Josh Kroenke given ultimate Arsenal honour before Bayern Munich clash amid Stan Kroenke surprise

Arsenal co-chair Josh Kroenke
Josh Kroenke is a more popular figure with Arsenal fans these days than he was -Credit:David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal fans were quick to chant the name of co-chair Josh Kroenke during their trip to Germany for the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich. The American, who is son of owner Stan, has seen his role at the club grow in prominence in recent years.

Both Kroenke Sr and Jr were present at the Allianz Arena for the biggest game in almost two decades as the Gunners sought to reach a first semi-final since they went one step further in 2006. It is thought to be Stan's first competitive game for over 12 months.

Josh was in the stands at the Emirates Stadium for the last-16 second leg four weeks ago as Arsenal set up a blockbuster meeting with Thomas Tuchel and Bayern. Having been out of the competition for seven seasons, a time during which both Stan and Josh became much-maligned figures within the fanbase, things have changed dramatically since.

As recently as 2021 and the European Super League affair, Arsenal have had a mixed relationship with their ownership and hierarchy. The decision to bring in former player Edu Gaspar as sporting director and Mikel Arteta as manager in 2019, has turned things around dramatically.

Even that wasn't apparent until things on the field really took a change for the better last season. Now, with a drive toward recruiting impressive young players and seeing them flourish under one of the best-developing coaches in the world, the plans from the Kroenkes are bearing fruit.

It has resonated with fans who have been enjoying their European exploits at the top table once more with thousands travelling to Bavaria ahead of the game. Footage from one pub shows just how they are serenading the important chief - though it's not clear if this is in England or Germany.

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"Josh Kroenke went to Spain in a Ford Fiesta, bought us back a manager, super Mik Arteta," sang the jubilant fans. Although not quite factually right - Arteta was working with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City when he was approached by Arsenal - it still demonstrates just how things have changed.

Ahead of the match Kroenke spoke to YouTube personality Curious Mike, explaining his love of the club. "We were a real estate family that fell into sports due to our love of it.," he said.

"It's morphed into what we have now Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Mammoth, Colorado Rapids. The really big one is over in London. We have Arsenal Football Club.

"We've been pretty committed. We're long-term holders in everything we do. My father's philosophy, and it's the same with me as well, whenever you invest in something, if you're trying to short buck, that's not our strategy. We want to invest in something that makes sense for us over the long term."