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07th Aug 2018

Stan Kroenke takeover a ‘dreadful day for Arsenal,’ say Arsenal Supporters’ Trust

Simon Lloyd

2018 certainly is shaping up to be quite a significant year for Arsenal Football Club

With the club already preparing up for their first campaign without Arsene Wenger as manager in nearly a quarter of a century, it’s now emerged that majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has made a £600m offer to buy the whole of the club in a deal that would value them at £1.8bn.

KSE, the American billionaire’s company, currently owns 67% of the club and now says that Alisher Usmanov has agreed to sell his 30% stake.

Although a KSE statement explains that taking the club private will help to further Arsenal’s ‘strategy and ambitions’, news of the buyout has not been well received by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, they describe the buyout as a ‘dreadful day for Arsenal Football Club’.

‘Stan Kroenke taking the Club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values,’ the statement reads.

It goes on to warn that Kroenke’s ownership will allow him to implement several ‘detrimental’ actions and also expresses the Trust’s concern that the purchase is being funded by a loan.

The statement continues: ‘The most dreadful part of this announcement is the news that Kroenke plans to forcibly purchase the shares held by Arsenal fans.

‘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.

‘Kroenke’s actions will neuter their voice and involvement. It is in effect legalised theft to remove a brake on how Arsenal is managed.’