Arsenal welcome American billionaire to the board
‘Silent Stan’ given a voice at the Emirates
Arsenal this morning confirmed that American billionaire Stan Kroenke – the gent on the right in the picture above – has been invited onto the board to take a non-executive director role. The owner of the the MLS’ Colorado Rapids and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets has held a 12.4 per cent stake in the club since last year, and his invitation to the board appears to counter the takeover ambitions of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
On the club’s official website, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood says:
“We are delighted to welcome Stan to the Board of Arsenal. He brings with him a wealth of experience through his direct involvement in sports clubs in the US and we expect to benefit from his commercial insights and knowledge.”
It’s great that Hill-Wood is so welcoming, particularly as he once remarked of the American: “We don’t need his money and we don’t want his sort.”
Kroenke is not party to last year’s lock-down agreement (whereby directors can only sell their stakes to board-approved persons), but has agreed not to extend his shareholding beyond 29.9 per cent in the next year. If either Usmanov or Kroenke reach thirty per cent, they would have to launch a formal takeover.
Next week, Arsenal’s annual results will be formally announced, revealing a huge £225m turnover and record pre-tax profit of £36.7m.