Arsenal fans demand changes from Kroenke

Sixteen Arsenal supporters groups have issued a joint statement criticising Stan Kroenke's leadership of the club.

Published : Jul 15, 2019 16:44 IST

Arsenal's major shareholder Stan Kroenke.
Arsenal's major shareholder Stan Kroenke.

Arsenal's major shareholder Stan Kroenke.

Arsenal fan groups have joined together to call for Stan Kroenke to reinvigorate the club following what they see as a decade of decline. Stan Kroenke first invested in Arsenal in 2007 and has since become the club's major shareholder.

But now sixteen Arsenal supporter groups have combined to express their frustrations, claiming their team "feels like an investment vehicle" for the American businessman.

The statement also calls on Kroenke to explain his plans for Arsenal moving forward and asks whether the board is fit for purpose. "As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team's football performances have declined over the past decade," the statement reads.

Read | Koscielny refuses to join Arsenal's pre-season tour

"When Stan Kroenke began buying Arsenal shares the club had just competed in a first Champions League final. Twelve years on, Arsenal are about to play in the Europa League for the third year running.

"Off the pitch, fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued. This was sadly illustrated when Stan Kroenke forcibly bought out the last remaining supporter-shareholders without even a word of appreciation for their custodianship role in the club.

'At a crossroads'

"It feels as though Arsenal is at a crossroads. Things need to change. What all of us as signatories to this statement want to see is meaningful action by Stan Kroenke to reinvigorate our football club.

"This requires work to strengthen the club's board and football executive and to once again make Arsenal a place where fans have a real sense of belonging. Change needs to start with better leadership. It is sad that an institution like Arsenal has such passive ownership. All of us want to see a clear sense of purpose and direction."

Unai Emery guided Arsenal to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League last term, as well as the Europa League final, in which it lost 4-1 to Chelsea.

The Gunners have made just one signing for the first team so far this close-season, bringing in youngster Gabriel Martinelli from Brazilian side Ituano. Multiple bids for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney have reportedly been rejected, while a GBP 40 million offer for Wilfried Zaha has also been turned down by Crystal Palace and they face competition from Tottenham for Saint-Etienne's William Saliba.

Club captain Laurent Koscielny, meanwhile, refused to travel on Arsenal's pre-season tour of the United States as he looks to push through a return to France, with Lyon and Bordeaux reportedly interested.

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