Kroenke bids for full ownership of Arsenal

Arsenal’s majority owner Stan Kroenke has bidded to buy the club outright, valuing it at around 1.8 billion pounds after receiving backing from part-owner Alisher Usmanov.

Kroenke currently owns 67 percent of the club through his company, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), and has reached a deal with Usmanov for his 30 percent, according to a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

“KSE believes moving to private ownership will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the club’s strategy and ambitions,” it said.

“KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the club.”

However, the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) voiced its displeasure, describing it as a “dreadful” day for the club, which it claimed was too important to be owned by one person.

“Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values,” read an AST statement.

“The AST is also extremely concerned to note that this purchase is being funded by a loan,” it added.

“The most dreadful part of this announcement is the news that Kroenke plans to forcibly purchase the shares held by Arsenal fans. Many of these fans are AST members and hold their shares not for value but as custodians who care for the future of the club.”

The London Stock Exchange Statement said that more details of KSE offer would be published later on Tuesday.