While Arsenal fans have been concentrating on Unai Emery’s start to his career as our new coach, the continuing takeover of the Gunners by Stan Kroenke has been rolling on. The date for the compulsory acceptance of Kroenke’s offer of just under 30,000 GBP per share has passed and he now owns 98.82% of the club, with 733 still to be wrangled over. ESPN reported this morning…
Kroenke’s total takeover of the club is close to complete after KSE announced that a majority of individual shareholders accepted his compulsory offer by Tuesday’s deadline. The American now owns all but 733 of the 62,217 total Arsenal shares, and is set to acquire those as well through a forced takeover.
The Arsenal Supporters Trust advocated trying delaying tactics but there is absolutely no way to stop Kroenke acquiring 100% and make the club into a private company and the supporters will have no say in the way it is run any more. I will leave you the response of just one ArsenalTrust member who made her feelings clear about losing a part of the club we all love….
I was given a share in Arsenal some twenty years ago and since then have referred to it as the best present I have ever received. I was already a season ticket holder, but a share in my much-loved Club gave me a whole new level of interest. I was invited to join the AST (in those days, it was run for and by shareholders) and in doing so met many people with a huge knowledge of Arsenal and understanding of its finances. This information was shared and I listened, read and learned.
This coveted share was, in my mind, never to be sold or given up and, indeed is earmarked in my Will, as a legacy for my son, who ideally would, in turn, then pass it on to his son. So many times people have said to me, especially in recent years, ‘do you know what your Arsenal share is worth, you should sell it’ and I have replied, with absolute certainty, ‘it is worth much more than that to me’.
Over the past week I have tried to think of something positive that can come from sole ownership of Arsenal by a person who has zero interest in football and who, apart from a few PR platitudes, never speaks for the Club. I have tried and I have failed.
That we are now forced to sell our shares is the final act of what has, over recent years, been a gradual erosion of the pleasures that being both an Arsenal supporter and a shareholder gave me. I could weep when I realise that this proud Club, with its long history that is so often held up as an example of how a football club should be managed, has been relegated to a small, insignificant, private US company registered in Delaware.
So that’s it then, how do we feel about being owned by someone who has no interest in the club other than financially?
You can read all the responses here on the Arsenal Supporters Trust website…