Stan Kroenke buy-out ‘dreadful’ for Arsenal, say fans
Stan Kroenke buy-out ‘dreadful’ for Arsenal, say fans
Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke
11 August, 2018, 07:45
"I have made a decision to sell my shares in Arsenal Football Club which could be the best football club in the world", he said. Americans have had a mixed fortune as Premier League owners, with the Glazer family rarely popular at Manchester United, even when the club won the league.
Stan Kroenke moved to the brink of a full takeover of Arsenal on Tuesday (Aug 7) after minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov accepted an offer worth £550 million (B23.749 billion) for his stake.
The American's company, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, now owns 67 per cent of the Gunners and has offered to purchase the 30 per cent held by Alisher Usmanov's Red and White Securities firm.
But the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) said it was a "dreadful" day for the club, adding it was too important to be owned by one person.
While Kroenke says taking sole ownership will benefit the club, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) called the news "a awful day" for the Gunners.
This deal brings an end to a decade-long battle for complete ownership between Kroenke and Usmanov.
Labour leader and Arsenal fan Jeremy Corbyn has backed the club's Supporters Trust in their opposition to Stan Kroenke's full takeover of the Gunners.
The motion, put forward by Brian Sedgemore MP, read: "This House believes that Arsenal is the best club football team in the world at the moment and admires them for the fluency and poetry that they have brought to the handsome game".
"KSE believes moving to private ownership will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the club's strategy and ambitions, " Kroenke's company said.
Kroenke is unpopular with some fans
Kroenke, who - like Usmanov - first started amassing shares in Arsenal in 2007, succeeded in gaining full control in 2011.
In a world where clubs are owned by billionaires who do not always turn up to watch them play, the independent shareholders formed a rare bridge between the club's board and its fans. They also stated that by becoming the 100% owner, Kroenke could, if so desired, take "detrimental actions" such as paying "management fees and dividends without any check or balance".
"The financial viability of the deal must also be carefully examined, especially if the club will be purchased via a loan".
"This news marks a awful day for Arsenal Football Club", it read.
"The AST is wholly against this takeover which marks a very sad day for Arsenal football club".
Kroenke dismissed concerns of fans who last saw the team win the Premier League in 2004 and finish sixth last season to miss out on the Champions League.
Kroenke will be raising the capital to take control of the club with £45m of his own money and borrowing £557m, which he says will not be against the club.
Arsenal have a new manager in charge this season after Unai Emery took over from Arsene Wenger, who had been Gunners boss for 22 years.
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