Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Stan Kroenke's Arsenal takeover 'absolutely disastrous' - Ian Wright

Stan Kroenke's Arsenal takeover 'absolutely disastrous' - Ian Wright

"I have chose to sell my shares in Arsenal Football Club which could be the best football club in the world", said Usmanov.

In October a year ago KSE offered around £525million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov, the Russian businessman who himself attempted to buy-out Kroenke in May 2017.

American billionaire Stan Kroenke is set to take full control of Arsenal after minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov accepted a buyout offer of his 30 percent stake.

Kroenke, who also owns the U.S. Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Los Angeles Rams American Football team, said in a statement to the London stock exchange that he wanted to take Arsenal private to be better able to pursue its strategy.

The £550-million ($708.5-million) buy-out will see Kroenke assume full control of the north London football club.

Arsenal Supporters' Trust, a fan club, said in a statement that they are "wholly against this takeover" arguing that a club of Arsenal's stature is too big and important to be owned by a single person.

The Arsenal Supporters" Trust (AST) has already heavily criticised the deal saying it as "a terrible day for Arsenal Football Club'.

First reported by The New York Times, the agreement (worth about $712 million) not only ends a decade-long battle for full ownership between Kroenke and Usmanov but ensures Kroenke can "purchase the remaining shares in the club" and "take the club private".

Wright said he is anxious that American billionaire Kroenke cares more about money than winning trophies, and that Arsenal will no longer be able to compete for top trophies with him running the club.

Stan Kroenke makes share bid for full control of Arsenal
Arsenal: Shareholder Alisher Usmanov says he accepts rival Stan Kroenke's bid for club

Usmanov's holding company USM is already a major sponsor of the Goodison Park club, which is owned by his former business partner Farhad Moshiri.

"Many of these fans are AST members and hold their shares not for value but as custodians who care for the future of the club".

"We at KSE are moving forward with this offer leading to 100 percent ownership of the club", Kroenke said in the LSE statement.

Usmanov and Kroenke have always insisted that one would not sell their stake in the club to the other.

Those partially public forums are now likely to end as Arsenal prepares to become entirely privately owned like most of the rest of its EPL club rivals.

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

Arsenal fans have long complained that the club has not ploughed enough money into the team.

New manager Unai Emery, who joined from Paris St Germain, will be given a baptism of fire this weekend when Arsenal kick off their new season against Manchester City. They also stated that by becoming the 100% owner, Kroenke could, if so desired, take "detrimental actions" such as paying "management fees and dividends without any check or balance".

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

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