Even though Arsenal - Manchester City is a marquee football matchup, it is not the biggest football game of the day for Stan Kroenke. That honor goes to the L.A. Rams - New England Patriots Super Bowl LIII tilt in Atlanta Sunday evening. As a reminder, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment owns both Arsenal and the Rams, as well as a number of other properties.
I chatted with TSF’s resident Rams expert @3k_, one of the managing editors at Turf Show Times, and we agreed that the short answer to the headline question is “probably not.” A Rams Super Bowl win would have little to no direct effect on Arsenal.
The two franchises are economically separate. As far as we know, money is not flowing from one to the other. Kroenke is not going to find ways to fatten the Arsenal transfer kitty with money from his other businesses.
How do I know? Simple. It didn’t happen this time around and doesn’t appear to have happened in the past. While Kroenke lags behind Sheikh Mansour (City’s owner) and Roman Abromavich (Chelsea’s owner) in estimated net worth, he’s no slouch. His estimated net worth is $8.5 billion. But as this ESPN article details, Kroenke is a “self-declared ‘investor,’ for whom football is a financial, not emotional activity,” and he is committed to Arsenal being a self-sustaining entity.
Put bluntly, there’s no money coming in from elsewhere in KSE. Any financial gain realized by the Rams from a Super Bowl win (or even from their Super Bowl appearance) will not filter down to Arsenal. The Gunners will sink or swim on their own.
Even though a Rams Super Bowl win won’t have any direct, tangible effects on Arsenal, there are some indirect and tenuous ways that it might positively affect the Gunners (and yes, I realize this is grasping at straws a bit).
To the extent that there are any organizational features, strategic decision-making processes, and / or guiding principles that helped the Rams to their success this season, distilling them down and translating them over to the Premier League could be useful. For example, hiring Sean McVay as head coach was a significant break from the NFL norm. McVay is the youngest head coach in the modern history of the league, known for drilling down to the minutia of the game to find advantages for his team, and goes out of his way to build relationships with his players. If Unai Emery doesn’t work out, perhaps Arsenal would be more willing to take a chance on a young upstart (cough cough Mikel Arteta cough cough) for their next head coach given the Rams’ success.
A bit more speculative - I can imagine a world in which the taste of a championship with the Rams makes the Kroenkes “hungry for more” so to speak. Winning is fun. Winning a title is even better. Maybe they’d loosen the pursestrings at the Emirates in pursuit of another hit of that elusive feeling.
So yeah, the Super Bowl result doesn’t really mean anything to us as Gooners. Of course, with the Rams being a distant cousin, I’d like to see them beat the Patriots. And that’s the only reason for my personal Super Bowl rooting interest. It’s definitely not because like the Yankees, the Lakers, and Duke (not for me, but for most), the Patriots are loathsome and deserving of our scorn. Definitely not that.
Oh. You have my permission to yell at your TV about your frustrations with Arsenal if they show Stan during the Super Bowl broadcast. Just make sure you’re ready to explain to everyone else at your party what Arsenal is and why you’re yelling like a lunatic about the other kind of football.