Arsenal valued at £1.8bn as Kroenke offers to buy remaining shares

Billionaire Stan Kroenke owns two thirds of Arsenal

Billionaire Stan Kroenke owns two thirds of Arsenal

Kroenke, who - like Usmanov - first started amassing shares in Arsenal in 2007, succeeded in gaining full control in 2011.

United States sports mogul Stanley Kroenke, the controlling shareholder in Arsenal Football Club, has agreed to buy Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov's 30.5% stake in the club.

"By taking the Club private Stan Kroenke will be able to. place debt onto Arsenal to support his other business interests", Arsenal Supports' Trust said.

Usmanov and Kroenke have both tried unsuccessfully to buy up the other's shares in the past.

Kroenke now owns 67% of the club's shares and his offer is to buy the 30% of shares owned by minority stakeholder Alisher Usmanov.

The American businessman is a very unpopular man among supporters, but Alisher Usmanov has accepted defeat and will sell the club to him for £1.8bn.

To pay for the deal, Mr Kroenke will pay £45m in cash and take a £557m loan from Deutsche Bank.

It read: 'Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values.

"The AST is extremely concerned to note that this purchase is being funded by a loan".

"This news marks a terrible day for Arsenal Football Club", said the AST's official statement.

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"Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement".

With that in mind, the message from the Arsenal Supporters' Trust was a lot less dire. The AST is wholly against this takeover.

The deal values Arsenal, one of Britain's top soccer clubs, at £1.8 billion ($2.33 billion).

Club legend Ian Wright also slammed the decision and admitted he is anxious that the optimism around the club following the arrival of Unai Emery could suffer as a result.

He was critical of Kroenke's passive ownership style, which has been increasingly echoed by Arsenal fans unhappy with what they see as the board´s willingness to settle for on-field mediocrity so long as commercial stability was maintained.

Kroenke, who also owns the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, now owns 67 percent of Arsenal. He could effectively run it like Newcastle and Sunderland - "where has all the money gone?!"'.

KSE now has 41,743 of those, with Usmanov holding a stake of 18,695, which would be worth £550m under the offer.

There are two sides to this and from a fans' point of view you like to have a bit more transparency - when there is more than one person involved you get a broader discussion about what you should do, who you should buy and how much to spend on particular people.

Arsène Wenger, who had managed the north London club for more the 20 years, departed earlier in 2018 and has been replaced by Unai Emery.

Arsenal have not won the English Premier League since an unbeaten campaign in 2004.

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