Stan Kroenke vows never to sell Arsenal shares, backs manager Arsene Wenger

The US tycoon who owns Denver Nuggets Basketball and Colorado Avalanche ice-hockey teams said football is his first love*

Stan Kroenke
Stan Kroenke Reuters

Arsenal Football Club owner Stan Kroenke has come out and said that he would never sell his shares.

Kroenke, alongside son and club director Josh, rejected claims they are in football just for the money.

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In an interview with the Telegraph, Stan and Josh Kroenke outlined a vision for Arsenal to extend over generations of their family and reaffirmed their emphatic support for Arsene Wenger by explaining why they took the "harder" decision to extend his contract.

Ahead of Thursday's annual general meeting at the Emirates, father and son sat down together for almost two hours for their first joint interview since Stan became majority shareholder in 2011 and Josh became a director two years later.

As reported by the Sun, asked if there was any chance he would sell, he said: "No. Absolutely not. That's just not our model. Just go look at our history. "You don't see us selling things. We are committed long-term."

The US tycoon, 70, added: "Sports fans are wonderful. They are rabid. That's the good news. They are rabid. That's the bad news. They always have opinions.

"The only part I worry about is how it affects the players and the coaching staff and that's the last group you want it to have a bad effect upon. There's a percentage that don't like you. I love Arsenal, love being involved with Arsenal."

Alisher Usmanov, who owns 30 per cent of the club, saw a £1bn bid for Kroenke's 67 per cent share rejected earlier this year — and there have been no other offers since.

Kroenke also says the Gunners are determined to keep contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil and revealed how they made a tough call in extending Arsene Wenger's contract.

He added: "It's easy to change coaches and people do it all the time. We just think that Arsene is doing a great job and he's the right guy. I think he is more focused than ever."