Alan Smith column: Arsenal fan protests won’t bother Silent Stan — he just worries about profit margins

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Alan Smith
·2-min read
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 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

When he first heard, Carlo Ancelotti thought it a joke. The Everton manager couldn't believe that such a selfish scheme was actually real.

Many Arsenal fans, in contrast, probably thought differently. Having never warmed to Stanley Kroenke in the first place, I bet they weren't surprised that Arsenal's owner had agreed to join the European Super League.

'Silent Stan', after all, has rarely shown any affection for the club. He might have spouted all the right sentiments about history and tradition, but you always got the feeling he was reading from a press release prepared by someone else. This was purely business, the chance to own an English institution that might make a good few dollars in the long run.

You knew Kroenke didn't care about the fans when he hoovered up all the shares in the club, so denying the few remaining shareholders a chance to ask questions, and yes, air a few grievances at the AGM. But no, Kroenke didn't need all that. He couldn't be bothered with all that accountability guff.

As for tonight's protests before the game against Everton at the Emirates, I'm not sure they will concern the American one bit. So what if he's unpopular? That's not the point. He'll be more concerned with the bottom line, which involves maximising profits, hence his willingness to join that dreadful breakaway.

So where does the club go from here? Well, I can't see Kroenke selling, unless he gets a generous offer, which seems unlikely in these difficult times.

No, as is often the case, the best path to better times lies on the pitch where an improving young team winning football matches is enough to push the ownership issue on to the back burner.

So it's over to you, Mikel Arteta. Win the Europa League and Arsenal get back into the Champions League, that competition Kroenke sought to destroy.

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