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The club's new American owner has finally spoken to fans and the media, explaining how he developed his interest in the team, while Ivan Gazidis maintains a desire to compete

Stan Kroenke has addressed the fans and media for the first time since completing his takeover of Arsenal, and has pledged to stay at the club for a long time, believing everything is in place for success.

The American tycoon says he developed his interest in Arsenal over time despite initially having no plans to move into football, and praised manager Arsene Wenger despite a tough start to the season.

“What a wonderful club,” he said as he addressed Arsenal’s annual general meeting.

“We are involved extensively in sports in the United States and had lots of opportunities to involve ourselves in lots of clubs around Europe and in the Premier League.

“We did not have an interest, but as we became involved with Arsenal in a commercial undertaking in Denver, I became more interested.

“Arsenal has all the elements that you need to have success in this kind of business.

“[The club] has tremendous management at the top, a wonderful manager on the pitch who makes great decisions in regard to personnel, and a tremendous following with the supporters.

“With all those things in place, it was an easy decision for us to get more involved.

“We are glad to be here, are happy with the direction of the club and are here for the long term - we love London, you had better get used to seeing us, because we will be around.”

The club’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, delivered the opening address to the meeting. In it he maintained that “being a force” in the Premier League and in continental competition was still the Gunners’ “main objective”.

“We have a sound foundation to move forwards. Standing still has never been an option,” he added.

Arsenal sit in seventh place in the Premier League, having picked up in form after a poor start.

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