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November 1, 2011 / benwolfson08

Silent Stan speaks on Arsenal and more!

Stan Kroenke is the majority shareholder of Arsenal, which is valued at $1.2 billion

For the first time since purchasing Arsenal last April, majority shareholder Stan Kroenke talked to the press after he addressed the team at London Colney training center on Monday.

Often nicknamed ‘Silent Stan’ because of his lack of public communication about the club, Kroenke also owns the St. Louis Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rapids.

Kroenke’s full transcript interview can be found here.

One interesting thing that can be taken from the interview is his response to critics who want him to spend more money. One would think that Arsenal being one of the most popular clubs in the world and worth over one billion dollars would fork out money to keep players.

Can Arsenal compete on the money?

“Here’s the thing. Could you? Yeah. You could. Do you want to? Maybe you don’t. See what I mean? What I told you earlier – sometimes you can overspend for the wrong assets and you end up shorter in the long run. Or you could say, and you might, ‘Well, just buy him anyway. The whole has unlimited resources, go out there and spend anything, stockpile everyone and maybe you’ll win. You buy to win.’ But you might not. There’s examples where you haven’t. Now I think that you want to be sure that you want to spend the money and I think that’s what our manager does. He makes that evaluation. That’s his job. It wasn’t because the money wasn’t there. We have money. And it wasn’t because, Ivan can tell you, anybody sitting here ever said, ‘ Don’t spend it.’ Now, if you spend it all and there is no more money, you guys come and say, ‘Well, Stan, we’re short now, you need to spend some more money.’ Well then you could blame me, maybe, but I don’t think you can blame me now, because I think it’s a philosophy. I think this club is run a certain way and I think people are proud of the way it’s run. And I think our fans are proud of the way it’s run. Now, does that mean there are people who wouldn’t like to see you spend more? I think there is a natural tension there. I think maybe they would want you just to make the biggest offer out there. A club could go into a bunch of debt again, spending debt – there was various proposals, we should do different things, I didn’t think we should do them and it’s turned out fairly well. The club has no debt now, because the cash resources exceed the amount of debt that’s on the team.”

When looking at it I think the Arsenal way will always be like this under current manager, Arsene Wenger. I couldn’t honestly imagine Arsenal without Wenger, ever since he joined Arsenal in 1995 he has been a figurehead for the club. I trust his judgement on players and he is a premier evaluator of talent.

He took a chance on Cesc Fabregas as a 16-year old when no one knew of him and under Wenger developed into one of the best midfielders in the world.

Another interesting tidbit involving money. Current Arsenal captain Robin van Persie was bought from Dutch club, Feyenoord, in 2004 for the price of £2.75 million. Compare that to Fernando Torres who was acquired by Chelsea for £50 million last January from Liverpool. Wenger gets his money’s worth on players and will never make a stupid buy.

Overall it was a pretty interesting interview and it was refreshing to hear Kroenke speak about Arsenal.

Van Persie comments on controversy over his goal celebration

After scoring his second goal against Chelsea on Saturday, controversy erupted by the Arsenal skipper’s celebration.

He saluted after doing it and many people took it to be the Nazi salute. Video replay can be seen here.

He took to his Twitter account — @Persie_Official — to address the claims. “It has been brought to my attention of some ridiculous allegations concerning my celebration of one of my goals yesterday. It is totally ludicrous to suggest that my action of brushing my shoulder and pointing to my fans could be construed as anything else but of a showing of joy and celebration. To suggest this meant anything to the contrary is insulting and absolutely absurd as nothing else came into my mind.”

Personally the Nazi salute was one of the first things I thought of when I saw this, but I highly doubt van Persie meant it like that and I believe him.  The Netherlands was occupied during WWII by the Nazis.

Van Persie has done the celebration before and has just meant it to show that that was his best goal, or the common expression, “Dirt off your shoulder” popularized by the Jay-Z song.

That’s it until tomorrow when Arsenal face Marseille in a Champions League match at 1:45 central time.

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