With the latest set of redundancies due to come into effect, over 55 people will lose their jobs, despite a 12.5% pay cut from the players and an over 30% pay cut from members of the board. It is clear, once again, that Stan Kroenke and his investment group is prioritising money over people.
The latest dismissal of over 55 staff members, some of whom have been working at the club for decades, is proof of Kroenke's lack of compassion and loyalty to the football club.
The epitome of Kroenke's cold-blooded, money-centric running of the club is seen in the dismissal of Francis Cagigao, who has worked at the club as a scout for over 23 years, working his way up to be our Head of International Scouting. Cagigao is responsible for the discovery of several club legends, such as Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, as well as more recent and important players such as Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli, and even our current manager, Mikel Arteta.
Kroenke's redundancies are also resulting in the dismissal of our scouting networks in key countries for spotting talent: France, Germany, and Spain. Arsenal Football Club will then be miles behind other top football clubs who continue to scour Europe for the best talent, meaning that the club will eventually become far too mediocre to be considered a top club, and perhaps even a Premier League club. To this effect, I believe that I speak for all fans when I say that I do not want to wait to see what will happen.
Stan Kroenke's net worth is over $8.3bn (USD). Whilst he is under no obligation to lose any of that money, it has been clear for many years that he is unwilling to invest in the club's success on the pitch, nevermind in the people behind-the-scenes who have been responsible for keeping the club afloat in the last decade or two. Bear in mind that Kroenke also has ownership of several American sports teams, including the LA Rams, who he invests in on a regular basis, as well as being a frequent donor to Donald Trump's presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020.
Just because Arsenal was already a big club with multi-faceted revenue streams by the time Kroenke became our full-owner, does not mean that he can simply sit back and watch the money roll in without giving something back to the club. Sometimes, you need to spend money to make money. Ultimately, Kroenke is going to lose money on his investment in Arsenal F.C. if he continues on this current path - he will be running a bare-bones club with a dwindling fanbase and revenue shortages, especially once this pandemic is over.
Under Kroenke's ownership, Arsenal F.C. has become a "self-sustaining model" for football clubs. Whilst this has meant languishing results and league positions in the past seasons, the real cost is being seen by the fans and by long-standing staff members at the club.
Firstly, ticket prices have continued to soar, with Arsenal demanding some of the highest ticket prices per match and season tickets in the Premier League and the world. This is not only extortionate but also, perhaps, a result of the owner's ignorance and dispassionate response to the fans, who he sees as financial pawns rather than devoted people.
Secondly, our league positions and results on the pitch have been derisory for a club of Arsenal's stature, who, before Kroenke's full ownership of the club, was an established Champions League club who competed for titles, winning several along the way. The long-term monetary result of this means declining revenue streams and an increased inability to attract new fans to the club, let alone top-quality players and backroom staff.
Lastly, Stan Kroenke's miserly ownership of our club is now resulting in the redundancy of important staff members who have been nothing but loyal to the club through thick and thin, and are in part responsible for whatever successes we have managed on the pitch, despite our derisory owner. It should be the obligation of an owner to mirror that loyalty towards the staff who maintain the upkeep of the club, stadium, players and management. Kroenke has done the exact opposite.
If Stan Kroenke does not sell his shares in the club or completely change his ownership style, the results will be several-fold: the club's fanbase will dwindle, he will be unable to attract top-quality staff and players, and the club's league position will continue to fall (meaning less revenue from prize money and TV rights).
It is time for Stan Kroenke to see Arsenal Football Club as more than a business, but a community of players, staff, and fans. No one player, staff or fan can succeed or be happy whilst the others are failing or are unhappy. Open your eyes or get the f*** out, Mr. Kroenke.