Stan Kroenke takes over Arsenal: meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Arsenal announced today that American based Kroenke Sports Enterprise (KSE) has purchased the shares of Lady Nina and optioned the shares of Danny Fiszman bringing KSEs potential ownership of Arsenal PLC, the parent company of Arsenal Football Club, to 63%. As expected there’s a lot of misinformation and speculation about Mr. Kroenke, what to expect next, and the future of Arsenal that needs to be cleared up.

What has actually changed?

The simple answer is almost nothing. Lady Nina was previously ousted by the board, Usmanov will only ever find himself a seat at the board if he buys the whole club, and Danny Fiszman isn’t in good health. KSE is promising to keep the board arrangement the same and crucially not to load the club with debt during the takeover.

Moreover, taking a cue from Kroenke’s other sports enterprises and from their statements in the link above the club will continue to be run as a self-sustaining enterprise. If you have spent the last 6 months hoping for an owner who would come in and buy fan loyalty with the £300m purchase of Gary Cahill and 12 other English players, which is secretly  financed by debt instruments loaded into the club, Stan Kroenke will disappoint you.

If, on the other hand, you believe in the self-sustaining model of the football club which looks poised to start generating moderate income that will be put back into the club, then Stan Kroenke won’t disappoint you and might even excite you a bit.

What will Stan Kroenke do for Arsenal?

The first and most important thing is to keep his promise not to load the club with debt. According to Forbes’ latest Rich List, Stan Kroenke is ‘only’ worth $2.9 billion but the Swiss Ramble reported that he took some time to pay off the shares he’d previously purchased from Danny Fiszman which indicates that either he might be cash shy.There’s also the careful language in the statement issued by the dot com that KSE has “optioned” Fiszman’s shares instead of purchased them outright as he has done with Lady Nina.

He’s also just purchased the St. Louis Rams for $450m in August and for him to buy out the remainder of Arsenal he’d have to find an additional $650m or so. Again, I can’t stress enough that the most important thing that Stan Kroenke can do for Arsenal is to NOT load the club with debt.

The second thing he could do is increase Arsenal’s profits through a combination of things such as stadium utilization and foreign tours. Some of this has already started as Young Guns Blog reported that Arsenal are sending a U-19 team to participate in the Dallas Cup here in the States. There have been rumors for the last year or so that the board are finally going to break Arsene’s resistance to taking the club further than Austria during pre-season. Just to put that in perspective, a tour of the USA would bring the money to buy one Gary Cahill or two actually good center halves.

The other thing that Stan Kroenke is well known for is exploiting opportunities to make money across his businesses. As owner of the Rams (NFL) and the Colorado Rapids (MLS) and now as owner of Arsenal I would fully expect him to host tours of those American clubs at the Emirates Stadium. That might seem like a wild prediction and maybe it is, but the point is that he will be looking for cross-partnerships and ways to use the Emirates stadium in order to generate more profits.

And finally, there is a lot of money to be made off the broadcast rights for Arsenal’s games. Right now the model is dominated by old media like television rights but the future is in networked content. I expect him to exploit that as well.

So it’s all about the money?

Well… sort of. Kroenke’s recent purchase of the Rams has generated a bit of controversy because there’s a strong feeling that he wants to move the team to LA. That feeling is driven by the fact that he’s on the LA Stadium Working Group committee and that there are many more opportunities to generate income in LA than in St. Louis.

Enos Stanley Kroenke was named after two very famous St. Louis baseball players and has roots in Missouri. He was also the guy who tried to bring a new NFL franchise back to St. Louis before the Rams relocated. If there was ever an owner who should want to keep the Rams in St. Louis it would be Stan Kroenke. Watching how that drama plays out will give us insight into what Stan will do with Arsenal: will he go for profit over traditions?

The other thing that’s a bit troubling is the sporting aspect of his ownership. Yes, the Colorado Rapids won the MLS Cup last year. Yes, the Rams won the Superbowl in 1999, and the Denver Nuggets are in the playoffs this year but since 2001 the Rams have been dreadful and it’s important to note that the Nuggets haven’t exactly lit the NBA up.

Kroenke isn’t going to be like Abramovich. He won’t spend £300m next season, fire Arsene Wenger, clear out the locker room and buy 16 new players. But what I hope is that he understands the differences between American sports franchises and Arsenal football club.

In the USA there is no relegation, there is profit sharing, there are salary caps, and you have the ability to move a team from St. Louis to LA in order to increase the brand name and stadium revenue. In the USA you can get away with fielding a team of players who might make the fans a bit hopeful but have no real chance of winning a title.

Despite the fact that some folks would argue Arsenal have been doing something similar for 6 years I would argue that in England you can’t do that with a club. For example, the Rams would have been relegated last season if the NFL had a system similar to the EPL.

In England and with so much now dependent on building foreign viewers I would argue that the success of the business side of the club is hugely dependent on the success of the football team.

The obvious and immediate effect is if Arsenal were to slip out of the Champions League places, it would cost them £30m a year (or more). But the less obvious effect is if Arsenal are a mid table team the growth of the global brand will be severely curtailed.

Stan Kroenke has to know this and I doubt he would want to pay £750m in order to lose money. He’s a shrewd businessman, Arsenal are run like a business, and more so than any league I can think of the English Premier League only generates profits for successful teams. Given that and Stan Kroenke’s long history of finding ways to uncover hidden or underutilized revenue streams, I fully expect Kroenke will put money into the club and make it better both on the field and off.

125 thoughts on “Stan Kroenke takes over Arsenal: meet the new boss, same as the old boss

  1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1jax

    You’d think that with all his wealth Kroenke would be able to afford a decent hair transplant instead of sporting that ridiculous syrup. What is it with Americans and wigs?

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

    While I would’ve preferred to continue with the delicate balancing act of multiple major share-holders, we’ve been heading for a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea for awhile now. The news that either Kroenke or Red & White Holdings finally jumped ahead isn’t really, well, news. Time to cross your fingers, hope for the best, and see what happens to all those people who signed up for the Arsenal Trust’s stock-sharing plan.

  3. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

    On a different note, can someone please explain to me what all the drop-balls were about yesterday? I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many given in a game where the average age of the players isn’t 7 and under. I understand using it when play is stopped for injury and there was no clear winner of the ball at the time, but I swear it looked like Lee Mason was calling them just for fun a few times there.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1danny

    Minor point, but the Rams probably would not have been relegated last year, in fact, they almost made the playoffs. The year before, however, they would have finished last and been relegated.

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Dave in Boston

    Another not-so-minor point: the Rams gave QB Sam Bradford a $50m contract. Since he was the number one overall pick, he was going to be expensive but the contract did set a record. This suggest that SK will spend if he has to–and he’ll have to at Arsenal to keep pace with MU, MC, and Chelsea.

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1Mike in Denver

    Do not forget that Stan also owns a TV Sprts Netweork called Altitude Sports. I would look for more Arsenal coverage their as well.

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1kenny

    Kroenke didn’t really have control of the Rams until now. He has, in fact, changed some of the guys who led to a long period of mediocrity these past 5 years. Also, the Rams history is in LA – not St. Louis – so if he returned them there he would be (1) getting in touch with their roots and (2) making more money. He is a very savvy operator; his takeover of the Rams was completely unexpected and he got a nice discount because of it. His motives are difficult (impossible) to read, but he is a man who always gets what he wants. The question is if he wants titles or “competitive” is good enough, but I don’t see mid-table in our future unless he screws up.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1jax

      @Uncle Mike, Yes, good old Bobby. But he eventually let nature take its course didn’t he without any other disguises.
      There used to be a chap in the upper West at Highbury who had the most ill fitting and ludicrous rug that I have ever seen.

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1Chief Gooner

    I am glad that kroenke signaled debt wouldn’t be transferred onto the club. That is obviously vital.
    While i am reasonably happy with the current model i’d like to see more investment in the first team.
    Most arsenal fans are very reasonable. We don’t want a huge outlay on transfer fees. Just a couple of quailty players. Maybe spend 30 to 40 million that shows we have at least some ambition to be champions. I don’t think thats unreasonable.
    And i know before anyone tells me its easy playing fantasy manager, but sometimes the club will have to accept that you need to overpay sometimes to get what you need. At the end of the day its worth it if we can win something. Success can only make the club bigger and more valuable. And i dont mean AW’s 2nd place success.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

    Tim,

    Do you expect Usmanov to sell his stake then? It will bring him profits, since I think he paid 10,500 pounds per share and the offer price is 11,750..Although I don’t know about interest and exchange rates there..

    Also, while the statement says that it will not load debt onto the club, that doesn’t really mean that Kroenke will pay from his own pocket, does it? And if he does take a loan to buy Arsenal shares, does that impact us in any way?

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jon

        Hey Shard,

        Yes it can affect Arsenal if the purchase price for the club is raised by Kroenke through a “personal” debt instrument (meaning not levering the debt on the club). This is because as the owner he can declare dividends on the club’s yearly profits, or transfer the finances from non-footballing revenue.

        Tose dividends or transfers would be paid to KSE, in order to pay off the loan first acquired to raise the capital for the purchase of the club. So, while it would not affect the club in the sense that if a creditor came to call in the debt (like RBS and Liverpool) it could not collect on Arsenal’s assets, it could affect the club because it might mean the profit from the footballing business might not be re-invested in the squad in any way.

        We won’t know about how the purchase is financed because the US rules don’t require that disclosure. I would guess, though, that the capital will not be raised by KSE incurring debts. My guess is that the purchase will come from money Kroenke or his wife already possess. They don’t need to debt finance Arsenal, and in 3-4 years Arsenal will make enough money to invest in the squad AND return a profit for the money he spent to acquire it.

        Or so I hope.

        Also, note the Offer Document says it is not KSE’s “current intention” to debt finance. It doesn’t say they never will. So long as leveraged buyouts are legal in the UK, you’ll never get that guarantee.

        Cheers,

        -Jon

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        Thanks for that Jon. Good to have a few people who understand all this financial stuff, and can put it in terms that I can understand :)

        So as I see it, having a single owner like Kroenke, probably means that he WILL take money out of the club, regardless of whether it’s to finance a loan he takes, or to gain profits as a return on investment made in purchasing the club.. So what does he bring to the club? New sources of revenue? Extra cash for investments when required? I’m sorry if that sounds like a stupid question, but I’m really struggling to make sense of all of the possibilities of this.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1soulcricket

        @Jon, Jon you seem to understand alot of this if possible look at my reply to London Calling and Overseas: below.
        Thanks
        Soul

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1soulcricket

        @soulcricket, Do the current owners (yesterdays owners) take anything out of the club? I know not through loan but do they see any profit in their pocket?

      5. Vote -1 Vote +1Jon

        Hey Tim,

        I agree that there is no financial concern “at the moment”. I just wanted to answer Shard to point out that it could happen – that Kroenke’s promises are not binding in the sense that once he is the owner he will actually do what he likes and if he goes back on his word there is SFA anyone can do about it.

        I should say that I am an optimist about the purchase. I don’t think Kroenke will take much money out of the Club at all. I think this will be status quo, pretty much. Arsenal have not declared a dividend in forever, using the profits to build the Club. I don’t see Stan changing that. I think he looks at Arsenal and sees a massive value-added asset. When we pay off the stadium debt and the commercial contracts that we were obliged to enter into to finance the stadium, the profit margin for Arsenal will soar (assuming the wage bill remains under control) and the value of the club will skyrocket.

        It is not inconceivable that Arsenal will be 3rd or even tops in the Deloitte Money League in the next 5 years (especially if Spain has a further financial crisis or better yet, if the lesser clubs there insist on a shared television revenue deal like England and now Italy). If the TV deal in Spain changes, Arsenal will be the richest club in the world for certain.

        Stan looks at that and says “in 5 years my 731 million will be worth 1.5 billion”. He won’t need to declare a dividend. He won’t need to sell. He won’t need to do anything. If things stay as they are he will make hundreds of millions of pounds by doing aboslutely nothing. Pretty good investment.

        So I am going to agree with you and say “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

        The Swiss Rambler is the best one to weigh in on this though, since he is an economist. I am just a lowly lawyer who knows a tiny bit about finance. Let’s wait and see what the Rambler thinks!

        Cheers,

        Jon

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    I hope you are right, Tim, that it will be good for Arsenal on the pitch in some respects if he finds new revenues. But surely he expects to make some money out of this and, apart from increase in share prices, that means one way or the other that potential revenues go to him and not the team. Similarly, it is not exactly as if he has overseen fantastic performance from his US sports franchises all told. He doesn’t strike me as John Henry, for example, for whom sporting success really seems to matter while being very business savvy and conscious. Already, Henry’s group is making an impact and doing potentially creative things for Liverpool, which while cheaper to acquire also carried a great deal of depth and needed the help having fallen out of the CL places. Kroenke has been with Arsenal FC since 2007. What do we expect him to offer? The St. Louis Rams visiting the Emirates? A summer tour in the US? Wow. Ultimately, we don’t really need his help if he isn’t able to do things that haven’t already been pioneered elsewhere (summer tours) or doesn’t plan to put money into the club’s operation to help us be a bit more successful on the pitch. Maybe he will consider it, since the best way to build the brand would be to combine our style of play with some championships/trophies. Barcelona has enhanced its global reach by doing so. We could stagnate despite the best marketing if it doesn’t translate soon into more success. In the meantime, SK could look to give dividends on his shares or take profits from the 50% stake he has in the separate media company where the online content and massive revenues/profits are likely to be in the future. We’ll have to see, but to my mind this isn’t an unalloyed positive development. There are potential risks even if there isn’t purchase debt being loaded onto the club right now. A lot depends on his intentions, which we have heard very little about, and on Usmanov’s reaction. If he does want to sell, SK has to come up with the money which could mean debt financing for him personally which he will want back from dividents, which means the need to show profits. If Usmanov doesn’t sell, it may likewise be because he is promised that shares will give dividends. There is still more to come in this story.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

      @Limestonegunner, Basically, like you I am struggling to understand what he brings to us.(though you seem to have a better understanding of financial issues than me) I can see why he would want to own Arsenal, and him being a shrewd businessman. But we are a well run business anyway. So what does he add?

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        He adds all of his other sports enterprises, their broadcasting and marketing ability, and maybe this got lost in the article but it’s absolutely crucial that Arsenal are able to sell internet rights to games. Arsenal TV Online is one of the first things he bought. I think the plan is to sell worldwide rights to watch games on the internet.

        Also, don’t underestimate the power of the American consumer. If he can make Arsenal the biggest football brand in America it will mean hundreds of millions in revenue.

      2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        So then I guess the question is, how does he intend to do that? What will be the way to open up the American market? Is it in this that his other sports franchises help? (because otherwise I’m not sure how that is valid, since as you say American sports are differently run)

        Regarding rights to games on the internet.. Wasn’t that the Glazers plan too? Why hasn’t it worked for them, especially considering that ManU have had one of their most successful periods under them.

        So far, I can only see that Kroenke would take money out of the club, and can’t see clearly what he would bring? If it’s increased revenues, how much of the share of it, is invested into the club? I guess it’s still early days, and we have to wait and see. Contrary to what it may appear, I’m not against it, though I would have preferred the multiple share owners. But I’m still looking for answers out of caution.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1soulcricket

        @Shard, I do not think Glazers plan worked as they planned, but they did buy it for 800 million pounds. They have turned down a 1.5 billion pound approach. Regardless of them buying it on debt they have still increased the value of the club almost double. I hope and prey that is not Stan will do, and from his past he will not. I also believe the Glazers ares till very happy with their purchase.

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @soulcricket, I think you misunderstand that a bit (or I do).. But according to me the Glazers haven’t increased value, they have only increased the debt. They bought ManU for 800 million as you say,and they have added 700 pounds of debt (or near that). Meaning that if they sell for 1.5 billion, they do not get any profit on their investment..It also means that to make them sell, it would have to be a figure that not many people can, or would be willing to, pay.

        As for Glazers being happy with it, I think it’s because, of their many business ventures, ManU was their only source of income. The rest of their real estate business weren’t doing too well. At least during the last few years. They were pretty much feeding off the club.

      5. Vote -1 Vote +1soulcricket

        @soulcricket, Thanks, I must have misunderstood. I thought they bought the club at 500 added 300 in debt to buy the club totaling 800. Your explanation makes perfect sense.

      6. Vote -1 Vote +1Josip

        @soulcricket, Shard. They have increased the value. $1.5 bln is the value they were offered for the club, double what they paid for it. The value is simply whatever the buyer is willing to pay.

      7. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Josip

        I guess you are right technically, but did the price offered to the Glazers for ManU not include the payment for ManU’s debts? I think it was an offer to clear debts and the rest goes to the Glazers. As I said above, it’s possible that I misunderstand something in there.

      8. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Tim, If he was the owner of franchises in really major media markets (LA, NY, Chicago, Atlanta, SF Bay Area, Washington D.C., Boston, Toronto, Seattle/Vancouver, Miami) I would think that the broadcasting and marketing tie ins with his teams would give us really significant in-roads in the most lucrative media markets with already developed and loyal fan bases as a platform. Unfortunately, Arsenal in London is a much more valuable property in a world capital of 12-15 million people and center of Europe’s financial industry. St. Louis and Denver are 15th and 24th respectively in US metropolitan population figures. These teams he owns aren’t the most successful (they aren’t the worst and the Colorado hockey club has been quite successful). As far as reaching the American consumer, Arsenal would be better off creating alliances with the teams in the really big and lucrative and prestigious markets, but those teams are competitors of Kroenke’s. I think the only reason we have a relationship with the YES network (the Yankees media channel) in NY (which is great) is because Kroenke doesn’t seem to own a baseball club, does he? None of his teams come close to the stature and status of Arsenal FC (the third most successful club in the wealthiest league/most popular league in the world’s most popular sport). Arsenal has much more to offer Kroenke and the marketing of his US teams perhaps that any of those have to offer Arsenal. And we have to compete with ManU and Liverpool who have had majority American owners already and a headstart over Arsenal and links to bigger markets already. Why do you think he can make it the biggest brand in the US? I really would like to know what you or anyone else specifically thinks Kroenke brings to the table that gives Arsenal a particular advantage.

        Selling matches and content over the internet is a major key and Arsenal established a separate media company to develop this aspect in a 50% partnership with Kroenke, which means the profits (and what overhead will it really have, this is likely to be super super profitable as a company–the expensive part is the team and stadium which is a whole separate venture) have to be split between him and the club. This is a perfect vehicle potentially to take profits out of the club rather than have them re-invested in the squad. Is this a great arrangement for Arsenal FC? With the majority owner of the club being Kroenke, I don’t see this relationship as being questioned by the club if it isn’t.

        So right now I don’t see substantial and tangible advantages with Kroenke and I can envision potential concerns. Happily, he isn’t loading us with huge takeover debt (it seems for the moment) and he seems to have Arsene Wenger’s support and is a cautious person who won’t probably shake things up in a very disruptive way.

      9. Vote -1 Vote +1Chief Gooner

        @Tim,
        yep and the american market is one that has not been targeted enough by the club up to now. As you said Kroenke definitely brings something to the table in that respect.
        Hopefully we’ll see a north american tour from Arsenal sooner rather than later.
        There are many arsenal fans to be gained in North America, especially with our style of play. United and Chelsea have a head start on us marketing wise but i think we can be bigger than both.

      10. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Chief Gooner, Don’t forget Liverpool, with links to Boston/Red Sox and a very savvy and successful group led by Henry. But what exactly does he bring to the table, specifically. And why haven’t we seen many benefits of what he brings in the past 3-4 years. Gazidis has been brought in along with Fox and so forth, but really what has that done commercially for the club? We already had long term commercial sponsorships and it is only the shirt sponsorship that is coming up soon. The best way to get good market value like ManU, Liverpool, and Chelsea would be to win a title.

      11. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        There’s this weird question that several of you have asked about “what has Stan done in the 4 years he’s been on the board?” That I would like to address:

        Well, they sold off the Highbury lots at a profit during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, they have the next property targeted for development and sale which is going to generate huge profits, and the stadium is almost paid off.

        All the while challenging for four trophies, expanding the Arsenal brand into the American and Asian markets (usa.arsenal.com, arsenalchina.com, jp-arsenal.com, and kr.arsenal.com), and further developing the youth academy which has produced a player that Manchester City is reportedly going to offer Arsenal £40m for this Summer in Jack Wilshere.

        Not bad for four years work.

        Oh and Arsenal are now worth £1.5bn which is up about £500m from when he started there.

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1kingofbhutan

    it doesn’t look like he bought danny fiszmans shares outright so to me his actions look like they are more of cautionary(to protect the club from usmanov)than out of ambition but then if he has invested $300m into the club then they have to do better than they are doing now or the brand will stagnant.my guess is he agreed to pay off danny fiszman over some period while supporting the club financially so as to increase the revenue

  12. Vote -1 Vote +1London Calling & Overseas

    Hi Tim: I have been waiting to read your input on this matter all day. Being an American I thought you would have a clear view of the man Stan Kroenke, his business reputation and uprightness as a future owner of our football club the Arsenal. You did not let us down, your blog today is candidly clear and straight forward. Well done.

    I have heard during the past two hours via the BBC Radio 5 Live Web listening page the following: The BBC Business Editor Robert Peston said that Alisher Usmanov has no intention of selling his 27% share in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke. Apparently he is “hopping mad” and feels he has been stitched up, he is very bitter and will be reviewing his position. Mr Usmanov can if he wishes make a counter offer to the shareholders who are still on “option”. He can certainly afford it, but that ship has sailed, however the drama will continue… it’s not over yet.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

      @London Calling & Overseas, If Fiszmann’s remaining shares (16%) are on option, Kroenke would have 46%, but Fiszmann isn’t going to sell to Usmanov, which is probably why Kroenke has used what cash he has to buy Lady Nina’s shares. He knew in advance, I would guess, through earlier agreements and assurances that Fiszmann wouldn’t sell, so he could control these shares as on option without forking over the cash right away and seize majority control. But you are right that it isn’t over yet. He might have to buy Usmanov’s but not have the cash or Usmanov might demand a dividend or a place on the board. We shall see.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1London Calling & Overseas

        @Limestonegunner,A listed company does not have to offer dividends to shareholders, as the Board can decide to reinvest its profits. The main danger here is the seat on the Board, Stan may have to make concessions to the second largest shareholder, if he cannot afford to buy The Russian. Will they make it happen, different people like Chalk and Cheese. With Rothschild on board as advisers they have class and style at the Financial Market end, and I’m sure with all the sensitively analysis in terms of share ownership has been considered carefully before the takeover. The Russian gentleman will and can make it difficult, but somehow I feel all “what if” scenarios has been carefully considered , but human nature being what it is it gonna be a bumpy ride.. I say

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1soulcricket

      @London Calling & Overseas, I read that also. I do not understand what “major or significant decisions means”. The article read stated that if Usmanov does not sell his shares he could still have no place on the board but would have some type of input in “major & significant decisions”. Did I misunderstand this? I know it is only an option (Danny’s shares), but if Stan bought them and his stake is over 60% what decisions does Usmanov have a legal voice on? Any clarification would help.
      Thanks Soul

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1London Calling & Overseas

    As today is a rainy day on the island, and I am having a day off, I have been reading a variation of views from Arsenal fans and the UK public in terms of the takeover. Here is a snapshot of some the views/ opinions on the net. I know your blog is “of opinions” but I wanted to relay what the UK public thought of the takeover of Arsenal (In their own words and I have not amended their grammar nor the syntax etc). And as always, there are two kinds of people.

    (1) Excellent! – Another rich American – who like the Glaziers (Man Utd) is working our Tax system. We are a stupid country the UK is allowing this to happen!
    (2) Americans and football (or should I have said soccer?) Do not mix.
    (3) Arsenal Football Club need change. I don’t think we need a new owner though, and certainly not a new manager.
    (4) It’s about time Arsenal comes out of mediocrity, ‘cuz damn!!! They’ve been also runs for as long as I can remember. All you have to is look at the other clubs’ performance after these kind of takeovers: Spurs, Man City, Chelsea, Man U. The current board have no money to invest in performance (they don’t care about clubs success, only about the quarterly report). It’s about time Arsenal come out and into 21st century.
    (5) What difference does it make who owns a football club?
    (6) The problem with this kind of investor who has no clue about football, the EPL and Europe for that matter (outside the finance world of course) is that they buy a business with a view to make money first by reducing costs, then by passing their debts to the club, then by borrowing through the club, and some investor would then think about increasing the size of their target market.
    (7) Bloody Yank! I couldn’t wish him further away from MY club. What the hell do they know about football but they know a hell of a lot about refinancing and loading debt on our football clubs
    (8) Note that it says that he got the money from his wife’s inheritance. I smell a guy try to join the big boys, and a mess will follow. It will all end in tears :-)

    A challengingly defiant ; thought-provoking and mischievous sample I think.

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1ArseChicago

    My inclination is to view Kroenke’s takeover as a positive, mostly due to his vast experience as an owner of professional sports franchises, albeit U.S.-based franchises. One common thread shared between sports franchises located anywhere is that if you’re looking for a business to both generate consistent levels of profit and also flourish whilst siphoning off that profit in the form of annual dividends, then owning a sports franchise is not a great investment.

    When assessing valuations of sports franchises, go ahead and toss traditional models of valuation out the window. Owning or investing in sports teams is more akin to buying collectible works of art. Basically it’s a bet on the continued importance or prominence that the institution (be it art or sport) holds in society, and it’s also a bet that the rich will continue to get richer, continue to want symbols of their status. W/ respect to Man United, the Glazers came in, didn’t build a new stadium, burdened it with debt and it’s generating net losses. However, as an enterprise it’s grown more valuable given the increasing number of eyeballs watching football and given the increasing number of gazillionaires in the world that would be interested in plunking down a $1.5 billion on a football club. This investment thesis has worked remarkably well in the past and should continue to work well. Kroenke has got no choice but to reinvest in the club because at the end of the day, the level of profit won’t determine the value of his investment. What determines that will be the club’s stature in the broad world of football, whether it’s making $0 in profit or $50MM per year in profit.

  15. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Based on Kroenke’s track record with his US sports franchises, he seems to do things the right way in terms off field finances and on field performances. That’s all we can hope for at the end of the day. A smart owner with a good track record who appreciate’s what Arsenal are all about and who can use his expertise and or bring in the right people to enhance Arsenal going forward.

    The ‘americanization’ of Arsenal can be good thing if we’re talking about using know how to build Arsenal into a robust brand. ‘Americanization’ is bad if you’re talking about taking the team in new direction that discounts the unique features that make Arsenal what it is. KSE does not sound like they have any intention of let’s say bringing in cheer leaders (The Goonersaurettes) to do half time shows and other things American sports franchises do.

    My ‘cottage industry’ remark was a reference PHW original comments concerning Kroenke’s interest in Arsenal. PHW and Fizeman seemed intent at the time on keeping Arsenal an old boys club that were doing things in old fashioned ways. Kroenke and his man Gazidis have not done so badly so far have they, PHW?
    Dein seems to be a polarizing figure. On the one hand, he brought in Kroenke but he then sold out to Usmanov when he tried to get Arsenal to change to the ‘sugar daddy’ business model. The Emirate Stadium was a brilliant piece of business forethought but Dein was not on board with that in the beginning. We are also still unhappy today with the original branding deals that were signed around the building of the stadium.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

      @ctpa, Weren’t the long term deals negotiated by Keith Edelman? That might have cost him his position at the club eventually.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

        @Shard, I believe you are right once again (Dein and Wembley from yesterday).
        I just wonder did Edelman have the sole authority to sign off on those deals. Since we wound up on the short end of those deals, did Edelman get something ‘under’ the table to do those deals?

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @ctpa, He was almost jettisoned by the board wasn’t he? It was all very vague stuff too as to why. It’s interesting whether he did have sole authority. My view on it would be that in all likelihood he may not have had sole authority, but was probably entrusted with the responsibility to gauge market rates etc, and the board probably felt he messed up, at the very least.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @ctpa, All said and done, our long term deals do seem to have undervalued our marketing potential quite a bit. What I can’t make up my mind about is how gross a negligence it was (if that’s what it was). I mean, I think the deal with Emirates was signed in 2004. At that point what was the going rate for shirt deals etc, and how much could it have been really expected to grow?

        Emirates though, did break their deal with Chelsea to become our sponsors (I wonder if they regret that?) So they were obviously keen on it. Was it because they thought they were getting more while having to give very little? Or did they just want to be aligned with a bigger name? (which we still are)

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Is anyone else amused about the saga of our GKs this season. At the rate we are going, to be listed as the no. 1 Arsenal keeper is to be cursed with all manner of calamities and injuries that can strike when least expected. I have run out of fingers and toes trying to figure what number choice Lehmann now becomes. My main concern today now becomes that RVP is not in goal for the last game of the season :0 Can a 41yo GK, 1 year retired carry us in a title race? You can’t make this sh*t up when it comes to Arsenal.

    Speaking of GK calamities, how about that Arsenal-linked GK Mark Schwarzer’s performance against Man U. Schwarzer turned the deal that never happened into the deal of the decade.

    Poll question: Lehmann (41yo) or Schwarzer(38yo)?

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1ArseChicago

      As I’ve said before, our GK situation is much like the drummer situation in the Spinal Tap documentary? We were chatting at the bar Sunday and the question was asked – “At the beginning of the year, what would you have said if I told you that Jens Lehmann was our starting GK on April 10th?”. I would’ve thought that our GKs would have had unionized and all had gone on strike!

  17. Vote -1 Vote +1ArseChicago

    http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/another-american-in-king-arthurs-court-as-kroenke-takes-over-at-arsenal/

    “The offer will not be funded by way of any debt finance (banks loans, payment in kind loans or other debt or quasi-debt interest bearing obligations) for which the payment of interest on, repayment of or security for any liability (contingent or otherwise) will depend on the business of Arsenal.”

    Can’t ask for much more at this point, right?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      @ArseChicago, Small problem with the NYT’s piece is that Bracewell-Smith got ousted from the board by Fizeman for wanting to have her say in running the club and the ‘old boys’ were not having that.

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

    REPOSTED FROM ABOVE:

    There’s this weird question that several of you have asked about “what has Stan done in the 4 years he’s been on the board?” That I would like to address:

    Well, they sold off the Highbury lots at a profit during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, they have the next property targeted for development and sale which is going to generate huge profits, and the stadium is almost paid off.

    All the while challenging for four trophies, expanding the Arsenal brand into the American and Asian markets (usa.arsenal.com, arsenalchina.com, jp-arsenal.com, and kr.arsenal.com), and further developing the youth academy which has produced a player that Manchester City is reportedly going to offer Arsenal £40m for this Summer in Jack Wilshere.

    Not bad for four years work.

    Oh and Arsenal are now worth £1.5bn which is up about £500m from when he started there.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

      @Tim, I do agree that Kroenke may have made a difference to that. But the key question is what next.. A you say, the internet rights are crucial. Is there any regulation on this at the moment? Why have the Glazers not been able to expand in that segment, as they had hoped to do?

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        @Shard, Yes, there’s a problem with the current domestic television rights which is why ATVO shows games several hours later.

        But I expect the big clubs (Arsenal, ManU, Chelsea, and Liverpool) all to demand the right to show games globally soon.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1London Calling & Overseas

      @Tim, Tim: I see the point you are making but he can’t take all the benefits/rewards for all that.. he had some help.

    3. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

      @Tim, Don’t mistake questions raised about what Kroenke has or can contribute specifically for criticisms of the board’s accomplishments in the last four years. That isn’t the question. What specifically do you credit him with? Firstly, the stadium is not almost paid off. It is on long-term low interest loans (there might even be a pre-payment penalty) for approximately 20 more years, which Gazidis said last year was a strategically sound approach and which led Wenger to say that there wouldn’t be massive transfer spending for the next 20 years because o the continuing stadium debt obligations. What was paid off recently were the shorter-term higher interest loans used to finance the Highbury redevelopment project which the board thought would bring large profits (but because of the real estate bubble and downturn you mention have led to modest profits that are accruing recently and for the sale of the remaining housing units). What did Kroenke have to do with the Highbury project which was designed and executed before he joined the club? What is this next property you are talking about generating massive profits (and what did Kroenke have to do with it?). What did Kroenke contribute to us challenging for four trophies which we have done since Arsene Wenger and before Kroenke joined. What did Kroenke contribute by financing or expertise from his businesses and know how to the development of these websites? What knowledge, expertise, business or football acument did Kroenke contribute to the youth academy which was started years before his involvement and when Jack Wilshere was a 9 year old and signed to Arsenal’s academy before Kroenke had ever heard of him? In terms of the value that has gone up, how much does this have to do with the overall increase in value of the top clubs and particularly the policies of the board before Kroenke to approach our business sustainably? What contribution did he make to this approach? How much is the value of the share price increase a function of his own attempt to purchase shares while competing with Usmanov for these shares?

      I haven’t said that he is going to be awful for the club, but you seem to have decided to defend him for some reason by either exaggerating his contributions or confusing the long-term development of Arsenal put in place by Fiszmann and Wenger principally with Kroenke. All I am asking is to hear specifically about what advantages Kroenke uniquely has brought or brings so that one can have a rational discussion about whether this is or will be of benefit to Arsenal FC. So far none of my concerns or points above have been engaged or positive accomplishments or specific future contributions of Kroenke have been mentioned.

      Why is having him as majority owner better than pluralistic ownership, when we are a sustainable club that is not looking for external investment but only in growing our revenues and our footballing success through our own resources?

  19. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

    Also, where is this idea coming from that he wants dividends? Alisher Usmanov demanded dividends and the Stan Kroenke board voted it down.

    Kroenke has never made a dime off this club, why would he start now?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1ArseChicago

      Who’s stating that? Obviously an owner can take dividends or reinvest in the business and I’d argue that for the sake of value enhancement or worse case, preservation, it’s best to keep reinvesting profits into the club.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        Tim, If Kroenke will not take any revenue out of the club (your point about Usmanov demanding revenues is well made), then how does Stan ‘the businessman’ account for this purchase?

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1ArseChicago

        Re: the existential issue, I’ve often wondered about that as it pertains to Man City and Chelsea. When those richest of rich owners sell to someone else, will those new owners have the ability and desire to grossly overpay and thus, attract, players the way they are currently? Because as it stands now, clubs like Liverpool, United, Arsenal have that “brand” cache, have that intrinsic type of value. Can’t say that Chelsea and Man City have that at this point. Brand value takes years upon years to create and I wonder if these rich owners such as Abramovich and the Mansour clan at City are ultimately going to own their toys long enough ultimately to oversee such huge brand value/excitement created at their respective clubs.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Tim, Hmmm.If that is the plan, then I agree with ArseChicago’s view above that it is far better for him that Arsenal win titles, and that our reach in the global market expands.

        However, that brings up an existential issue for the future. He could basically sell us to anyone who shows him the money, regardless of their intentions or experience. Even if it seems like a vague threat at the moment, it still is something we should consider, maybe? I realise it’s a little ridiculous to talk about a sale which may or may not follow a purchase that is yet to be made. But does it bode well for Arsenal to be a mere investment vehicle for our owner-to-be?

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Tim, I didn’t say he wants dividends. Don’t put words in my mouth. I said it is possible and discussed the scenarios I was aware of in which it could happen, particularly because of Usmanov’s share that he might not have the cash right now to purchase in total. It has never been the tradition for Arsenal shareholders to take a dividend and while he was a minority shareholder (even if the largest one) there would be no way to begin doing it. But there isn’t a guarantee that he won’t in the future and there is no legal way, as I understand it, that it could be prevented. Plus, I pointed out some of the other ways he could take money out of the club while suggesting that he might hopefully determine that on-pitch success is crucial to the value of the club, its shares, and its marketability globally, which would limit doing this.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

      @Tim, Btw, when did Usmanov demand dividends in the past that the board voted down? Are you mixing this up with the share/rights issue Usmanov proposed in July 2009? That would have been the exact opposite of taking dividends. That was a scheme for raising funds for the club by proposing an issue of 100 million pounds of new shares with the option of current shareholders to buy a proportional amount before any shares were made public. What this meant is that in order to keep one’s shares from losing value you would have to put in money proportionate to your shareholding percentage, which would raise 100 million or put new shares into the market that someone like Usmanov could purchase and thereby increase his overall stake. Usmanov was demanding that everyone, himself included, give money to the club. He framed it as a competitively necessary investment to help Wenger go into the transfer market and/or increase wages. The board decided it didn’t want to pass the hat around or lose value in their shares.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Limestonegunner, I do believe that Usmanov had proposed dividends be paid to shareholders.. He did of course also propose issuing new shares. The motive for that is of course open to interpretation both ways. I’m more inclined to believe it was for increasing his stake as you say, rather than any concern over Arsene Wenger’s transfer kitty.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Shard, Ok, I didn’t remember that provision as part of the proposal, but certainly the dividends wouldn’t have been nearly as much as the rights issue would raise. But thanks for the correction and your points in previous comments as well. It may be moot, since the man has the money and has made his move, but so far I don’t see the discussion having really developed because no one can really show how/why this is of real benefit to the club. It might not be bad, of course, either.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Limestonegunner, I’m not sure but I think they might have been separate provisions, and not linked with each other.

        Regarding Kroenke and whether it’s good for us, I’m still very much on the fence. I do have a feeling that in the short to middle term, he will not cause us any harm at the very least, and might even help us by bringing in new and improved revenue streams, and may even grant us a signing here or there. It’s the long term I’m worried about. We don’t know his intentions yet, and don’t know if any statement is forthcoming from him. In any case, it is a little premature to regard him as the owner. Usmanov still has a big stake in the club, and we’ll see how that goes.

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Shard, Just did a quick google search.. Apparently Usmanov demanded dividends from the board some time in September/October 2007. In June 2009 is when he suggested the rights issue.. That would be just a month after we fell short of winning the title. Generally, if a person shows up with a seemingly knight in shining armour solution when things are bad, I think his motives aren’t as pure as they are intended to appear.

  20. +3 Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    It’s a great that the democratization of information through the internet has made relatively informed discussion and speculation over ownership and finances possible among regular working stiffs as many of us are.

    When it comes to business I have a weary cynicism earned through many ups and downs (layoffs, promotions, office politics – the usual B.S. we all deal with). I can only hope that we continue the sound fiscal path that has seen us be so competitive despite the billions spent by our nearest rivals.

    Investors and owners in a global brand like Arsenal need to win trophies. That is the major reason why Arsenal has fans from Canada to Cambodia and why it has expanded beyond the confines of Highbury and Islington. I choose to believe that Kroenke is smart enough, ambitious enough and experienced with his other teams enough to manage his ownership to the benefit of us all. I also think this is a needless distraction right now when everyone needs to focus on these last handful of games.

    If we do this, it would be a title for the ages. Not quite as dramatic as Anfield ’89, but man, I’d partying all summer long. Come ON you effing Gunners!

    1NTTA

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

    < cite="He could basically sell us to anyone who shows him the money, regardless of their intentions or experience."
    Shard, that is exactly why some of us preferred the balancing act of the multiple major shareholder situation. Unfortunately, the end game of that scenario is almost always going to be one big fish gobbling up all the little fish eventually. Also, it tends towards a more conservative approach, as multiple investor have to actually agree with each other before doing anything. Such is the nature of business.

    What might be interesting to see is if Kroenke allows the AST scheme of having multiple fan owners of single shares to continue beyond it's current level. While it'll never happen, a part of me warms at the thought of thousands of Gooners buying out the club in unison. Downside, of course, is that the AST would then run the club… terrifying thought. Support, yes, by all means… but manage?!?

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1Zohaib Ijaz

    I personally believe that Stan Kroenke is the right person to take over. He won’t meddle with things on the field and will allow Wenger and the staff to work freely. He will benefit us off the field as he will help us grow on the business end of things which is great for us as we need to expand globally. Wenger already has the transfer funds if he needs to use and Stan Kroenke’s involvement won’t change a thing. He supports our self sustainability project which is the most important thing. I am sure the tabloid will publish rumors such as a big transfer war chest for Wenger and stuff but remember this that Kroenke is a Businessman and he agrees with our current philosophy.
    So to sum up this takeover will only help us by increasing our sources of revenue.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

      @Zohaib Ijaz, How will he benefit us off the field as majority owner? Are there any ways he will do this that aren’t already happening under pluralistic ownership?

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Da Wanderer

        @Limestonegunner, I see your point but if any of the reports are to be believed, someone had to take control. The Lady has been shopping her shares around for months her family wants money not the club. Danny is very ill and it seems his family does not share his love of Arsenal over money. I was told by a friend of his, that there is no way to even speak to him currently. His personal cell, email, and direct line have all been closed.
        I then read on ANR that Palmer wrote he had (two weeks to live). I hope that is not true but there is obvisouly some kind of situation.
        If the Lady is going to sell, and Danny wants to sell, the club was not going to be bought by individuals. One or another was going to have to move (even a third party possibly.
        I would like to thank Danny Fiszman. He has always loved Arsenal and looked out for the clubs wellbeing. I think at this point we have to believe he has done what he believes best for the club (Stan). Danny has given everything to this club and I think it is rude, and arrogant to ignore his plan (or think you have a better idea than him). Good luck Danny and God Bless.
        Soul

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Da Wanderer, I hope you don’t misinterpret my comments to be calling into question Danny Fiszmann’s love and wishes for the club. Everyone knows he was a great board member for Arsenal FC. If he were still healthy and had family members who wanted to carry on his legacy as shareholders in the club, we probably could have continued the long-standing tradition of plural ownership, which is what I prefer and what the sustainable model allows. That has been the Arsenal way for most of our club’s history.

        I don’t see how it is rude or arrogant to want the best for the club and to be cautious about celebrating the moving of the club into one person’s hands, essentially. Especially, if, as you say yourself, the move was really forced by unfortunate circumstances.

  23. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    Arsechicago, you have a good point about brand value. And that is more the case in Britain where those teams have their history. But in new markets like the US and elsewhere, Chelsea has been able to establish itself as an important football brand in the US, for example, because it has big stars and has won lots of titles recently. In London they may not have a fan base like Arsenal but they have captured new fans at home and abroad because of their recent success.

    If Arsenal had won a champions league (2006) or another PL title over the last five years, I think in the US Chelsea wouldn’t have made the inroads they have. The dynamics of brand development are obviously different in emerging or expanding markets.

  24. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    I am looking forward to the Swiss Ramble’s next post. I am sure as an Arsenal fan he will do an update on his Kroenke piece.

  25. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Just consider this: If Usmanov had 63% share of the club, today’s conversation would not be about commercial expansion, no debt being saddled on the club, shepherding The Arsenal we loved soundly into a bright future.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

      @ctpa, Why wouldn’t it? Usmanov is certainly rich enough to buy it outright without loading debt. Why wouldn’t he want to expand the club commercially? What there would be is talk about potentially abandoning our sustainable model for Chelsea/Man City style investment and big transfer spending. Tbh, we don’t need either billionaire to be who we are as a club. Our club did all the hard work of building a stadium, developing its academy, creating a sustainable model on its own with plural ownership and long term shareholders. That is something to be very proud about. People are confusing the sustainable policies and achievements of this club with a choice between the lesser of two evils, the better of two billionaire owners. Maybe that was the only choice left, but it is the end of a wonderful tradition that really distinguished Arsenal FC from the other big PL clubs.

  26. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Wow. Liverpool are ripping Man City to threads 3-0 in the 1st half. Torres replacement, Carroll has his 1st two goals. Tevez out with a hamstring injury and Man City praying for the bell (or half time).

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

      @ctpa, Bad News! That means even without Rooney, Manutd will beat Mancity next weekend in the FA Cup semifinal and secure their first trophy for this season(Stoke or Bolton, unlike Birmingham will just make up the numbers in the final)–what a boost of confidence!

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1soulcricket

        @DF, Think that is a jump. Man City ManU is bad blood. Let’s just see what happens. I remember a team that beat Barcelona 2-1 and the next week tied 1-1 with Leyton Orient. :)

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @DF, Or it might mean that City had their eye more on the derby and the FA Cup semi (probably in that order too). David Silva would surely have started otherwise wouldn’t he? (genuinely asking cos I don’t know what their injury situation is. I just tuned in for a bit and saw Silva warming up to come on)

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1soulcricket

      @ctpa, There did seem to be a gulf of difference in that game. Your comment is to close to “Men and Boys” for my liking. It also improved that other teams chance at europe.
      I know I am petty blah blah blah, I hate the spuds!!!!!!

  27. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

    Watching the goals, I thought it was Almunia in goal instead of Hart. How can he miss the first goal shot by Carroll from such a distance and almost straight at the centre of the goal?
    this is what can happen when a team does not have a proper goalkeeper. Not even Almunia can be that poor.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      @DF, That shot was low, hard and swerved after Hart had started to the ground so he had no chance to adjust.

  28. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    Good news for the Spuds. 3 points back with a game in hand. Tevez hamstring injury. They might still have a chance at the top 4 and CL next year. It is a tough call–who would we rather have make it: Spuds or ManCity. Historic rivals and enemies led by ‘Arry Wheeler Dealer with the Chimp and other unsavoury types from England B-team or the Oiligarch team. My vote is for Liverpool!

  29. +1 Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    Liverpool are ascendant, and a very respectable 6th place as of now. There are showing some real fire to finish the season on a high note, Ol’ Kenny D seems to be the right man at the right place at the right time. We are going have a tough time of it at the weekend. COYG.

  30. Vote -1 Vote +1The Red & White Observer

    Hi there; amongst all this well written submissions, no one has addressed the long term sale and resale of AFC. If Arsenal is worth 1.5billion at present (or close to), what is stopping Mr Stan Kroenke from selling this loved and well run British institution to some Far Eastern conglomerate for 10billion in 5-10 years. As a British national I see British ownership, legacy and history being eroded, dissolved all around me. Not only in football but in manufacturing, telecommunication and such like. Look at our Monarchy, if its role, it history becomes eroded, do you think the world would care about William & Kate’s wedding (I know some don’t give a darm). Maybe I am being too British but I place value on past history and culture, it’s what makes me live in this country, its why millions of people come and visit. It is also important that I mention that I am not adverse to change, after all we live in a global community and money talks, but I am concerned about the dilapidation of Britishness and what we have always known to belong to us, including my Club, Arsenal Football Club.
    Foreign owners of the EPL clubs

    ASTON VILLA – Randy Lerner
    BIRMINGHAM – Carson Young
    BLACKBURN – Venky’s: The Chicken Farmers
    CHELSEA – Roman Abramovich
    FULHAM – Mohamed Al Fayed
    LIVERPOOL – Fenway Sports
    MAN CITY – Abu Dhabi United
    MAN UTD – Glazer family
    SUNDERLAND – Ellis Short
    ARSENAL – Stan Kroenke

    What makes a Gooner?: The players on the pitch has changed, players like Rocky, Michael Thomas, Adams, Keown, ¬ Parlour even Henry, Bergkamp and Pires, they all¬ understood what it meant to wear the AFC shirt. The pride¬ of being a Gooner. Now I see players on the pitch who chew gum, players who do not run, who do not tackle, and players who stop and stare rather than be creative? It frightens me a little. I sometimes talk to my local community about being a supporter of AFC, and we always ask the same question” What makes a football supporter be a Gooner? Is it the game, a player, the club structure, family , peer pressure, one game, the history, the location. All I do know is my family have supported Arsenal since they moved into¬ Islington, North London, many, many decades ago, with some attending Drayton Park School. We owned a Fruit and Veg shop¬ which supplied the club and fans with, well, fruit¬ and veg. It was a proper family club, representing the area and even to this day Arsenal in the Community is strong, but I see a change coming. The term Corporate Awareness and Community is sounded off in most financial year end reports from Shell to BP to Coco Cola.¬ But really it’s all about money, and this takeover is all about the money, it’s a cynical point but I cannot see Mr Stan Kroenke and his family being part of Arsenal and the North London community in 10 years or more, there tenure and legacy is short term, it’s a money intense profit lead takeover. Our Fever Pitch moments, our strong British past history is gone…it’s the end of an era… Goodbye Old Arsenal… Hello new American Arsenal… I wish you joy. End of

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      @The Red & White Observer, The way of the world. America has been there and done that. We remember when the foreign nouveau riche started buying up US landmarks and US companies. Didn’t mean a thing because the landmarks couldn’t get on the plane and companies then began to outsource ‘US’ jobs overseas anyway.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Limestonegunner, I was actually thinking about that possibility too. We now know that Usmanov is willing to offer more money than Kroenke did for the shares. So it would be good business to sell at a profit, and the more shares Kroenke has, the more his gain. However, having said that, I still don’t think that’s going to happen. Kroenke’s reputation would be shot, and the profits would not justify that. I do think Kroenke is in for a long-ish haul. He won’t sell his stake immediately. But apparently, he will at some point. When?

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

        @Shard, I don’t think it will happen, but who knows. Either way, I think you’re mistaken about Kroenke’s reputation. All his other businesses lie in the States, and mainly in other American sports. The people he does business with here wouldn’t give a toss about how he made money out of Arsenal, assuming they even knew it existed in the first place.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @JV Mauer, Of course there are no guarantees. Perhaps I misunderstand his business interests, but I think you underestimate the impact that global coverage can have. It probably won’t stop him from doing it if he really wants to of course, but it doesn’t seem like that’s what he would do.

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Shard, He hasn’t sold his other sports clubs, so I don’t know if Barclay’s speculations have much merit. But, why not wait a couple of years, build up the value of the shares and enhance the commercial performance with new sponsorship deals (Asda Stadium and Wal-Mart shirts!), win a title, invite Usmanov onto the board in the third year and sell in 4 or 5 years, keeping an interest in the Arsenal media company where the profits will be once the top clubs start selling their games globally via the internet?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

      @ctpa, Who told RvP off for his silly first yellow v. Barca at almost the same point in the game as Diaby’s? Plus Diaby had been playing well. Is this leadership or throwing stones in glass houses? I love RvP, but when we mean leadership we mean also encouragement and rallying or focusing the players when things go wrong rather than just giving a player who has been on the fringes of the squad but is having his best game this season a roasting for one mistake.

  31. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/8444423/Arsenal-takeover-Alisher-Usmanov-failed-with-two-late-offers-to-stop-Stan-Kroenke-taking-control-of-the-club.html?

    Some more info from behind the scenes. Bracewell-Smith looks pretty stand up. She didn’t try to sell to the highest bidder and she obviously doesn’t trust Usmanov to protect Arsenal’s future. Says it all.

    Another piece says Kroenke can still use an Arsenal 100m reserve fund and or dividendes to help pay for his purchase. Will remain to be seen.

  32. Vote -1 Vote +1GRP

    Tim, lots of good points. Some of the benefit will indeed just be a discipline to the investment, not something that all sports investors (US and abroad) bring. So i think your title was spot on, as that is the Arsenal way.

    For example, speaking of Henry and the Red Sox ownership (as I live near Fenway Park) — for all the big player deals, they actually do a lot of “little things” every off-season that have a high ROI (cramming in new seats, sprucing up facilities, having a bigger impact/say on real estate near the park, etc.).

    And we want our US tour now!!! :-)

  33. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Wilbert Kiger

    I actually have ended up within traffic generation for a a long time and my own partner keeps telling all of us that our team should certainly look at (blank) voice broadcasting for a good method to help obtain sales opportunities. I really simply just believe the idea difficult to acknowledge the fact this can seriously will work. Everytime I personally experience one of these types of phone messages I undoubtedly hang up instantaneously yet this guy says of the fact that it supplies a extremely cost-effective option to bring in prospects. I am nonetheless on the fence nevertheless I understand that our other techniques we’ve been implementing are simply getting a lot more (blank) expensive.

  34. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1The Red & White Observer

    Arsenal Supporters Trust vote not to sell shares to Stan Kroenke as club is “too important to be owned by one person”

  35. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

    I read on some other blog that according to NFL rules, a team owner cannot own a NHL/NBA/MLS team in another city that an NFL team exists in. Is this true? Wiki says that by 2014 he has to relinquish control over those clubs in order to remain an owner of the Rams.. I’ve read before that basketball is his first love. So if he’s unwilling to sell the Nuggets, that might mean that he’ll sell the Rams. Maybe that’s how he intends to finance his purchase of Arsenal?

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Tim, Baseball? Strange that that’s the only major US sport he doesn’t own. I know he turned it over to his son, but is that enough according to the rules?

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        Yes, it’s enough. He is NOT selling the Rams. He just bought them in August and everything I’ve read indicated that he’s a long-term investor.

      3. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Shard, That is odd, why doesn’t he get a baseball team–perhaps they haven’t been available in the midwest where he operates. Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals. If one of those becomes available maybe he will sell Arsenal to Usmanov to buy it. But, of course, I am sure he really loves football now and studies football tactics in his spare time, having Jonathan Wilson’s Inverting the Pyramid by his bed-side table!

        Interesting how we haven’t heard a whole lot of the usual platitudes from new owners when a sports team changes hands about their commitment and desire to win championships for the fans. Most all what we have heard is how there won’t be debt, how there will be stability, fiscal prudence and sustainability, custodianship and respect for Arsenal’s traditions (which are generally more associated these days with proper running of the club than anything else). It seems that emphases on these values have so pervaded the culture of the club and support that the new owner hardly needs to address his commitment to football, on-pitch success, and the desire of fans for championships. I know it is usually just rhetoric anyway, but it is a marked difference. It is almost as if the strife that had broken out has been quashed by the boardroom news and discussion about whether and how this might be a meaningful change. If so, quite good timing!

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Limestonegunner, Inverting the Pyramid is a great read.

        I don’t really ‘get’ baseball. It’s slow and boring. I’m from India, and cricket bores me, and baseball just seems even slower. But as you say, if a team becomes available he might buy it. (though again, with the Rams ownership he can’t have majority stake in an MLB team in another city)

        To me, a lack of those platitudes and soundbytes is a good sign. It’s more reassuring than someone coming in and saying we will win the title or something like that. Yes it does seem to have put a stop on the relentless bickering. The win at the weekend doesn’t harm either. I guess the people who want significant changes at the club can now hope that their dreams will be fulfilled next season, and since they are usually the louder of the two ‘factions’, we may actually hear some words of support around the blogosphere now.

      5. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Shard, I love baseball but it is an acquired taste, admittedly. He could buy the St. Louis Cardinals, if it ever comes up for sale, or relocate the Rams back to big market Los Angeles. I heard his real love is basketball though.

        In any case, soon we can get back to this title chase as the story and its implications will unfold over some time.

  36. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

    A question for you financial types. Going over 30% forced Kroenke to make a bid for the whole club. Current owners of shares are not required to sell, however. Does that mean that every time Kroenke wants to add to the per centage of shares he owns (since he’ll always be above 30%), that he’ll have to bid for the whole club again?

Comments are closed.