Foreign Ownership the Arsenal way.

Written by Gooner in Exile

Ok, the day some of us (me included) dreaded has finally arrived. The ownership of our beloved club has moved into a single pair of hands, some of us have said not over our dead bodies, some of us have asked for it to be done the Arsenal way, some of us said its ok if its a billionaire to come and buy us trophies.

It is early days yet but all signs point to Kroenke amassing at least 60% but more likely around the 90% mark. And in the main it appears to have been done the right way, no ugly public confrontation very quick progression from breaking news to confirmed within 24 hours.

So what about those who wanted an end to the ownership uncertainty to allow more investment in the playing staff, well I think Kroenke’s successful takeover will disappoint here, it is unlikely with such a lump of cash required to buy the shares that there will be any loose change hanging around for injection into Wenger’s pocket for transfers.

To this end some would have preferred Usmanov to come in and pile in the Roubles, but we have seen how little respect that gains you in the football world and also how few trophies it buys you at the same time. As I type this I am watching the multi million pound assembled Man City getting a pounding by Liverpool three goals down in 35 minutes.

Allegedly (according to Mark Kleinman of Sky) Usmanov attempted to make a counter offer for Bracewell-Smith’s shares, Kleinman reported that he offered £13,000 and a lower offer earlier but she being an honest type rebuffed due to the irrevocable undertaking she had given to Kroenke. She has issued a statement regarding her sale:

“This marks the end of an era for our family’s association with Arsenal FC and we are proud to have had such a long history with one of the world’s greatest clubs. I am confident of Arsenal’s continued success both on and off the pitch and believe that Stan Kroenke will continue to develop the club in a manner true to its heritage for the players and the fans.”

And this is a lesson to Mr Usmanov, money can’t buy you everything especially from people who love what they are selling.

With Usmanov now nothing more than a thorn in Kroenke’s side we can hope that he is inclined to sell his lot for a quick buck and move on. Unfortunately for a man who is valued at $17.7 billion one must wonder what that quick profit will mean to him and this one could run and run.

Assuming Kroenke is successful in a full takeover (minus hopefully a token gesture for the Arsenal Supporters Trust) all I ask of him is to continue the work he has seen whilst he has been at the club and to recognise that what has made the club so valuable is its prudence, its trust in its managers, its loyalty to players past and present, and its ability to keep its dirty washing in house.

On that final point I hope that Kroenke lives up to his nickname, I don’t want the club to become more about the man upstairs than the men on the bench and the lads on the pitch. Say Chelsea and most of us think of Abramovich first, mention City and its the Sheikh that dominates our thoughts, the trophies are for them not for the players or managers, the staff come and go like the mercenaries and playthings they have become. This is where the Glazers have been successful at Man Utd, yes they have taken the club into debt, yes they have forced a hold on transfers, but could you really say they make you think of them first, no, you think Fergie, you think Giggs, Rooney and others before you think of the owners.

Comparisons will likely be made with the Glazers, neither they or Stan speak openly to the media and both made their money through real estate (one from trailer parks and one using family ties to build malls next to his Father in Laws Wal-Marts). It appears both have a penchant for sports teams too, although to that extent Kroenke is far more active having owned three top flight American Sports Teams, plus a couple of minor ones too.

Kroenke also insists that he will not be using any kind of debt financing to fund KSE’s purchase of Arsenal shares, although similar promises were made by Gillett and Hicks at Liverpool and the Glazers at United, all reneged and effectively put the clubs into debt to fund their acquisitions. We can only hope that the Board are right to believe Kroenke has the funds to make this happen without needing any extra finance secured on the assets.

Clearly a clever businessman, what of his sports teams. Everything I have read about Kroenke is that he is hands off when it comes to team matters but heavily involved with the financial detail. It is also worth remembering that American sports teams have to operate under salary caps, with the Financial Fairplay rules apparently around the corner it would seem that American ownership with experience of these conditions will be beneficial to the club.

Kroenke has owned 40% of the St Louis Rams since 1995, he bought the whole kit and kaboodle in 2010, but that has forced him to relinquish control of Denver Nuggets (NBA) and Colorado Avalanche (NHL) (both owned since 2000) due to NFL rules.

In his time as major shareholder St Louis Rams have won the Superbowl, but since his full takeover have been undergoing a bit of a rebuilding pinning their hopes on a Rookie Quarterback in 2010.  The Avalance won the 2001 Stanley Cup, and the Nuggets whilst winning their division in his time have failed to win the conference or the championship.

But to compare trophies is probably unfair as the American system does not allow any one team to dominate year after year, for example the reason the Rams have the young Rookie Quaterback was that the season before their record was 1-15 and therefore were given first draft pick.

So all we can do now is sit and wait, to be honest I do not expect any major changes but I have one final thought before I put this post to bed.

Look after our club Stan, its ours, you may own the shares at the moment, but the people make this club, the ones that have followed in their fathers footsteps to Highbury and now the Emirates, please make sure its still in one piece so we can take our children and grandchildren on the same walk. And don’t ever forget we’re by far the greatest team the world has ever seen. Make sure it stays that way.

149 Responses to Foreign Ownership the Arsenal way.

  1. Morning again – we seem to have lost all our photos, hopefully they’ll be back soon.

    Great read GiE and some very nice words at the end that you have to hope Stan Kroenke will heed.

    I firmly believe that AW would not have been happy to have the club taken over by anyone else – this man has already shown an aptitude for silence and we know for the time being, Arsene is still in charge.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Morning GIE, 🙂

    What a well written, incisive yet easily understood pulling together of all the bits and pieces of the ‘Kroenke Affair’! 🙂

    Not at all an ‘accountanty’ article, but a true supporter’s take on an historic moment in the club’s history! Excellent! 🙂

  3. 26may1989 says:

    Good stuff Exile. I think I share your sentiments: this is probably the least worst possibility for the club’s ownership. With Bracewell-Smith having been in selling mode for 18 months, since Fiszman kicked her off the Board, and with Fiszman’s health and tax exile status issues combining to make a seller of him, not to mention the Usmanov vs Kroenke position, there was always going to be something like this. And as you say, here it is.

    Ownership issues shouldn’t get fans’ juices flowing – like referees, the less you notice them, the better things are. Throwing words like “custodianship” and “tradition” is easy but the proof of Kroenke will be in the pudding, we’ll know whether his takeover is good or bad in the months and years to come.

    The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and the Fanshare scheme are now even more important than before. The fans need to maximise their engagement with the club and Kroenke to avoid a situation where we are as irrelevant and ignored as fans at City, United and Chelsea.

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Brilliant analysis GiE, it tells me all I need to know. I think your conclusions are spot on. I expect a seamless transition into single ownership.

    I only anticipate minor changes in th near future. It wouldn’t surprise me to see us playing our pre-season warm-ups in the US or far east and hopefullly we will negotiate more lucrative sponsorship deals.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent GIE. You made what is to me a boring subject very interesting and understandable.

    I particularly enjoyed your final paragraph – brought a shiver down the back.

    Would I have preferred us to be taken over by someone who was playing Mr Big and buying us Messi to start his campaign – I am not sure. Perhaps Chelsea and MC fans view this in a different light.

  6. tommystout says:

    good write up GIE, i did wonder who would get the nod today and a fine job you’ve made of it.
    Yesterday i was bareley off twitter for the takeover news and then later on the news from the AST meeting.
    The thing that i noticed personally about the whole affair and my feelings about it was that i was most anxious about arsenal not losing their identity and giving in to the sugar daddy method. I want to see the sustainable model continue, its something i am proud of, it sets us apart from the rest of the so called big boys, and at the moment that looks like the way it is set to continue.
    Now for the league.

  7. tommystout says:

    How refreshing was it to have Jens back?, i especially like the way he seems to have impacted himself upon the dressing room. Good man – future coach?

  8. kelsey says:

    GIE,

    Well done.I am no accountant nor financial wizard but i think the softly, softly approach should be applied until more comes to light.

    The fact that Usmanov offered lady nina more for her shares and was refused, makes me think this was a done deal weeks ago and apparently Fiszman,s family didn’t want to acquire the shares.

    I know for a fact that DD has been involved and eventually Hill Wood will step down as chairman, and then of course there is the muted retirement of Pat Rice and Wenger has only one more season on his contract.

    I hopefully expect Kroenke to act like Lerner at Villa, but I will reserve judgement until the full picture is made clearer.

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    GiE,
    Great work. Even I can understand. I very much liked the reference to The Glaziers and the Utd model, where as you so rightly point out, one still thinks of Utd as SAF, Giggs etc. I suspect with AU, we would have reached out with open arms to join the Chav Elite.

  10. WiganGooner says:

    Fab article GiE. Well thought out and I certainly agree with you. Kroenke is a business man, he’s not after a new toy.

    I’ve written a post today about why Kroenke will not need to leverage his debt against Arsenal, I’d love your guys feedback.

    WG

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah Kelsey,
    You said something the other day, still during the SK/AU speculation stage, that you felt AW’s position would be awkward (I can’t recall your actual words), should SK win. I meant to ak you why you thought this.

  12. 26may1989 says:

    tommy, completely agree re Jens, love seeing him around again, and hopefully his attitude will rub off on Szczesny.

    Kelsey, interesting re Dein. Perhaps even I can forgive him trying to move us to Wembley, and then getting into bed with Usmanov (now there’s a thought…).

    Anyone know if Szczesny really is fit for the weekend?

  13. kelsey says:

    micky,

    I can remember things 30 years ago, but not always last week.Kindly refresh my memory.

    I am not privaleged to everything at the club, but i knew a year ago through yet another friend of mine in london who is best friends with Hill Wood that a takeover would be sooner rather than later.

  14. kelsey says:

    Chesney is fit.

  15. 26may1989 says:

    WiganGooner, interesting piece that (see http://www.wigangooner.co.uk/). But I do think we need to treat Silent Stan with a good dose of scepticism too – just because he may not need to leverage his interest in Arsenal, doesn’t mean to say he won’t if it’s to his advantage at some point in the future. I thought this in The Guardan was interesting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/11/stan-kroenke-arsenal-takeover.

  16. tommystout says:

    chezzer fit says the guradian, JD in full training – promising.

  17. The BearMan says:

    And they say Arsenal supporters care nothing about the club apart from silverware and bragging rights at the tavern!

    Great work and a very timely piece for all to digest with our morning snack. In the Bear’s case, nothing apart form ‘special honey’.

    It is always a concern when there is a takeover in any business. And lets face it, Arsenal is a business first, but I long to see it become ‘a theatre of dreams’ as Highbury was when the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Adams, Vieira, Pires, etc, etc., put on the Red & White walked unto the pitch and made the impossible, possible. Having watched such enthralling matches, Dad’s were seen embrassing themselves in parks as they seek to impress their sons with a new skill, they never quite mastered.

    Oh! Would those days ever come again?

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Kelsey,
    Not important, I’m sure it was you that said AW’s position would be difficult under Stan. Me wrong probably.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Trouble with Bears is that they are just sooo insensitve towards the needs of Bees. Its all honey, honey, honey, me, me, me.

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Do we believe The Grauniad?

  21. chas says:

    Interesting read, GIE.

    The last paragraph is superb…..”so please don’t take my Arsenal away, nanananana, nanananana”.

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    BearMan,
    “Dad’s were seen embrassing themselves in parks as they seek to impress their sons with a new skill, they never quite mastered”. That is so true. I have a nasty cut on my knee from attempting an Arshavin in front of my children yesterday. Moocho egg on face!

  23. kelsey says:

    For those who didn’t read this from 7.a.m.kick Off which is an American Blog.
    ————————————————-

    There’s this weird question that several of you have asked about “what has Stan done in the 4 years he’s been on the board?” That I would like to address:

    Well, they sold off the Highbury lots at a profit during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, they have the next property targeted for development and sale which is going to generate huge profits, and the stadium is almost paid off.

    All the while challenging for four trophies, expanding the Arsenal brand into the American and Asian markets (usa.arsenal.com, arsenalchina.com, jp-arsenal.com, and kr.arsenal.com), and further developing the youth academy which has produced a player that Manchester City is reportedly going to offer Arsenal £40m for this Summer in Jack Wilshere.

    Not bad for four years work.

    Oh and Arsenal are now worth £1.5bn which is up about £500m from when he started there.
    ————————————————

    I would add of course that kroenke didn’t do this by himself but was involved.

    my main concern is how he will find the cash and also as I stated before will he take dividends,which no other share holder has done.

    As I said we will wait and see. The Glazers tried the TV approach in America and it wasn’t successful, but I do see us going to The states pre season as opposed to Austria.

  24. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thanks all for comments.

    I’m definitely in the wait and see camp, I am not going to expect mass changes or even demand a statement of intent, whilst it’s certainly been hurried by DFs ill health it doesn’t feel like Kroenke is coming in to ride roughshod over the club but to continue from a very firm platform.

    Chas – exactly!

  25. The BearMan says:

    Well it appears Micky wants to return to the days of boring olde Graham. No ambition? I want to see Arsenal move forward, more ambition, real quality, true grit, rock solid resolve.

    As for the Bees, I need them, though they can be a nuisance on the best of times. After all, how am I to get my favourite honey.

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    BearMan,
    Oh no. Believe me I was bored to tears standing watching that drivel during the 80’s. I am with you on wanting to move forward, I just happen to believe that we can do it without buying it. I understand the age we live in and that a takeover was inevitable. So far, and I understand very little about these things, I am delighted with Stan.

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Kelsey,
    You are the fountain of all knowledge.
    Since you are here, can I say how kind of you it was to invite us all down to your gaff on Saturday. I did post immediately that we were on our way, and would be with you by 1:00. Sadly things did not go well. We all rocked up at the Easy Jet check in ok, but what we found was Peaches, and I can’t think of a polite way of putting this, ripped to the tits. She had clearly cracked on early that day. We managed to smuggle her onto the plane disguised beneath a Burqa. As you may have read in the Red Tops, she was involved in what the Police have diplomatically referred to as “a minor incident” over the Channel, resulting in the emergency landing. We promise not to bring her next time, if the offer still stands.

  28. Evonne says:

    GIE – I have just read your post and it made me cry 😦 Very moving and loving, and loyal, and true

  29. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey the view that Kroenke may take divis for KSE is interesting one.

    Some have the view that his sole aim will be to sell the club for a profit in a few years, firstly he has no history of doing that and the only reason he has to relinquish control of his basketball and baseball sides is the NFL rival cities rules. Even so he has passed control to his son and will have to lose ownership come 2014 (probably by gifting to his son). Secondly if he manages to make a substantial sell on profit it will be due to success on pitch rather than off it which is surely good for us fans.

    Do we know that SK has actually acquired the shares yet? The arrangement with DF Nominees is a call put option so can happen whenever, it appears NBS shares are going to be paid for with KSE loan notes as that suits her from CGT position.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I thought we agreed that “what happens on tour , stays on tour”! Though it was so embarrassing to see a grown woman fondling the gay Air host. And then the ultimate indignity when we landed in Paris and Peaches became the first woman arrested under the no burqa laws.

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Jeepers Raddy,
    I was being discreet and allowing Peaches a chance to retain some dignity!

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Hey, no-one asked her to pile into the duty free Vodka. What you reap is what you sow.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Crikey, I hear the far away sound of stomping Jack Boots. I’m hiding. Later.

  34. The BearMan says:

    Micky,

    Bear believes in prudence. Having little to cope with he has chosen ‘honey’ instead of ‘caviar and champagne’. {I wonder if Kroneke will invite Bear over for one of those someday soon?} However, talking football, Arsenal do not have to imitate other teams in the Premiership, no need to. But it is vital that Mr. Wenger look at the squad before the end of this season. For us to go on competing at the highest level, some changes has to be made. The best way is through pruning and adding (real quality)in the right places. He has to pinpoint every area of weakness and address it otherwise, we will struggle to make 4th place next season. The value of adding one or two individuals with experience and quality, is that they lift up others that is struggling around them and players like Nasri, Walcott, RvP, Wilshere and Ramsey etc. etc., will florish in their company.

    Two additions that could create a buzz around Arsenal, are Eden Hazard and Ryo. However, that does not address the major areas which has to be strengthened. Eden’s ball skills and Ryo’s passion and determination.

  35. Carlito11 says:

    Really passionate read GiE. I’m also in the wait and see camp but like the initial sounds being made. I would have been very upset to become Chavs MkIII. I think that would have been impossible anyway as the 3 year constrictions on spending more than you earn start next season. Hopefully the era of sugar daddies from Jack Walker to Sheik Mansour are now nearing their end…

  36. Carlito11 says:

    Sounds like the attempted trip to Malaga was eventful 😀 Just raised some eyebrows at work for laughing at the screen!

  37. Rasp says:

    I agree with those who hope that the new regime will see us be more ruthless in our dealings with players – and therefore more ruthless on the pitch. We all have our favourites and our pet hates, but I do believe that one or two should be ‘let go’ in the summer hopefully to release a budget for more tenacious replacements.

  38. Carlito11 says:

    BearMan- I’m with you completely in seeing a need for 2 individuals with experience and quality. 2 names floated here recently are Schweinsteiger and Eto’o. I like them both but we need the Verminator back fully fit or I would go for a CB instead of Eto’o. I like Cahill and Jones from Blackburn but the emphasis has to be on experience of winning- ruling them out for me.
    I’m also getting very excited about Ryo! Hope he can sort the work permit quickly…

  39. Carlito11 says:

    Hi Rasp- If we let a large number of loanees go this summer that should free up some dosh. Apparently our youth players are on 10k a week (obviously I can’t say this is true, but the large wage bill suggests all the squad earn well) and 19 of them are out on loan. Letting 9 of them go would free up wages for a “world-beater” no?

  40. Rasp says:

    Seedorf is available on a free at the end of the season. He’s not for me, a great player in his time but lacking pace now and I don’t think we need him.

  41. Rasp says:

    Hi Carlito,

    I agree. Are there any figures that show the profit/loss balance on players who don’t make it into the first team I wonder?

    The evidence suggests that SK leaves the running of the team to his coaching staff so maybe he won’t have too much influence there. DD on the other hand I’m sure, would have input, so I’m hopeful he will return when PhW ‘retires’.

  42. The BearMan says:

    Carlito, I hope the lad ‘the Assassin’ Ryo has done enough in six months to prove that he is a special talent. I see you are branding about some BiG names there son, but do you see then playing the Arsene way? The likes of Eto’ if he still got legs ought to get 19+ goals per season. But Mr. Wenger is a BiG Benzema man I fear.

  43. Wonderman says:

    HI GiE

    Great post, probably portrays exactly how I feel with the exception that I am concerned about how Kroenke realises his investment. Is he buying for income or capital appreciation and how will those strategies manifest themselves? I know he has a good track record of owning sports clubs , however it remains interesting to me how see he is going to exploit any underutilsed value in Arsenal as he is paying / will pay over £700m for the club

  44. Red Arse says:

    bzzzzzzzz bzzzzzzzzzzz

    bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz bzzzzzzzzzzz

  45. Carlito11 says:

    BearMan- what I know about Benzema is virtually all hearsay as I’ve only seen him play twice. I know he only scores on weekdays (not weekends) and has been called “the next Drogba” but that AdeBuyWhore gets to start ahead of him for Mourinho. The number of times I have thought, “I wish Drogba played for us”, makes some of that hearsay quite attractive but I haven’t seen enough to form a view… Why do you fear Wenger likes him?

  46. Carlito11 says:

    Wonderman- the idea that anyone buys a football club to make money has always seemed a preposterous suggestion to me- so I quite understand what you are asking… How do you make a small fortune out of a football club? Start off with a LARGE fortune! 😀

  47. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ahhh some transfer speculation to start the afternoon.

    Someone mentioned Schweinstiger, and reminded me Wenger is from Alsace which borders Germany and Wenger can speak German so perhaps he needs to look for some German dogmaticness (made up word) and ability to churn out results.

    So to add a bit of that:
    Mertsersacker (Werder Bremen) 27
    Lahm (Bayern Munich) 27
    Schweinstiger (Bayern Munich) 27
    Muller (Bayern Munich) 22
    Podolski (Koln) 26

    After all Kroenke is a German derived name too so I’m sure he could negotiate £50m for the lot?

  48. Carlito11 says:

    Seriously though… Has anyone ever made a handsome profit out of a football club? If so, who?
    3 and out!

  49. Carlito11 says:

    GiE- send that lot to Silentstan@arsenal.com right now! Get him to buy the lot!

  50. Gooner in Exile says:

    It’s a concern for sure Wonderman. Perhaps he has seen potential for his real estate experience to make something of the properties the club still own. Is there hidden potential that only he sees but doesn’t want to let the cat out of the bag before getting full control.

    Presently Arsenals ticketing is run through Ticketmaster not very well judging by my experience renewing red membership last year. He has in the US created side arms of his sports side to sell all tickets so again perhaps he can realise extra income here.

    Most of all current sponsorship deals are low and tied until 2013-14. Once done I’m sure there is massive potential.

    For all the latter two to create value increase he must make sure we continue to be successful on the pitch.

  51. Wonderman says:

    Carlito, you are correct, so does that make him a philanthropist then ? I think not looking at his commercial record

  52. Wonderman says:

    GiE, fantastic point about the ticketing and of course the poor sponsorship return has been well documented. I suppose add to that, the opportunity to tap into the vast US Market and we begin to see the potential. I am still keen to hear how this purchased is financed though

  53. Gooner in Exile says:

    Unfortunately it may be something we never find out. Bracewell – Smiths money looks set to be paid in loan notes but that still requires cash for DF’s and AU’s. Which by my reckoning is £315m. That leaves AST and other individuals in place.

    The Guardian has suggested that as no dividend covenant exists it is possible that he could take a divi in the future to fund the acquisition. But a spokesman for KSE has said that they have never used debt to finance an acquisition “he is not Glazer”.

    Perhaps funds from his son for the NBA and NHL franchises will provide the cash?

  54. 26may1989 says:

    Carlito, David Dein made a very, very good profit out of his shares in Arsenal when he sold to Usmanov for something like £70m. I can’t remember Dein’s purchase price in the 1980s but it was something like £500k.

    And who was that Chairman at Man U who coined it in when he sold?

  55. 26may1989 says:

    Fair points re sponsorship Exile, but on sponsorship, what has turned out to be a low return from Nike and Emirates was the price the club paid for getting lots of cash up front to pile into the stadium and reduce the risks. But yes, roll on the expiry of those deals so the club can actually get the going rate for plastering advertising over those lovely red and white shirts and having to use an airline’s name to refer to our stadium.

  56. Gooner in Exile says:

    Martin Edwards?

    Would be interesting to see a price vs inflation comparison of the Arsenal shares to see just what a good job the board has done with the club.

  57. Gooner in Exile says:

    I wasn’t criticising 26 I was just offering a suggestion as where Kroenke might see potential growth.

  58. Harry says:

    GIE, Great Read Mate, I am glad you didnt go OTT with the finance side of things, I still am not fully convinced that he wont leverage buy our club, and thats all I care about to be honest……

    I understand your reasoning on the Russian Magoo, buying success is fraught with hidden dangers and no guarantees and as you pointed out within the football fraternity you hold little respect…..

    Just want to know where the money is coming from, I have 2 different views on this who think they are right, for me until we know this answer, we really cannot make a considered opinion.

    Ps you missed a bit in your final parargraph, for which i Was emotionally moved by, but disappointed that you failed to warn silebt stan of the impending dangers…..

    “please make sure its still in one piece so we can take our children and grandchildren on the same walk or else the raven haired warrior princess will come and get you”…….So more final like that, eh?

  59. 26may1989 says:

    I agree Exile, an dI didn’t think you were criticising the club, but there are plenty of others who’ve knocked the club on that one, forgetting why those deals (which at the team were heralded by the press as being incredibly profitable) were made in the first place.

    Personally, I’d love it if we had neither shirt sponsorship nor a commercially named stadium. But I’m just an old fashioned bastard….

  60. 26may1989 says:

    *at the time – sorry about that one!

  61. kelsey says:

    DD bought the shares for 290K sold for 72Milliom. nice work if you can get it 😉

    I think as I and others have also stated, we need to see the fuller picture.

    The americans have tried since the seventies to make football a success with the general public and failed, in fact womens football is more popular, so though i believe there is revenue to be made to a degree it wont amount to a lot.

  62. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I agree the American market would be a tough nut to crack. The real commercial money is to be made in the Far East, (Japan, China, in the forefront).

    That is why AW’s pre-season Austrian sojourn will come to an end. Let’s see! 🙂

  63. Big Raddy says:

    The UK has been introduced to American Football very slowly but judging by the size of the crowds at Wembley there is a healthy following.

    Expect PL clubs to go to USA and play. Liverpool, MU, Aston Villa and Arsenal all owned by Yanks – it must be on the cards for them to play in San Francisco or New York

  64. Carlito11 says:

    26M- thanks for the reply to my question. So the way to make money is to build the brand and sell the club for a profit. I suppose that’s actually been done a lot before- it’s just the year on year figures that look dire! SilentStan is well-placed to build the brand US-wise. If he sells on for a profit, who comes in next? It’ll obviously happen in my lifetime and we can watch him sell some of his US “franchises” to get a measure of how he’d proceed… interesting and slightly worrying stuff!

  65. Red Arse says:

    Carlito,

    I would not worry too much. This has happened time and time again, in the past.

    The antecedents of the Bracewell Smiths and the Hill Woods bought into the Arsenal and were probably seen, at the time, as ‘toffs’ with a new toy. Now they are recognised as part of the fabric of Arsenal.

    It will happen again and again. That’s life, that’s business and make no mistake about it, to Silent Stan this is just business.

  66. Harry says:

    RedArse3.40pm
    So True………

    All i want to know is how is he financing this….?

  67. RockyLives says:

    Great read GiE and, as many have pointed out, brilliant last paragraph.

    And so to Mr Kroenke…
    Can any of the clever accountants on here please explain the dividends thing to me? Can an owner pay themselves anything they want in dividends? Is there no limit? Does it depend on profit and loss etc?

    I ask this after reading these comments in the Guardian article that was linked to above:
    “Kroenke has not used the club’s assets as security to raise the money for his purchase, unlike Malcolm Glazer’s 2005 buyout of Manchester United. But there is nothing in a long list of undertakings to prevent Arsenal’s new owner using multimillion-pound annual dividends from the club to service any debts he may have secured against other assets in his investment portfolio…

    …in addition to the possibility of using dividends, Kroenke will have access to Arsenal’s unrestricted cash reserve, which is approaching £100m. Another £40m cannot be touched due to restrictions under Arsenal’s banking agreements.”

    This, coupled with the point made by GiE that the Glazers and Gillett-and-Hicks denied they would heap debt on ManUre and ‘Pool respectively before doing precisely that, is what’s making me a little nervous.

  68. kelsey says:

    RL,
    Hicks and Gillette paid themselves 3 million in expenses in the last audited accounts. yes Kroenke could take dividends.

  69. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Kelsey
    And are there no limits on what an owner can pay himself in divis?

  70. Carlito11 says:

    Presumably dividends have to be authorized by the board… Could Usmanov block the payment of divis with his 27%?

  71. Gooner in Exile says:

    RL the company can make dividends as long as it has profits built up. The company does not even need the cash to pay them as they would effectively sit as money owed on the balance sheet.

    So this would mean KSE bankrolling the deal (assuming it has cash) and then taking dividend to cover it which could be taken in cash over the next ten years.

    I just don’t see how that puts any value into Arsenal though as we will be robbed of any transfer kitty

  72. Gooner in Exile says:

    As Carlito says a dividend would require payment to all shareholders so if he doesn’t get Usmanovs shares he would have to be paid too as would the AST.

    Dividends are voted on by the board not shareholders as far as I am aware. The investment houses normally use their strength in the ability to replace the board to ensure plc’s keep them sweet with divis. I think Usmanov could use his blocking vote if Kroenke tried that one.

    It is strange how we are all reacting to this looking for the worst case scenarios. Lessons learned from Liverpool and Man U I guess.

  73. kelsey says:

    GIE knows more than me but the more i read the more concerned I am.

    Kroenke could literally take any profits out of Arsenal to finance one of his other american companies as a loan, assuming he has control. is that right ?

  74. London says:

    A post of great quality and a last paragraph of pure class, nice one GIE.

    This is a huge leap into the unknown; at least kroenke’s track recored suggests that he cares about the clubs he gets involved with.

    I found Carltio’s comment interesting about whether people buy football clubs as a profit making exercise? Whenever I think of the Glazers this question always answers itself with an emphatic yes.

  75. Harry says:

    Worst case until transparent…..Trust is the undoing of the good people of this world, keep your friends close and enemies even closer…..

    Until understood, you cannot make an opinion…..surely? And at this moment it is all conjecture……

  76. Red Arse says:

    Guys,

    I do not really want to be drawn into this dividend question, otherwise it might become a long and (to you) boring dissertation.

    Broadly speaking, the payment of divis out of appropriated profits can be authorised by the Board of a company, provided it is so authorised by its Articles of Association. (the rules for running the company)

    The dividends cannot be paid out of capital and must be paid in cash within 45 days of the declaration.

    So relax guys. Kroenke cannot recover his £750m payment for the purchase of the shares of the company by paying himself £750m in divis, unless he makes profits of that amount. 🙂

    Boring, yawn, yawn. No more from me! 🙂

    If there is to be a Post on the Kroenke funding for the capture of Arsenal, I would be interested in reading it. (Was that Chas?) 🙂

  77. Red Arse says:

    I should perhaps have said the Companies Act governs everything companies are statutorily permitted to do.

    But I presumed that was obvious. 🙂

  78. Gooner in Exile says:

    Forgetting my manners, thanks for all the positive comments about the post since my last thank you early this morning. Glad Peaches held a gun to my head now!

    Kelsey re your last point regarding loans I have had a look at the last set of full financials 09/10 and this is in my view how it stands, giving it a very brief lookover.

    The first point is reserves, this is what can be paid as a dividend, most analysts reckon we are set to breakeven in 2010/11 so should not be too different to 31 May 2010 which was £198,564. This could be declared as dividend whenever the board see fit.

    However he could not take this dividend as cash without crippling the clubs working capital which at the same time was £85million. For a break even company it does not make sound business sense. He could declare it and not pay it until the club generates more working capital which presently it does not do as any excess is being used against the stadium finance, and I believe cash covenants exist to set against the risk of the loan to prevent the cash being used.

    Most of the cash reserves have been used to fund the stadium and as such any decision to rip the cash out either now or in the future does not make any business sense.

  79. Gooner in Exile says:

    RA (as you are probably more qualified than me) does Companies Act prevent Directors letting their dividends sit in the company as a Creditor?

    Most of my clients will declare max dividend whether paid or not to utilise all personal tax basic rate bands even if they have not taken it in cash.

  80. Gooner in Exile says:

    But then I guess KSE is not a director so would be unable to do this……

  81. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    I have no idea about the Manu Accounts. But the Glazers could not simply stick their fingers in the air and decide to pay themselves limitless unspecified ‘expenses’.

    Their auditors and HMRC keep a beady eye on such matters. Fraudulent or tax avoidance payments are illegal, of course. 🙂

  82. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, that should be tax evasion …… or I would be out of work!! 🙂

  83. Gooner in Exile says:

    Another apology my figure of £198,564 should have had three zeros on the end, and have read £198,564,000. Call it £199 million between friends.

  84. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ahhh avoidance a so much more honest way of not paying tax! 😀

  85. kelsey says:

    Red arse,

    it was liverpool not United.

    GIE,

    we do the same with our company.We can declare dividends in the accounts but not necessarily take them until required.

  86. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    In the scenario you set out I think you have answered your own question.

    I think you, Sharkey, (2+3+21) and myself could have great fun here because there are various types of shareholding which can dictate the treatment of divis, provided they are permitted under the Articles, but we would be binned by Rasper, and rightly so. 🙂

    I am now sworn to ‘muerta’ on this subject. 🙂 As you said earlier, we know bugger all at the moment.

    We accountants are notoriously prudent and don’t like sticking are necks out, do we? 🙂

  87. kelsey says:

    AA = Accountants Anonymous, that’s for sure 🙂

  88. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    Shame on you, honesty and legality are our bye word, or are you giving away our secrets? 🙂

  89. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I was trying not to get drawn in but I am a total wuz! 🙂 I did nor properly answer your earlier question because we will lose 99% of the other AA’ers. 🙂

    Promise not to ask me any more technical questions, especially those you already know the answers to. 🙂

    The following rules imply a private company status where shareholders and directors are often the same people, but does not rule out a PLC meeting the requirements.

    Section 209 (2)(a).

    8.A dividend is not paid and there is no distribution, unless and until the shareholder receives money or the distribution is otherwise unreservedly put at their disposal, perhaps by being credited to a loan account on which the shareholder has the power to draw.

    12.In many small private companies the directors and shareholders are one and the same, and dividends are often credited to the directors/shareholders account with the company. In the case of a final dividend the dividend is ‘due and payable’ on the date of the resolution unless some future date for payment is specified.

    Of course the rules still apply regarding payment out of profits.

    Defo the last word from me! 🙂

  90. Someone may have already said this but isn’t the difference with Arsenal the fact that we don’t need a sugar-daddy, we’re not in financial difficulties in fact quite the reverse.

    Even accepting that because of Danny Fiszmans illness something had to be done now surely the board will have been determined to hand over to someone they felt they could trust.

  91. Red Arse says:

    I just saw a headline on Sky Sports saying that Usmanov won’t sell his shares to Kroenke. Damn! 26 could be right after all. (0:15)

    Then on Sky News he said he is ‘considering’ his position, but he will do what is best for Arsenal. Good! Exit with ‘dignity’?? (15:all)

    Still think Usmanov will bugger off with his tail between his legs (and nursing his profit).

    You haven’t won yet 26. 🙂

  92. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Hope you were not offended by our childish japes earlier!

    I am a shallow man who tends to judge a book by its’ cover – The sweepover, the ‘tache and the Grecian 2000 are not looks I would like to be associated with our great club. Let us hope that Mr Wenger can give him a few sartorial tips.

  93. Red Arse says:

    Just seen this on BBC News;

    The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust has voted not to sell its shares to prospective new owner Stan Kroenke, who has tabled a mandatory offer for full control of the club.

    The Trust voted unanimously to reject the offer, which values each share at £11,750, preferring to retain its stake in the club.

    An AST spokesman said: “Arsenal is too important to be owned by any one man.”

    The US businessman now ownssecured more than 62% of the club’s shares.

    The Arsenal board has recommended all shareholders accept Kroenke’s offer but at a meeting of more than 100 AST members, a decision was taken not to relinquish their involvement in the club’s ownership structure.

    The spokesman added: “The Trust wants to work with Stan Kroenke to keep Arsenal supporters involved in the club’s ownership structure.

    “The AST and the Arsenal Fanshare scheme will not be selling the shares it owns and urges all supporters to reject this offer.

    “In just six months, the Arsenal Fanshare scheme has gained 1,800 members, who have invested £500,000 in Arsenal shares.

    “This scheme has been widely praised across the football community and is supported by the Government, who are currently reviewing football’s governance structures.”

    The Trust is not against Kroenke’s takeover but their support is strongly dependent on the retention of fan involvement in the ownership of the club.

    The supporters were certainly encouraged by Kroenke’s confirmation that his takeover bid will not be financed by debt secured against the club.

    AST officials met with Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Monday and received assurances that Kroenke recognises the importance of a supporters’ stake in the club.

    Bears out my original suspicion he is after 100% control/ownership. Watch this space.

  94. Red Arse – can you write a post about the dividend thing please?

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    Great work all. I have read all comments and actually understand what is going on. Thank you.
    The tragedy is that by the morning it will all be Greek again!
    Anyone else looking forward to the game tonight. Still want Arsenal to be first London winners, so it is Utd I want to lose in the final.

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooops, did not see you here Peaches. Hide.

  97. Red Arse says:

    Gulp,

    Peaches, oh raven haired warrior Queen, please forgive me but I can’t tonight.

    I am expecting my first guests tonight at 7:30 for drinky poos and an evening of Bridge. (Too much info, I know, but we all have our little secrets! 🙂 )

    I am genuinely sorry Peachy, but I don’t have time beforehand and I will be too sploshed afterwards to trust.

    I will try harder, in future, as I keep letting you down. 😦

    Really, abjectly sorry, oh great Princess!

    [Sharkey on divis? — 26 on AST position?]

  98. Gooner In Exile says:

    Red Arse I believe he has to make the offer for 100% ownership but has been quoted elsewhere as saying he is not too worried about being at 62%.

    He has a history of playing the long game, look at Rams 40% acquired in 1995 and not fully owned until 2010.

    Peaches you must be really desperate for a post for tomorrow.

    Time for the more longstanding members to put something together methinks! 😈

  99. Irishgunner says:

    I really need to read that book on the economic side of things at Arsenal – I bought it about 3 years ago, suspect I should wait for the update.

  100. Irishgunner says:

    Sorry I didn’t right it here, but you know I’m aspiring towards the objective journalist route, and I wrote this last night if ye want a look – its about the possibility of David Dein returning.

    http://sportshaze.com/england/english-premier-league/arsenal-will-stan-kroenkes-takeover-signal-the-return-of-david-dein-2852

  101. Irishgunner says:

    *write (even 😆 )

  102. Red Arse – you are forgiven, enjoy your evening, how lovely drinkies and bridge 🙂

  103. 26may1989 says:

    RA, since I read yesterday evening that Kroenke’s offer to the shareholders is significantly higher than the level it needed to be under the Takeover Code (the highest price he’d paid in the last 12 months), I started coming round to your point of view! Usmanov would likely see that higher offer price as the highest Kroenke may go, making holding on to the shares a riskier prospect.

    He might still go long, and gamble on being able to extract a still higher premium later on, but with the figures the way they are, he may well flog his interest.

    See, I can accept that you might be right!

    And am afraid I’m on a plane to Moscow tonight (really!) so can’t do a post. Will do one soon though, and the AST would make a good topic, I’ll think about that one.

    Night all.

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    I am developing a theory on posts for this site alone, and it goes something like this. We are a broad church, and are more than capable of displaying incredible elasticity in debate. I believe we could do our days’ blogging very happily from a single well chosen word if ever the need arose. Is tomorrow the day?

  105. kelsey says:

    Lehmann 🙂 that’s a post in itself.

    quote of the week. “I don’t care if i don’t play ever again”

  106. Well done micky, you read my mind 😉

    What shall it be?

  107. Are you still looking for tickets by the way, you disappeared this morning while I was talking to you

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Kelsey 🙂

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    While you were talking to me? I vanished I know. Did not mean to be rude. Yes is the answer. I have my usual man getting back to me. The last someone said this morning that there were only singles left on the exchange, which is no good.

  110. Irishgunner says:

    Exit, stage left.

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    On the one word idea, it would be for crisis only. Problem with tomorrow is that everyone will want more on boardroom stuff, and that rules me right out of the equation.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Me too. I am not capable of such a post. However, I am sure I could knock something up off subject if needed.

    I very much like the Micky idea of just a few words to ignite discussion.

  113. Irishgunner says:

    Jack replies to City talk:

    http://yfrog.com/hsjpqjaj

  114. Gooner in Exile says:

    I need to add I was not meaning Peaches was desperate to ask for a post from RA rather that she was asking for a post about dividends!

  115. Raddy – I haven’t had chance to read todays comments yet so I don’t know what’s not been said. If you can knock something up that’s off subject then I’ve got that to fall back on.

  116. GiE – it was only because I haven’t had a chance to read all todays comments but every time I had a quick look there was some discussion about the dividend question – I thought a post might answer some questions

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Will do Peaches – early tomorrow

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. Very appropriate

  119. Evonne says:

    Talk Sport Radio – one of the commentators said a couple of hours ago, that when Kroenke was told that the team (I think it was the Rams) needed a certain player, his answer was ‘Get him’. Didn’t ask why, how much, nothing. Go and get him.
    I think someone should tell him that we need Messi 🙂

  120. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evonne that’s a lot easier in NFL as I don’t think there are any transfer fees for players.

  121. Gooner in Exile says:

    Another failed night for the £50m man.

  122. Evonne says:

    GIE – damn, damn, damn …. So much for Messi then

    It still costs an arm and a leg to ‘keep’ them, no?

  123. Gooner in Exile says:

    Lots of bookings and a sending off but Chelsea aren’t kicking hard enough to do any lasting damage….mores the pity

  124. Carlito11 says:

    Just caught the end of the Champions League game- ManUre looking ominously controlled and superior to Chelsea. 😦

  125. Raddy has offered to write a post that is off the subject of the take-over to start the day off tomorrow but if any of you accountants want to introduce a post on the subject feel free to send it through.

    Carlito – I’m so sorry I forgot to add the video this morning – I’ll do it tomorrow

  126. SharkeySure says:

    A top quality post from the big fella (thats you GiE!).

  127. Carlito11 says:

    No worries Peaches 🙂
    Feels like I’ve been in a right old seminar here and elsewhere learning about this takeover- might be nice to change it up tomorrow just to give my brain a chance to absorb today’s learnings 🙂 Cracking post though GiE- best I read on my travels today!

  128. Carlito11 says:

    Micky- the fella next to me isn’t coming to Liverpool and asked if I knew anyone for his 2 tix… Still looking?

  129. Gooner in Exile says:

    A headed goal for JET last night after he came on as second half sub for Cardiff.

    Lansbury only came on after 60 minutes it seems Lambert only starts him in one game per week.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    So AST rejected the potential purchase of their share. Can’t say I am surprised. Unless one needs the money, why sell something that has such intrinsic value.

    I recall some years ago having a conversation with my accountant who was a huge Gooner. He said he had AFC shares which were valued at £2500 a share. I said I would like to buy some and he told me that the shares were a dreadful investment and advised me against it. HIs point being that if I bought them I would never sell them again and as such they were an awful investment!

    Wish I had bought a couple though.

  131. Evonne says:

    BR – sue him! you could be filthy rich now

  132. Big Raddy says:

    If I sued every accountant who had given me bum advice I would be as rich as them 😀

  133. Evonne says:

    BR – 🙂 🙂 Who needs money anyway 🙂

  134. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    BR, long time.

    GB/UK whichever is foreign owned, Arsenal is just falling into line 🙂

  135. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    3 points against the Poo will be tough. If Arsenal beat the Poo, they will win The Title, that is my prediction, and Madame Weegies 😉

  136. Red Arse says:

    Morning folks, 🙂

    I think Carlito is right. Perhaps we should draw a line under the takeover for the moment and get back to footie matters.

    GIE’s excellent Post yesterday and his follow up comments have said it all for the mo’, otherwise we will begin repeating ourselves.

  137. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    RA
    ….& 4 me footy as well 😛

  138. Red Arse says:

    Oh go on then Gnarley, who is Madame Weegies? 🙂

  139. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    A soothsayer who predicts what will be. Last time I was there she was hovering over her crystal ball with red & white eyes, saying she sees the goodies.

    She either meant that the good guys in Red & White will win, or she had heavy eyes after a night on the piss watching re runs of The Goodies.

  140. Red Arse says:

    Gnarley, 🙂

  141. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Trust me, put a wager on the boyz to win The Title if they beat the Poo. You won’t be disappointed. United can’t keep puulling rabbits outa theirs arses for too long now. Their luck will change 😈

  142. Big Raddy says:

    GG. If only that were true.

    I have no doubt that SAF has been down to the crossroads and sold his soul. MU have been the luckiest team in the league for a generation!

    If there is luck to be had, it will be MU’s

  143. Rasp says:

    Manu win more games because they have more battlers, more aggression in their side. Rooney, Park, Fletcher, Evra – they are all incredibly tenacious. We don’t have enough players with that level of fighting spirit.

  144. Gooner in Exile says:

    I agree with RA after really the most unexciting takeover in history we really should concentrate on the footy.

  145. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

  146. kladenje says:

    kladenje…

    […]Foreign Ownership the Arsenal way. « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

  147. ADH Enterprise – Small Business Solutions…

    […]Foreign Ownership the Arsenal way. « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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