Josh Kroenke Says Arsenal Transfer Business Wasn’t Response to Fan Outrage

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It took some time, but Arsenal FC finally got moving this past summer transfer window when they made their first signing in the middle-to-late portion of it.

They addressed their biggest issue, the back line, in the 11th hour of the transfer window. Arsenal made a lot of acquisitions and spent some money, but they didn’t do most of it until after the supporter backlash against the direction of the club hit a fever pitch.

According to Josh Kroenke, Club Director and son of Stan Kroenke, the majority owner of the club, the added activity was not in response to fan outrage.

“I would say that if you’re reacting and doing club record signings based on public opinion, you’re not going to go very far as a club,” Kroenke said in a wide-ranging interview with the BBC.

“We weren’t reactive this summer, we were actually proactive. It was unfortunate that the summer unfolded publicly the way it did with some of the supporters groups.

“I tried to answer some of their concerns to the best of our ability. We identified key targets, worked on those deals and over time we were able to execute them.”

The north London side broke the club transfer fee record when they signed Nicolas Pepe from Lille, and despite their failure to qualify for UEFA Champions League competition, they were able to poach three players from teams competing in the UCL.

arsenal football

Arsenal have had a couple solid transfer windows now, and they did despite being relegated to the Europa League. Their transfer activity really flies in the face of the belief that you can’t recruit top players when you’re not in Europe. Arsenal said they didn’t have money to spend this summer, but in the end they splashed the cash at an elite level (even if some of those buys were on installments).

They truly embodied the idea of under-promise and over-deliver.

“That’s hopefully a sign of encouragement for Arsenal fans that, when we’re out in the market place, you might never know what we’re thinking and you could be surprised by some of the names that come up,” Kroenke concluded.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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