Kroenke Set For Arsenal Takeover
Last night news began to break that Stan Kroenke was mounting a bid for the shares of Danny Fizsman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith. It was then confirmed this morning that the American has increased his stake to 62% by paying both shareholders a reported £11,500 for their combined 32% stake.
In truth, this development has been in the pipeline for a few years now. I am no financial expert but I’ve read as much as I can on the deal and the buyer. Kroenke (does anyone know how to pronounce that properly?) is not acquiring the club using a Glazer style leveraged buyout.
Arsenal are in no more debt than they were yesterday and reassurances have been made to the board, who are being retained, that our self sustaining business model is here to stay. It also further marginalises the more malevolent forces of Alisher Usmanov and the Red and White Holdings Co.
Most new owners of football clubs put the branded scarf on and tell you how much they love the club. This is not Kroenke’s style. Silent Stan, as he’s known in the States, has the track record of a man who owns sports teams – Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids, St Louis Rams – because he loves sport. Of course he wants to make money but he has a reputation for building clubs sensibly.
Reassuringly, the Ron Burgundy lookalike has also stated that he supports the Arsenal Fan Share scheme; there is no plan to acquire every single share and de-list the club from the stock exchange.
More details will come out and more statements will be made but, the initial reaction has to be positive. Let’s be honest, a global brand like Arsenal was always going to move to a new model of ownership eventually. We do however maintain the privileged position that we aren’t a club that needs to be rescued like Chelsea or Liverpool were.
We are not at the mercy of a rich benefactor who buys the rights to totally reorganise the club. In the modern world of sport, this seems to be about the most stable takeover we could have wished for.
You stay classy, San Diego – Keep The Faith.