Arsenal owner has made feelings clear as Arteta worries about Man Utd
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Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has already given his view on Mikel Arteta’s request following Sheikh Jassim’s attempt to purchase Manchester United. The Qatari-backed bid to take over at Old Trafford is being rivalled by INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe, as the Gunners boss has urged his side to react on the pitch if the Glazers do sell to Jassim.
With Middle Eastern money rife at the top of the Premier League, as Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund took over Newcastle in addition to Manchester City receiving significant investment from Abu Dhabi – Arsenal with American businessman Kroenke in charge could be the only English side in next season’s Champions League without Gulf backing.
Arteta believes that Arsenal have to capitalise on their current position towards the top of the table in order to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Newcastle and potentially United. “It is the best time because this is the moment – right now,” Arteta said.
“The best time is when you have something and try to take it, especially in elite sports… Because you don’t know when you are going to have another opportunity. That is what we’re trying to do. We’re going to Newcastle to win and continue to be there.
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“We have to compete with those teams, for sure, because we are Arsenal Football Club. The demands are to be the best in everything we do, so we have to find a way to do that.”
However, several years ago the club’s owner Kroenke spoke at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston and gave his view on Middle-Eastern investment into the Premier League and his stance on winning trophies may come as a concern for Arteta – as he pushed the club to push on after this season.
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“For me, being an individual owner, I have to have some sort of reality involved. If you want to win championships then you would never get involved,” Kroenke said in 2016. “I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.
“Over there [in the Premier League] it was sort of like ‘well, we’ve got guys from the Middle East, the oil price is over $100, they can spend anything they want’. But the problem I saw with all of that; those people can lose interest.
“It doesn’t mean that they will, but I sort of threw that out there: ‘What happens when the Middle Eastern family, this thing’s costing a lot of money and they decide to go home?’ I said what really happens in those situations is the fans get hurt because the players get picked up and paid if they’re good, the front office gets other jobs.”
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