Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke addressed the club’s AGM today and spoke about his involvement with the club. As the Chief Excecutive, Ivan Gazidis, and Chairman, Peter Hill-Wood stressed the club would continue its self-sustainable model, Kroenke revealed the process which brought about his association with Arsenal.
“We are involved extensively in sports in the United States”, he said “and had lots of opportunities to involve ourselves in lots of clubs around Europe and in the Premier League. We did not have an interest, but as we became involved with Arsenal in a commercial undertaking in Denver, I became more interested.
“What a wonderful club. Arsenal has all the elements that you need to have success in this kind of business. Tremendous management at the top, a wonderful manager on the pitch who makes great decisions in regard to personnel, and a tremendous following with the supporters.
“With all those things in place, it was an easy decision for us to get more involved. We are glad to be here, are happy with the direction of the club and are here for the long term – we love London, you had better get used to seeing us, because we will be around.”
There was some reported discontent from the floor when asked why Red and White holdings, owned by Alisher Usmanov, were not being given a place on the board. Hill-Wood said, “We don’t wish to change the constitution of the board”, and when you consider that Danny Fiszman was the driving force in ensuring that it was Kroenke, rather than the Uzbek that took control after his death, it’s understandable.
Quite why Red and White are portrayed as knights in shining armour is hard to fathom but clearly they had supporters at the meeting today.
A fuller AGM report will be posted later this afternoon.