Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is unlikely to sell the club despite the ferocious backlash he continues to receive for his part in the failed European Super League (ESL) plot. Arsenal fans have long been frustrated with the American and there has been a fresh chorus of ‘Kroenke Out’ calls in recent days, with club legend Ian Wright among those championing an exit.
The 73-year-old, who also owns NFL franchise Los Angeles Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and MLS side Colorado Rapids, took a controlling stake in Arsenal in April 2011.
But his running of the Gunners has long upset the club’s fanbase and Kroenke’s attempts to involve Arsenal in the lucrative but roundly unpopular Super League has further riled supporters.
The north London outfit pulled out of the doomed project on Tuesday night alongside the rest of the Premier League’s big six, with now only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remaining.
But that they were one of the 12 founding members to attempt to form a breakaway league will not be easily forgiven by Arsenal’s fans, who felt rightly betrayed by the scheme.
A lengthy apology was posted on the Arsenal website but was only signed off by ‘the Arsenal board’ rather than Kroenke himself, despite him owning 100 per cent of the club.
Unlike Kroenke, Liverpool principal owner John W Henry took sole responsibility for the Reds’ role in the plans on Wednesday while Manchester United co-owner Joel Glazer also fronted up with a statement later the same day.
Arsenal fans are expected to hold protests against Kroenke’s ownership outside the Emirates before Mikel Arteta’s team take on Everton in the Premier League on Friday night.
And legendary striker Wright also made his feelings clear this week, tweeting several times: “#KroenkeOut.” Responding to Arsenal’s apology, he also posted: “Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent!”
Yet despite calls for Kroenke to sell up, the Daily Mail say he is highly unlikely to do even despite the death of the ESL, which would have yielded huge finances every year.
The Arsenal Supporters Trust said in a statement this week that Kroenke must bear responsbility for the drama, which stands to leave the club at least £8m out of pocket because of the fee they paid to enter the ESL.
The statement read: “He owns 100 per cent of Arsenal; he should take responsibility. The decision to join the Super League was his and his alone, and we believe he should have the integrity to explain in person.
“I wanted Kroenke out before this because for me, he does not care about Arsenal Football Club. I am a fan and he does not care about Arsenal in the same way that I do.
“But whether I like it or not he is the owner of our football club. If he could sell it tomorrow I would be happy but will it happen?”
Arsenal sit ninth in the Premier League table heading into Friday night’s clash under the lights against Everton.
The Gunners are nine points off of fourth-placed Chelsea but their best bet of qualifying for next season’s Champions League is via the Europa League.
They face Unai Emery’s Villarreal, who sit sixth in La Liga, in the first leg of their semi-final clash on Thursday night (8pm) and are sweating on the fitness of Alexandre Lacazette and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who will both be absent for the visit of the Toffees.