Arsenal has all the elements for success, says Stan Kroenke
Gunners majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has no doubts that the club is heading in the right direction
Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has insisted the London club has “all the elements needed for success” at the Annual General Meeting at Emirates Stadium on Thursday.
Kroenke, who has come under scrutiny for making only a few public statements since joining the Arsenal board in 2008, also described Gunners boss ArsÃ¨ne Wenger as a “wonderful” manager and said he is confident the club is heading in the right direction.
“[Arsenal is] a wonderful club,” Kroenke said. “We are involved extensively in sports in the United States and had lots of opportunities to involve ourselves in lots of clubs around Europe and in the [English] 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.
“Arsenal has all the elements that you need to have success in this kind of business.
“[The club] has 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.”
Arsenal manager Wenger has found himself under intense pressure as a result of the north Londoners’ six-year trophy drought and a slow start to the season – but the American billionaire maintains that he is “happy” with the club’s progress.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wenger himself called on Gunners fans to stick behind him and the team, despite their lengthy silverware drought.
“I believe the values we defend are highly defendable,” said Wenger. “We want to do things with class and be very brave. Courage is a quality I admire, because it is highly needed in the modern world.
“I can see a lot of fear and discontent among you – and I can understand that because we live in a world where we fight with people who have extremely high resources.
“We can compete by trying to be intelligent and to be united, because football is very difficult to be consistent and we have been more consistent than anybody in the world in the last 15 years.”
Wenger added: “To stay at the top, top level we have to stay united.
“That does not mean not I am not to be criticised, or the board – we accept that, but we have to show to the outside we are united. If you are not, then you have no chance.”