Sports

Arsenal valued at £1.8bn as Kroenke offers to buy remaining shares

Arsenal valued at £1.8bn as Kroenke offers to buy remaining shares

Mr Kroenke, who owns 67.09% of Arsenal through KSE UK, has received "an irrevocable undertaking" from Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov to sell his 30% stake in the club.

Usmanov's Red & White Holdings acquired an interest in the club in 2007, including the shares previously held by Arsenal's former vice-chairman David Dein.

The main Arsenal fan group said Kroenke mounting full control "marks a terrible day" for the club, which is preparing for its first season with Unai Emery as coach after Arsene Wenger's 22-year reign ended.

The news was announced in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the value of each Arsenal share set at £29,419.64.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) said it was "a terrible day" for the club, and expressed concern that part of the funding for the purchase would be made through a loan - despite Kroenke stating this would not be held against the club.

Aside from its stake in Arsenal, KSE also owns a number of United States sports clubs across a number of codes including; the Los Angeles Rams in American Football, the Colorado Avalanche in ice hockey and the Denver Nuggets in basketball.

With that in mind, the message from the Arsenal Supporters' Trust was a lot less dire.

Not everyone associated with the club shares the same optimism as Kroenke though.

He was critical of Kroenke's passive ownership style, a sentiment increasingly echoed by Arsenal fans, unhappy with what they see as the board's willingness to settle for on-field mediocrity so long as commercial stability was maintained.

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Kroenke said in a statement: "We at KSE are moving forward with this Offer leading to 100% ownership of the Club".

Unai Emery was appointed manager in May after the north London club said farewell to Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge.

It added: "The AST is also extremely concerned to note that this purchase is being funded by a loan".

"Many of these fans are AST members and hold their share not for value but as custodians who care about the future of the club". It is in effect legalised theft to remove shareholder scrutiny on how Arsenal is managed.

"Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement".

While many Americans run clubs, or franchises, like a business, the richer owners of Chelsea and Manchester City have thrown hundreds of millions of pounds at their clubs to buy the world's best players.

"The AST is wholly against this takeover".

Arsenal finished sixth in the league and missed out on a place in the Champions League last season.


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