Alisher Usmanov sells to Stan Kroenke: then what?

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What happens when Alisher Usmanov’s sale of his shareholding to Stan Kroenke – reported earlier this morning – goes through?

The American will then own 97.11% of the club’s shares. We asked Phil Wall of the AST to outline what would happen next.

Arsenal have a number of small or individual shareholders who remain independent of both Kroenke and Usmanov. Under stock exchange rules, Kroenke has to make an offer for those shares:

PW: Everyone else has to be offered the same, or the highest price Kroenke has paid for a share in the last 12 months, which in this case is £28k, so slightly lower than the offer anyway.

At this point it’s not mandatory for those shareholders to accept that offer, however that would be only a temporary reprieve:

PW: Other shareholders can refuse, and some will, but with over 90% Kroenke can wait till the offer period is over and the dust settles, then apply to compulsorily purchase the remainder, on the grounds it’s better corporate governance as the tiny amount of shares held by others causes expense to a business but no benefits. So 3-6 months probably and he can get everyone’s shares and then re-register in Delaware.

With 100% of the shares, and Arsenal registered as a PLC in Delaware – where KSE is registered – any current trace of accountability or transparency would be gone.

❌ No AGM
❌ No public accounts
❌ No hindrance to Kroenke taking money out of the club via dividends or other ‘fees’
❌ No way of preventing Kroenke leveraging the value of Arsenal for other deals.

Although in their statement to the Stock Exchange, KSE explicitly state that the loan being taken from Deutsche Bank to fund the offer to Usmanov is not being funded by way of any debt finance, it’s still a major concern that any one man can have that much control over our football club, and once he has that control the loan could be paid off however he sees fit.

It’s a sad day for Arsenal. Perhaps inevitable because of the way football has been going for some years now, but sad nonetheless.

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cygan'sbaldspot
cygan'sbaldspot

Devastating

mathius
mathius

How can Usmanov claim to be an Arsenal fan and sell to him. Kroenke is a parasite who is only interested in Arsenal as a business. His lack of investment and the club’s lack of success during his tenure is testament to this.

Hantal
Hantal

Because his investment isn’t providing him anything, it’s essentially dead money

Ourchildrensworld

I hate the fact that our clubs are viewed as investments and our passion for the team we love is just monetized for people who couldn’t care less about football.

Usmanov might have spent more money but only as a business model. Ambramovich didn’t invest so heavily because he loved Chelsea. It was the option that paid out the most in the end.

KSE aren’t rich enough to throw the money at us that will make us a super club, but they know how to leverage sports teams to extract cash.

We wouldn’t be complaining as much if Kroenke was more ambitious but if he was, that wouldn’t make him a fan.

This is a sad day because the clubs values are no longer ours to influence. However, we still have a voice and we can still make match days memorable.

Real fans will support Arsenal whatever happens, but we might not recognise it for much longer.

thw14
thw14

Just provided him 550 million pounds. That’s how an investment is valued, not based on the ability to take consultancy fees.

DE Gooner
DE Gooner

I wouldn’t count 300 Million profit as nothing for doing nothing.

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

And why would he hold on to essentially useless shares that are almost impossible to sell to anyone else?

berlingoon
berlingoon

LOL, have you really believed that he’s a genuine fan? Have you read anything about this dude?

masterofthegoonaverse
masterofthegoonaverse

I would have preferred him to the last 10 years of dithering.

Donald's Trump
Donald's Trump

Because Usmanov is a fucking mobster. Can’t believe people think he’d be any better.

masterofthegoonaverse
masterofthegoonaverse

And really what do you think ‘billionaire’ Kroenke is? A nice bloke?

Billy
Billy

Do you mean like Abramovich?

Lordgunner
Lordgunner

The great arsenal fan he is who try to buy Manchester united few years ago.cant believe your lot believe him

My wig smells cheesy
My wig smells cheesy

FUCK

Gunnerjoe
Gunnerjoe

Bloody hell, damn a d blast

Silent Stan's Content Mustache
Silent Stan's Content Mustache

From shambles to ashes…

Freddie
Freddie

It could destroy our club – ie disillusion us to the point of disinterest

SB Still
SB Still

Almost time for a Arsenal Fan Club FC!

Germany have a much better set–up in terms of ownership. However they seem to be loosing out to the private ownership model as well.

https://www.ft.com/content/5b6146cc-11a3-11e8-940e-08320fc2a277

Episco
Episco

That’s the point when football becomes real business. Still an Arsenal fan though till death.

Jawo
Jawo

Capitalist swine!

afan
afan

then, nothing, we just carry on just the same

Evang. Simon
Evang. Simon

A New Dawn Era indeed……

Fingers crossed

Who would have imagined that 10 years ago

Chairman Galant
Chairman Galant

Not a very good news though…But if Kroenke start splashing the cash by buying big players for us, then who cares?

James
James

Narrator: He won’t.

Big Sheezy
Big Sheezy

He won’t even splurge on a nice wig. A billionaire with a 10 cent hairpiece.

Gooner McGoonFace
Gooner McGoonFace

Are you new here?

Yellow Ribbon
Yellow Ribbon

Good Joke.

mc1892
mc1892

What really gets me is the timing. Handful of days before the new season and this is announced. Add a nice little dose of toxicity to what had been for the past couple of months rather a pleasant atmosphere. Shows you all you need to know about his regard for the team itself.

TommyGoon
TommyGoon

This is Brilliant! The end of the AST at last.

I used to think the AST was brilliant as it stood as part of our uniquely structured club but for many seasons they continued to undermine our greatest manager in history, continue to lambast the board and if I as Kroenke i would be doing exactly the same.

The AST were no doubt responsible for the banner flying plane that embarrassed us so i’m so glad these grumbling old men have got whats coming to them.

George
George

I actually agree with you on the AST.

   kaius
   kaius

How fucking childish to bring up that stupid plane in this context.

The AST exists to make the club accountable to fans, not to act like bootlickers and suck up to managers and board members. So predictable that the people still hurt by Wenger stepping down are the ones celebrating this dangerous development for the club.

I thought people were exaggerating when they called you Wenger die-hards a “personality cult”. Maybe they were right.

Mpls
Mpls

Oh whatevs. There’s s monster difference between advocating accountability and being a toxic pool of cranks.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

It’s funny how fans disregard how terrible the former manager has been in recent years. Sentiment is what killed this club.
Had there been any kind of accountability, for the manager and board, maybe we wouldn’t be here today.

Rauuuuuul
Rauuuuuul

Sentiment killed the club? Or the toxicity exhibited by the fans every single day? AFTV made out club a laughing stock. Character assassinated Wenger every opportunity they got.

Maybe then we shouldn’t be so sentimental about Kroenke taking over the club now since that is what killed the club in the first place.

berlingoon
berlingoon

Have to admit, I’m not a big fan of Kroenke but he’s definitely the lesser evil to Usmanov.
Also it has to be said that the value of AFC increased massively since he took over and that is basically why people like him invest in sport clubs. So I don’t see the risk that Arsenal is in a free fall as he will look to further increase the value of his investment and that won’t happen if he takes big amounts of money out of the club or doesn’t invest. I’m not as worried as others in that regard. In the first place it’s good news that this russish thug has finally gone.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

The increase in value of the club since he’s been here has nothing to do with him. The competitiveness of the footballing side of the organisation has steadily declined. It’s only because of the ridiculous TV deals and increases in prize money, etc. that have come with them that the value of clubs has increased over that time.

He’s done nothing (investment or otherwise) to add value to the club. He’s pretty much the US version of Mike Ashley.

berlingoon
berlingoon

Özil 42 mio, Xhaka 35 mio, Mustafi 35 mio, Alexis 35 mio, Lacazette 50 mio, Aubameyang 65 mio – plus loads of signings around 20 mio., when Arshavin with 18 mio was our record signing before that. Also we haven’t paid wages above 100.000 per week a few years ago, now we have Özil earning 350.000 (highest paid player in the league!) and a lot of players at around 200.000. To say we’re not investing is nonsense. He’s not splashing cash as City or Paris do, but I don’t want Arsenal to be such as club so I’m happy we still stick to the policy to only invest what we’ve earned before and not risk the future of the club for short time success.

berlingoon
berlingoon

and the increase is of course also down to a full stadium, good sponsorship deals, the fact that a lot of Arsenal games are shown live on TV and the fact that we have been in Europe for ages.
If he’d stop investing or invest significantly less, these things would change and that would of course decrease the value of AFC massively.
Otherwiese all PL clubs would be worth almost the same.

   kaius
   kaius

Nothing you said refutes the point he made – Stan Kroenke himself has done nothing to add value to the club.

In terms of the player spending you listed, the TV deal and individual fans spending money on merchandise and tickets has contributed more to those figures than Kroenke.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I actually don’t have an issue with him not investing in the club personally (although there’s nothing to say that this isn’t a sensible way to progress the organisation from a business perspective).

I was only responding to your statement that the value of the club has increased under his ‘ownership’. It has, but it has nothing to do with him.

My point was that the value would have increased regardless. In fact, the relative value of the club has no doubt decreased because of its lack of competitiveness in its core business, i.e. playing football. Outside investment/holding senior management (e.g. the previous manager) accountable to their actions, etc. could have cemented our place in the top 4, adding further value to the club. That hasn’t come from Kroenke, either at all (in terms of investment) or it has come too late.

   kaius
   kaius

Yeah Kroenke has done the bare minimum. We were a legit contender for the Champions League when he arrived. Now we’re not. But because the value of his initial investment doubled or tripled it’s all been one huge success for him.

To rebut some of Berlingoon’s points:

Stan Kroenke had nothing to do with the stadium, which was built before he even knew who Arsenal were. When he arrived we’d already moved in to the Emirates.

Our major sponsorship deals were also put in place before he arrived.

Our popularity and being broadcast on TV globally is down to our history, our trophies and Wenger’s style of football, not some billionaire sitting on a ranch in Texas.

He’s already a billionaire. There’s no need to give him credit for other people’s work.

Marc
Marc

Hi – with love and affection, that seems to be a strange paragraph about the financing. The loan is the debt – KSE just state that the repayment of the interest and principal is not dependent on the business of Arsenal – which is a sufficiently weasel worded statement for plenty of manoeuvre.

   kaius
   kaius

Yeah that’s how I read it. As the language doesn’t explicitly rule it out, they can still stiff us with yearly interest repayments.

Espen
Espen

It’s been in the making for some time bow. I wonder if the Ivan Gazidis roumers is connected. If he wanted this to happen to stay as a CEO, or if he didn’t and is looking for a new club ?

Voice in the Darkness
Voice in the Darkness

I would suggest that Ivan is off as Josh Kroenke is going to be the new CEO. I can’t believe that Gazidis hasn’t known about this for some time…

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

I suggest waiting to see how it all pans out before stressing about this. As of now we have a promising manager and some great players, reasons to be optimistic. The only real blot on the horizon is that Ramsey may go, and honestly unlike the blogosphere, I am not all that much fussed either way. Bring on the season!

TJ RECESS
TJ RECESS

I wonder what actually made Usmanov sell? Was it just the money?

If I was in that situation (and I genuinely don’t hate / dislike / have any feeling whatsoever to Kroneke) I wouldn’t sell for any amount, even on principle.

Anthony Moran
Anthony Moran

Maybe Ivan knew this was on the horizon hence the move towards AC Milan

Sunil T
Sunil T

The timing of this announcement is strange.. two days left of the transfer window, could Kroenke make a big marquee signing to keep the fans happy! trying to find something positive as its a sad day for our club!

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

He’s taken a loan out to pay for the shares. Why would he put any of his actual money in to make a signing?

Sunil T
Sunil T

We have the money to buy players.. its part of the assets which makes us worth 1.8b. He will also be able to use the clubs valuation now to borrow more to fund transfers. this is what makes it worrying. The only silver lining is that he will want to club to grow and win trophies as this will increase the value of the club, which in term will make him more money!

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

Who thought we’d ever miss old Etonian toff Hill-Wood?

JohnRadfordsfanclub
JohnRadfordsfanclub

So this type of ownership model happens at the majority of the big teams. What is the problem here and the near hysterical response? The guy has put funding in to purchase players and perhaps the way that has been spent is questionable? Do we want to compete with the best or sit on the sidelines like has happened since the stadium change? We have begun the transformation, so let’s see where it leads and hold the owner to his pledges.

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

The thing about taking the club off the stock market is that it prevents precisely what you’re quite reasonably asking for, ie to hold the owner to his pledges. If Kronke were interested in being held accountable he’d probably be happy for Usmanov to be on the board for starters. Compulsory purchase of shares specifically to facilitate the removal of the transparency and reporting which is necessary for listed companies suggests that Stan gives not a single fuck about being held accountable; in fact, quite the reverse.

HaZaa
HaZaa

For all the fear-mongering around Kroenke, we are at last splashing the cash a bit. We may not like him, but if that continues, does it really matter who the owner is? And it’s not like Usmanov was some form of white knight here either. Proof will be in the pudding as always, here’s to a successful season either way.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

What cash has the club been splashing? We’ve spent what £70m this summer? Last season, Laca & Auba for around £100m, and sold Ox, Theo, Coq, Giroud, Gabriel, Szczesny, and Gibbs… for a total of around £100m.

Marek
Marek

Ok, but what will change in practice? In fact Kronke took money via dividends and no one could stop him- it showed that he, as a majority shareholder could do whatever he liked. He didn’t invest a penny into the club and probably won’t do this now. AGM will not happen, ok that’s a fact, but what we as an Arsenal fans were able to do during this general meetings to make something good for the club? I’m not saying that this is great situation but I can’t really see what will change for better or for worst either.

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

He very specifically didn’t take money in the form of dividends (as the rules state they would need to be disbursed to all shareholders, not just SK). Instead he took it in “consulting fees” so as to avoid having to pay out to other shareholders. Being the sole owner means he can do pretty much what he wants, once Arsenal is de-listed.

Marek
Marek

You’re right, but isn’t it a matter of nomenclature? In the end he did what he wanted to do despite the fact that there was another “big” shareholder with 30% stake. The biggest worry is financial transparency, but what an average Arsenal fan can do about it? Nothing, that’s the reality.

Lucas Sam
Lucas Sam

Some of the questions asked during those agm always made me think that there were moles within the fan dedicated to ask long and irrelevant questions

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Mr Kroenke, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?

Harish P
Harish P

Just so I’m clear about the loan bit, is it saying that Stan will take the loan out to pay for the shares, and then after privatising Arsenal can transfer that debt back to the club?

Dan
Dan

Urgh this is horrendous! If usmanov is that much of a fan he’ll reject the offer. Dead money or not it’s a drop in the ocean to him. Please usmanov if you’re reading don’t do it!!

Ed B
Ed B

He’s already done it!

Alex
Alex

He’s accountable FOR the company but not TO the fans, other than to ensure that we are happy enough to keep paying. Same as any business

ThisisMe
ThisisMe

If you take out a loan to buy a business outright then that loan is against the club by proxy right? As it’s now 100% under your umbrella.

John C
John C

The truth is Kroenke already has control over the club and has been able to do whatever he wants for some time. We can only keep our fingers crossed and hope he’s spent £550m acquiring the rest of the shares because he has bigger ambitions for the club that he couldn’t or didn’t want to realise whilst a third was in the hands of others.

It’s either that or he’s figured £550m spent today enables him to take out £1bn+ tomorrow.

Hobart
Hobart

Everyone’s rightfully worried about what this means for The Arsenal. No one yet has taken the next step which is even worse for us.

Man City, Man Utd, and Chelsea outspend us by huge amounts and all things being equal should hold the top 3 spots. We are effectivley in the competition for 4th with Liverpool and Spurs.

What happens when Everton roll up with Usmanovs cash….

DieHard Gunner

Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and see where this end. Let’s just give the team the support they deserve on the field and ignore all off-field antics of the management.

Bill E Ray
Bill E Ray

It’s a sad day indeed. The fact of the matter is this man is not interested in the beautiful game…weather it Arsenal, Denver Nuggets,Colorado Avalanche or the LA Rams. The only game that this megalomaniac is interested in is the money game. Nothing matters to him especially not the fans of all the clubs under his control. He is the epitome of everything that is wrong in this world. No respect, no understanding of the principled values that make a team like Arsenal recognised and revered the world over. What can we do? Sit back and let this horrible little man destroy the wonderful history that the fans and players have created over the years. NO! He is driven by one thing and one thing only…money…he needs to be in control but if we as fans really come together in a way that has never been seen before and boycott the games or at the very least purchase nothing from the concessions; no more kit purchases etc….. let him bleed in a way that no bandage will be big enough to save him…no money in….then hopefully one day we will see the last of this egoist and his money……

Nathan
Nathan

I have no idea whether this is good news or bad to be honest, but I’ve never liked it when people judge too hastily. Kroenke has professed his love for Arsenal in the past and his long term commitment to the club, and his ambitions to have the club challenging for the premier league and champions league titles. That seems like a good thing to me.

Howard
Howard

Its a sad day really and it began with Dean, Hill-Wood and the rest off loading their shares to Kroenke.
They’ve sold the club out, a club built by ordinary workers.
Woolwich Arsenal. So sad, people will be turning in their graves

Moscool
Moscool

Well, he can resume paying money to Russian officials (the video is well worth an hour of your time but skip to 10:20 for details about our not-to-be-missed shareholder) https://youtu.be/qrwlk7_GF9g

Charles
Charles

I feel like the beginning of the end, the last seal holding up the apocalypse has been broken. It’s like with Wenger gone, everything I love about this club is going. Sad sad day. We’ll love the Arsenal always and reminisce on the good old days in future

Brad
Brad

This is the saddest comment I’ve ever read & so true & accurate too. 😞

Otto von B.
Otto von B.

Andy,
Have read this post plus your article in the Graun. Sad , yes, but the seeds were sown when various shareholders cashed in. One question I have is whether we could have reached the point we were at before yesterday with the board as shareholders? A trust to hold Fiszman’s share could have been created with a loan backed by cashflow, I suppose.
The rest is down to weak control, groupthink and bad decisions, on the impact of FFP, on player salaries, on contracts and purchases. No top club would tolerate that, but we haven’t been a top club for over 10 years.
Yes there are risks with the current situation, but if you have a well run club doing well the only thing to fear is a greedy owner drawing too much money from the business.
I don’t like it either, but I’ll support the team (not the owner) till my lease runs out or till the club vanishes.

Niall
Niall

Who knows as a sole owner he might splash the cash could be worse spurs didnt sign anyone we only need 2 or 3 players now to make us challenge

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

The day arsenal listed itself made today inevitable. When the double glazers bought united and their fans were furious, loaded the club with debt etc, we laughed and mocked them. Maybe we should have rallied with them against foreign ownership.

Or maybe who gives a fuck. If you want to rally against capitalism stop voting for capitalist friendly politicians.

Players earn obscene amounts of money, have exotic tax arrangements. Clubs have ‘offices’ in tax havens. Fans are struggling on average, but we’re the ones filling their pockets.

Look at the history of arsenal, liverpool etc this club stopped being anything like that arsenal a long long time ago. Nothing to do with kroenke. The anger and frustration comes from desperatley trying to maintain a world view that is not reality. You can lift arsenal and move it, it no longer has anything really to do with its location anymore. Thats why teams in the US move. Sounds scandelous to us. Dont kniw why, long past a club having a connection to its community. Just a collection of wealthy employees who mostly have nothing to do with the local area.

Just accept it and watch the club play if you enjoy football.