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Arsenal board backing Kroenke

Fri 6th May 2011 | Clubs Ownership

Arsenal's board are confident Stan Kroenke will be a "safe custodian" of the club's future.

On Friday, the American tycoon submitted formal documents for his proposed £730million takeover offer, having taken his holding up to 63% by buying stakes from the late Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith.

Despite Kroenke Sports Enterprise (KSE) now having now a controlling interest in the Gunners' parent company, a complete takeover deal at £11,750 a share is by no means done ahead of the May 27 completion deadline.

Red & White Holdings - backed by Uzbek oil magnate Alisher Usmanov - have indicated they may hold onto their 27% stock, while Arsenal Supporters Trust have urged all minority shareholders not to sell as they believe the club should not be owned by any single individual.

Kroenke already has a proven track record in the United States with the St Louis Rams NFL franchise, Denver Nuggets NBA team, NHL outfit Colorado Avalanche and Major League Soccer's current champions Colorado Rapids.

Friday's offer document consisted of 64 pages and in the chairman's letter to shareholders, the independent directors stressed their support for Kroenke's vision as Arsenal look to end a six-season trophy drought.

"Given his involvement with Arsenal since 2007, and the confirmations he has given to the board of Arsenal as set out in this document, we are confident that Mr Kroenke will be a safe custodian of Arsenal's future," the letter read.

"Mr Kroenke's experience at Arsenal and his relationships with the Arsenal board and management team have given him first-hand knowledge of the club and an understanding of the underlying business.

"The board of Arsenal have come to know Mr Kroenke well as a consequence of his involvement with the club, and he has been a welcome and valuable addition to the Arsenal board since he took up his position as a director.

"He has stated that he is focused on maintaining Arsenal's position as a top-flight football club, and intends to use his experience to help Arsenal continue to grow its global appeal and fanbase, and to enjoy further success on the pitch.

"Although relatively new to Arsenal, Mr Kroenke has shown himself to be a man who values and respects the history and traditions of the club, as well as having a wealth of experience from other sports teams in which he has invested.

"The Arsenal independent directors note, in particular, KSE's and Mr Kroenke's confirmation that the offer will not be funded by way of any debt finance (bank 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."

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