Date: 28th April 2007 at 11:59am
Written by:

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has sent a leter to Arsenal’s shareholders to inform them of the curent situation with regards to the possible takeover.

The media has been rife with speculation since the departure of David Dein. I could spend all day typing them, but I don’t think I need to.

I’ll let Hill-Wood tell you the rest: ‘As you will no doubt be aware, Arsenal now has a new major shareholder, Stan Kroenke, who has bought a 12.2 per cent stake in the Club over the last few weeks.

‘Mr Kroenke, an American entrepreneur, is a known sports investor and currently owns several sports clubs including the MLS side Colorado Rapids, with whom Arsenal recently formed a strategic marketing partnership. Our managing director, Keith Edelman, has already had one meeting with Mr Kroenke since his investment and I myself have spoken to him recently to arrange a meeting so that I can hear what he has to say.

‘His recent acquisition of shares has caused a great deal of media speculation and the Board felt that the time is right to reassure you about the future of our Club.

‘Our philosophy at the Club is the same as it always was: to ensure that Arsenal remains one of the elite football clubs and consistently competes at the highest level.

‘Many years ago the Board recognised that if Arsenal Football Club was to retain this position, there would have to be a serious change in the way that we operated our business and, specifically, this meant moving from our beloved Highbury.

‘Our approach, which is very much in line with Arsene Wenger’s, is that the funds generated from ticket sales, broadcasting revenue and the like should be made available for investment in players and that this is the most sustainable way to ensure the Club’s long-term growth and future.

‘The Board, and in particular Danny Fiszman, Ken Friar and Keith Edelman, have worked tirelessly over the last few years to increase the funds available for the Club, in particular through the development of the Emirates Stadium.

‘The result is that we now generate revenues comparable with the largest football clubs in the world and we have nearly tripled revenues over the last six years.

‘The Directors, who as a collective group are the Club’s largest shareholders, have always decided against the payment of dividends so that the money can be filtered back into the playing side of the Club.

‘I do recognise that this season has not yielded the silverware that we would all have wished for, but we fully support Arsene and his strategy of building an outstanding young team which plays attractive football and will challenge for trophies well into the future.

‘In addition, should Arsene wish to strengthen the squad in the summer, funds are available for him to do so. In fact, we plan to continuously increase the investment in the squad year on year.’

Can we now expect to hear something from Mr Kronke in the next few days?


17 Replies to “Arsenal To Have Kronke Talks”

  • It could well be PG. His previous comments about not wanting “his sort” at Arsenal were pretty dismissive, these comments may not be a welcome note but they are a far cry from his last statement. I wouldn’t be at all suprised to see Kronke’s rep’ on the board after this meeting.

  • thats the one thing i never understood. HW made some agreement with this guy earlier then said we didnt want his type over here? but this surely signals that a takeover is certain i feel

  • The only way the takeover is bad is if he does it the glazer way. This man is obviousley into sport and does not want to damage his reputation by making us in even more debt. This will be a good thing for the club.

  • Hill-Wood’s next statment will probably be as long winded as this one but will more or less say that he has had reassurances from Kronke that the club will be well run, will not be riddled with debt and the board have decided to sell up.

  • Guys, are we reading the same letter? I dont see any bactracking – the board are just doing what’s required by the fanbase and the business. If anything, this statement is highly defensive, even if the language is softer. They are politely saying we’ll see what he’s got but we don’t need him. I pray our board don’t sell us out. This club will always be great, and it will be greater still, if we manage to play and win at the top table having resisted the dollar charm. Theres always the possibility of a third way – Arsenal can pioneer a new partnership arrangement with Kroenke – not a takeover, but give him a bigger stake in return for a bit of investment.

  • so then wouldnt the board be admitting its fault after letting dein go and then letting kroenke get a bigger stake in the team?

  • He may not have backtracked Andy but he has still toned it down a heel of a lot. His previous comments regarding Kronke were dismissive, these comments are acknowledging Kronke. You’re right though, it’s a very defensive letter.

  • Agree with Andy. This is no welcome letter to Kroenke. Hill-Wood has probably had to tone things down after the negative media press concerning his choice of words, that’s all. What he’s saying here is that the board have a strategy in place and that this startegy is the most sustainable way of taking the club forward. And frankly I agree with him.

    Just ask yourself this.

    Where is Kronenke getting £400m from to buy the club? That isn’t the sort of loose change any ‘billionaire’ has. The answer is he will be borrowing it. And on what assets will he be piling up this debt? Why, Arsenal football Club of course! After Kroenke takes over we will be £800m in debt. And then we’d better hope we remain successful, the TV money contiues to roll in and Kroenke doesn’t up sticks because then we’d be well and truly stuffed. This take-over is not a good idea. Listen to the board. We have a great young team who will be challenging for honours. We have enough debt and have a strategy in place to clear it. We don’t need to follow Utd and Liverpool down the take-over path. I see only a dark future for those clubs.

  • if you know hill wood, this is a back track.. his first statements, were ruthless and vile, saying HE DID NOT want his sort at the club and we didn’t need foreign investment. NOW he is willing to listen, which is a soft approach of backing down without losing any face. it is a craefully written letter, and yes to most people it will appear like a normal sensible letter, but in a way he is smoothing over the cracks and making way for a take over should the deal be good.. after all, its not about owning the club, as PHW owns less than 1%, its about how much money he will get for his shares. as i have said before, its not a footballing thing, its about MONEY !

  • Hill-Wood is here to make money so why not have Kronke here to make money? at least we would improve as a football club.

  • The Golden Rule – The man with the gold rules! If Kroenke really wants this takeover he’ll get it, let’s just hope his motives coincide with Arsenal’s best interests. I think he’s a legit sports fan, better than Glazer or the Liverpool guy. Whatever happens i just hope we don’t lose any top players.

  • mogzw, what you’ve said shows exactly where the lines get blurred. In simple terms, what Goofle said could be right – if it’s all a business, then why give a hoot about who owns us… its possible, but maybe it’s not that simple. Where do you draw the line between ‘business’ and ‘club’? Surely a takeover (bank-backed) will see us increase prices for tickets (plus hot-dogs, merchandise etc), as well as upping the ante whereby our failure to qualify for the CL would spell real problems. It makes the risks a lot bigger, as well as erode the club heritage. Even an Abramovich-style takeover is preferable, as the club is owned by one man (a hobby)! Cost of failure would be less, although if he gets bored… that’s another story. If I was a multi-millionaire, I would buy the club myself, then give big chunks of shares to fans, starting with those who go to all the away matches and those who run boards like this one, and then every other fan too. I almost feel better now!

  • People really think Kroenke is here because he loves Arsenal? Get real. Why are most of these hot-shot americans over here? Because they see a way of making MONEY. £30m per season in TV money, plus the ticketing and marketing income and making ‘soccer’ an american gold mine. The game is gonna be huge over there with the likes of Beckham now US bound. They all want a piece of the pie. They’re not billionaires for nothing and no-one should fool themselves otherwise. Thinking money is the answer is an extremely short-sighted view of things. Kroenke taking over is no guarantee of success. So we have a rich owner like Utd and Liverpool…so what? That in itself will not guarantee investment. In fact the club will be in MASSIVE DEBT. A downturn in fortunes will ruin us. Just watch the yanks run for the hills if the going gets tough. There is no guarantee money will get us any higher than 4th place.

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