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August 2021

Busts, Board members and contracts

By Walter Broeckx

Yesterday Arsenal honoured our former chairman Peter Hill-Wood with the unveiling of a bust. Peter Hill-Wood retired last summer because of health problems and since then Sir Chips Keswick is our new chairman. Be it that this function is more a ceremonial function these days as we know that the real powerful person at Arsenal is Stan Kroenke.

It has gone a bit quite recently mostly down to the team doing a good job on the field but as we all know just a few months ago some where shouting that we should get rid of Kroenke and Wenger at the same time.

The allegations towards Kroenke was that he was silent. Or too silent. And that he was only in it for the money. Kroenke has said on the few occasions that he spoke out about Arsenal that he was at Arsenal for the long run. Much to the anger of those who wanted him out and quickly.

Now I think it is great that Arsenal honoured Peter Hill-Wood in such a way. I know some disliked him for the way he said some things. I don’t know him in person at all so I cannot speak about his character or his private opinions. But what I can judge a bit is how he (and his ancestors) have acted with the club.

And in that way I can only look at him as a good chairman. Did he make mistakes? Probably. Like all human beings make mistakes. But if you look at where the club was in 1927 when the first Hill-Wood became chairman and where we are now some 86 years later it doesn’t look bad.

In 1927 we had nothing apart from Highbury. No trophies to polish at all. 86 years later we do have our fair share of trophies. And the main trophy is the one that is a landmark in Islington and will be for many, many, many years: the Emirates stadium.

All this happened in his reign so honouring Hill-Wood with a bust is fitting in my opinion.

But there was some more news. Some news that will not be liked with those shouting Kroenke out.

As it has been made public that Josh Kroenke will join the Arsenal board. I don’t know how silent the son of Stan Kroenke is but without saying anything this is saying a lot.

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It is saying that despite the allegations that Stan Kroenke was only in for the money can be forgotten. If he were here to make some quick dollars he could have done that by now and left London with this bank account filled more than ever before. Selling his shares to Usmanov would have been the ideal way to make some quick dollars. But Kroenke refuses to do this.

And now the appointment of his son indicates that the Kroenke family really wants to stay for the long run. Just as Kroenke has always said whenever he spoke.  Just as with Peter Hill-Wood I don’t know Kroenke in person. And that goes for Stan as well as for Josh. So we don’t know the reasoning they make or have in their heads. We can only look at the facts we see or hear.

Kroenke has said that he is here for the long run and now it seems that his family is in agreement with that. Josh Kroenke who is also a director of a few American sports clubs knows a bit about how sports clubs work. So experience wise we could benefit from this.

But will it change anything for Arsenal?

I think it will change in a way that we now know that the family Kroenke is here to stay and for a long period. Like it or not, this is something that we can read in Josh Kroenke joining the board. I cannot imagine such a move when Stan Kroenke would be off to fill his bank account soon.

We all know that whenever Kroenke has spoken he has said that he wants Arsenal to continue the way it has been working for a long time now. Self sustaining, only spending the money they have made themselves. In keeping with FFP rules. In short in the same way that any caring and loving father would like to run his own household.

So outside the field it will be doing the things we have been doing these last 10 years one could say. But what might change things and we have seen the first sign of such a change this summer is that with the old deals for building the Emirates stadium coming to and end we get new deals in place that brings us much more money.

So our financial power will be bigger in the years to come and of course also thanks to the Emirates stadium that money can be used to buy players such like Özil. But I really hope that it also will mean that we will keep working to give young kids that have come through our own academy a chance to become top players.

But to do that you need a manager who understands this philosophy and who in fact might be the main instigator of this strategy while building the Emirates. And we know that the right man to do this job is already our current manager.

So the main question for me is: what will Wenger do? Will we see an announcement of him signing another contract? Or will we see him go? As an Untolder it is obvious that I want him to sign another contract and give me peace of mind. Or will he do us a Ferguson? I mean win the title this year and then stop as our manager on a high?

Why don’t he just win us something and sign at the same time? That surely would make me happy.

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26 comments to Busts, Board members and contracts

  • blacksheep63

    rumours are that Wenger has already agreed a new contract. Let’s hope they are true

  • Pete

    He can’t leave until he has won the Champions League!

    But why leave now after all the pain as we emerge into the sunlight?

  • Pete

    With Chelsea and Man U losing and Man C drawing things are just getting better and better. C’mon Sunderland!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Just a perfect day, today’s results are just excellent.
    Love the way the London branch of the Russian mafia (aka Chelski) have conceded 6 times in 2 games in a matter of 66 hours! That is hardly championship winning performance.
    A win tomorrow, and I will be on the moon.
    A win against Chelsea on 23 Dec, which happens to be my b-day, and I will be on top of Jupitor!
    Any result at ManC, I’ll take it as they are really strong at home.

  • LRV

    Win & Sign will be just dandy, Walter.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Good luck to josh kronke hope this is all about ushering in a new era of stability and prosperity and of course wengers signature

  • Sonal Singh


    Making money and staying long term / short term are unrelated. A well run Football club is a cash cow that can pay for much more than itself. Capital gains are not that relevant when you are the size of Arsenal. He could be in the long run to use the cash from AFC for his other ventures. And if that is infact his plan, he would be optimizing spend to get the best return rather than focusing on winning silverware. I say this because to make a good business, a football club need not win, but just stay thereabouts – because this guarantees high ticket prices, a CL place, sufficiently large share of TV rights and a big enough brand for merchandise sales. With a manager like Wenger, you can achieve all of this with ‘just enough’ spending and not major investments, which is what you need to win (Chelsea, ManC). I personally think that even if Arsenal win something this year, it will be really tough to continue that the year after and so on, with the amount of money that ManC have at their disposal. Therefore, I am not sure what Kroenke’s plan is but having Josh on the Board could just be another move to monitor things closely at his most reliable ATM.

  • sukebe

    @sonal singh

    Do you have any facts to back up your jiberish theory?

  • nicky

    @Sonal Singh,
    The major investments in Chelsea and Man City derive from oil and/or mining. Neither club is self-sustaining and both live beyond their means. Both fall foul of the FFP Regs.
    Do you recommend we follow suit?

  • para

    @ Sonal Singh.
    In case you had not realised, Arsenal are now in Phase 4 of THE PLAN, becoming the greatest football club in the universe.
    One tends to build on a solid foundation, which we have now established. Kroenke laid out his plan some years back, hidden between the lines of an AGM meeting, carefull study will enlighten you as to the basic points of the plan, and now after seeing phases 1,2 and 3 done, as i said phase 4 is now.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I would not mind if Kroenke and Usmanov sold to the fans; we could adopt the Real Madrid and FC Barcelona model, whereby the fans own the club.

    Very unlikely to happen, but it is OK to dream of a perfect set up. If this were to happen, there should be a recognized team of responsible and forward-looking leaders for the team.

    The only way this could happen is through legislation by elected officials; it would be beneficial to all English / British clubs and their supporters.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Sonal Singh,
    Respectfully, Kroenke is not cashing money out of Arsenal. It is said that, for him, Arsenal is an investment.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Sonal Singh. As we all know, ARSENAL dont pay dividends. So how exactly will Kroenke take money out of ARSENAL??……Other than taking a heafty salary and a bonus I dont see any other way he can take money out.

    ARSENAL is like a crown jewel. And the way ARSENAL is run, its value can never drop off. Having such a company in your portfolio will shoot you up the business elites. And the self-sustaining model will ensure that KSE dont have to dig into their pockets to run ARSENAL. Safe, ever appreciating, hassle free investment. Its a dream to own such a business, for any businessman/establishment.

    And using ARSENAL as a cash cow thing, well…..its a rubbish argument. If KSE do draw money out of ARSENAL to run their other sports enterprise, then it will show in the balance sheet, as loan or investment maybe. Secretly taking money out is impossible (almost).

  • colario

    Like most supporters I want success.
    Like most supporters I wanted it at Highbury.
    Like most supporters I could see that this could not happen at Highbury.

    Like most supporters I wanted Arsenal to stay in the area.
    Like most supporters I applaud the achievement of the board in building the new stadium and its location.

    Like most supporters I believe it would not have been possible but for Arsene, his love of football, his love of Arsenal and his belief in winning through entertaining football alone.

    Like most supporters I want Arsene to stay and stay and only retire from his position as manager when his health or family needs demand he do so.

    I dare to belief that he like the late Bill Shankly of Liverpool will set in place the right man to take over from him when the time comes and like Shankly’s successor(Bob Paisley) will be able to build on the football foundation Arsene has set in place.

    I want the board to continue to provide the platform which enables the manager to be the football leader of the club and bring success and lead us into the future.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colorio – I’d second that !

  • nicky

    @Arsenal 13,
    The only way Kroenke COULD make money out of his Arsenal investment is by selling his shares which presumably have increased in value since he bought them.
    But this course of action would defeat his purpose, namely, a long-term involvement in Arsenal FC. Reports that he has got his son a place on the Board only seems to confirm this.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    When one door closes, another opens;

    but we often look so long and so regretfully

    upon the closed door

    that we do not see the one that has opened for us.

    -Alexander Graham Bell

  • Brickfields Gunners

    More marriages might survive

    if the partners realized that sometimes

    the better comes after the worse.

    -Doug Larson

  • ARSENAL 13

    @nicky, Yup, By selling.

    I was trying to enlighten a person who thinks Kroenke will take money out of ARSENAL. Well he could one day, but signs are that he wont.

  • nicky

    “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
    If the women don’t get you, the liquor must”.
    Nicky 1923-

  • ARSENAL 13

    Is it only me….or.

    I expect to bring a bus depot to the Ems this weekend. Yes Martinez likes attack and all, but some traditional traits dont just change that quickly….

    And I hate to see this Mirallas guy on the field. Man he is such a dark heart. Any one remember Ryos last injury when at Wigan.

  • Double canister

    Brickfields 9:31am

    ‘what closed door’?

  • Double canister

    Colario 8:14am
    Well said!

    I’m sick of the media bullshit that the ‘majority’ wanted Wenger out and went batshit crazy after the villa game, we don’t and we didn’t.
    Those AST and BMS dingbats only represent their own little egos, not the majority of us.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Double canister @ 11:48 – Nah ! Nic’s door is still ajar ! Its those whose names we go red in the face or choke on !

    @ Nicky –
    Ashes to ashes , dust to dust ;
    If Lillee doesn’t get you , Thommo must !

    Dennis Lillee –

    Jeff Thompson – the first punk cricketer

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry – Jeff Thompson –