Supporters protest as Kroenke set to take over Arsenal

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke

He signed a motion to recognise Arsenal as the world's best football team in 2004, after Arsene Wenger's side had completed the entire Premier League season unbeaten. Americans have had a mixed fortune as Premier League owners, with the Glazer family rarely popular at Manchester United, even when the club won the league.

In October a year ago, KSE offered around £525mn (B22.580bn) to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov, the Russian businessman who himself attempted to buy out Kroenke in May 2017.

Mr Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams American football team and the Denver Nuggets basketball team, has offered to buy out rival billionaire Alisher Usmanov's 30% stake to take full control.

American businessman Kroenke (above) now owns 67 per cent of the Gunners through his company Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, and has offered to purchase the 30.04 per cent held by Usmanov's Red and White Securities firm, valuing the club at £1.8billion.

However, the move has been met with widespread dismay from a large section of fans, with the Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) labelling the news as a "dreadful day" for the club.

Supporter groups have cried out, calling this a "dreadful day" for the Gunners - but would the move actually benefit the club on the pitch?

"Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values", said an AST statement.

Under Stock Exchange rules, Kroenke would have to make an offer for the remaining minority shares in Arsenal, most of which are small numbers held largely by supporters of the club.

Kroenke is unpopular with some fans
Kroenke is unpopular with some fans

'It is concerning that if this deal goes ahead there could be no Independent Directors on the Arsenal board, and so we appeal to Stan Kroenke to ensure that fans will have a say in how the club operates going forward.

With Kroenke looking to take complete control of the club, then, surely big money deals and high profile arrivals will become commonplace once again? Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement.

He also discussed the criticism aimed at Arsenal Fan TV by Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin last season in regards to the Catalan footballer's view that their presence has been far from helpful for the club.

'The financial viability of the deal must also be carefully examined, especially if the club will be purchased via a loan.

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 USA sports boss among an elite band of super-rich soccer club owners in England.

"The AST is wholly against this takeover".

They have not won the title since 2004 and a year ago finished sixth, 37 points behind champions Manchester City.

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