English Premiership

Arsenal director admits fans' criticism hurts

2019-07-16 19:15
Arsenal fans (Supplied)
Arsenal fans (Supplied)

London - Arsenal director Josh Kroenke admits criticism from furious fans has been "hard to take", but he insists the club's owners will stick to their guns.

Arsenal supporters' organisations, fanzines and blogs published a statement hitting out at Stan Kroenke's "passive ownership" on Monday in response to their team's latest frustrating campaign.

The Gunners are preparing for a third successive season out of the Champions League after finishing fifth in the Premier League and losing the Europa League final to London rivals Chelsea.

Kroenke senior's company took outright ownership of the club during August 2018 and Josh Kroenke, son of the Arsenal owner, addressed the supporters' complaints during the current pre-season tour of the United States.

"Anyone that knows me knows how passionate I am about Arsenal Football Club," Josh Kroenke said in an interview published by several British newspapers on Tuesday.

"Is it hard to take? Absolutely. But I'm not in this business to make friends, I'm in it to win.

"If anyone is ever going to question anything about our ownership - which I view as a custodianship, the supporters trust us to be a custodian of the values - that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to win whilst also respecting the values and traditions of the club.

"I've sat down with supporters' groups. I've not been afraid to sit down to have tough conversations with people because I'm transparent, we're transparent, we don't have anything to hide.

"We all want the same thing and we're all trying aggressively to make it happen. It's just sometimes our timeline might not be as aggressive as others would like to see."

Arsenal manager Unai Emery took his team to the US without captain Laurent Koscielny, who refused to travel after having his request to leave the club rejected.

Despite that distraction and Arsenal's uncertain future on the field, Josh Kroenke is convinced they will eventually restore the Gunners to the club's former glories.

"It's no secret that we have a Champions League wage bill on a Europa League budget right now. That's a fact. And one that we're figuring out how to face internally at the moment," Kroenke said.

"That doesn't mean that my father or I have ever said anything about any restrictions on spending. We know where we need to be and we know the areas we need to address on the pitch.

"It's not who you buy, it's how you buy. There's multiple statements to say how to skin that cat.

"While we're not going to be in the market for some of the top players in the world at the moment whilst they are the top players, we're actively scouting the globe to find the next big thing to become great at Arsenal Football Club."

The Arsenal director also released an open letter to "Gooners worldwide", on "behalf of myself, my father, my family and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment".

Kroenke said they "respectfully disagree about our club being at a crossroads" and the need for change.

Read more on:    arsenal  |  english premiership  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Saturday, 24 August 2019
Liverpool v Arsenal, Anfield 18:30
Sunday, 25 August 2019
AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City, Vitality Stadium 15:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Burnley, Molineux Stadium 17:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 17:30
Saturday, 31 August 2019
Southampton v Manchester United, St. Mary's Stadium 13:30
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth, King Power Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Norwich City, London Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v Watford, St. James' Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sheffield United, Stamford Bridge 16:00
Burnley v Liverpool, Turf Moor 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.