Stan Kroenke’s plan to own 100% of Arsenal
The London Evening Standard have an update into Stan Kroenke’s effort to gain 100% ownership of Arsenal on Tuesday.
Stan Kroenke is the majority shareholder of the Gunners.
The American billionaire has held a 67% shareholding in Arsenal for many years. That’s given him virtual carte blanche to run the club as he sees fit.
But despite having de facto control of the Gunners, Kroenke has moved to claim total control.
He’s put in an offer to buy out Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, who has a 30% stake in the club.
By all accounts Usmanov is set to sell. The offer for the shares is around £550 million.
MR Usmanov boat at Porto Cervo . Perhaps he can now afford it since he sold his Arsenal shares to Kroenke pic.twitter.com/u2I02nlUsa
— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) August 10, 2018
Once Kroenke takes all of Usmanov’s shares, he can force all the remaining Arsenal shareholders into a compulsory sale.
Those remaining shares are largely held by Arsenal fans.
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust have a plan
According to the Evening Standard, the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust have a plan to try to hold up Kroenke’s takeover.
What’s important to stress is that the AST have no real power to stop the buyout happening.
But what they may be able to do is pull off a stunt.
The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust are hoping to have one last chance to have their say in public. The Evening Standard report.
The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust are set to reject Stan Kroenke’s offer to buy out their members’ shares in the club and are seeking legal advice to challenge the compulsory purchase aspect of his takeover.
Takeover law dictates that Kroenke will complete his sale regardless, so any move to reject his initial offer or mount a legal challenge will, in effect, only be a symbolic gesture.
However, the AST believe it is possible they could instigate a sufficient delay to put pressure on Kroenke to hold one final Annual General Meeting later in the year.
— Tom Collomosse (@TomCStandard) August 14, 2018
What’s the problem with Kroenke’s takeover?
The fear for Arsenal fans is that once Kroenke fully owns the club, Arsenal will become a private company operated from America.
Will Kroenke take regular dividends from Arsenal? Who knows, but it’s possible.
The issue of transparency is at the heart of the debate.
Yet, the fact remains that the horse bolted on Arsenal’s ownership fate many moons ago.
It could be argued that the actions of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust are too little, too late.