This post originally appeared on RT Sport News
Arsenal fans have gathered outside their Emirates Stadium to protest against scrapped plans to join the European Super League and the club’s owners.
Taking advantage of the Gunners’ home game against Everton in the Premier League on Friday, hundreds of supporters brandished banners, sang chants and let flares off.
The brunt of their anger was aimed at owner Stan Kroenke, the club’s majority shareholder for a decade now who assumed full control of the north Londoners in 2018.
Facing calls to get “out” of the club since it withdrew from the failing Super League project, Kroenke’s son Josh revealed his father has “no intention” of selling up at a fans’ forum yesterday despite the furor and long-harbored resentments.
“I believe we are fit to carry on in our position as custodians of Arsenal. We were put in a very difficult position by forces outside of the club,” the younger Kroenke added, but these remarks have evidently done little to defuse tensions.
Putting further pressure on the ruling family, club legend Alan Smith has also blasted the Kroenkes by saying to Sky Sports: “I wasn’t surprised Arsenal were involved, given they have an American owner, an absent owner, who rarely says anything regarding the football club.”
“There is very little bond between Stan Kroenke and the club. He rarely comes over. His son has a more hands-on connection with the club, but Josh is new to the game, he’s not been brought up around football,” Smith went on.
“Kroenke obviously has seen that model work in the States with the NFL, NBA, and along with the Liverpool and Manchester United owners, they have seen how profitable it could be.
Alan Smith labelled Arsenal’s owners as “ignorant” for making a decision that was indicative of Stan Kroenke’s distant handling of the club and it’s very clear these protestors share those sentiments: “We want Kroenke out” and “We want our Arsenal back” being sung loudly #AFCpic.twitter.com/It7HAH5hmO
— Ben Grounds (@Ben_Islington) April 23, 2021
“I don’t think they understand how the European mind thinks about our sporting culture. It was ignorant not to appreciate there would be such a backlash. It beggars belief,” the former striker scathed.
“For Stan, it’s about figures on the page and profits and losses. There is no emotion there. Myself and the majority of Arsenal fans are not surprised he jumped into it [the Super League], but so did some other clubs. Maybe they had some misgivings and had to be persuaded, but they were persuaded and that’s the damning thing.”
As the faithful were reported singing “We want our Arsenal back” and “We want Kroenke out”, this sentiment was echoed online by other fans.
#KroenkeOut was widely-shared on Twitter, even by club legend Ian Wright.
And the hashtag – or rather a misspelled “KronekeOut”, highlighting the lack of familiarity he has with the club, some said – trended number one in the UK.
But one contrarian went against the grain by saying: “As an honest Kroenke Out fan I have no choice but to strongly agree with Josh here.”
“The Kroenkes are setting us up on the right path now and we should be glad they are our owners. Ignore the haters,” he finished, which was definitely not a popular take.
As an honest Kroenke out fan I have no choice but to strongly agree with Josh here, the Kroenke’s are setting us up on the right path now and we should be glad they are our owners ignore the haters COYKSE
— TL (@Midclass_) April 23, 2021