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ARSENAL LEGEND LAUNCHES ATTACK ON KROENKE
SportingPreview.com: 5 March 2013

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Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has launched a stinging criticism of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and called on 'Silent Stan' to start speaking to the fans.

Speaking in his columnn in The Sun, Wright says Kroenke needs to start answering some questions and tell everyone what his detailed plans are for the club as "a couple of minutes at the AGM each year simply is not enough."

Wright defended Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek businessman who has invested a fortune but cannot get near the Emirates boardroom, saying "Kroenke doesn't want it to happen. It seems their business models don't match."

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Wright also took a swipe at Kroenke, saying: "Looking at all his sports teams, I'm not sure any of them actually win anything.

"The Gunners, unfortunately, will be going an eighth year without winning a trophy.

"They need a miracle away to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in eight days' time, and even if they somehow go through they will still only be in the last eight.

"Kroenke attends board meetings on the rare occasions he travels to North London but that is not really enough for me.

"He rarely goes to games so you have to wonder whether he cares about the club. He seems more interested in having a business which makes a lot of money."

Wright admitted he was not in the greatest of moods after seeing Arsenal lose to Spurs on Sunday and mentioned that many Arsenal fans will feel exactly the same as him.

"It's all about bragging rights. It's about having the last word with Spurs fans. Yet at the moment, the neighbours are moving ahead.

"I wonder whether Stan is feeling this pain. I think he probably doesn't. He obviously speaks to Ivan Gazidis, the chief executive. He also talks with Arsene Wenger.

"But Kroenke has not asked the supporters what they think of the club and how it is being run. I think this is vital.

"Kroenke has not heard the arguments from fans who pay thousands of pounds watching their side each season. He must listen to the many fans who would like to see Usmanov involved.

And the criticism continued with Wright saying: "Kroenke must also talk about his other franchises and whether he has taken them forward.

"Arsenal's fans would love to hear him explain.

"I understand why Gazidis and Wenger do not want the club turned into a Chelsea-style outfit which spends colossal sums on players.

"No Arsenal regular wants to see their club turn vulgar. But the club needs to offer the going rate in wages to players like Juan Mata who, it appears, was ready to join Wenger.

"Kroenke must explain why he is not prepared to go the extra mile for these excellent players.

"He must also tell us what he thinks of Tottenham's progress, because they are favourites to finish in the top four.

"Equally, if this new consortium does have their offer dismissed, I want Kroenke — within reason — to explain the deal and the reasons for the decision.

"I am not holding my breath, though."

In recent seasons, all Arsenal fans have had to cheer about is a 5-2 win over Spurs, a few Champions League knockout matches and the sight of Thierry Henry scoring an FA Cup goal against Leeds to remind us what Arsenal were like when they had a great team.

Spurs are seven points clear of Arsenal and that is painful for the fans to see.

Wright added: "But Tottenham look a decent side. It's not just Gareth Bale. Vertonghen, Caulker, Walker and Dembele are all good players.

"You have to give Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy credit and once again, it hurts me to say this.

"Spurs can look ahead with optimism. They are playing Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday and I'm sure it will be a great night at White Hart Lane.

"I think Tottenham will beat Inter over two legs and if they keep playing like they are, they stand a chance of winning the trophy this season.

"And how much would everyone at Arsenal like to see one of those..."

Ian Wright was quoted in The Sun.


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