The other day, the pundit and I ran into fellow Gooner, Stephen. Stephen is a Londoner passing through SF on business. After speaking with him, we realized that the fear about the impending Kroenke takeover is based more on lack of knowledge than anything else. This is totally understandable. Nobody knows who this guy is and his renowned tight lip approach at shareholder meetings doesn’t dispel the mystery. Based off that conversation, we created this page to inform the gooner masses. As more info comes out, we’ll update it accordingly.
We cut the conversation into specific FAQs.
Can Kroenke afford to buy the Arsenal?
Yes. Forbes pegs his worth at roughly $3 billion. Just one small problem, that’s Kroenke’s estimated worth. But since most his money is tied up in private funds, he’s likely worth more. Also, don’t forget his wife? She’s a Walton, as in a Wal-Mart heir. She inherited billions of Wal-Mart stock before the world ever knew of Usamanov or Abramovich. And again, that’s just the money we know about. Our point? Dinero and net worth is not an issue. People forget how unstable that Russian and Arab oil money really is. Wait and see what happens with Mancity.
Does Kroenke fit the Arsenal style?
Yes. The Arsenal has always been led with a certain class that a London club should have. Silent Stan is a stereotypical midwesterner, but that just means he is quiet and respectful. These are two attributes the Arsenal value. If his management of the Denver Nuggets (American basketball) is any indication, he’ll lead by actions and let board directors and Wenger do their jobs.
Does Kroenke have the skills to run the Arsenal?
Yes. Unlike the other potential owner, Usmanov, Kroenke owns and/or has major stakes in two other big US sports teams. The most important one for our purposes are the Denver Nuggets. He took a terrible team and turned them into contenders. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the team. Just take our word for it.
Most important, as we told this to our new mate Stephen, he knows how to tap the US market. There is A LOT of money in the US that the Arsenal is missing. We can have roughly 20 million fans and growing. This equals the entire population of London. Imagine the potential impact on the Club’s revenues.
Will Kroenke bleed the Arsenal colors?
Kroenke backs his teams and he cares about winning. The fact is, if GOA had the money, there would be no issue regarding Club loyalty. We ask gooners to just look at Kroenke’s influence so far, most notably, putting the right people in the right places, e.g. Ivan Gazidis. We at GOA believe that hiring the right people is an important gauge to the effectiveness of a Club owner. We also believe that looking at his investing strategies should also give the Arsenal confidence in his ability to own a profitable and winning club. We’ll discuss his business strategies more in depth as the acquisition progresses.
What’s the value for Kroenke? Or as we like to say, “what’s his angle?”
Arsenal is London’s team. Chelsea, for all its grandstanding is Abramovich’s toy. Kroenke knows this. He knows the value of the Club’s tradition. The Arsenal has a chance to be THE world’s Club because of its location, rich traditions, and amazing fan base. Kroenke won’t mess with that because he is, above all else, a good businessman. We often forget that Hicks and Gillete are notoriously bad business men who consistently put their clubs into debt. Pool is no exception. Kroenke is completely different. He is a shrewd operator and a lover of sport who has a proven track record of building clubs’ goodwill and lasting viability. He is in a perfect position to globalize Arsenal while maintaining its integrity and allowing Wenger’s dream become a reality.