The publication of a letter to Stan Kroenke on the Arsenal Supporters Trust website yesterday seems to have encouraged the Independent to claim that Kroenke will join the Arsenal board ‘within weeks`.
The AST letter thanks Kroenke for hosting their members on a trip to Denver this month and expresses the sentiment that they would welcome him to the board:
“The AST is aware that you are in the process of developing your own personal relationships with members of the Arsenal Board of Directors and are considering what active involvement you might have.
The AST are supportive of the work of the current Board at Arsenal and the business model they operate based on ensuring long-term stability by living within their means – paying their own way. The AST would welcome you joining the Board of Arsenal Football Club to complement their work. Your experience in property development, sports marketing and tv rights will undoubtedly add value to the Board.”
The Independent in an article published today written by Nick Harris claims that the board are putting Kroenke in position to take over control of the club and that he will be given first refusal to take over a majority of the club`s shares for the next four years. This is drawn from the assumption that by joining the board he will join the present ‘lock down agreement` between the boards shareholders which has another 4 years to run.
The article goes on to clarify that there aren`t any immediate plans for him to take control:
“Kroenke will not own a controlling stake in Arsenal just yet. The ‘friends and family’ group of core directors, headed by Danny Fiszman (24.1 per cent owner) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9 per cent) have shown no appetite to sell, immediately at least.”
Are the AST just expressing their wishes having been impressed by Kroenke`s team on their recent trip or have they picked up some vibes that seem to suggest things are moving in this direction? I think that the chain of events leading up to Kroenke concluding the 50% purchase of Arsenal Broadband and the subsequent ‘noises` from the boardroom are already a fair indication of the direction affairs are taking.
To read the full text of the AST letter click here