Arsenal transfer news: Josh Kroenke responds to supporter petition calling for change from owners

Almost 100,000 Arsenal supporters have signed a petition calling for change in the way the club is run

Jack Watson@jackwatsonsport
Wednesday 17 July 2019 07:43
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Josh Kroenke has written an open letter to Arsenal supporters in an attempt to defend his family’s ownership of the club in the face of adversity from the fans.

Arsenal supporters recently launched a petition calling for change in the way the club is being run following years without a serious Premier League or Champions League challenge.

The petition, under the slogan #WeCareDoYou, accuses Stan Kronke’s ownership of lacking strategy and calls for a “new and dynamic appointments” as it reaches almost 100,000 signatures.

In the letter to the supporters, Josh Kroenke confirms the club are operating with a “Champions League wage bill with a Europa League transfer budget” and denies claims from supporters that the club has become “an investment vehicle.”

“We want to be clear we are in sports for one reason and one reason only...to win,” Kroenke responded.

Read the letter in full...

Dear Arsenal Supporters, Fans, and Gooners worldwide,

I’d like to start by clarifying that my family owns Arsenal together, and when it comes to the Club, my father and I are in constant dialogue. So when you hear from him you are hearing from me, and the other way round. So I pen this on behalf of myself, my father, my family and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

We know we have some of the most passionate fans in any sport, anywhere in the world. It’s part of what makes us such a special and unique Club. And while we understand, appreciate, and agree with concerns about our Club failing to achieve our goal of qualifying for the 2019-20 Champions League, we respectfully disagree about our Club being at a crossroads and that things need to change because so much change has recently occurred.

Over the past year we have turned the page from our traditional model of football operations that included a Manager and CEO, to a new chapter of Arsenal Football Club that is led by a Head of Football and Managing Director. Since their appointments and that of Unai Emery as our Head Coach we have continued working to develop a modern infrastructure, designed to move us forward. This will take time to play out, but this was always going to be the case after such a long period of time operating under a different model. For us, the most important thing to achieve was not simply change for the sake of change, but to ensure we put the right people in the right roles to work together in a positive environment to achieve our stated goal of winning silverware both domestically and in Europe.

We know this can bring uncertainty, and perhaps everything we’ve done in the past 12-14 months have brought about additional uncertainty during a period of unease when supporters, coaches, players, and management are rightfully frustrated by lack of success on the pitch. With all the work we’ve done on the structure of football, commercial and operational departments, we would say that the Club now needs a period of stability rather than additional change.

We want to be clear we are in sports for one reason and one reason only...to win. There is simply no better feeling in sport than winning at the highest level. We know there is a lot of hard work ahead and understand that supporters want success now. We will continue to push forward trying to balance the short and long term vision without abandoning the core principles of the Club that have sustained us for the past 133 years.

We believe that in professional sport you are as only as good as your last match, and unfortunately the last 45 minutes of our season were not our best. On behalf of my family and KSE, I was in Baku for the Europa League final, and was on the pitch after the match representing our Club as the second place medals were passed out to our players and staff. I saw and felt the same frustration that was visible on the face of every Arsenal fan, player and staff member, and the most important thing that I saw in that moment was how much people care and a resolve to face the failure and work even harder.

As Raúl said in our recent announcement regarding the appointment of Edu Gaspar as the first technical director in Arsenal history, Edu represents the final piece of a very important jigsaw puzzle that is our new football operational structure. He is first and foremost an Arsenal man who understands the ethos of our Club and, as an Invincible, he understands the mentality required from top to bottom across the entire Club for us to return to the level at which we all expect to be competing. He joins Freddie, Per and Steve Bould, all winners with Arsenal DNA, who love our Club.

We are not naive in our thinking that our ambitions can be achieved overnight, and are putting processes in place to ensure we are stacked not only with talent, but talent with the proper mentality to help us achieve our highest goals in the future.

We know we have a job to do and we will attack it daily. Our Club has a beautiful history full of honor, class, trophies, commitment to the community and player development in which we all take immense pride and will no doubt continue to honor. We also must be aggressive and creative in the modern day transfer market to push whatʼs possible both on the pitch and how itʼs evaluated in pursuit of the biggest trophies in English and European Football.

As for our supporters, we say thank you. Thank you for your passion, thank you for your commitment, and thank you for being the lifeblood of our great Club. There will be both victories and defeats in our future together and we thank you for your continued support through both competitive experiences as we push forward to create a new, proud, history of Arsenal Football Club. “Victoria Concordia Crescit” is our Club’s famous motto, and one that we all hold dear to our hearts.

May North London forever be Red...

Josh Kroenke

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