The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust are set to submit a protest vote against Sir Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday.
As part of the AGM, there will be votes on re-elect Sir Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke as directors. The AST plan to stage a ‘no vote’ and have urged all other individual shareholders to do the same, reports Football.London.
The AST state: “The reason for this course of action is to demonstrate dissatisfaction at the current ownership and governance arrangements at the Arsenal Football Club.
“In particular we feel that the present directors are not acting with sufficient independence, nor representing the interests of the small shareholders, or the future custodianship of the Club.”
“Our action and vote is a statement that we believe significant corporate governance change is needed. Whatever the outcome of Thursday’s AGM we call upon the directors at Arsenal to address these significant corporate governance failings.”
The resolutions will likely pass anyway, since the minority shareholders don’t hold a significant enough stake to stand against them, but the ‘no vote’ is meant as a protest, rather than an attempt to actually pass or deny a resolution.
Arsenal’s Supporters’ Trust have long stood against the current setup of the club, and were particularly outspoken in recent weeks when it looked as though Stan Kroenke had made a bid for Alisher Usmanov’s shareholding.
If that bid had been successful, Kroenke could’ve forced out the other minority shareholders – including the AST – and could also have chosen not to hold an Annual General Meeting in the future.
In the view of the AST, this would take away any accountability from the club, allowing Kroenke to run it however he wanted without taking any heed of the wishes of the fans.
Fortunately, Usmanov doesn’t seem to be willing to sell, but there are still other concerns about the current board, particularly the fact that Usmanov isn’t allowed to be on it, hence the protest ‘no vote’ on Thursday.