by CARL ELDRIDGE Stan Kroenke has taken another step closer to launching a takeover bid at the Arsenal, this morning’s papers tell us.
The Yank billionaire has bought a further 90 shares at £8,500 each to lift his stake to 28.9 per cent.
And the Daily Mail reports that his latest acquisition takes him closer to the 29.9 per cent figure that – under Stock Exchange rules – would force him to make an offer for the rest of the shares.
Kroenke, who also owns the football team Colorado Rapids and basketball side Denver Nuggets, has been praised as ‘model owner’ by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, says the paper.
The 62-year-old has more than doubled his stake over the last year to become the club’s largest shareholder, with a total of 17,957 shares.
In the light of the SK’s share increase, AW has predicted that Arsenal will eventually become majority-owned, but stressed that the key to safeguarding the club’s future health would be continuing to live within their means, according to the Daily Telegraph.
“As long as the club can be run as it is at the moment, it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “Certainly at some stage, someone will get the majority of the shares. Once somebody reaches 29.9 per cent of the shareholding, they have to make a bid for the club.
“Then he could gain over 50 per cent, and he will be the decider of the club, but he could still decide that the club should continue to run how it is now.”
On the playing front and ahead of tomorrow’s game against Brum at home, Cesc Fabregas says six years in England have taught him how important the Premier League is – and made him more determined to win it.
The Sun reports that the Arsenal skipper, 22, grew up in Spain believing World Cups and European titles were what mattered.
But since moving to London at 16 he has begun to appreciate how much a domestic title means to English fans. He admitted: “I’ve realised with every year how big the Premier League is.
“Growing up it’s about Champions League and World Cups. But, once you come to play here, you realise how the fans live for the Premier League.
“The league is really competitive and I like it a lot. I think in England the Premier League is the biggest thing.
“All the top teams in Europe want to win their own league but the English is the hardest to win. I want to win it even more now than when I first arrived.”
Back to the Mail and a report that Sevilla are the latest Primera Liga club to be linked with a move for Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida.
Atletico Madrid have made no secret of their desire to take the teenager back to Spain but they are likely to face stiff competition in January.
Sevilla, sitting third in the table behind Barcelona and Real Madrid, were impressed by Merida’s performancers at the Under 20 World Cup and hope to land the 19-year-old on loan with a view to a permanent deal.