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Arsenal fans demand action from owner Stan Kroenke in damning open letter

PUBLISHED: 10:26 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:26 15 July 2019

Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke (left) and Arsenal Chairman Chip Keswick (right) in the stands during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke (left) and Arsenal Chairman Chip Keswick (right) in the stands during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Arsenal fans have issued an open letter demanding action from much-maligned owner Stan Kroenke after a summer of frustration at the Emirates.

Arsenal fans hold up an anti-Stan Kroenke banner during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: Adam Davy/PAArsenal fans hold up an anti-Stan Kroenke banner during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: Adam Davy/PA

Frustration with the American billionaire has been growing in the off season, and a number of fan groups - including the Arsenal Supporters' Group, the Black Scarf Movement and REDaction - joined forces to issue an open letter to the 71-year-old.

Having made just one signing in the form of Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli, and with the club preparing for a third successive season in the Europa League, the letter questions the Gunners approach to player recruitment.

Describing the club as 'at a crossroads', fans demanded 'meaningful action to reinvigorate our football club' while also raising issues with the matchday atmosphere at the Emirates and the marginalisation of supporters.

Kroenke first arrived at Arsenal in 2007, not long after the Gunners had reached the Champions League final defeat in 2006 against Barcelona.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shakes hands with Owner Stan Kroenke after the final whistle during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture: Adam Davy/PAArsenal manager Arsene Wenger shakes hands with Owner Stan Kroenke after the final whistle during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture: Adam Davy/PA

Since then, Arsenal have won just three FA Cups and they have not qualified for the Champions League since 2017.

Using the hashtag #WeCareDoYou, the following joint statement has been issued.

"As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team's football performances have declined over the past decade. When Stan Kroenke began buying Arsenal shares the club had just competed in a first Champions League final. Twelve years on, Arsenal are about to play in the Europa League for the third year running.

"Off the pitch, fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued. This was sadly illustrated when Stan Kroenke forcibly bought out the last remaining supporter-shareholders without even a word of appreciation for their custodianship role in the club.

"It feels as though Arsenal is at a crossroads. Things need to change.

"What all of us as signatories to this statement want to see is meaningful action by Stan Kroenke to reinvigorate our football club.

"This requires work to strengthen the club's board and football executive and to once again make Arsenal a place where fans have a real sense of belonging. Change needs to start with better leadership."

It continues: "In his takeover document Stan Kroenke said: 'KSE's ambitions for the club are to see it competing consistently to win the Premier League and the Champions League'.

"We see little evidence of how this is to be achieved. Instead our club feels like an investment vehicle, personified by the owner's statement that he didn't buy Arsenal to win trophies.

"It is sad that an institution like Arsenal FC has such passive ownership. All of us want to see a clear sense of purpose and direction. KSE should start by being more open and accountable and explain how they intend to achieve the goal of winning the game's major trophies.

"As Arsenal supporters, we care deeply.

"We would like to hear from our club and see actions that demonstrate that they do too. The first opportunity comes when the managing director and head of football speak to invited supporters on July 25th. We urge them to address the issues raised here.

"We will watch with interest."

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