As you will have already seen this morning, Stan Kroenke is set to become the outright owner of Arsenal after Alisher Usmanov accepted a bid for his shareholding in the club.
The Russian will receive something in the region of £550m for his 30.05% stake, and KSE have stated categorically that they will make a compulsory purchase of the rest of the shares as stock market rules allow them to.
- The successful implementation of the Offer will result in the opening of a new chapter in the history of the Club in bringing 100 per cent. private ownership by KSE.
- 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. KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the Club.
- Private ownership is the most common form of ownership amongst the clubs of The Premier League, with 18 of the existing 20 clubs privately owned.
- KSE believes moving to that model will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the Club’s strategy and ambitions. KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the Club.
In the statement, the American also outlines his ambitions for the club in the wake of taking full control. They say:
- KSE’s ambitions for the Club are to see it competing consistently to win The Premier League and The Champions League, as well as the major trophies in the women’s senior game and at youth level.
- Under KSE’s stewardship since 2011 the Club has invested in major transfers, player contracts, analytics, senior non-playing football management employees, building the Club’s global brand and fan-base, and the stadium, training facilities and Club offices.
- KSE expects the Club to build on those investments and to continue to invest in London Colney and Hale End to ensure the Club stays at the cutting edge of sporting high performance through player preparation, training, conditioning and youth development.
- KSE looks forward to an ambitious and successful 2018/19 season for the first team squad under the guidance of our new Head Coach Unai Emery and Academy Manager Per Mertesacker.
And on the deal to purchase Usmanov’s shares, they continue:
- The offer is not being funded by way of any debt finance (bank loans, payment in kind loans or other debt or quasi debt interest bearing obligations) for which the payment of interest on, repayment of, or security for any liability (contingent or otherwise) will depend on the business of Arsenal.
Words are all well and good, but those who have watched Kroenke since his arrival pay little more than lip-service to his investment in Arsenal shares, and basically refuse to engage in any meaningful way with supporters will be concerned about the fact he will, most likely, own 100% of the shares and thus become even less accountable than he is already.
At one end of the scale, he could invest heavily in the team to help realise the ambitions outlined in that statement, and at the other Arsenal could become just another one of his assets on which, or through which, he could leverage the value to our detriment.
It’s a worrying development.