Stan Kroenke could be on the verge of total control at Arsenal, and we’ve taken a look at how the American entrepreneur became majority shareholder in the first place.
The fans may have seen the concerning news that the American has bid £525m for Alisher Usmanov’s 30% stake in the club. Should the offer be accepted, Kroenke will come to own 97% of the club and could force the remaining shareholders to sell as well.
It’s a worrying state of affairs for the club, and one that has been 10 years in the making, reports Football.London.
Kroenke was introduced to the Arsenal board in 2007, as then vice-chairman David Dein was looking for a rich owner to help the club compete with Chelsea and Manchester United. While Dein was ousted from the club, Kroenke purchased Granada Media’s 9.9% stake in April that year.
Just a month later, he increased his share to 12.2% after buying 659 shares from Arsenal’s largest shareholder at the time, Danny Fiszman.
Despite his growing interest in the club, Kroenke remained outside the club until September 2008. It was then that Dein sold his 14.6% stake to Alisher Usmanov’s Red & White Holdings and Arsenal, in response, invited Kroenke onto their board.
From there, Kroenke and Usmanov gradually purchased more and more shares. Kroenke eventually won the battle in April 2011 when he purchased 15.9% from Nina Bracewell-Smith and 16.1% from Fiszman. Now owning 62% of the club, Kroenke took control of Arsenal.
Since then, there’s been something of a cold war between Kroenke and Usmanov. The Uzbeki remained ostracised by the club, and would eventually make an effort to buyout Kroenke for £1bn last May. The effort was unsuccessful, and the American is now looking to turn the tables.