Sport

Arsenal supporters slam 'dreadful' United States sports mogul takeover

Arsenal supporters slam 'dreadful' United States sports mogul takeover”

The American's company, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, now owns 67 per cent of the Gunners and has offered to purchase the 30 per cent held by Alisher Usmanov's Red and White Securities firm.

The news was announced in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the value of each Arsenal share set at £29,420 ($51,360).

In October, Kroenke Sports Enterprise UK (KSE) offered around £525m to buy the 18,695 shares held by Mr Usmanov's Red and White Securities Limited.

Usmanov also first became an Arsenal shareholder in 2007.

Kroenke, who is worth an estimated $8.3 billion according to Forbes, made money in real estate before becoming a sports mogul in the US.

KSE said in its offer that the takeover will "result in the opening of a new chapter in the history of the Club" and said that: "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".

Usmanov has made a number of attempts to buyout Kroenke's share, but will now receive £550m ($712m) for his stake.

The bid will be part funded by a 557 million pound loan from Deutsche Bank.

"This news marks a terrible day for Arsenal Football Club", declared an AST statement.

Billionaire Stan Kroenke's deal to take Arsenal private has been criticised by the supporters' trust as a "dreadful" day for the English Premier League club.

Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, center, hopes to take full ownership of the club. Usmanov publicly questioned the lack of investment in the squad as he was shut out of any decision-making by Kroenke, who also owns Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.

Coming at a crucial time for Arsenal as they start life without manager Arsene Wenger for the first time in 22 years, the deal cements the position of the US sports boss among an elite band of super-rich soccer club owners in England.

That's a scenario that has anxious parts of the fanbase, including the influential Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST), which owns three Arsenal shares.

"Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement".

The Gunners get their Premier League campaign underway on Sunday as they host champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

"The AST is wholly against this takeover".

The agreement with Usmanov takes Kroenke beyond the 90 percent threshold that allows him to mount a mandatory bid for the remaining shares to gain 100 percent of the London club. "Arsenal remains too important to be owned by any one person".



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