• American billionaire has no plans to sell his 67% stake despite his unpopularity in north London.
  • Kroneke says spending on football infrastructure will continue after £40m investment in training facilities.

Stan Kroenke has no plans to sell his majority stake Arsenal and has committed his long-term future to the north London club. Minority shareholders Alisher Usmanov saw a £1bn offer for the 67% of shares owned by the rebuffed earlier this year, with Kroenke having no plans to part ways with the club despite the prospect of making a handsome profit.

Uzbek-born Usmanov, who has a 30% stake in the Gunners, has regularly criticised the Los Angeles Rams and Colorado Rapids owner of failing to invest sufficiently and for continuing to back manager Arsene Wenger, who has recently begun his 22<sup>nd year at the club.

But the 70-year-old, whose net worth is estimated at $8.1bn according to Forbes, says it is not in his family's nature to sell. Kroenke has been further galvanised by Arsenal's FA Cup success in May when they beat Chelsea at Wembley to win the world's oldest cup competition for a record 13<sup>th time and is focused on the long term.

"Just go look at our history," said Kroenke Snr in a rare interview with The Daily Telegraph, ahead of the Arsenal AGM on Thursday [26 October]. "We get into these things to try to grow them. You don't see us selling things. You just don't. We are committed long-term.

"No. Absolutely not. That's just not our model. I'm at a stage in life where...what good does that do? I love Arsenal, love being involved with Arsenal. There no finer feeling than going out and winning like we did with the FA Cup.

"That whole afternoon and evening, we talked about what happened on the pitch. Wonderful. The feeling is contagious, and it makes you want to keep doing it. There's so many easier ways to make money, I can assure you. Much, much easier."

Among the many criticisms labelled at Kroneke has been the lack of investment provided by him in the transfer window. Arsenal have spent an average of £36m across the last five years, ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Premier League champions Chelsea but behind Manchester United, who have spent twice as much every year and Manchester City who have outlays nearly three times that figure.

But one area Kroenke has committed to investing in – albeit at a majorly reduced cost – is the club's training facilities at their London Colney training ground. Upwards of £40m was invested in a series of improvements which were completed in time for this season including a new player performance centre and gym.

Kroenke is committed to investing in that side of the club and will continue to ensure that Ivan Gazidis' insistence that Wenger's retention must be a "catalyst for change" are not empty words.

"We have done a lot of things and will continue to," he added. "We have doubled our people on the football operation side. On analytics, we have a central office, with really sharp PhD types watching the rest of the analytics trying to make sure we are creating best practices. We are building new ways of looking at things that we think will get us better.

"Yes, we have added (first team coach] Jens Lehmann, (director of high performance) Darren Burgess but just doubling the football staff doesn't make it better. We think we are making it better and, as we identify areas that need help, we go get the help. It's about the ability to be efficient and spend it in the best way to make your club the best.

"Yes, I think it's a big responsibility but I also think it's an even bigger opportunity and that's the really exciting part. Arsenal is a great club – it's been here for 130 years. It will be here a 130 years from now and still be a great club. Our job is to do everything we can to keep it that way and push to make it even better."

Stan Kroenke
The American is at Arsenal for the long term. Getty Images