Kroenke: Cash nothing without titles
Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has insisted that no one at the club will be satisfied until the team starts winning major trophies once again, as he addressed shareholders at the Gunners' annual general meeting at Emirates Stadium.
Kroenke received a less hostile reception than the one he was greeted with at the same event last year, with Arsenal’s encouraging start to the season and the club’s decision to spend 42.4 million pounds in signing Mesut Ozil silencing some of the American investor's critics.
Yet he was eager to point out that the club’s ambition does not stop with one major signing, as he suggested "nothing works unless we have success on the pitch" in a meeting that was also attended by manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
"None of us -- the fans, players, or Arsene -- are happy until we have won trophies, we have said that over again and we are committed to that," Kroenke said. "We are pleased with the progress of the club, most importantly progress on the pitch.
"It is also important for the club to be successful commercially, and we are pleased with that. We have come a long way, with the debt being paid down and commercial revenues are increasing. However, nothing works unless we have success on the pitch."
Gazidis went on to defend both himself and Kroenke against persistent suggestions that they should engage with supporters on a more regular basis.
"Mr Kroenke has fulfilled his commitment to engage with fans in accordance with the takeover document," Gazidis said. "Since his takeover he has attended every AGM, answered questions and listened.
"He has given multiple media interviews. It’s important that we remember that and also that he encourages the board to engage.
"I regularly meet with supporters and the credit goes to Mr Kroenke and the Arsenal board for that. There’s no other club at this level which engages with fans as much as we do. It is unique."
Gazidis also fielded supporters' complaints about getting wet when it rains on matchdays and ruled out the prospect of a roof being installed on the Emirates Stadium, before confirming that the club are preparing to make a "top-class appointment" to fill the void set to be created by the departure of Liam Brady at the helm of Arsenal’s academy.
Meanwhile, Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick declined the opportunity to explain why billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov, who is the second largest shareholder at the club, is not being invited to take up an influential position on the club’s board.