Arsenal Supporters' Trust respond to Stan Kroenke takeover bid
"Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values."
By Zinny Boswell
Last Updated: 07/08/18 5:05pm
Arsenal Supporters' Trust has hit out at Stan Kroenke's bid to buy the club outright, saying it "marks a dreadful day" for the Gunners.
Majority owner Kroenke, who owns 67 per cent, made a cash offer to take full ownership of the club, valuing Arsenal at around £1.8bn after securing the backing of minority owner Alisher Usmanov (30 per cent).
Later on Tuesday, Usmanov issued a statement, saying: "I have decided to sell my shares in Arsenal Football Club which could be the best football club in the world."
Kroenke's company said it had received an "irrevocable undertaking" from Usmanov's firm to accept the offer.
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The purchase of Usmanov's stake would give Kroenke 97 per cent ownership and would lead to the compulsory purchase of the remaining shares, some of which are owned by Arsenal fans.
The Supporters' Trust statement read: "This news marks 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.
It is truly a sad day for Arsenal Football Club.— Nina Bracewell-Smith (@NinaBracewell) August 7, 2018
"The AST is also extremely concerned to note that this purchase is being funded by a loan.
"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.
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"Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement. It is in effect legalised theft to remove shareholder scrutiny on how Arsenal is managed.
"The AST is wholly against this takeover. Arsenal remains too important to be owned by any one person."
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