Superbowl Stan has his trophy

OPINION: Arsenal owner was a million miles from the dusty old season the Gunners are having back here

Thursday, 17th February — By Richard Osley

Stan Kroenke

ON Sunday night, I was one of those guys. The ones who have no knowledge of “the grid iron” but suddenly pretend to be interested due to the Super Bowl hype which has now even infected the sensible press over here.

In our desperate need for a group occasion which lasts longer than Wordle during these wet February days, we grant ourselves permission to stay up late to watch something that is essentially quite boring – simply because America tells us it is important. Like the Oscars.

Get snacks, we are encouraged. Settle in, cancel work tomorrow. And our reward is a dullard “sport” in which people in crash helmets try to stop the game as much as possible as they inch from one line to another.

It’s true there was some suspense over who was actually going to win in the final moments, but still the half-time show was of more value; a heap of cash and fireworks thrown into a what may now be considered retro rap show. Do the kids still listen to Eminem and Snoop Doggy Dogg? Do fully grown adults? Yes, ’cos they remember him as the funny man on the Just Eat adverts and various other lame commercials.

In truth, I’ve never been able to crack the American Football code and work out why we should all be as excited as Mark Chappers Chapman on the BBC is about it all. I want to be as feverish but – like the way there was no need for the UK to follow American garish popularity towards Halloween – the point of it all remains a puzzle.

There was extra interest in north London this year only due to the fact that the winners turned out to be the LA Rams – owned by Stan Kroenke, who also has Arsenal Football Club in his business portfolio of assets.

There was Kroenke standing on the field picking up the trophy as the LA crowd went wild – a million miles from the dusty old season the Gunners are having back here.

You wonder what goes throw the Arsenal’s ownership mind right now: the team had a better weekend than most when they weren’t even playing themselves, given the sides around them all fell short in one way or another.

It wouldn’t be so far fetched to think that Kroenke, or whoever counts his money for him, looks at Arsenal and thinks the investment now needed to bridge the gap with Manchester City and Liverpool isn’t just a few million pounds – it’s probably closer to a billion on new players. Ouch.

The question is then, does the man standing there chuffed with his gleaming Superbowl trophy feel the need to push harder with the spending that would be required to get his team over in London really competing?

And while Arsenal fans continue to pay £80 matchday tickets and buy up what seems a near fortnightly release of new kits, retro kits and training top kits where is the motivation for him to do anything differently?

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