The Emirates Stadium – The Fallen Kingdom. A ground that once was graced by the greatness of King Henry has decayed into a desolate castle. A fortress with no defences, a long, heart-wrenching process has brought the Gunners to their knees, desperately crawling to a third consecutive season in the Europa League, and misfiring when the Gunners faithful needed them most in Baku.
The puzzle of the famous red and white shirt is complex, one the might of Alan Turing would struggle to contend with. With so many faltering parts in the Arsenal machine, pointing a finger at one man might seem ignorant, or perhaps worst, arrogant. However, the machine is no ordinary machine. This machine has a mechanic who refuses to repair vital components. Stan Kroenke, this failing mechanic.
Cast your mind back to 2006, a painful experience, one all Arsenal fans have desperately tried to erase from our memories. I need not utter the specific event, every member of the Gunner’s faithful knows what I speak of. After the anguish endured in the mesmeric Parisian night sky, fans would undoubtedly have been shocked if you informed them of the road their beloved team was heading down. A year later, a money-crazed leech bought Arsenal Football Club for his personal gain, (Usmanov, however, is by no means a saint), and so, the chaotic Arsenal journey hastens.
The period of 2005-2014 is a well-documented one and needn’t be discussed in an in-depth capacity. That said, the thing of note for this period is the signing of Mesut Ozil and the famous FA Cup success against Hull, a new era was to be ushered in. Instead, what followed was increasingly inept transfer decisions, sub-par performances, and complete and utter neglect of the fans, the very people who hold the foundations of Arsenal Football Club up.
We have seen glimmers of greatness, slithers of the potential that the Gunners faithful know rests at the core of our ethos, the Arsenal DNA. However, it is dormant, waiting to be awoken. This awakening cannot arise until Stan Kroenke does one thing, shows his commitment and gives the investment a club of Arsenal’s stature dearly deserves, or leaves to allow an individual who has the legacy-ridden red and white jersey in their heart when they buy this historic club.
The dictatorial nature of complete ownership in 2018 in buying Usmanov’s shares confirmed the worst fears of Arsenal fans around the globe. The club that has grown to define many of our lives is controlled by a man who has his bank account as the love of his life. However, The chaos preceded this purchase, the abysmal summer transfer window of 2015 the embodiment of this, the sole signing being Petr Cech, a man who has since returned to our London rivals Chelsea.
Wrongs have been enacted, and they have caused significant damage to the core of our incredible institution. Whilst the damage is severe, it is not irreparable. By planting the seeds of care and flourishment into the Emirates soil today, the fruits of the labour will be positively felt not just by the dejected fans in the atmosphere deprived stands, but by millions around the world. The Arsenal DNA prides itself on openness and inclusivity, the cannon on the chest symbolising the never dying passion and hunger this club, its players, and its fans should have for success. A club historically priding itself on inclusivity is currently alienating, demoralising fans, and milking every last penny from the wallets of its fans.
The fans care because we see potential, we see the possibility for greatness. A state-of-the-art stadium, a technological marvel of a training ground, and many top level talents at first team and youth level. People are defined by their decisions, and Mr Stan Kroenke, you have a decision to make. A decision that will affect millions of people across this planet.
Mr Stan Kroenke, we care, do you?
Written by @JakeAL10