Josh Kroenke has responded to Arsenal fans just 24 hours after the #WeCareDoYou campaign was launched.
Kroenke is the director of the Gunners and son of owner Stan, with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) coming under fire from Arsenal fans.
A collection of 16 supporters groups wrote a strongly-worded letter criticising their ownership of the club and attacking the ‘soulless atmosphere’ at the Emirates stadium.
But Josh Kroenke, who is in America and watched the club’s pre-season win over Colorado Rapids, has since responded to fans with a letter of his own.
“I’d like to start by clarifying that my family owns Arsenal together, and when it comes to the Club, my father and I are in constant dialogue.
“So when you hear from him you are hearing from me, and the other way round. So I pen this on behalf of myself, my father, my family and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
“We know we have some of the most passionate fans in any sport, anywhere in the world. It’s part of what makes us such a special and unique Club.
“And while we understand, appreciate, and agree with concerns about our Club failing to achieve our goal of qualifying for the 2019-20 Champions League, we respectfully disagree about our Club being at a crossroads and that things need to change because so much change has recently occurred.”
Kroenke highlighted the appointment of Edu as technical director, an appointment he describes as the ‘final piece of a very important jigsaw’ in the club’s football operational structure.
“He [Edu] is first and foremost an Arsenal man who understands the ethos of our Club and, as an Invincible, he understands the mentality required from top to bottom across the entire Club for us to return to the level at which we all expect to be competing,” said Kroenke.
“He joins Freddie, Per and Steve Bould, all winners with Arsenal DNA, who love our Club.
“We want to be clear we are in sports for one reason and one reason only…to win. There is simply no better feeling in sport than winning at the highest level.
“We know there is a lot of hard work ahead and understand that supporters want success now. We will continue to push forward trying to balance the short and long term vision without abandoning the core principles of the Club that have sustained us for the past 133 years.
“We are not naive in our thinking that our ambitions can be achieved overnight, and are putting processes in place to ensure we are stacked not only with talent, but talent with the proper mentality to help us achieve our highest goals in the future.”
Much has been made of Arsenal’s limited transfer budget this season, with rumours of Unai Emery having as little as £45million to spend in the market.
Bids for Wilfried Zaha and Kieran Tierney have been rejected out of hand already this summer, with Gabriel Martinelli the only name through the door thus far at the Emirates.
But in an interview with the club’s official website, Kroenke revealed there could be more success soon.
“I would say be excited’,” he told arsenal.com. “There are a few things that I know our group are working on, and a few things we hopefully have on the doorstep.
“Nothing is ever a done deal until it is a done deal obviously, but we have key areas we want to address in our squad, both now and in the future.
“Our entire football operations staff have a great grasp on that and I’ve encouraged them to be as aggressive as possible.”
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