Arab consortium ‘eyes Arsenal’
An Arab consortium is considering making a ?1.5billion bid for
Arsenal in the near future, according to reports.
The Sun on Sunday and Sunday Telegraph have both reported the
interest, with funds for the bid said to be coming from Qatar and
the United Arab Emirates in the next few weeks.
American Stan Kroenke is the club’s majority shareholder, while
Uzbek Alisher Usmanov also holds a significant stake.
The offer for Arsenal would reportedly see the potential
investors bid around ?20,000 per share, making Kroenke’s holding
alone worth ?830million.
Sources close to the Arsenal board insisted on Sunday morning
that there had been no approach, informal or otherwise, to Kroenke,
who remains “in it for the long term”.
Kroenke pushed through his ?430million-plus takeover in April
2011, and now holds 66.83% of the club to give him overall
The Kroenke Sports Enterprise Group has a history of sustained
involvement in all of his sporting interests in the United States,
which include the Denver Nuggets of the NBA and the Colorado
Avalanche in the NHL, as well as Major League Soccer club the
Uzbek oil magnate Alisher Usmanov remains Arsenal’s second
largest shareholder with a 29.96% holding, but does not currently
have a seat on the board.
Reports suggest that, if successful in a potential takeover, the
consortium – said to be backed by funds from Qatar and the United
Arab Emirates – would be ready to work with Usmanov’s Red &
White Holdings to help drive the Gunners back to the top of
European football, vowing to slash ticket prices and stop the sale
of star players such as former captains Robin van Persie and Cesc
Arsenal, who have not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, head
to north-London rivals Tottenham this afternoon looking to boost
their hopes of finishing in the top four, and securing Champions
League qualification once again under manager Arsene Wenger – who
has long championed the club’s self-sustaining policy and the need
for UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play regulations.