By G9ija

Arsenal have announced that owners Stan Kroenke and Josh Kroenke have been appointed co-chairs of the club in a restructuring of the board.

The American duo’s holding company, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, assumed full control of Arsenal in 2018, having gradually increased their shares since launching their first bid in 2007.

Stan Kroenke bought out the remaining shares held by Uzbek-Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov in 2018, but the 75-year-old’s full takeover has not been warmly welcomed by Arsenal fans.

While Stan Kroenke is seldom seen in the English capital, his son Josh Kroenke often visits Arsenal’s London Colney training base and appears to share a good relationship with Mikel Arteta and chief executive Vinai Venkatesham.

Former Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick retired in May 2020, and the Gunners did not replace the 83-year-old after he stepped down from his position, but a shake-up of the hierarchy will soon take effect.

As well as the Kroenkes being appointed co-chairs, Tim Lewis – a corporate lawyer hired during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 – has become the club’s executive vice-chair.

“The appointments are a recognition of how our leadership structure has evolved over the past several seasons since Kroenke Sports & Entertainment assumed 100 per cent ownership of Arsenal Football Club in 2018,” Arsenal said in a statement.

“Stan, Josh and Tim have worked together to drive our club forward and their appointments bring clarity to our structure that reflect their roles and responsibilities and will ensure we continue in our pursuit of progress and success.”

Principal owner Stan Kroenke added: “This is a simple evolution as part of us all driving Arsenal forward and further reaffirms our family’s long-standing commitment to this great club. Stability in football has never been more important as we move past the pandemic, and we believe this is the perfect time to formalise these roles.

“Our objectives and ambition will never waver – to field teams that compete for trophies at the highest level and lead our club in a way that inspires our passionate supporters around the world.

“Supported by our Director, Phil Harris, and together with our Executive Team and all our wonderful people, we have an incredible opportunity to build on the values and traditions of Arsenal Football Club.”

Arsenal were one of 12 clubs who signed up to the doomed European Super League in 2021, leading to fierce protests against the Kroenkes outside the Emirates, even after the Gunners pulled out of the project.

Josh Kroenke issued an apology at a fans’ forum following the ESL’s collapse, but the Gunners have enjoyed a stellar 2022-23 campaign so far, sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.