Arsenal fans lose patience with Stan Kroenke's stewardship
Wednesday 24 October 2012
Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke yesterday insisted he was still committed to winning trophies after an acrimonious annual general meeting at which he was confronted by supporters, accusing him of not meeting fan groups and criticising him for failing to rule out paying a dividend to investors.
With the Arsenal Supporters' Trust voicing their "suspicions" that Kroenke "might take money out of the club," the American said he was just as desperate to bring trophies to Arsenal as anyone else. "I am ambitious for the club and we all share the same goal," he said after yesterday's meeting.
Kroenke refused to confirm there would not be a dividend payout to shareholders. "This club is run through the board, so those would be board decisions," he said. The chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, told supporters to "look at the track record of the board which has consistently reinvested funds back into the club".
Tim Payton of the supporters' trust admitted his concern afterwards. "We all suspect that [Kroenke] might take money out of the club," Payton said, "and Stan Kroenke gave no commitment not to take dividends out of the club."
Payton also said at the meeting that Kroenke had "not fulfilled" a commitment at the time of the takeover to meet with supporters' groups, a point which drew applause from the floor.
The manager, Arsène Wenger, who was more warmly received than anyone, reaffirmed his belief that qualifying for the Champions League was worth more than some trophies. "For me, there are five trophies: the first is to win the Premier League, the second is to win the Champions League, the third is to qualify for the Champions League, the fourth is to win the FA Cup and the fifth is to win the League Cup."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Arsenal player ratings vs Besiktas
Besiktas vs Arsenal player ratings: Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers - who was the Gunners star man?
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
- 4 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head