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AST Exclusive: Kroenke interview encouraging - but Arsenal fans want action

It's been a strange summer, not much has happened in the transfer window, a video of a new kit had everyone handing out high praise and there was a bloke on a mega phone in a new shirt forming some sort of a protest.

Behind the scenes, many Arsenal fans involved in supporter groups or blogs got together to discuss the club they love.

It led to them/us all coming together as one single voice and in unity, questioning Stan Kroenke and KSE about their running of Arsenal football club.

There has been some progress recently, the structure of the club has been changed and there has been a change at manager / head coach level, but the fact remains, when KSE got involved in Arsenal, they were competing with the best, having just been runners up in the Champions League a year prior and competing for the Premier League.

12/13 years on, Arsenal are about to enter the Europa league for a third straight season, that certainly doesn't show progress. There has been an element of unfortunate circumstances with rich owners pumping in money into the likes of Chelsea and Man City which makes it even harder to compete but more interestingly, Arsenal have seen likes of Liverpool and Spurs overtaken them on the pitch and off the pitch which has sounded alarm bells.

The #WeCareDoYou campaign is about questioning KSE about a few things. One is the set-up of the board. I was at a fans' forum meeting earlier this season with Josh Kroenke and I asked what the role of the board at Arsenal was? Kroenke junior along with the club executives present, explained that there is a criteria for decisions that go to board level for approval – and they gave the example that the role of technical director was one the board had to approve.

In theory, this works great, but it only works great if the board members understand the modern game fully, are aware of things changing in the game and look at things from different angles. No one is saying the current board don't do any of that but asking the question is the least supporters can do – after all, they are stakeholders of the club and should be holding the owner and board to account. The board of directors are aging, which again, may not impact their decision making but as the game is changing, our board hasn't changed massively and that's why questions are being asked.

Another point is around the European Super League – ultimately ensuring a league for Europe's elite with no real promotion and relegation and whoever isn't in the league is left playing in their own league. The suggestion is this would replace the Champions League, but I haven't heard any guarantees that this would never become a weekend league – the fear is, once it comes in, supporters will be powerless in stopping it and it could end up killing famous cup competitions such as the FA Cup but also domestic leagues. Imagine if a Leicester City, who won the Premier League were not allowed into Europe's elite.

The last point is about making improvements to the match day experience / atmosphere. Players and managers have often spoken about how a positive atmosphere helps them increase performances and the owners should be doing all they can to make the Emirates a special place to give the team that extra 10%. After all, all supporters want is to see the team they love being successful.

We have seen a media interview done by Josh Kroenke, who to be fair has made it clear that he represents KSE in any communications and hearing from him or is father should be treated as the same thing.

Josh Kroenke made some good wider points and I think it was really encouraging seeing KSE using media channels and their own in-house Arsenal channel.

I think this interview may have been planned regardless of any statement from supporters so I would expect further communications as the points around the European Super League, matchday improvements and board level personnel were not covered.

We'll now wait and see if anything comes from this, but regardless for the first time (certainly in ages) supporters are speaking with one voice so time will tell if they / we can make a difference together.

Akhil Vyas
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Akhil Vyas

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