Arsenal owner Kroenke going nowhere, no regrets on Wenger
Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke insists he has no intention of selling his stake in the club.
Kroenke and his son Josh will face Arsenal's annual general meeting on Thursday after a turbulent year at Emirates Stadium, during which long-serving manager Arsene Wenger was granted a two-year contract extension despite significant fan protests against his reign.
The discontent was tempered by a superb 2-1 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup final but Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time since Wenger took the reins in 1996 and they find themselves nine points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City after nine games this time around.
Kroenke Sr will face dissent at the AGM, with the Arsenal Supporters' Trust set to vote against the re-appointments of chairman Sir Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke in a bid to show "significant corporate governance change is needed", but the 70-year-old told the Telegraph his family's 67 per cent shareholding is not on the table.
"Just go look at our history," said Kroenke Sr. "We get into these things to try to grow them .
"You don't see us selling things. You just don't. We are committed long term."
Those long-term commitments for the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment group extend to NFL team Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets of the NBA and NHL franchise Colorado Avalanche.
When Alisher Usmanov, a 30 per cent shareholder at Arsenal, made a £1billion bid for Kroenke's stake earlier this year there was "absolutely not" any chance of the offer being considered.
"That's not our model," he said. "I'm at a stage in life where... what good does that do? I love Arsenal, love being involved with Arsenal. There is no finer feeling than going out and winning like we did with the FA Cup.
"The feeling is contagious and it makes you want to keep doing it. There's so many easier ways to make money, I can assure you. Much, much easier."
Wenger found himself under renewed scrutiny when Arsenal were thumped 4-0 by Liverpool after a chaotic transfer deadline day in north London but Kroenke stands by the decision to take the 68-year-old's tenure past the 21-year mark.
"When you make decisions like that you are weighing lots of different factors but you hope that you weigh them correctly and come out with the right decision – I think we did," he said.
"We have dealt with this a lot and we believe Arsene is doing a great job and is the right guy.
"It's easy to change coaches and people do it all the time... an easy answer is to do something. It's harder not to do something.
"We have dealt with this a lot in different organisations and we just think that Arsene is doing a great job and he’s the right guy.
"I'm sure he was thinking through if he wants to go on. We have a lot of respect for Arsene – we are not going to be pushy about things. I think he treated us with respect as well. I think he is more focused than ever. Focused on winning. I really think I do see that."