Following the #wecaredoyou campaign which launched yesterday, Josh Kroenke has penned an open letter to Arsenal fans.
This is what he had to say.
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 Raul 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 what’s possible both on the pitch and how it’s 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
Yeah I know. Who capitalises the c in ‘club’?
Yuk. Sounds like it was written by Alastair Campbell.
I saw Alistair Campbell down at the VIP area before a game against Burnley last season when I was educating my daughter about the players (which she met). When she was out of earshot I made sure he knew how much of a cunt he is…
Not sure why this is has to be received so negatively or with such apathy. The letter is no different than the supporters groups and bloggers. What did anyone expect? At least the owner is responding, which is what everyone has been critiquing for a while. Change is happening at the club (even our shirts!), and it just didn’t bring the immediate success we were desperate for. Hopefully soon. I’m not sure I have the same faith as JK does in the management team put in place, but I am pleased with the work being done by Per and Freddie,… Read more »
Yeah. Same sorry excuses since the new stadium excuses. Good luck waiting.
The problem here is that it’s all a bit wishy washy. It’s all about communication. Do you see anything along the line of we need to strengthen this part of the team. Or we give us 2 years to be fighting for the title or to win the FA cup. Or I saw supporters so deflated after the final I feel we need to show (with squad improvement and preparation, what are the steps and is there any tangible goal and timeframe any management should provide?) what is our ambition in order to go on a higher level?
Doesn’t sound wishy washy to me at all: he states quite clearly that he doesn’t believe the club are at a crossroads, and believes firmly that the new structure for success is being put in place. We can disagree with him, which is what most everyone on here is doing, but the statement itself is pointed and directed. He’d be a fool to guarantee anything or set out a clear goal (Gazidis did that, and then didn’t even come close to delivering on it) aside from what he said, competing for silverware.
Yeah, @Futsboller, im with this. I’m surprised we got anything. Good to see that the concern merely isn’t just being brushed aside and ignored. I like josh a lot more than his dad and I think for him it matters because I don’t think Stan cares about winning, he cares about £€¥$, but I think josh genuinely likes running things. Does it solve the problems… No way, but it’s better than ignorance!
Respond in deeds not words.
As someone said before me, at least they heard and have a response. If there was no response, that would frustrate fans more. The may not be a lot of substance in what he’s saying but he’s acknowledged the fans. Now lets see how these new structures play out.
Exactly, no more than other clubs to be sure, but we have our fair share of dipshits and I’ve never seen eye-to-eye with the AST (in particular, their approach). Look, if our players didn’t crash and burn so spectacularly at the end of last season, things might very well be different at the moment.
Shame on you if you believe those are his words. Edu, Freddie, Per, Bould? You believe he knows who they are? This was probably given to a secretary to compile from whatever bits they can get. Or from head of operations. He probably just listened and said “yeah. That will do” Don’t push Josh to give you a vision. You won’t believe it even when he gives it anyway. What we should be pushing for in the short term is SPEND SPEND SPEND. This cycle of tell us something, we don’t believe what you just said is easy to deal… Read more »
If you are all about “spend spend spend” then there is a certain club in sky blue in NW England you should be supporting. No, really. They’d love to have you – they all just started supporting last year themselves!
Thanks. I believe there’s only one club for you and it’s in Red in North London however much we might agree or disagree.
Personally I believe in the new structuring with Edu being their last piece. Whether they are successful is anybody’s guess. It’s the lack of investment that worries me. Again I’ll come out and say Josh didn’t put Ozil on his wages, never bought Mustafi and Xhaka for the same amount as Salah and Mane, didn’t break our transfer records for the two forwards, he didn’t even put the British core on handsome wages simply because they are loyal and never leave( haha, Jenks you are the only one delighting the fans because you didn’t leave) All in all Gazidis and… Read more »
Breaking our transfer records on Auba and Laca was well worth it.
Don’t know why this has any downvotes, completely agree! Were the best 2 part of last season!
And that’s why we’ll never win even a disposable plastic cup. You think we don’t need to get an established central defender to solidify the back?
You honestly think we don’t need a solid DM to shield our back four?
You also think we don’t need an established winger to add a bit firepower to the attack of Auba and Laca?
We settle for a misfiring Iwobi, and some leaky defense and we are okay.
Study football evolution with Chelsea our neighbors and you’ll change as well
N10, dude, that’s the loudest I’ve laughed out loud at a comment for a long time.
Ha mate thanks for that. One of those laugh from crying situs I guess. Would have been floored to hear something substantial. Just proves these people are soulless cunts without a shred of integrity. Glad to be shown wrong, miracles do happen. But yeah.
What a lot of words to not say very much.
Absolutely. No answer at all to the excellent letter from fan groups.
Josh is just an American Gazidis with more hair/brylcream
Well that’s clearly not the case.
For better or worse, this directly addresses the fans’ letter. Even down to the DNA.
Yes, it’s easy to curate a politically clean response through letters, but at least the response is there.
“We want to be clear we are in sports for one reason and one reason only…to win“
Who else scoffed/laughed when they got to this part?
The Denver Nuggets, a team which KSE also own, was systematically dismantled by Josh when he was appointed as GM by his father. They’ve had a few blips of almost success, but generally speaking have become a selling team.
We really are in a sad situation. Gaaawwwd, I hate these corporate recycled copy and paste bullshits. It pains my every fibre.
They just signed one of their best players to a max extension (Murray), kept their best player (Jokic) and were one game away from making the Western Conference Finals. They actually are set up pretty nice for the next few years. Now Arsenal….
Seriously, Imma big hoops fan too (support the champs!), Just ignore this guys Meta take. Nuggests are in good shape and made signings to improve from last year.
We can’t compare the NBA to European Football. Dismantling the Nuggets allowed them to draft high, and that landed them players like Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, who are key players to their teams. Dismantling the Nuggets also allowed them to clear salaries to make way to paying their top stars, including Nikola Jokic, who they lucked out in drafting in the 2nd round. Now, they are a legit championship contender in the NBA. You cannot do that in European football, because there’s no reward in disassembling a team unlike in American Sports. What they did for the Nuggets was… Read more »
To me that is the key concern I don’t believe the Kroenke’s actually understand how different European Football is from the other leagues in which they own teams. The LA Rams and the Nuggets model for improving is not replicable for Arsenal.
That’s not quite true the Denver Nuggets are loaded with some of the best young talent in the NBA
You might want to check your facts there. Denver just had its best year in a looong time. They are not selling team because basketball teams trade contracts, and even at that they’ve kept their core of players intact. They’ve done reasonably well and so have the Rams but neither of these teams has the history of Arsenal and if KSE could get us back to our lofty heights then we would be their biggest cash cow. Thats the only realistic consolation I can offer.
Los Angeles Rams – 1st Place in their division – Lost in the league championship (Super Bowl) Denver Nuggets – 2nd Place in their division of 15 teams – perhaps the youngest team in the league – did well in the playoffs for such a young team; winning a series against a veteran team and coach Colorado Avalanche – Playoffs for 2nd year in a row – also one of the youngest teams in the league – They won their 1st round series as the #8 seed vs #1 seed. Colorado Rapids – One good season since winning the MLS… Read more »
Tbf now they’re doing quite good actually – 3 years in a row same team getting better and better with Jokic all-nba first team main star and upcoming season one of 10 teams which genuinely believe they can win the league
Had the same reaction, mainly when I all the recent wins of USA KSE’s franchises: Denver Nuggets, LA Rams and the Colorado Rapids.
It was from that point, that I started skimming the rest of the letter. So, the one positive is the letter itself, although it disagrees with everything from the supporters letter. Atleast it’s a response. However, its going to be a long struggle, there is a lot in the hierarchy that’s wrong prime example – Sanllehi! While most of us want KSE out of Arsenal, I’d be happy if the club replaces Sanllehi with someone much better. Lower down the hierarchy there are very good people like Mertesacker, Ljungberg. However, getting rid of Mislintat, situation with Kos, etc clearly have… Read more »
Typical response “we here you, don’t worry everything’s fine”
Balls to them
Balls to the way you wrote ‘hear’.
We want to hear a huge amount of money to be spent this summer not telling us long stories and appreciation. Korenke out
A great letter. If you read it in isolation of real life over the last 3 years and the current situation we find ourselves in.
Fuck off Kroenke you parasite
That’s 5mins of worthless reading I’m never getting back.
Fucking lol. What a perfect corporate response.
I dont think there’s anything particularly wrong with the “corporate response”, it’s the series of events leading up to it that I take issue with.
I mean would u rather have a drunken rant aimed at the fans by Steve Bould on AFTV?
The proof is in the pudding Joshy boy
I mean fair enough, they responded, but only because they were forced to. Let’s see what happens remainder of the window and this season.
But did they say anything?
u have spoken it keep telling them, the tranfer is here.
“Victoria Concordia Crescit”(Didn’t you guys take the motto off the crest?)
What about “Marble Halls” and Herbert Chapman, 1 nil to the Arsenal, Rocky, Wright wright wright and ArseneKnows?
Dude – You barely got a line on Arsenal Bullshit bingo
“thank you for the cash and collateral” didn’t make the published version
May North London forever be red. Not “the North”, this isn’t game of thrones
So Mustafi isn’t being immasculated by Ramsay Bolton?
Nah, he’s just a flaky defender.
I thought he was gonna say “May the odds forever be in your favour.”
This isn’t Hunger games either! Sure looks like it to be fair though.
But we’re in the great game now. And the great game is terrifying. Ammiright?
Yes, we are in the end game now, whatever it takes!
So many words to address virtually none of the points brought up in the letter…
Identical to how politicians answer questions….
That is a long winded way to stick two fingers up. Absolute waste of my time.
Spend the money on quality players – Cback and winger.
Stop trying to keep Koscielny around or waste money on a lback.
Above all get in a better transfer team.
Raul was only ‘Director of football relations’ at Barca.
Caggagio a good scout but on learning curve. Edu has little to know experience doing deals.
IF you were truly invested, you would show the ambition Lille OSC have and signed Campos for the job.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Congrats Josh, you made Santori speechless!
Actions speak louder than words Kroenke…
F**k off telling us what our job is. Do your f**cking job.
This club is in grave danger of losing whatever allure it has left.
These guys don’t care.
A summer buying mediocre players from Brazillian fourth division and the likes will see us slip into mid table. Be prepared.
People liked to criticise Wenger blindly (and to some extent Gazidis), but Wenger had the club at heart first and foremost. Now that check and balance is truly gone.
Be careful for what you wish for.
All those WengerOut will come to rue the day if it proves true the current structure will buy to their own benefit.
78,000 on the poo-ometer
“May north forever be red”
I’m sure Liverpool and Man U both agree!
Uses the term we all the way through as if he is some kind of life long Gooner, totally fucks up the sign off.
Read it again. It says:
“May North London forever be Red… Josh”
Unless Blogs goofed in copying it over initially and fixed it? I have a sneaking suspicion Blogs would not have edited Josh’s words to do him a solid.
Still didn’t make any sense
“Aggressive in the transfer market” ? I’m waiting, Josh. Seen fuck all so far. If I was to even take your comments at face value, how do you propose any of your grand ambitions are achieves without the requisite quality of players?? Head. In. Sand.
Think he meant “Aggressively mediocre”
“Oh, splendid then! I shall pen you another letter this time next year”, spaeketh Master Josh.
Lord, grant me the patience.
Sorry Josh, but your actions with other sports franchises that your family owns speak otherwise, and this letter is a half-arsed attempt to garner support from a fanbase which is agitating for your removal.
The Kroenke family’s record is not a positive one (even outside of sport… Josh’s mother is a Wal-Mart heir), and without actions which speak otherwise, failson Josh is going to be judged on what he does rather than a letter penned by a PR team.
Appreciate the sentiment.
But the ‘other teams’ have fared pretty well.
LA Rams made the Super Bowl
Denver Nuggets were the #2 seed in a very tough Western Conference.
Colorado Avalanche, (eh…) lost a 7-game series in the 2nd round of playoffs.
So, actually? It’s just Arsenal. Sucks for us.
we ah, we did win 3 FA Cups in 4 years
These recent results are anomalous under his ownership: look at Rams and Avalanche prior to his ownership and then since. Nuggets have always been mediocre, so their current situation is relatively awesome.
Should’ve brought out the poo-ometer for that
I have said this a thousand times and will day it again. The problem is not the board, it is we the fans because we give them the power to act and decide foolishly for us. We the fans are stronger and once we realize that then things will change. Once we stop buying jerseys and attending matches for a whole season with no money in their pockets, they will eventually realize that we own the club (maybe not on paper). A strike by arsenal fans will do a lot of harm to our beloved club but this would be… Read more »
Spot on. These rank charlatans won’t be reasoned with on any level. The only way is fans making a stand. Hit the buggers where it hurts. Stop buying their overpriced crap on match days. Stage mid-match walk outs during a live TV game. Turn the atmosphere toxic with #KroenkeOut sentiment just like the fans did to Wenger. FFS 60,000 people in a ground is a powerful force of it scraped away the shit out of its collective eyes, got up off it’s comfy seats and fucking did something.
In my working lifeI listened to and read corporate bullsh*t from private equity parasites and their representatives. If it isn’t about money and really is about sporting success then put money into the club for player purchases and contracts!
PS: I hope he didn’t really say ‘May North forever be Red’ and that you’ve accidentally missed out the word ‘London’?!
This paragraph is the most telling, as it speaks to KSE’s lack of interest in investment in the properties they own:
“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.”
Absolute corporate doublespeak.
Does it feel as if he’s missed the point of the #wecaredoyou campaign? Fans are tired of the rhetoric and spin, this is just more of that.
Yawn…………….. Same old bollocks……..
I would have preferred two world class center backs and a replacement for Ramsey. Instead we got words.
At least he said something.
Yes but if he isn’t going to say anything useful, it’s usually best to… well… stfu.
Using his mouth prettier than a 20 dollar whore. All we need now is for daddy to share a bit of the loot.
‘May North forever be red’ he’s a Manc Scouse… Ffs
“So when you hear from him you are hearing from me” Jesus The Kroenke? Anyways let me approach this objectively. I don’t believe not reading it and just hurling insult changes much. We asked for communication didn’t we? If we don’t listen back, it becomes even less likely that they will engage in communication in the future. It’s best to approach this with maturity. I do appreciate Josh response, it feels like it’s genuinely from him, and I understand we will never hear from “the father”, but I guess “the father and the son are one”. I do like and… Read more »
That is ridiculous, I have to say. There is no need to look at the past any longer; that’s the entire point that everyone seems to be missing, but ironically JK seems to get. Everything is about the future, putting structures in place that will hopefully enable the club to compete for silverware. He acknowledges the pain of losing, and the desire to avoid that — what I find most intriguing about his letter is his resolve: he doesn’t bow down to the fan, but rather points ahead and suggests he knows the way. I don’t really care much for… Read more »
Nicely put. I must admit the letter is skilfully constructed and it stroke a chord with me. The change he mentioned have been made and it takes time for the mayonnaise to take. I will restrain myself from any judgement until the last day of window.
Absolutely zero description of what the actual vision is. He could have published a very succinct bullet-point mission statement that would have answered everyone’s questions; i.e.
AFC will operate on a financial sustainability model,
AFC intends to focus on youth development over roster building via the transfer market,
AFC recruitment will be aligned with our desire to play an quick, technical, possession-based brand of football,
P.S. Dear Arsenal fans, did you really believe all that?
Josh, son of Kroenkenscrouge
OK, cough up the funds needed for investment in the squad. Now.
Finish the Tierney deal and then move on to Zaha; that would be a good start.
Except we all know that you won’t, this is just corporate talk that is fooling no one.
But the Arsenal of today is planning without knowing that player markets are up and clubs dish money to get top players who in turn help when its right time for world class star to show off their magics which we always dont have because of always going for chipper options and thats why we are paying the price by not winning major trophy. So you need to dish money to add on whats ready.
What I don’t understand is if the club is doing well then profits will grow. Simple. Look at Liverpool. However they’ve let the club slide backwards gradually over the past decade and if it continues the damage will be almost irreversible thus everyone lose – us, the club and kronke. The way I see it, they’ve let the previous administration run away with gross mismanagement and to rectify it, some investment is needed to see us back in the CL or sell everything and start over. We have the expenditure of a CL club but it’s 3 seasons of EL… Read more »
Interesting choice for a letter. Some nice points though.
Then I remember all their other sporting endeavours and how they are relatively stagnant.
Would prefer open dialogue over a one sided letter.
We care, do you? HELL NO THEY DON’T. I am an American, I know these twats, I work with them everyday. They are greedy parasites, and these particular parasites at Arsenal do not care about anything besides their bank accounts. They don’t care about winning. They are not like the Liverpool owners, they have no desire to win. And if Kroenke decides he wants to win something, he will invest in his NFL team – not Arsenal. Supporters who care about this club have to FIGHT FOR IT. Make it ugly. If you sit back and watch them suck the… Read more »
Is it weird that I feel more pissed off after the letter?
Does he think us fans are stupid and gullible?
Judging by the some of the responses here sadly many are.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Speaks and wrigesike. Wankpuffin must be a wankpuffin
Josh,do not patronize us… You weren’t the only one in Baku. You & your father have no agenda for Arsenal FC that fulfills the wishes of the players & fans. You are only interested in what lines your pocket. Cut out the words: show us & tell us you care by action. #Wecaredoyou
Would be much easier to swallow this nonsense if it wasn’t the same nonsense we have heard for years. It takes time and we are building for the future, suffer now if you like for a better tomorrow kind of Bollocks. Yeah, same thing the club said when we lost our best players and bought crap for the last 10 years. I begrudgingly renewed my membership but I too won’t buy any shirts or add another pound to this joke of a club. We are a laughing stock and they expect us to put up with it? They are business… Read more »
Simple just buy some fricking players with quality.