Sticking Up for Silent Stan

Time to cut Stan some slack?

I may have missed something: I have not been in Antarctica, or testing Musk’s Mars Tesla in Outer Space; I keep at least a cuticle on the pulse of general news, sports news and especially (naturally) The Arsenal. Evidently, the entire population of the world loathes, hates and despises Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. Except me.

I just can’t see why. What has this organisation – or, to be accurate, this man, for it is Silent Stan who draws the greatest opprobrium – done, so to exercise sports fans?

He is accused of overseeing mediocrity, that his sports franchises in the US put dividends for the owner before success on the playing area.

This is not a straightforward matter to adjudicate, because of the meritocratic way that sports in America try to function. It is very difficult for a team to maintain excellence at the top because of the cap on expenditure/salaries, and the way that recruitment is pegged to previous achievement.

However, in this era that encompasses the Arsenal, the LA Rams NFL team has sustained success, including making it to the Super Bowl just three years ago, and making the Play-Offs since; the Denver Nuggets are in the current NBA play-offs; the Colorado Avalanche have advanced through the first round of the current NHL play-offs.

Not all the teams are up there, but this list isn’t as disastrous as say last year’s scurrilous Guardian article would have us believe. Additionally, while Joe Supporter would always love to see twenty new billion-pound players signed up every year, the canard that KSE don’t put their hand in their pockets doesn’t stand up to examination.

Firstly, until recently, Arsene and the Board tied their philosophy to FFP, and the belief that ultimately, a self-sustaining model would triumph, as profligacy was penalised. Unfortunately, that boat has sailed down the CAS Swanee. Megarich owners in the system as it stands can splash whatever cash they want.

Secondly, whereas one might be critical of the specific players brought in, it is impossible to claim that money wasn’t spent. If it was spent unwisely, well then, Stan has as much to gripe about as you, but the arrival of Aubamayang, Pepe and Partey amongst others cost plenty of ackers.

Maybe it’s because he is Silent Stan, with an almost hermit-like low profile, that fans deride him, and hanker after Ek. Puzzling, if that’s the case. I saw the delight on his face (why would it not be genuine?) when we lifted the FA Cup. He might not be a life-long supporter, but I’m happy to accept that he is a supporter.

Maybe it’s the opprobrium that seeped across the Atlantic, because he removed the St Louis Rams back to LA (where they mostly were in my early years). That may be a cruel decision for the people of Missouri, and I have no idea why he did it, but it is a decision that has nothing to do with sporting success or excellence.

I am hoping that a mob comes onto ArsenalArsenal and lobs grenades at me for being so stupid, and an apologist for a monster, but that amongst the vitriol, there are some cogent ideas which will clear my fogged horizons (so that I’m not guilty of closing with a mixed metaphor, the fog is due to the grenades going off!).



19 Responses to Sticking Up for Silent Stan

  1. RockyLives says:

    Thank you for a refreshing and superbly-written perspective on a hot topic among Arsenal supporters.

    As you predict, there may be some incoming heading your way but I for one am always pleased to read viewpoints that challenge opinions which are often lazily held (or held simply to go along with the crowd).

  2. Dexter says:

    Hey there

    Good article!

    Obviously the ownership of Arsenal and my extension any football club is an emotive one. This has been brought into even more sharp focus it seems following the super league shenanigans! And even the way that was reported was skewed, as the main culprits seemed to be the owners of Liverpool and United, yet Arsenal came in for a load of stick, while the likes of City (especially) were treated markedly differently.

    Dont get me wrong, I HATE the fact we have a foreign, non Gooner supporting owner! But what can we realistically do about that?

    It’s funny how there was absolutely no uproar when all these foreign culture capitalists bought the football clubs which has led to the game being even more far removed from the ordinary fan (customer)…

    Yet somehow the ESL was so much worse than what we currently have? Dont think so!

    Anyway, onto Stanley …

    It’s TRUE the club have invested a lot of money and it ain’t his fault a lot of that money has basically been pissed up the wall by Wenger, Emery, Artera, Sven, Raul, Edu and Doris the tea lady!!

  3. Maxwell says:

    Thank you Dexter. Notwithstanding my position, I do think KSE were deeply involved in the Stupor League. It certainly seems that the American owners saw the opportunity to Americanise at least one aspect of Soccer.

    Like you, I’m not comfortable with the foreign ownership model. The football authorities and the British Government are responsible for that, since money is the overwhelming driving force of any decision they make – and not money for grassroots or supporters’ groups!

  4. LBG says:

    Max and Dexter…thank you
    A fine piece of argument, gratefully welcomed on this site as we go into an impossibly long Interlull and a Summer of hopefully uplifting additions to our non too trashy current squad.

    Your assessment of Silent Stan’s ” involvement ” in American sport reflects much of what I have read about him. I am interested that you assess him as a genuine (my word) “supporter”, rather than, perhaps an inaccurate view, that he is a profit making businessman first and foremost.
    The movement of the Rams and the American franchise system in general disappoints me. Why? It is not a system we empathise with here. The fans are important to our sport (all of it). Investment in all its forms is paramount. For this reason the proposed ESL was abhorrent to those of us who live and breathe British sport.
    His Silent character also worries us. His disbelief at the vociferous comment at early shareholder meetings from ordinary men and women wanting explanation, resulting in a complete purchase of all shares was dictatorial and certainly not evidence, for us, of someone ready to protect our superior history.
    I agree some of his money has been p***** up the wall and he cant be blamed for that.
    I hope your positivity is justified, but hope that he will rethink how involved ordinary fans are incorporated into the decisions for the future success of the Club – Board representation, shares etc. And if this does not fit his remit for sport, sell us to someone who might.

  5. Sohara says:

    It was good to read your article & I agree with all you say. The problem has been that The Kroenke’s live in the USA so have had to rely on the managers they put in , which have seriously let them down over & over again ( Let’s hope they have got it right now) Of Course they are fans of the club in fact Josh I think has become a true fan
    I would however like EK to buy us, mostly because I think that would unite the fans and the whole club again. I hate all this Kroenke out protests all the time , we should be singing songs praising out players & our team not moaning about the Kroenke’s. We are such a divided club it is a winder any good player wants to come to us.
    If the don’t sell, then I just wish that we do give them a chance to run the club properly & invest into it, we are lucky we are in no danger of going bust, we have Billionaire owners, our best course of action is to encourage them to help us more , but I doubt our fans will ever do that.

  6. RC78 says:

    Great and well-written article.

    If Stan were more present financially and in the stadium/press, I am sure he would be well accepted by fans but he is not investing massively in our club and he is distant so there you go…

    If AFC wants to compete with the Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool, then Stan has to be the man and spend! Chelsea’s bench could start for us almost, same for City and there is a case for Utd too…

  7. JM says:

    Ivan Gazidis (2009 to 2018)
    Sven Mislintat (2017 to 2019)
    Huss Fahmy (2017 to 2020)
    Unai Emery (2018 to 2019)
    Raul Sanllehi (2018 to 2020)

    “still kicking about”
    Vinai Venkatesham (2010 to present)
    Edu (2019 to present)
    Mikel Arteta (2019 to present)

    Richard Garlick (2021 to present)

    KSE has not a great record in hiring key senior executives at Arsenal.

  8. Maxwell says:

    LBG. Thank you for your response. I agree with what you say about not empathising with the US way, and how, traditionally, our sport has been supporter-driven. I reiterate that, in my view, the drifting away from supporters by professional sport is the responsibility of governing bodies – and Sky, who have turned various sports into competitions about money. A propos, that is why I’m slightly worried that Sky have now got their claws into Women’s football, where heretofore the players and fans mingle without ego.

  9. Pete the Thirst says:

    Hi Max, I’m surprised how smooth a ride you’re getting on here. Everybody has clearly had too much summer sunshine!

    The question you have to ask yourself is: ‘why did Kroenke buy Arsenal?’ The answer is quite simple: ‘to make money’.

    Any suggestion that he invested for the love of the C|ub is utter guff.

  10. Pete the Thirst says:

    On a different tangent…I’m a little surprised at the reaction to Buendia moving to Villa over Arsenal.

    £30m for a Championship level winger doesn’t make much sense to me, but then Villa have form. £25m for Tyrone Mings and £30m for Ollie Watkins raised a few eyebrows.

    Something fishy going on in Brum me thinks…

  11. Maxwell says:

    Pete. Good comment. I too am surprised (a little disappointed?) that I haven’t had a good shoeing yet. I must emphasise that I am in no way an apologist for KSE. Of course he invested in the Arsenal for profit. Is that the reason he attracts brickbats?

  12. Dexter says:

    And as for Bwenda from Norwich…

    I’m glad we didnt splash 30 mill on him and if we got someone like the fella from Brighton, or Neves from Wolves, I’d consider that a far better return on our cash.

    Obviously now whatll happen is the Argenteen will be an assist machine!! 🤣🤣

  13. LBG says:

    Bissouma from Brighton is not a creative midfielder and Neves will cost £30m plus.

  14. fred1266 says:

    Everytime we get link we someone u know I always has to ask the question what your see in him (neves)

    Willock way better

  15. LBG says:

    Mavrapanos has Haarland in his pocket in recent friendly Greece v Norway, according to reports. Bring him back Mikel, or big fee required.

  16. Dexter says:


    I know, both Bissouma and Neves are DMs, I’d rather we bought a top quality DM, as we havent had one for flipping years!

    Xhaka (I know, I know!) Is neither a DM or an AM and having that shield in front of the back 4, the manager could then give the likes of Saka, Willock, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Martinelli more freedom to help create chances, the team have struggled to.

    If we can find a creative midfielder too (really dont get the clamour for Odegaard?) then all the better!

    I’m not greedy! 🤣

  17. LBG says:

    I agree. Bissouma for me and, as I have said before, he could bring out the Vieira in Partey.

    Here’s one to get your fangs into. Edu interested in doing a straight swop Bellerin for………..Ramsey!

  18. LBG says:

    Let alone Balogun!

  19. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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