Stan Kroenke: Nobody could run Manchester United better than Glazers


Stan Kroenke, Arsenal's majority shareholder, believes nobody could have done a better job of running Manchester United than the Glazer family, despite the chronic discontent with their debt-laden regime among the Old Trafford club's fans.

Speaking to the British press en masse for the first time since acquiring 66 per cent of the north-London side earlier this year, Kroenke admitted he does not understand why the Glazers' ownership of United has triggered widespread protest over the last six years.

It will be of considerable relief to Arsenal supporters, though, that Kroenke's admiration for his fellow countrymen centres more on their ability to increase United's advertising and marketing revenues to more than £100m a year than the leveraged debt they used to acquire the club, which costs Old Trafford around £45m a year in interest.

That is irrelevant to Kroenke, though, who sees expansion of income crucial to Arsenal's model of self-sustainability, a plan the 64-year-old remains committed to implementing.

Kroenke said: "What was so tough about the Glazers' situation? OK [there were a lot of fan protests], but they won. And they have increased revenues by a huge amount. If I was a fan of that club, I would sit there and go 'wow'. How could you do it any better?

"They have increased marketing revenues massively. Some of their players have taken money [out of the club] and maybe they have not performed. We maybe have a whole different philosophy in the United States, but I think they ought to think a little bit about who invests in these clubs.

"What do you want for the long term? In the States, you would never get this dialogue. He took money out of the club? So what? [Los Angeles Lakers owner] Jerry Buss takes money out of his club. A lot of owners in the US do. No one ever says anything about it."

Kroenke has spent the last five days in England, attending a fractious Annual General Meeting at the Emirates last Thursday before watching Arsenal's remarkable victory over Chelsea on Saturday. He addressed his players at the club's Colney base yesterday, telling Robin van Persie and his team-mates he was "proud" of their "spirit in fighting through the adversity" they faced earlier in the season.

He is unlikely to have detailed to them quite why he feels the self-sustainable model Arsenal are determined to stick with despite calls from the club's Supporters' Trust to allow Alisher Usmanov, backer of Red and White Holdings and owner of just less than 30 per cent of the team, to inject capital into the club. Kroenke, indeed, remains adamant self-sustainability remains the only viable plan for Arsenal to follow in the coming years.

On Wenger, Kroenke added: "You want to be sure you want to spend the money, and that is what our manager does. That is his job. We have money. Nobody has ever said don't spend it. This club is run a certain way and I think people are proud of how it is run."

The next decision awaiting Wenger, of course, is over the contract of Van Persie, his captain, which expires in 18 months. Kroenke would not be drawn on the issue, but suggested Samir Nasri was sold after "an evaluation" of whether he was worth more to the club as a player or as the £24m fee offered by Manchester City.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living