Arsenal followers protest in opposition to the Tremendous League debacle, demolition proprietor Stan Kroenke
Hundreds of Arsenal fans protested outside the Emirates Stadium ahead of the English Premier League game against Everton on Friday to ask owner Stan Kroenke to sell the club. This even prompted Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek to express his interest in buying the London club.
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The fans gathered in the stadium hall more than two hours before kick-off to protest against the role of American owner Kroenke in the failed Super League project. They struck metal bars over the main till, lit torches, lit fireworks and sang “We want Kroenke out” and “We want our arsenal back.”
They also hung banners over the edge of the hall, including those that read, “Arsenal Until I Die. Kroenke Out” and “Our Club, Our Home. Sell Stan.”
Arsenal lost the game 1-0 to Everton with a possible penalty for Dani Ceballos that was overridden by VAR. The defeat keeps Arsenal in ninth place overall.
Fan anger has been brewing since Arsenal and five other Premier League clubs announced on Sunday that they were joining a breakaway Super League. And even after Arsenal’s departure from the 12-team Super League project on Tuesday evening, given a growing public backlash, it hasn’t let up and apologized to fans.
The frustration with Kroenke led Swedish tech mogul Ek, who was reportedly valued at $ 4 billion, to express an interest in buying the $ 2.8 billion team, according to Forbes.
As a kid, I’ve been cheering @Arsenal for as long as I can remember. If KSE wants to sell Arsenal, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring.
– Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) April 23, 2021
However, Kroenke’s son Josh, a director of the club, told an Arsenal fan forum Thursday that Stan Kroenke’s holding company, KSE, is not planning a sale despite the intense backlash.
In an attempt to explain their decision to join the ESL proposal, Josh Kroenke claimed they were trying to secure the club’s future in the face of declining revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic and four consecutive seasons outside of the Champions League.
“I think we are in a position to continue our position as Arsenal’s custodian. We have been put in a very difficult position by forces outside the club,” Josh Kroenke told the forum on Thursday. “We have the same plans for the summer as we did a few weeks ago and I’m still excited about them.
“That way I could run into suspicion, I might run into skepticism, but I hope over time to develop a relationship with our support groups and show them that we are capable of moving our club forward.”
In addition to Arsenal, Stan Kroenke’s company owns several US-based sports teams, including the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Avalanche, and Denver Nuggets.
After losing on Friday, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “We knew this was going to happen [with the fans]. We knew our fans would express their feelings and we made preparations to do this. That is not an excuse.
“We lost the game because in the end we had to define the game at the crucial moments. We had the openings, no clear chances that we wanted, we conceded an own goal and when we earned the right to make the decisions to score, the power has been taken away [by VAR]. “
James Olley, ESPN London correspondent, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.