Stan Kroenke will take sole ownership of Arsenal Football Club, after making the move to buy Alisher Usmanov’s 30% stake in the club.
The move is an official one and has been announced, and will mean that all remaining minor shareholders will be legally obliged to sell their shares, making Kroenke and his company, KSE, the only shareholder of Arsenal FC.
Kroenke, who has a portfolio of US sports teams, will spend just 45m of his own funds and receive a loan of around 557m from what is believed to be Amsterdam Bank, but has confirmed that no debt will be held against the club.
Alisher Usmanov made his own move to buy out Kroenke only last year for around 1bn, but was flatly rejected. Usmanov, who doesn’t have a seat on the board, agreed to sell his share of Arsenal, which he believes “could be the best in the world.”
Kroenke’s offer to shareholders means that the club is valued at around 1.8bn.
The KSE statement to the London Stock Exchange outlined their plans to ensure Arsenal regularly compete in the Champions League and for titles, for the Ladies and youth sides too.
This is of course, what any takeover announcement will say and is merely propaganda, but what a sole owner does mean is that, just like the Arsenal Supporters Trust have said; Kroenke would be able to “take detrimental actions like paying management fees and dividends without any check and balance.”
The AST also talked of the loan that Kroenke will be taking to finance the deal, with concerns of the debt being held against the club, much like the Glazers takeover of United.
Kroenke isn’t exactly popular with the fanbase, although aside from some stray management fees and being a largely silent owner, he hasn’t exactly done anything wrong that harms the club - although it is unclear how much of his own money he has pumped into the club to elevate our standing - if any at all.
Arsenal have also recently shed some club icons, with physio Colin Lewin and kit man Vic Akers joining Arsene Wenger in leaving the club, leaving Arsenal with very little in terms of real history at the club.
Only time will tell if Kroenke intends to suck the club dry or whether he will remain behind the scenes and let Arsenal run without his hand on the tiller.