Arsenal takeover: Fans accuse Stan Kroenke of trying to steal their club

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke

Stan Kroenke can officially add Arsenal Football Club to a personal collection that already includes the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and the Colorado Rapids.

Alisher Usmanov declared Arsenal can be the best club in the world as he confirmed the sale of his 30 per cent stake to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.

Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League, said having a single owner would benefit the club but fans said it was a "dreadful" day.

Fans worry however that Kroenke, relying on a loan for the bulk of the funding, will not spend enough to compete for players with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, backed by money from Russian Federation, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar respectively.

"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".

In October past year, KSE offered around £525 million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov, the Russian businessman who himself attempted to buy out Kroenke in May 2017.

He signed a motion to recognize Arsenal as the world's best football team in 2004, after Arsene Wenger's side had completed a Premier League season unbeaten. "I wish all the best and great success to this wonderful football club and to all those whose lives and careers are entwined in it".

Kroenke has been a part-owner of Arsenal since 2007, gradually increasing his stake. "KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the club".

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

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.

This would see KSE take those final shares to complete a 100 percent takeover of the club.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust voiced several concerns over the potential takeover in a strongly-worded statement of their own.

Arsenal Supporters' Trust has hit out at Stan Kroenke's bid to buy the club outright, saying it "marks a terrible day" for the Gunners, Skysports reports.

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

"The most terrible 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".

Within two hours of the announcement '#KroenkeOut' was trending on Twitter in Britain. Despite his shareholding, Usmanov is not part of the board or the decision-making at Arsenal.

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