Arsenal supporters slam 'dreadful' U.S. sports mogul takeover


KSE, the corporation owned by Kroenke, now holds 41,743 shares in Arsenal equating to 67.09 per cent control.

It would mean Kroenke has the automatic right to take total control over the London club by buying the remaining independent shares.

He was officially revealed to own the largest stake in the club in February 2008 with 24 percent, but at the time insisted he had no plans to increase his holdings and by 2011 Kroenke owned nearly two thirds of the Gunners.

United States-based investment vehicle Kroenke Sports and Entertainment said it received an "irrevocable undertaking" from Usamanov's Red and White Securities to accept the offer for its 18,695 Arsenal shares as soon as possible.

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A statement from the Arsenal Supporters Trust described the move as a "dreadful day" in a statement.

He was critical of Kroenke's passive ownership style, a sentiment increasingly echoed by Arsenal fans, unhappy with what they see as the board's willingness to settle for on-field mediocrity so long as commercial stability was maintained.

Kroenke will be raising the capital to take control of the club with £45m of his own money and borrowing £557m, which he says will not be against the club.

Arsenal have endured a hard period on the pitch in recent seasons, last winning the league in 2004 and failing to qualify for the lucrative Champions League for the past two seasons.

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'The AST is also extremely concerned to note that this purchase is being funded by a loan. The AST past year urged Usmanov not to sell his shares, and pointed out that single ownership of the club means Arsenal would no longer need to hold an Annual General Meeting.

The club is owned by a holding company, Arsenal Holding plc where available shares are few and the company is not listed on an exchange.

It also said that Kroenke would be able to "implement detrimental actions", including "pay [ing] management fees and dividends without any check or balance" and "plac [ing] debt onto Arsenal to support his other business interests".

The deal comes at a crucial time for the North London club, which embarks on life without long-time manager Arsene Wenger, who stepped down in April after 22 years in charge.

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"The AST is wholly against this takeover which marks a very sad day for Arsenal football club".