News fluttered in yesterday that the American tycoon, Stan Kroenke has purchased more Arsenal shares to bring his shares to 29.9%. Just 0.09% short of needing to make a move for the rest of the shares. Now I’ve reserved my thoughts on this matter for quite some time as it has already been highlighted in many other blogs and there is no need for me to talk anymore about it, but with Stan so close to a takeover, I guessed now is as good a time as any to give this topic a special mention.
Since the inception of English football and the birth of Arsenal in 1886, we’ve never in the club’s long history been under the ownership of a foreign man (non-Brit). And for as long as I can remember, the club do not have any singular owner but a board of owners. So in any case, any decision that needed to be made, needs the consensus of a group of people coming from different background and with different views. This method ensures that no single party’s personal agenda or wants will entertained. With Stan in the picture now this could all change.
Inspite of the massive buying on Stan’s part, he has remained silent regarding his intentions of his real purpose of buying into the club. Interestingly, the board which earlier opposes any foreign or new player in the group has now been more than willing to accept Stan. This is more apparent given that the last 100 shares he bought came from Peter Hill-Wood himself. Whether the money is too good to resist or that they have a gentleman’s agreement that no drastic change will be made remains to be seen.
We’ve seen how foreign owners have run other clubs into massive debts. Take for instance the Glazers at Man United and the American duo at Liverpool. Using money that they don’t have (loans from banks) to buy into the club places those respective clubs in financial danger should either one be unable to finance those loans back. No matter what has been discussed between Stan and the rest of Arsenal board members, we all know how the business world works. Profits and gains are all that matters to many businessmen and they will probably tell or say anything to get what they want.
I do believe there’s an agenda on Stan’s part and I also believe he will do the takeover. However, given his other involvement in the sporting world in America, he is not those who buy for the fun sake and looks to be in it for the long haul. Quite how he turned his attention towards football from basketball and American football still puzzles me. Perhaps it is how the current Arsenal model is run that interest him. Provided that he is paying those share purchases through his own money, then it is fine by me.
It would be utterly painful to bear should such a good establishment be spoil by someone who may not entirely grasp the importance of Arsenal to so many in the world. I sure hope you make the right choice, Peter.