of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal. Stan Kroenke’s greed and lust for increased revenue may be the reason that Arsenal are able to cut out their cancer.

HELP IS ON THE WAY

A protest calling for Kroenke to sell the club that was held last Friday came with a glimmer of hope for Arsenal fans around the world when the multi-billionaire owner of Spotify, Daniel Ek, suggested his interest in purchasing the club from the Kroenkes. Ek is proposed to be joined by Arsenal legends and members of the Invincibles: Dennis Bergkamp, Theirry Henry, and Patrick Viera, in order to take the club back from American corporate greed. This is the news Arsenal fans have been waiting for since Kroenke acquired Usmanov’s shares of the club in 2018. If Ek and the Invincibles were able to pull this off it would bring me back, full speed, to support the organization as a whole. I am still an Arsenal fan, but I cannot bring myself to purchase anything from the club because it is what is keeping the Kroenkes in power. 

On the morning of April 28th, articles surfaced that the Kroenkes, Josh Kroenke, have no intention of selling the club to anyone. In fact an article has come out where current manager, Mikel Arteta, has stated that the fans would be presently surprised if they got to know the owners. 

Really? I mean it would have been nice for the owner to actually present himself to the fanbase on a regular basis the last 15 years. Miss me with that argument. How are the fans supposed to give you a chance now? You literally have been a ghost for the first 15 years of your ownership and now because there is a billionaire interested in purchasing your cash cow that you want to build fan relations? That is an absolute joke. Arteta you should be ashamed of yourself for even backing the Kroenkes. 

On the other hand the proposed bid from Ek is very real in his eyes, he was able to secure the funds necessary to go to the Kroenkes in an attempt to purchase the club. Ek is the type of owner that Arsenal needs, a Swedish-businessman who has been a lifelong Arsenal fan (Thank you Freddie Ljungberg) and has actually attended matches more recently than either of the Kroenkes. Ek is the type of owner, because of his passion for the club, that would not treat Arsenal as a corporate business, but as a football club. Ek would be bring that mentality and tradition to wear your heart on your sleeve for the club because as a fan he would be invested in the clubs success on the pitch, not its profitability. Profitability comes with winning trophies and making good business decisions after winning those trophies, but constantly competing is all that Arsenal fans are asking for. 

Written by: Tyler Bond aka Charlie Tweeder (@tybond16)

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