How will the new owner affect our club?

Stan Kroenke now owns Arsenal

Stan looks forward to cheering van Persie's next home ru... er, goal

All the speculation on how Stan Kroenke’s takeover will affect Arsenal is just that – speculation. Nobody but Stan knows his intentions, although it is probably safe to make a few educated guesses.

Firstly, he won’t treat the club as his plaything like Abramovich has done at Chelsea. So he won’t be pumping millions into the club to enable Wenger to go on a spending spree. (Wenger, spending spree?! I made myself laugh just then!)

More importantly, he won’t saddle the club with debt like the Glazers did at Manchester United. In a statement to the Stock Exchange he said:

“The offer will not be funded by way of any debt finance (banks loans, payment in kind loans or other debt or quasi-debt interest bearing obligations) for which the payment of interest on, repayment of or security for any liability (contingent or otherwise) will depend on the business of Arsenal.”

Stan also said he’s happy with the business model currently run at the club:

“It is their (Kroenke Sports Enterprises) current intention that, if the offer becomes or is declared unconditional, they will continue to support and adhere to the self-sustaining business model hitherto pursued by the board of Arsenal.”

And why wouldn’t they? I think all the board are delighted with our financial policy. They spend very little on players, only spend 50% of turnover on wages and qualify for the lucrative Champions League every season. More profits is more money in their pockets and Wenger is happy as he gets to keep drawing his mammoth salary.

So why would a businessman like Kroenke jeopardise that just to win a trophy? If finishing 4th still earns entry to the Champions League, why bother targeting 1st? This is the crux of the matter for us fans. We would spend more, sacrificing profits for a trophy, but would a businessman? Not a shrewd one and by all accounts Silent Stan is very shrewd. Abramovich can’t be described as shrewd, but he’s more interested in trophies and has seen his toy amass tons of silverware.

So would we want an Abramovich anyway? I don’t personally. The business model we currently use is fundamentally sound, it just needs tweaking to give us an extra advantage on the pitch. Buying only youngsters or geriatrics with nothing in between is like taking to the field wearing one boot – why are we handicapping ourselves when there’s plenty of profit to spend on the other boot?

The final key point is that David Dein probably won’t be returning to the board, which is a shame. He sold his shares to Usmanov and is very much in the Uzbeki’s corner. Dein worked well in tandem with Wenger and it’s no coincidence our success has tailed off since he left. A fan at heart, I suspect he would’ve kept Wenger in check and not allowed him to use our team as a guinea pig to indulge his vanity project.

So time will tell as to the impact of our beloved club being in foreign ownership. However, I suspect we’ll be waiting a long time to see any noteworthy changes as Stan isn’t desperate for a trophy like us fans, so why change a winning profitable formula?

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