Arsenal FC supporter Jeremy Corbyn slams American tycoon’s full takeover of club

Silvia Morton
August 11, 2018

Labour leader and Arsenal fan Jeremy Corbyn has backed the club's Supporters Trust in their opposition to Stan Kroenke's full takeover of the Gunners.

Under Stock Exchange rules, Kroenke will 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. Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has reportedly had a bid of around £550m - that's two-and-a-bit Neymars - to purchase shares from Alisher Usmanov.

"The AST is wholly against this takeover". Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement.

The £550-million ($708.5-million) buy-out will see Kroenke assume full control of the north London football club.

"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". He blamed the U.S. billionaire for the club's poor performance and lack of investment in players.

The American's company, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), 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 for a fee in excess of £550million - an offer which Usmanov has agreed to.

Usmanov confirmed in a statement he had accepted the offer for his shares but did not give a reason as to why he has now opted to cash in.

Kroenke dismissed concerns of fans who last saw the team win the Premier League in 2004 and finish sixth last season to miss out on the Champions League. That offer was declined.

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

"The successful implementation of the offer will result in the opening of a new chapter in the history of the club in bringing 100 per cent private ownership by KSE".

'We appreciate Mr Usmanov's dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the club represents.

American billionaire Kroenke owns 67% of Arsenal through his company KSE and announced on Tuesday he had made an offer to buy up the rest of the shares.

The deal comes at a crucial time for the club, which embarks on life without long-time manager Arsene Wenger, who stepped down in April after 22 years in charge.

Kroenke will be raising the capital to take control of the club with £45m of his own money and borrowing £557m, which he says will not be against the club.

Unai Emery has been charged with returning the Gunners to the summit of the league but he faces stiff competition from Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and Jose Mourinho's Manchester United (NYSE: MANU - news).

'We can not have a football club used as collateral against an owner's other business interests and we urge the Premier League to thoroughly examine this deal'.

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