AST: It’s a dreadful day for Arsenal

93

The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust has long lamented the possibility of a full takeover of Arsenal by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.

Now that the much-feared scenario is about to play out – it was today confirmed that the American has offered £550 million to buy Alisher Usmanov’s 30% stake – the organisation has been unsurprisingly withering in its response. 

As they are clear to point out, one of the worst aspects of this deal is the fact that all Arsenal shareholders – no matter how small their holding and how long they’ve had it in their possession – will be forced to sell to Kroenke.

Plurality of ownership is dead.


AST statement

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.

By taking the Club private Stan Kroenke will be able to implement the following detrimental actions:

  • Pay management fees and dividends without any check or balance
  • No Annual General Meeting to hold the Board to account
  • Remove the Independent Directors
  • Place debt onto Arsenal to support his other business interests

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. 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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Gee
Gee

Pretty fucking depressing news when the club was finally starting to look like it had turned a corner

IamaGoober

This is the worst possible news, after what seemed like we were finally entering a new and exciting era at Arsenal.

I feel so awful for the minor shareholders who’ve had their shares in Arsenal for generations, only to now be squeezed out by the take over bid, and to add further insult, they’re not going to get anywhere near market value for their holdings, even though, this was never ever about money for them. It was about being part of the makeup of the club. And for that to be taken away by someone who has literally ZERO interest in this Football Club is such a crushing defeat for anyone who truly loves Arsenal.

I’d also like to take a moment to hold David Dein accountable. He is the sole reason we are in this absolute mess. I’d also like to throw in all of the shareholders who sold up to Kroenke and allowed him to tighten his grip on our beloved Football club. You should all be ashamed.

The marble halls of Highbury are well and truly gone now.

What a disastrous day for us all.

Goonerink

Honestly don’t know what to do…
Contemplating investing my energies into my local grass roots instead of kronke fc

Goonerink

CanaryInk(hitchin town fc) sounds a bit sinister.

Stephen
Stephen

Maybe he’ll offload it? Nah.

I guess the real problem in this age of tycoon owners is that there isn’t a single Arsenal fan big enough to buy. It wouldn’t be so bad if he was known for putting his investments into the hands of capable directors, but he’s not.

The only way to look at this is to accept the new reality. Moaning about dying football is pointless. Our only hope is that he hasn’t already ruined the club with the majority he held, so perhaps it won’t destroy Arsenal.

Even as an Irish ex-pat in the US, the idea of The Arsenal Football Club being a Delaware business is nauseating. They’ll probably forget the “The” and all.

John C
John C

Arsenal Football Club is already a Delaware business

Maxin In The Shade
Maxin In The Shade

Such a sad day. We’ve become just another faceless Corporate organisation who’s now main target is to turn over profit to fill the pockets of an uncaring owner.

But are most clubs structured like this nowadays? Sure.
Haven’t we pretty much been like this up until now? Perhaps.

But in the past he couldn’t bleed the club dry like you fear he will now. What’s stopping him?

Winning football matches – what’s that got to do with Arsenal??

Atom
Atom

I think what makes Kroenke bad relative to other owners is that there are several who either are spending to grant themselves an air of legitimacy to cover up how they gained their money/other issues (Citeh, PSG, Chelsea) or b/c they recognize that maintaining an air of success is critical to increasing the value of the club (Liverpool, Man U.). Kroenke mainly appears to just want to participate in the ever increasing value of sports leagues as television revenue increases the value of every team. He doesn’t appear to care if his individual franchises succeed as they will still go up in value as the league does. The one exception is the LA Rams but that appears to be much more a case of the franchise has to be competitive or he won’t fill the new stadium & their salary cap limits his spending.

Gooner Joe
Gooner Joe

The Rams’ success is a fluke. He has built a stadium for them in LA but is leasing it to a rival NFL team, which helps him defer his personal cost. He is a real estate man first who does not believe in selling elreal estate. His LA stadium and unfortunately now the Emirates are merely assets to him. God I hope I’m wrong.

Atom
Atom

He’s married to an heir to the Walmart fortune I believe. No idea how much of his money was even hid to begin with

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

We’re in an even worse position than some- our billionaire actually views us as a business, not some fun thing to pour money into.

ankur
ankur

what worst can happen after this?will arsenal will be rotting like stan’s other sports franchise’s ?

Herb Kazzaz
Herb Kazzaz

One difference here to the US : Arsenal is not a ‘franchise’. If he let’s US sports teams ‘rot’, no come back : the cash cow continues to be milked. Here, Arsenal can be relegated, thus making his investment worth a shit load less. He’s just got to aim for 17th position each year and he’ll be happy.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Yeah, what’re we gonna do? Finish seventh?

(we might finish seventh)

johnny bud
johnny bud

The Rams made the playoffs last year and are among a handful of teams picked to win the Super Bowl

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

We wanted change and now we’ve got change. Be careful what you wish for. This club looks completely different from 6 months ago. If Gazidis leaves, that will be the end of the era we’ve known for over 20 years. We shall see how this works out

Pooner
Pooner

Pretty certain literally no fan wanted this kind of change. Most just wanted a new manger. And Gazidis has only been here 9 and a bit years…!

No Longer Laughing Stock
No Longer Laughing Stock

So do you think if Wenger was still here Kroenke wouldn’t want to own the club outright? Deary me.

Claudio Mutua
Claudio Mutua

I honestly almost feel like there is a relationship between Arsene leaving and Stan Kreonke taking over the club.

Mpls
Mpls

I think it’s more Usmanov’s ties to Everton and the realization he’s not getting more of The Arsenal, and nobody else wanting to stump that money for a silent partner role.

MisterStew
MisterStew

Man – you’e not getting this, are you? When you start talking about “the Gazidis era” you’ve already drunk the Kool-Aid. The news that this businessman is going to be the sole owner of what once was a great club means one thing to me and one thing only – It’s Over. I’ll do my best to work out a new relationship with this business but it is going to be a fuck of a lot different to the relationship I had with the football club in days past.

JohnRadfordsfanclub
JohnRadfordsfanclub

Welcome to the current business model for owning football clubs. To be successful means to win things and increase revenue by doing so. That’s why he will continue to invest. Who will argue if we win the top competitions in the coming years? Not many I suspect

Th14
Th14

Mine changed the day Wenger was abused out of the club. He embodied the very ethos that won me over as a fan. The day he left, the soul of the club departed.

shaka
shaka

They have been very clever, using the mobs, to silence any voices of stature that could have spoken on behalf of the fans and club. The signs were clear, and no doubt thats why everyone has been rushing to the exits for the past year or two.

The_Kolkata_Gooner
The_Kolkata_Gooner

Fuck.
Why, god, why?!

Hantal
Hantal

This wasn’t Bergkamps decision…

Bish
Bish

Maybe we can stop with the love in for David Dein as it was him whom recommended this yank to the board and sold out his large shareholding. Dein may have killed the club he supposedly loves all for the $

drew

Not to mention then bringing Usmanov in as well!

allezkev
allezkev

Wasn’t it Fiszman, Hill Wood and Lady Nina who handed Kroenke control of the club?

Magnus Boding
Magnus Boding

Why can’t us fans buy just enough from Usmanov to make sure the club won’t go private? A trust as the owner and everyone able to buy even small shares, starting at 100 pounds with no rights, a 1000 pounds with some rights, etc. And a rule that you can only sell it to the fund/other fans. I’m sure enough of us would want to if it is well organized. Maybe a few high profile club ambassadors like Pires would buy too and thus help raise awareness of such an save-arsenal-initiative.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner

dude ,$500.00 yes, $500million, no.

japanese jamie
japanese jamie

19,000 or so shares at around 30,000 GBP. so if we can find 608,000 people to pay 937.50 GBP maybe we can convince Usmanov to sell to the AST.

if only usmanov could just open it up to the AST to try and raise some sort of figure from the worldwide arsenal base under a timetable.

i’m so frustrated because it’s like we were never even given a chance.

as a bonus it would totally fuck kroenke off

Magnus Boding
Magnus Boding

Let’s try! Who in here has the connection to give it a go? So many reach people love arsenal too (jay z, Flamini, Wenger, etc); it could be arranged quickly by someone influential

Pete
Pete

It’s unstoppable now: Usmanov has provided an irrevocable undertaking to sell to Kroenke.

Kingp
Kingp

Need 50k fans to pay 10k each.

Magnus Boding
Magnus Boding

Usmanov should have given us a chance to do that first!

Random Witness
Random Witness

Yikes!

Da Boss
Da Boss

Sad day indeed. We are losing our club and we are all powerless to do anything about it.

‘thank you for your interest in our affairs’ for some reason haunts this a little bit too.

I doubt we will even get an ‘interest’ now.

Goontang
Goontang

The house that Arsene built took less than 6 months to burn to the ground. Fuck off you Yankee cunt.

Goontang
Goontang

Help us Matheiu Flamini. Your our only hope.

Homer
Homer

Stan may be c^nt, but that’s surely a natural gift. Nothing to do with him being a “Yank”, so please off on the “Yankee” bullshit, eh.

shaka
shaka

isnt he a trumpster?

johnny bud
johnny bud

Kinda been burning the whole time. Stan didnt take the club public, didnt enable somebody like him to buy it. He took a bit to turn the Rams around but they are damn good now.

As for your xenophobic bs, lets just say Europe’s idea of how to run a competitive sports league is awesome. If you like titles split among teams owned by nation states and sheiks

Mo74
Mo74

Depressing…

irishimpstixx
irishimpstixx

I hear what everyone is saying and I agree it’s bad bad day for The Arsenal, however let’s pretend this isn’t the worst news I’ve heard about my club ever! If you were a business man or woman and you shared a company with someone you basically hate you wouldn’t invest a penny in that company until you could get rid of the other generic non gendered fella. So now Stan, has all we can do is hope to God that his plan in the short term is invest in the team, bring on the pitch success, then sell out for a tidy profit to the Arab’s. The thing is I have no evidence to back up that hope. The real thing we have to deal with now as the last bastions of custodianship is that, as much as it hurts that era in football is gone and probably forever. So as the old saying goes, could the last one to leave, please turn out the lights!

Jordan
Jordan

Looks like it might be time to invest my time into other activities other than football. This current squad may be the last great team Arsenal ever produce

Ozilate
Ozilate

Can’t blame Kroneke because business is business and Arsenal is a solid ‘business’. Blame Lady Bracewell, she dogged the boys and sold her shares to Kroneke to allow this shit storm to come a head.

Arsene’s handkerchief
Arsene’s handkerchief

This

drew

Didn’t she sell her shares because the board wouldn’t allow her a seat? I might be making that up but something in the back of my mind seems to be rattling around!

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Sad, sad, very sad day

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Even TGSTEL is sad. Holy shit.

Ozymandias
Ozymandias

I don’t know the full implications of this yet i feel concerned

Mother
Mother

Big shout-out to David Dein!

Naija Gunner
Naija Gunner

This is the end, the very end. Thanks Arsenal, it was interesting loving you. I fell in love with you because of Wenger, it was hard for me to see him leave but I still soldiered on. Now this? A no ambition owner? It is the last straw…Auf Wiedersehen my love, Auf Wiedersehen Football. Aurevoir, O dabo!

Glocken
Glocken

The only thing we can do is vote with our feet.

It worked last season to end Wenger’s reign.

It could work again.

Th14
Th14

Yeah! How is the end of Wenger’s reign going?

bob
bob

To be honest, Arsene leaving is probably the trigger for this. Usmanov has always maintained a firm backing of Wenger and thought very highly of him, as many of us do. Without him, maybe Arsenal is not sure an attractive proposition.

So yeah, good job on that decide action dude.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

“Plurality of ownership is dead.”

What planet have you been inhabiting for the last 25 years, Einstein? The billions of pounds of PL TV cash have attracted these cynical, avaricious speculators like flies to a mile-high pile of stinking cow dung. They only see money; they don’t give a mierde about the Beautiful Game. Stan Kroenke probably thinks that Maradona is a 60-year-old washed-up hag who was an average singer back in the Eighties.

For me, the only way to avoid all this is for the government to introduce laws, similar to those in Germany, that prohibit these takeovers. But that’s never going to happen: the government over here don’t even care about providing affordable homes for its people. We live under a capitalist law of the jungle.

The really radical solution is for us fans to get together and create a new fan-owned Arsenal, similar to the Barcelona model. Then we can tell the Kroenkes of this world to go forth and multiply.

cygan'sbaldspot
cygan'sbaldspot

I didn’t know you were a communist fatgooner, I didn’t need another reason not to like you

Merteslacker
Merteslacker

I’m curious Fats …what exactly is your current/previous occupation?

You strike me as an agnostic, maniacal, cold blooded lawyer but I’d love to be proven wrong on this.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I own a sex shop in Soho. I’m used to watching people get fucked. But I hate it when it happens to my club.

Thesoulofpdavis
Thesoulofpdavis

In the quest to become a modern club, we built a legacy and a new ground. We succeeded in our quest to secure our future. But success is a double edged sword and the business vultures moved in for the kill.

This is a sad day. We, the fans just wanted our club to compete and still be around for future generations. Now Arsenal is global and those of us who used to watch 0-0 draws at Highbury against the old Chelsea, the losses against the Boltons in the cup. We are going to lose whatever attachment we had.

Truly a tragedy.

Voldermort
Voldermort

My attachment went years ago with the move and then the season ticket went a few years after.
I’ve found I love the club in name only now. It’s history and the memories with mates.
Travelled all over Europe, the Liverpool semis at Leicester. The take over of Brussels in the cup winners cup.
Away days at Oxford. All the old grounds that have long since gone or changed out of all recognition. Being caged in at Swansea, to electric fences at Chelsea. 17000 against Norwich at Highbury on a freezing Tuesday night.

This club is dying. We are being built to just compete to just keep the fans interest.until we hit rock bottom and the fans stop going then we have seen the last of the old arsenal.

Neuni
Neuni

Feel the same!Thanks

DB10**
DB10**

there must be government and fa rules that prevent outright ownership. clubs must not be seen as just another company but rather a club with links to the community.
I read about German clubs and ownership and thought that was very nice.

A big part of my life changed forever today. The death of football is real now for me. It was there for some time like the crazy transfer sums etc, oligharcs but this one is at our beloved club.

No Longer Laughing Stock
No Longer Laughing Stock

This is all well and good but will the guys at AST still be buying season tickets, and shirts, and food inside the ground? Of course they will. The ONLY hope of getting rid of this cancerous, life-sucking man, lies with the fans. Stay away from the ground, do not under any circumstances spend any money on the club. Create a situation where he knows his brand is being sullied. TV money will only go so far with him. Show him this isn’t America where sheep go every week for a family day out. Get him thinking about making some profit and fucking off.

Prefer to carry on “suppprting the lads”? Then no need to complain.

Homer
Homer

Right, so you “love” for the club is such that you’d see it founder and go into administration basically go belly up — because that it the logical result of your argument — all because of your perceived problem with this potential majority owner?

Well, that is truly bizarre.

No Longer Laughing Stock
No Longer Laughing Stock

Well, it looks like you’re one of those that will carry on doing your bit to keep Kroenke at the club. That is of course your right.

Jeff
Jeff

No the logical result is Kronke sells because he isn’t making enough money. When he sells people can go back.

If you don’t understand voting with your wallet I don’t know what to tell you.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Thank you David Dein for this whole mess!
What an awful thing you did by bring this upon your club.

H18ury
H18ury

Been a fan since 1970. Seen one or two ups and downs between then and now, but the one thing that has always made me proud to be a gooner is our history and heritage. Even during the lean times, there was always the sense that the club would be ok… I have severe doubts about that now. If the bewigged one was only interested in and fully committed to The Arsenal I’d give him the benefit of the doubt but he’s done absolutely nothing to show that the club is nothing other than a business venture for him.
A sad day.

aberinkula
aberinkula

I want my Arsenal back.

Rob67
Rob67

Good statement by the AST. But there’s nothing that we / they can do, to stop this.

The timing is also awful. As we need this hanging over us, going into the New Season, like a dose of the plague.

Not good. No Sir….Not good at all.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

The real problem is our billionare can’t compete with entire middle East nations. More to the point, he doesn’t even appear to want to try.

If we want to ever really compete for the league, we need a shady oil billionaire of our own. I’m honestly torn over whether it’s worth it.

Still, I’m a sucker like the rest of you. I’ll be watching us get mullered on Sunday and feeling every feeling. They’ve got us where they want us, and they know it. On the other hand, what am I going to do, face up to the crushing mundanity of my real life? Fuck that.

Mpls
Mpls

Perhaps the real problem is each team’s billionaire *shouldn’t have to* compete with an ever escalating competition between oiligarchs making it all about wasting vast sums of money.

The only thing that will stop these events from happening is regulating across the leagues to meaningfully control the escalation of transfer fees and club salary totals.

Homer
Homer

Okay. Let’s everyone panic based on a news report, rampant speculation, and a load of bollocks. Lemmings off a cliff … everyone freak the hell out! Or maybe not.

AW, as much as I loved the man, had money to spend. He refused to do it. The problems with the team were apparent for years and not addressed. Much of his action was limited by the stadium debt, that is true. Considering what AW had to work with, and the conservative nature of the Arsenal Board — even before Kroenke bought his shares — AW performed virtual miracles. He was a one-time revolutionary for whom the game passed by; its noone’s fault, it just is. AW enjoys massive world-wide respect for his (past) glories and accomplishments, among other things (class, intelligence, loyalty, footballing style). This all has naught to do with Stan (of the creepy mustache) Kroenke.

This is the era of billionaires and businessman owners. That just a fact of life. It isn’t 1996 anymore. So before we all shit ourselves with predicting a bleak future, why not just chill and see what happens.

drew

Okay, I’m just playing devils advocate here because I also really fear for the club I have loved since the 70’s. However, hasn’t there been some signs that Josh Kronke is actually quite into running Arsenal? Perhaps if he were to take over as Chief Exec when Gazidis fucks off he might be able to steer the club in a decent direction? I hate the idea of Arsenal fans with shares will be forced to sell, to me the whole take-over laws are bullshit. But maybe, just maybe we might see the club run well?? Maybe, the club knew this was going to happen and have actually moved Gazidis on in order to put Josh in a more hands on role?? Would this improve the way the Kronke’s view the team? Who knows but I have no doubt that we are slightly better off with Usmanov ever gaining full control of the club, like some people had been suggesting. Unfortunately all we can do is wait and see, and hope!

drew

Without Usmanov gaining full control.

jon

Usmanov is the Abrahamovich of Uzbekistan, a man that has basically stolen most of the country’s natural wealth (like Abrahamovich did with Jakutsk). You could probably not have a worse owner. If a distributed ownership is not possible, I welcome Kroenke over both the oligarchs.

Georgr
Georgr

How about we all switch allegiance to Boreham wood, with an influx of new support they could be in league two in no time and we’d be guaranteed a match against the ex every year

OhhhhRockyRocky.....
OhhhhRockyRocky.....

RIP Arsenal FC

shokim
shokim

Such awful news this. Dark days are a-coming.

Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse

Go fuck yourself Kroenke!
I will forever be a gooner.
But I will forever hate you Plonker!

Gnashingofteeth
Gnashingofteeth

I’m just gutted I didn’t sell mine at the £37k peak. It is what it is. No point losing the plot.

Lerpy
Lerpy

With hindsight maybe fans should have been more united when other teams went through the same thing. I know, like me, most people don’t give a rats arse what is going on at other clubs behind the scenes but I remember my mates who support scousers and the mancs talking about all the same things.

People say the government should bring in laws? How many top flight teams would that now protect from a sole owner? I think most of them already have a sole owner.

People say that we should start a new club? Like FC United of Manchester? I’ll pass.

Looks like it’s luck of the draw nowadays. You either get an owner that buys you the league or you get one that milks the cash cow they see your club as.

Sad times today, but this was on the horizon for decades.

American Gooner
American Gooner

I have a friend from St. Louis who was a huge Rams fan before Kroenke moved the team to LA. He now has a nice bottle of wine he is saving to crack open the day Kroenke dies. I think I may join him in this tradition

Steve
Steve

To be fair we all wanted change and we were all moaning about Gazidis and questioning what he does to justify his wages but now things are changing no one seems to want Gazidis to leave and we don’t seem to want change at Arsenal as much as we did for the last 10 years solid, what will be will be, we just have to go with it and back the club and most importantly the team

Der Kaiser
Der Kaiser

Let’s wait and see. I hate all those that want instant success and spend, spend AKA Chelski and Man City. Unlike Glazers he is not getting loans to fund debt but just like a mortgage. What has Stan done that is so very bad. New stadium, financially sound, etc. I see a future with the new Manager who looks good, will promote youth, demands hard work and willing to make hard decisions. Yes, perhaps Wenger was allowed to stay too long but better than than Chelski who sack Manager if they do not win Premiership or Champions League. ” Silent Stan” yeah but better than that some big mouthed owner who thinks he knows better than the Manager and shouts his mouth off all the time. Hopefuly, his son Josh is a fan but also level headed & wise. Did we really want Usmanov to control Arsenal like that bloke at Chelski – ever researched how he mase his monies. Give Stan a chance. If we just slag off owner and act like that idiot Piers Zmorgan he may think why should I invert if I just get slagged off. So I say lets wait and see. Give him respect and lets see.

Lucas Sam
Lucas Sam

I think it is now time for me to go diversify myself and watch the german league. So my heart is ready for when the only thing left of my beloved Arsenal is the name. On the bright side, we already are in london so he doesn’t have to move us like he did with the Rams.

jon

The owner lives in America. On a daily bases, the club is run by a South African, a German and a Spaniard. The coach is Spanish. The players come from all over the world. All these people could perfectly well have been working for Chelsea or one of the Manchester clubs or any outfit in England. We could have had Abramovich, Granovskaia, Sarri, Hazard and the lot at Arsenal, and would have been just as happy/unhappy with that.

Wake up, romantics, this is showbiz! You can compare it to a major Hollywood film, sold to audiences around the world and only coincedently shot in Islington, London.

Our power lays in voting with our feet. If Matt Damon is falling out of favour, bring in Ryan Gosling. The half-hearted boycott in March (helped by terrible weather), might have contributed to Wenger finally quitting.

We are a part of the show. Our applause and booing is an important part of the product. Also, the dramaturgy of football dictates that there should be some kind of animosity between clubs and a strong preference for one brand over the – almost completely similar – other. The fans are supposed to contribute to that too.

Which billionaire are you supporting? Kroenke, Glazer or Abramovich?

The truth is that the football clubs have to engage closer with the fans in order not to totally dilute their product. There should be an advisory board where fans have seats. The advisory board should have at least a little real power over the things that concern fans the most, like ticket prices, schedules, kit design, branding and stadium facilities. They should also have access to the manager/coach on a regular basis, in order to signal wishes of playing styles and values (of course, these could not bind the coach).

Mark

It is depressing but we all still have a power. It was shown to have worked last season. As supporters, if we vote with our feet. Don’t turn up for matches. If the stadium is empty then advertisers and TV companies are unlikely to associate themselves with the club. I hear people say we should always show our support for the team but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Empty seats are a big turn off for advertisers and tv and this in turn will hit share value. Its the most powerful vote of all.

jon

So if the stadium i empty, that would make Kroenke re-list the company? So fans could own 0.01%?

Arsenal is a corporation. If you also want so support a football club, try Alexandra Park FC.

Jack but
Jack but

Shit