Arab takeover revealed and Arsenal’s response

Emirates

Earlier, Arsenal were reported to have been targeted by a Middle East Investment group, who were lining up a bid of £1.5bn for the club.

The investors from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have been working for four months on organising this deal and were thought to be offering £20,000 per share, which should Kroenke sell his 66.83% stake in the club would see him net £830m. Considering he bought his shares for around £11,000 each this would mean a profit of £350m or there abouts.

Reportedly, they have planned a “total takeover” but should Usmanov not sell his 29.11% share they would be willing to work alongside him.

The consortium from the Middle East plan to wipe Arsenal’s £250m debt clean, while investing heavily in the transfer market and wage bill, with the intentions of keeping all the best players. Something Usmanov has insisted on doing himself.

However, Arsenal have since made a statement, saying they have received no approach from this consortium with regards to any takeover and claim that Silent Stan has no plans to sell.

Arsenal’s Communications Director, Mark Gonnella has said that, “Stan Kroenke is committed to Arsenal for the long term and has no intention of selling his stake.”

Adding that, “There has been no contact from any potential investors.”

However, the reports claim a bid is being lined up, suggesting there was yet to be any “contact” however whether any thing will come of this is another matter, especially with Kroenke and Usmanov wanting to stay long-term.

It was April 2011 when Kroenke sealed his £430m-plus takeover, to acquire the 66.83% share to give him overall control  of Arsenal.

Kroenke has previously stated that he was at Arsenal “for the long haul”, and judging by his involvement elsewhere he seems to be true to his word. The Kroenke Sports Enterprise Group has had a long-term involvement in several American sports clubs, including the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rapids of the MLS.

Alisher Usmanov, does not currently have a seat on the board, and refused to sell to Kroenke insisting he wanted to be the man to have the overall control of Arsenal, and has been very critical of Kroenke’s plans since the American moved in.

Usmanov himself is one of the richest Russians around, richer than Chelsea’s Abramovich. Figures suggest Usmanov earns £12bn+ a year, to Abramovich’s £3bn.

Therefore reports that he is also unwilling to sell come as no surprise, with a source suggesting he is “not interested in cash incentives”.

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