Arsenal Football Club was plunged into a mini crisis upon the eve of one of the most important football fixtures, and what are we as simple fans meant to make of it?
The Arsenal Supporters Trust issued the following statement, careful not to identify the shareholder involved.
“The AST regrets that a shareholder has chosen to involve the takeover panel. Their complaint is about protecting shareholder value. We represent Arsenal supporters who own shares as custodians of the club. Our primary interest as shareholders is what is good for Arsenal Football Club rather than trying to make money. Once again we would urge all of the major shareholders in the club to reflect that Arsenal would be much better off if everyone worked together. It strengthens our resolve to work to increase the number of Arsenal supporters who own shares in Arsenal”.
So there it is, days after Stanley Kroenke increased his share to 28.3% by buying shares from Danny Fiszman and the Carr family, this referral to the Takeover panel is a spoiling tactic. If Danny Fiszman and Stanley Kroenke cannot convince the panel that they are not effectively working in concert to effectively control the affairs of the club, then they may be forced to make a takeover bid for the club.
It would be logical to conclude that the shareholder involved is Alisher Usmanov and that Stanley Kroenke is his target, Mr Kroenke is either short on cash having not bought the shares outright, or saving his liquidity for the battle ahead. In having gone about the purchase of so many shares “on tick” as it were, Usmanov must sense a degree of financial weakness. No doubt the views of Lady Nina will be pivotal and this could be her chance to retaliate and stick the knife in between the shoulder blades of Danny Fiszman. What ever happens next, the relationships between the major shareholders will be frosty. Events will move quite quickly, and speculation will abound. Arsenalinsider will try to keep you well informed as the battle in the Boardroom progresses.
Fabregas the King.