News coming from the Emirates is sure to start a mad scramble for the shares on the market that could trigger a takeover!
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood insists a major boardroom reshuffle will not alter their policy of trying to keep the club’s ownership in-house.
Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, Arsenal’s third-largest shareholder, left the board on Wednesday.
Hill-Wood said he was not sure whether Bracewell-Smith would sell her shares.
But if her 15.9% stake was to become available, Uzbekistan metals magnate Alisher Usmanov could pass the 30% mark which would force a takeover bid.
Usmanov already owns 24% through his Red & White Holdings company, having initially bought former vice-chairman David Dein’s 14.5% stake in the club.
American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, who holds a stake of about 12% in the Gunners’ parent company, accepted an offer to become a non-executive director on the Arsenal board in September as ties with his Kroenke Sports Enterprises group were strengthened.
If Kroenke were to buy the shares, he would become the club’s majority shareholder with a 27.9% stake.
Unlike Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, Arsenal remain under British ownership and have so far resisted attempts by overseas investors to take a controlling share. (BBC Sport)
I for one have been a big admirer of the way Arsenal have hitherto conducted themselves as a responsible business as all around them spent frivolously in the Premier League climate of boom and the inevitable bust but could this recent development open them up to a takeover?
I am not against foreign investors running English football clubs but it is good to see that the north London club are still, for the time being at least, under British ownership and that surely can’t be a bad thing. Where Lady Bracewell-Smith’s decision leaves the club is anyone’s guess but it’s a situation Gunners fans will want to keep abreast of for the coming future and in the short term surely this could affect any transfer dealings in January that Arsene may have planned. Are Arsenal fans worried about this breaking news?