I think today is the day when we can safely say that Kroenke took control of Arsenal. Lady Nina may still be able to swing the balance with her 15 per cent but my guess is that she won’t do anything to purposely harm the club and by that I mean sell to Usmanov. So, with Stan Kroenke having bought 5 per cent of Danny Fizman’s shares this week increasing his holding to 20.5 per cent, which may not be as much as Usamnov’s 25 per cent but with the support of the remaining share holders it makes Kroenke the undisputed king of the good guys and today was the first day we saw the new king flex his muscles.
It is no coincidence that Ivan Gazidis has been out and about PR wise; he is Kroenke’s man on the ground, brought in by King Kronk to do his bidding.
Today’s statement, “Cesc is happy at Arsenal” may have come out of the mouth of Gazidis but I see it as a powerful swipe at Barcelona from Kroenke with all the weight that a 3.5 billion dollar personal fortune carries. The message is clear: Things have changed; you no longer have the financial upper hand, so stay away from our players.
Is this a good thing? If you buy into this idea that Kroenke is a sports man; someone who understands Arsenal’s history and the values of what the club stands for, then yes.
Hill-Wood is getting on and it would not surprise me if he retired at the end of this season and Fizman has, no matter what he says publicly, decided to take a less active roll. He become aware that he was vulnerable to the likes of Usmanov so before he was pushed he jumped, chosing to sell 5 per cent of his shares, making Kroenke the larger shareholder of the two and by doing so symbolically handed over the reigns of power.
Gazidis’s other equally encouraging statement was that it is the aim of the club to be perennial title challengers which is music to my ears as I am sure it is to yours. If Gazidis is talking on behalf of Kroenke, as I suspect, and Kroenke’s intends to put his money where their mouth then we are in for some very exciting times ahead.