Arsenal not at a crossroads, declares Josh Kroenke in response to angry letter from fans
Statement issued on behalf of owner Stan Kroenke following criticism from supporters on the direction of the club
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 17/07/19 6:30am
Arsenal are not at a crossroads according to director Josh Kroenke in a passionate response to an open letter from fans criticising his father's running of the club.
In a combined statement from 14 supporter groups, Arsenal fans told owner Stan Kroenke they felt marginalised and called for the US billionaire to reinvigorate the club.
However, speaking on behalf of his father, director Kroenke rejected claims Arsenal desperately needed to restructure in order to achieve long-term success, and said the club already had "developed a modern infrastructure" following Arsene Wenger's departure from the club as manager last summer.
Kroenke's statement read: "While we understand, appreciate, and agree with concerns about our club failing to achieve our goal of qualifying for the 2019-20 Champions League, we respectfully disagree it is at a crossroads and things need to change because so much change has already occurred.
"Over the past year we have turned the page from our traditional model of football operations that included a Manager and CEO, to a new chapter of Arsenal Football Club that is led by a Head of Football and Managing Director.
"Since their appointments and that of Unai Emery as our Head Coach we have continued working to develop a modern infrastructure, designed to move us forward.
"This will take time to play out, but this was always going to be the case after such a long period of time operating under a different model.
"For us, the most important thing to achieve was not simply change for the sake of it, but to ensure we put the right people in the right roles to work together in a positive environment to achieve our stated goal of winning silverware both domestically and in Europe."
Kroenke then went on to cite the appointment of former Arsenal player Edu as the club's first technical director as "the final piece of the jigsaw".
He added: "Edu represents the final piece of a very important jigsaw puzzle that is our new football operational structure."
"He is first and foremost an Arsenal man who understands the ethos of our club and, as an Invincible, he understands the mentality required from top to bottom across the entire club for us to return to the level at which we all expect to be competing.
"He joins Freddie (Ljungberg), Per (Mertesacker) and Steve Bould, all winners with Arsenal DNA, who love our club."
The statement ends by stating the owners are committed to long-term success within "the core principles of the club" and thank the supporters, "the lifeblood", for their continued support.