Thursday, February 22, 2024

Lewis: The Arsenal brain has to be lined up

Tim Lewis says his role as Arsenal’s Executive Vice-Chair sees him act as a conduit between the club’s US-based owners and the staff on the ground at Highbury House and London Colney.

A long-standing confidante of Stan Kroenke and a lawyer by trade, Lewis was parachuted onto the Board of Directors during the Covid-19 pandemic when owners KSE agreed to refinance Arsenal’s debts to avoid the club falling into the hands of its bondholders.

As evidenced by the new job title handed to him in March, his influence has gradually grown although, up to now, he’s preferred to keep a low profile.

“My role is not to give football advice but to be there to support and challenge,” he told The Telegraph.

“They need to be able to explain in order for me to understand and communicate for Stan and Josh to back the recommendation. The brain has to be lined up.

“Stan and Josh want great information. Then they can decide. Trust is a short word. If you’re a multi-billionaire, it’s a big word.”

Given Arsenal isn’t the sole focus of the Kroenke family, you can certainly understand the importance of having someone in place who not only has their ear but is also close to those running things on a day-to-day basis. Football moves very quickly and efficiency is key.

Arsenal also can’t afford to make mistakes like those clubs for whom money is no object. When we spend big, we have to make it count and the article hints at Lewis’ role in introducing “a series of transfer rules and parameters”.

In contrast to the short-lived Sanllehi era, where value for money seemed to be an afterthought, our new policy seems to be paying dividends. After all, when you spend cash and the team gets better, it’s far easier to go cap in hand each time the window opens.

Lewis also says Stan Kroenke’s patience is a virtue. While the American often comes across as aloof, Lewis insists the tactic of playing the long game ultimately helped him take full control of the club after a long cold war with shareholder investor Alisher Usmanov.

If there’s admiration for the way Kroenke does things, it appears Lewis is also captivated by manager Mikel Arteta.

Reflecting on the decision to renew the Spaniard’s contract last year, he said: “We didn’t think he was on a contract that reflected his contribution, or where he was in the market place, and we wanted to get ahead of the curve.

“We also knew we had a seriously talented guy on our hands. I think we all see it.”

“[Is he a] Genius? Maybe. Incredibly passionate, clever, committed and inventive. It’s a relationship. It’s important to know that people around you are supportive. Mikel wants to win. And he wants to win here.”

Clearly, that’s great to hear.

Usually, at this time of year, we also get an interview with Josh Kroenke. It’ll be interesting to see if that happens or if he’s happy to take a back seat and lets Lewis keep talking on KSE’s behalf.

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Chrispy

Amazing really that the pieces have all fallen into place and the only way we’re going is up. Its stark contrast to that comedy club on the Kings Road but maybe with Poch’ they start to become a threat again. The totts however are in trouble……which is nice 😉

Doghouse

The silence from my spruz/chelz mates says it all, no more banter anymore or even one positive to where their clubs are going, i now get this blank look with a bit of gibberish then changing the subject when trying to engage on 2023/24 season…

Gunner1971

They’re sh*t and they know it

ljundbergsPinkMohawk

st totteringham’s day is everyday

Russ

I think at one point no one was sure if the Kronke’s would come good and it looked doubtful to me but I’m really liking how things are looking at the moment. Long may it continue.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I have stated many times that the Kroenke were the best owners in the league, even 5 years ago. We cannot call Man City cheats and want the Kroenke to spend 800M in transfer fees every year.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Overstating marketing revenue from state owned businesses for a decade is not the same as spending money in conformity with FFP rules. They are different things.

Russ

We don’t though do we?

Dominic

I agree in principle but I think you underestimate the power of cognitive dissonance 😕

A Different George

There has definitely been a change, but that is partly because the league has changed (as well as the Kronkes assuming full ownership). For years–from the move to the Emirates to Wenger’s final seasons–the owners’ goal pretty clearly was to qualify for the Champions League. Finishing fourth or better–not mounting a title challenge–was the goal. And Wenger, through smoke and mirrors, with one or two great players (who were always in danger of leaving) and thin squads, managed that feat again and again. And, on the other hand, rebuilding in a serious way that threatened qualification in the short term,… Read more »

Russ

Totally agree, well put.

What a nightmare it would have been if they’d not change their game..

Sadly like most of the world at the moment, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Johnny 4 Hats

Unsubstantiated conspiracy theory:

The longer Josh’s beard gets, the more powerful he becomes.

Celebration Police

I heard from a very unreliable source that he said he won’t shave it until Arsenal wins PL or UCL.

IgorStepanoooo

The consigliere himself.
Sanllehi: “ Can you get me off the hook, Tim? For old times’ sake?
Tim: “can’t do it raul“

Dominic

Tim Lewis was definitely one of our best signings from the past few years…
Raul and his little black book couldn’t be seen for dust. VAMOS!

djourou's nutmeg

great insight, i think i now understand kind of what everyone does in arsenal’s boardroom, just one question remains: what does lord harris supposedly do? probably just an honorary member at this point, right?

Odinelli

In Lewis and Garlick we have two professionals alongside intelligent football people like Mikel and Per, who can ensure our long term future. Hopefully none of these four are poached by other clubs or enterprises. I’m just thankful we don’t have to worry about those days when Gazidis would make nonsensical signings just to inflate his own profile. And then followed by Raul who singlehanded destroyed all the – standards we expect from agents esp super agents – ability to fund transfers upfront and not amortised into the future, giving us considerable bargaining power If we had maintained those things… Read more »

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