ARSENAL’S majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has urged fans of Manchester United to admit they have been wrong to demonise the Glazer family and thank them for the success they have delivered since their controversial takeover.
Despite the Old Trafford club continuing to pick up trophy after trophy since Malcolm Glazer took over the club back in 2005, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner remains persona non grata.
Glazer has been vilified for the way he financed th purchase of the club with loans partly secured against the club’s assets, while soaring ticket prices have hardly helped boost his popularity.
Kroenke, however, who addressed Arsenal’s fans for the first time at last week’s stormy AGM, is perplexed by the treatment of his compatriot.
“Since they took over they have won and they have increased revenues by a huge amount,” said Kroenke, who maintains he has no plans to secure loans against Arsenal in the way that Glazer has done at United.
“If I was a fan of that club, I would go there and go ‘Wow!’ because how could you do it any better?
“We have a whole different philosophy I think in the States, maybe, but I think it’s time maybe for everybody to think a little bit.
“He (Glazer) took money out of the club. So what? (LA Lakers owner) Jerry Buss takes money out of his club. A lot of owners in the US do. No-one ever says anything about it.”
Kroenke spoke to the Arsenal first team squad yesterday in the company of Arsene Wenger, before re-iterating his support for the Gunners boss and the self-sustaining financial model the north London club operate under.
He said: “I think you can have people who spend a lot, they will do it for a little while and they might have some success, but then the person everyone is relying on maybe gets tired of it or has a financial reversal.
“What you are doing is that you are putting the focus on one person, one resource and is that really in the interests of a long-term situation for a great club that many people identify with and rely on?
“I would be much more proud if all our leagues were developed with the idea that you are competing on the basis of intellect and work and effort instead of just simply ‘I am going to throw dollars against the wall’.
“I have to say I am proud of the fact that Arsenal has had this sustainable business model.”