Arsenal posted a statement on arsenal.com this morning concerning the financial results of the club in the previous financial year. It said: “Arsenal Holdings Limited has now signed off the consolidated accounts for the Arsenal Group for the year ended 31 May 2022. A copy will be filed at Companies House in due course.”
This is a departure from previous practice, where nothing was announced until the full document was made available. There’s no information as to why they have departed from the norm, but I’d guess it’s at least partly a way of massaging Stan Kroenke’s reputation with the supporters.
There is very clear messaging Kroenke is a great guy and you should be grateful to have him as owner:
“During the year KSE UK Inc. provided funds both to underpin the Club’s transfer activities and, alongside Barclays Bank, for working capital purposes as required.” “Investment [in the men’s first-team squad] would not have been possible without the support and commitment of the Club’s ownership, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.”
The advantage of putting out this basic financial information and summary of the accounts before the full accounts are available is that journalists (99 per cent of whom will never read the full accounts anyway) pick up on it and disseminate the info that “Stan Kroenke is putting his own money into Arsenal”. By the time detail is available this story is fixed in many people’s heads.
To be clear, the funding from KSE/Stan is commercial loans, not gifts. KSE are charging interest and will continue to charge interest. The interest paid figure is low – just £5.2m for the year ending 31 May 2022 – so there is no suggestion at present that Kroenke is trying to screw as much money as he can out of Arsenal whatever the consequences.
He wants the club to be successful, but mainly because that increases income and the club’s value, which ultimately makes him richer. If he thought he could do this via the shortcut of a European Super League he still would, but that door has closed for the foreseeable future. This makes it even more important for Arsenal to get back to regular Champions League qualification, because the financial gap between the CL qualifiers and the rest is only getting bigger.
So Kroenke is now prepared to take a medium/long view of investing (by lending) to make Arsenal as competitive and successful as possible, and back to the perennial top four positions that the club had started to take for granted by the time he bought a majority stake in 2011.
You may say – and some always do – “Stan owns KSE and Stan owns Arsenal, so KSE lending to Arsenal is Stan lending to himself, so what does that matter?” Well if it didn’t matter then Stan wouldn’t bother differentiating between KSE and Arsenal, so clearly it does matter. It would certainly matter if Stan decides to sell up – an Arsenal debt at that stage will be very clearly Arsenal’s debt and not KSE’s or Stan’s.
However, from a purely financial point of view, Kroenke can currently be viewed as a good owner. That isn’t all there is to good ownership – let’s not forget he forcibly bought out all the supporter shareholders and cancelled the AGM to avoid any accountability, and has shown almost zero commitment to proper supporter engagement since the ‘super league’ debacle, among other things – but I accept that willingness to buy new players is enough for some fans. And that’s all Kroenke needs – if enough fans are only interested in transfer funds he can avoid further scrutiny. Fortunately the team has also improved, along with the PR machine.
3 thoughts on “Stan Kroenke is a Great Guy: Official”
Give them some credit. They have taken some really smart decisions lately. It feels like a well run club now and they ARE putting money in. Also, what is wrong with making money? If Man U had made similar sensible decisions???
Ironics. But it’s true, the Kronks have a chance of a lifetime to do something serious about Arsenal Football Club. Do it, Kronks!