Go back 15 years and you think of the classic Arsenal team, finishing the season unbeaten and swaggering their way past anyone put in front of them. Now the Champions League seems a distant dream, and the fans have had enough.
A report on Goal states that Arsenal’s biggest fan groups have come together to demand some action from owner Stan Kroenke after a lack of movement in the transfer market.
The statement says: “As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team’s football performances have declined over the past decade. When Stan Kroenke began buying Arsenal shares the club had just competed in a first Champions League final. Twelve years on, Arsenal are about to play in the Europa League for the third year running.
They have also criticised Kroenke’s attitude towards the fans by further saying: “Off the pitch, fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued. This was sadly illustrated when Stan Kroenke forcibly bought out the last remaining supporter-shareholders without even a word of appreciation for their custodianship role in the club”
The fans’ frustration is understandable, they have gone from perennial title contenders and regulars in the Champions League knockout rounds to a mere top six club.
This appears to be in large part due to financial constraints that arose from moving to the Emirates Stadium. A report on Arsenal World back in 2004 estimated the overall cost of the stadium was £357m, which may not be entirely accurate but it gives an idea as to the level of the investment.
What makes the situation worse for fans is that the performances on the pitch have led to many empty seats at home games, so they’ve traded success for a partially full stadium.
The fans have also started #wecaredoyou on Twitter to spread the word further.
In an attempt to try and offer some hope to Gunners fans, Kroenke also owns the Los Angeles Rams who he has turned round from one of the worst teams in the league to last years Super Bowl runners up, achieved through incredible recruitment and unearthing a fantastic young coach – can he do the same at Arsenal?
It’s probably best to brush over the fact he also relocated the team as part of the overhaul – Arsenal fans have suffered enough.