You may be aware – because for one thing I’ve mentioned it several times – that Arsenal.com show the numbers of shares held by Arsenal’s two principle shareholders, Messrs Kroenke and Usmanov (and Moshiri technically, but frankly who’s interested in him?). Arsenal do this to satisfy Premier League rules that state that they:
a) must be aware of who owns any block of shares bigger than 10 per cent
b) must announce to the world anytime a holding of over 10% changes
The Premier League rules on this topic aren’t particularly well written so it’s not completely clear whether clubs are supposed to announce every single share purchase, or just every time a shareholder racks up another whole percentage point of shares. Arsenal normally like to be on the safe side, so they make announcements every couple of weeks whether there has been any change in a major shareholding or not.
(At this point I feel it fair to warn you that the remainder of this post may contain satire.)
This week there was quite an interesting announcement. Well, interesting for me anyway, with my never-ending fascination with how many shares people have got and who is telling the truth about them. Your opinion of the subject may differ.
Here’s a little table summarising the announcements Arsenal have made for the past couple of months regarding shares held by Red & White Holdings. I’ve not bothered with the Kroenke shareholding as that hasn’t changed lately.
As you can see, up to August 24, Red & White were admitting to buying just one share since May. There weren’t many traded on Plus Markets during that time anyway, 15 to be precise, though there may have been others traded off-market. But R&W say they only purchased one of them, and who are we to disbelieve them?
Then last week there were two trades of 20 shares each on Plus Markets, which at the time Red & White said they knew nothing about – they even put around a story that in their belief it was the same shares traded twice in quick succession by ‘a speculator’. But this week the figures on Arsenal.com have been updated to show that since August 24, Red & White have bought 43 shares! So 40 shares traded on Plus; their total goes up by 43 in the same period. Hmm. (Strokes chin.)
Now this may of course be a coincidence. Stranger things have happened – that horse becoming Pope, for one. But it seems more likely to my suspicious mind that the two things are connected. Even with these extra 43 shares, it still officially leaves R&W 127 shares short of the not-so-magical figure of 18,666 for 30 per cent, by the way, but I am starting to wonder if I can trust that figure (the 127 short, not the 18,666), because – c’mere – I think Mr Usmanov may be up to something! Seriously, Arsenal fans, keep an eye on him. Something is definitely going on.
Follow me on Twitter for more exciting announcements the minute they happen – or relatively soon after, depending how busy I am: @AngryOfN5