Is Stan Kroenke to blame for Arsenal’s failings?

Oscar Moore Roar Rookie

By Oscar Moore, Oscar Moore is a Roar Rookie


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    I have been vocal in my criticism of Arsenal manager Arsene over the last few months and still believe that there is a desperate need for a change of manager.

    However, there is also a larger an much more immovable problem at the club. That problem is Arsenal’s billionaire owner Stan Kroenke.

    Kroenke made his fortune in real estate, benefiting greatly from his marriage to Ann Walton –
    the heiress to the WalMart fortune. Since the mid nineties Kroenke has invested millions in sports teams in America as part of the Kroenke Sports and Entertainment Group.

    As well as Arsenal, Kroenke owns NFL team the Los Angeles Rams, MLS franchise Colorado Rapids and Lacrosse team the Colorado Mammoths. In addition to owning these teams he has controlling stakes in the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche of the NBA and NHL respectively.

    To understand why Kroenke is such a damaging influence on Arsenal it is important to explore the fortunes of the other teams he has dominion over.

    St Louis/ Los Angeles Rams
    Kroenke first bought a stake in the Rams in 1995 and became the team’s full owner in 2010. While the turn of the millennium was a successful time for the Rams – winning a Super Bowl in 2000 and returning to the big game in 2002 – since then it has been a dire time to support the Rams.

    In the years since their two Super Bowl appearances, the Rams have made just two playoff appearances and won a single postseason game. Their last taste of success came in 2004 and since then they have failed to post a single winning season.

    The years since Kroenke took full ownership have been particularly bleak with the Rams becoming a laughing stock as they consistently post an underwhelming record. Sounding familiar Arsenal fans?

    The final blow was dealt in 2015 when it became apparent the current season would be the team’s last in St Louis. Kroenke had decided to move the team to Los Angeles as the draw of a more lucrative market was too powerful, leaving thousands of loyal fans without a team.

    Kroenke’s eventual relocation of the Rams perfectly demonstrates how he values profit over team success or the needs of fans. It does not bode well for Arsenal.

    Denver Nuggets
    Kroenke Sports and Entertainment took over the Nuggets in 2000 and although the NBA franchise is technically in his wife’s name, Kroenke’s fingerprints are all over the club. He inherited a struggling franchise who were rebuilding after a period of modest success in the mid nineties.

    In 2003 the Nuggets hit the jackpot when they drafted Carmelo Anthony with the with the third pick in the NBA draft. Anthony was an immediate success and lead the Nuggets to seven straight playoff appearances, although in all but one of those appearances the Nuggets were defeated in the first round.

    Sounds like Arsenal in the Champions league doesn’t it?

    Despite the stellar play of Anthony, the Nuggets failed to surround him with enough talent to make a serious run at an NBA title, with ownership happy to milk the increased revenue of playoff basketball without breaking the bank salary wise.

    Profile shot of Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks

    Eventually Carmelo got sick of Denver and demanded a trade leaving the Nuggets in another period of rebuilding. They have a young and talented core but it remains to be seen if Kroenke invests in the team sufficiently for them to succeed.

    For Arsenal fans there are eerie similarities to draw between the departure of Carmelo Anthony and the cavalcade of stars who left the club between 2011 and 2012.

    Colorado Avalanche
    I will admit that I don’t know anything about ice hockey so it is harder for me to judge Kroenke’s ownership of the team. The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup the year after Kroenke took over in 2000 but it is hard to imagine he had much to do with that if anything.

    The foundations of that team would have been built before Kroenke took over.

    Looking through the season by season records the Avalanche seem to be doing OK – making the playoffs reasonably consistently without threatening to win it all.

    However, there have been accusations flying around that the Kroenkes – Josh (Stan’s son) is the chairman – have been absent owners of late focusing their time and energy into moving the Rams to LA.

    During this period they seem to have put all the hockey decisions in the hands of GM Joe Sakic. Sakic is a franchise legend who played his entire 21 year NHL career with the Avalanche and Quebec Nordiques (where the franchise was based before it moved to Denver). However, recently his decision making has been questioned by fans who feel it may be time to change.

    Sounds very familiar doesn’t it? Club legend left in complete control of team operations with little or no input from board level. Granted the situation hasn’t been raging on for as long as at Arsenal but there are definite similarities to be drawn.

    Colorado Rapids
    Kroenke purchased the MLS franchise in 2004 and in 2007 moved the stadium out of Denver to the suitably named suburb Commerce City. Could there be a more perfect destination for a team owned by silent Stan.

    It’s not been all bad for the Rapids since Kroenke took over winning the MLS cup in 2010. However ,that has been the only taste of success. More often than not the Rapids have failed to qualify for the playoffs and have been mired in mid table mediocrity.

    When you look at all the sports teams Kroenke owns together it paints a very clear picture of an owner who is interested in only one thing – money, money, money. Not a single one of his franchises have been associated with winning during his tenure and Arsenal have been exactly the same.

    It seems slightly unfair that much of the fury is directed at Wenger as he is the public figurehead, while Kroenke remains behind the scenes with his fortune increasing by the day.

    It is time for Wenger to go but Kroenke is the root of the problem. Wenger’s prolonged period in charge is merely a consequence of his ownership,

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • April 18th 2017 @ 5:24am
      Ryan said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:24am | ! Report

      Being a Coloradan i know all to much about your Kroenke debacle. The Colorado Avalanche are my favorite team in all of sports yet seem to not give a flying fuck about on ice production. He brought in Sakic and Roy to bring back the older generation of fans that were pushed out by the shitty on ice display every year, not to make the team better.
      Hopefully while Kroenke is out in LA making sure they have enough hot dogs to go around, Sakic can use his power to better the team, but sadly Sakic has no clue what he is doing as a GM and we have the worst record in the NHL since 2000 to show for it.
      Kreonke cares more about selling hot dogs and nachos than he does of his teams records. Its unfortunate because just about every pro franchise in Colorado is owned by the Kroenke family. Josh Kroenke is no better either, hes a spoiled little kid that couldn’t even make the college basketball team so he had his mommy pay for him to sit the pine.
      Fact of the matter is, if he remains the owner for all these franchise, arsenal included, there is no way these teams are winning anything unless some magical season happens, which i’ve been hoping for, for a long, long time and nothing seems to change.

    • April 18th 2017 @ 5:27am
      Paul said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:27am | ! Report

      Yep, Arsenal fans will get what they deserve when Wenger leaves the building. Lights out.

    • April 18th 2017 @ 8:44am
      joe said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      All owners (particularly in the NFL) #1 priority is making money.Its a business, an investment (often subsidized by taxpayers) that they want maximum return on.
      The fans have this belief the owner(s) care as much about winning as they do.They don’t.It is quite often more lucrative to lose than it is to win,especially in the MLB where some teams outlay $50 million for teams payroll the whole season.The team isn’t going to win anything but the owner COULD go out & spend another $100++ million on a handful of high price free agents & maybe the team wins it all,but probably not.So why not pocket the money for yourself.?
      Im not saying its right or wrong but thats the reality.The NFL recently implemented a minimum salary spending limit where owners have to spend 90% of the cap amount in each NFL season because certain owners where just outlaying as little as possible to keep money in their pocket.Why spend $150 million to go 9-7 maybe you do it on the cheap for $90 million & go 7-9.Who cares you aren’t winning the SuperBowl either way but you save yourself $60 million in salary payments.
      Owners & most players have a far bigger interest in making maximum dollars.Winning is a nice bonus but its definitely not the #1 priority.

    • April 18th 2017 @ 10:26am
      Super-Human said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      As a past nuggets fan and still an Arsenal fan… I hate the guy.
      But actually Nuggets did have some pretty good players with Melo in his time there, they were past their prime. It was just unfortunate. The coaching was mediocre as well. Poor management lost the stars and gained none – Maybe that was Stan the sell on man. Melo’s biggest problem was himself anyway. A lazy type of character.

    • April 18th 2017 @ 12:27pm
      joe said | April 18th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

      The Nuggets letting Carmelo Anthony walk was actually a smart move.He was always a malcontent.And look at how effective he has been since he left.I think he has led the Knicks to two playoffs in 5 seasons in NY, and the Eastern Conference from 2012 to 2016 was extremely weak.To not even make it as an 8 seed in that conference shows how ineffective a player you are

    • April 19th 2017 @ 3:52pm
      Brian Monroe said | April 19th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

      I’m an Avalanche, Rapids, Nuggets, and Arsenal fan. I cheered for those teams before Kroenke took over. The Avalanche used to be the Quebec Nordiques and they were dominant before Stan. They won titles based on the merits and work of the organization before them.

      He’s a cancer. He wants to do just well enough to make the playoffs, but isn’t willing to invest the money to challenge for the title.

      Arsenal fans should be careful what they wish for. You don’t want Stan’s organization to hire your coaches. For the Rapids, we’ve got three or four coaches without any previous coaching experience.

      If you have a big star, it doesn’t matter who it is, Stan won’t cough up the money to keep the elite players or buy them during the off-season. He always submits an insulting offer and let’s them walk.

      Stan Kroenke doesn’t even know what offsides is…and a fan of any of his team’s will always be off the side of winning titles.

      F Stan Kroenke.

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