8/7/2018 1:59:43 PM (GMT+3)

Arsenal Supporters' Trust voice concern over Kroenke takeover

Arsenal Supporters

KOLKATA: US business tycoon and Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke pushed an offer to take full ownership of the Premier League club in a deal worth £1.8 billion.

But the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) voiced their concern on such a move.

“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,” AST tweeted on Tuesday.

Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL, has been a part-owner of Arsenal since 2007, gradually increasing his stake in the club.

Uzbekistan-born Usmanov has reportedly made previous unsuccessful bids to take control of the club.

“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,” AST wrote on Twitter.

Many Arsenal fans took to the social media and condemned him for making such a move.

“Kroenke taking full control of the club will destroy us, thanks David Dein for introducing him to the club, thanks Lady Bracewell-Smith for selling him your shares, and thanks Wenger for being his puppet and letting him mug us off for years, how the f**k do we get him out now,” wrote one fan.  

Kroenke, who already owns 67 per cent through his company Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), has reached a deal with Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov for the sale of his 30 per cent stake, according to a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

“KSE believes moving to private ownership will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the club's strategy and ambitions,” it said. “KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the club.”