I am writing this on the morning the awful devastating news broke that Stan Kroenke is going to buy Alisher Usmanov’s shares in Arsenal Football Club. I feel that this is the saddest and darkest day in the history of the club.
I understand he is paying Usmanov £650m at £29,419.60p a share. Well below the recent price of the shares which were trading at £37,000 a share. Kroenke is taking out a loan to cover the bulk of the purchase. Which means he will more than likely use the club as collateral, although he has denied he will use the club as leverage. He will compulsorily buy out the remaining 3% of small shareholders at the lower price at which he is buying Usmanov’s shares. Fans that have had the shares for decades will have them taken away from them with no say whatsoever. He will then take the club private with no accountability. Kroenke will register the business in Delaware USA. There will be no more Report and Accounts. There will be no more Annual General Meetings to attend and the Arsenal supporters will be completely in the dark about the finances of our club. He will almost certainly use the club’s profits to pay his loan back. This will mean money that could have been invested in the playing squad will end being paid to the bank to pay back the debt for the loan. I also think Josh Kroenke will take over the running of the club.
I am feeling very emotional about this. I feel disenfranchised. I feel very sad and down. I also feel great anger and resentment at the Board of Directors that sold the club down the river by selling their shares to Stan Kroenke to line their pockets and make themselves even richer than they already were. I feel betrayed by them.
However, I tell you this; if Kroenke does not invest the money into the playing squad that a club of Arsenal’s size generates the fans will revolt like never before. If Usmanov goes to Everton, which I suspect he will and he starts pumping money into the club, while we see a lack of investment and Arsenal, turning into a mediocre club the Arsenal fans will turn on Kroenke almost immediately. There will be no Arsene or Ivan to hide behind. The Kroenke’s will be in the direct line of fire. We will see boycotts, protests and marches on a scale never witnessed at the club. The Kroenke’s could in for a very rough ride indeed.
Editors note – This article represents the personal and passionate views of the author and not Gunners Town as a platform
Started going to Highbury in ’66. Season ticket holder since ’76. Love The Arsenal. Need I say more?