Stan Kroenke Buys More Arsenal Shares!

9augWell now, here’s a thing. I wait all summer for Alisher Usmanov to admit to buying another Arsenal share, and he doesn’t (so far). But out of the blue Stan Kroenke decides to buy two shares. Why? You may well ask.

I noticed yesterday that the webpage maintained by Arsenal that lists ‘major shareholdings’ in Arsenal Holdings PLC had changed. The page gets updated every couple of weeks, as clubs are obliged by Premier League rules to say who their major shareholders are. The PL rules are ambiguous about how often this needs to occur, and whether clubs must say immediately if something changes, but Arsenal are in the habit of at least updating the ‘as at’ date every fortnight even if no shares have been bought or sold by the two major shareholders.

Yesterday though, it was not just the date. KSE’s share total had gone up by two shares, from 41,581 to 41,583. The percentage of 66.83 was unchanged, as two shares was not enough to disturb it.

This is odd, I thought to myself. Stan is a Director, and is therefore obliged to make a stock market announcement ‘without delay’ any time he buys or sells a share. I checked the ICAP website, where Arsenal shares are listed: no announcement. I tweeted about it, to mild interest, but had no information as to when the transaction took place.

You may recall a previous blog of mine (who am I kidding?), last time KSE’s share total moved, also by two shares in an upward direction, in March 2012. In that case it turned out that it wasn’t caused by a new purchase, but by some ‘lost paperwork’ from Stan’s takeover of Arsenal in May 2011. Well if this was a similar story, then the paperwork would have been lost for over two years! I was of the opinion that someone had probably made a mistake, and I fully expected to check the Arsenal webpage this morning and find the KSE total back where it had been.

I checked this morning and it was still the same: 41,583. So I sent a message to Mark Gonnella at Arsenal, asking politely if there had been an error somewhere, as I’d have expected an announcement if Stan really was buying shares – you know, following the rules and all that.

No reply.

Then this afternoon, what do you know, an announcement is made. The first I knew was when a journo’s tweet was retweeted onto my timeline, noting the purchase but with the wrong percentage total for KSE. Turned out on checking the ICAP site that they’d put the wrong total at first and of course the journo knew no better and didn’t check. A second announcement correcting the error followed. Arsenal simultaneously sent an email to all shareholders to advise.

But here’s the thing: this purchase of two shares happened on 11 July! That’s over four weeks ago. Hardly announcing ‘without delay’. I phoned ICAP to ask why it took so long. By the time I phoned everyone who knew anything had gone to the pub. They took my number and said they’d call back Monday. I look forward to it.9aug2Not that ICAP are probably at fault – Arsenal have to tell them what’s going on, and clearly didn’t.

What are the consequences of this? Well given it’s only two shares out of 62,217, it’s not affecting the price, so any sanction from the PL or any other body is going to be a tiny tap on the wrist for Stan, he won’t give a monkey’s. The PL aren’t going to bar him from ownership.

More interesting is the question of why he has bought two shares. I can’t think of any good logical reason.

To prevent shares getting into the hands of Usmanov? Far too late for that. If he was going to try that he’d have done it many many months ago.

To keep the price high for whatever nefarious plans he’s got? Well he may have nefarious plans, but two shares will have zero effect on the price, especially as he paid £15,500 each for them, which is less that some have recently gone for anyway. His nefarious plans – if they exist – will be largely on hold anyway, as without a 75 per cent stake he can’t easily find a way of restructuring Arsenal to his financial advantage.

To increase his shareholding generally? No point – he’s got a majority, and unless he buys from Usmanov he can’t get to 75 per cent.

To squeeze out Fanshare? I can’t believe he’d want to do that. He’s not an active supporter of Fanshare, despite assurances at the time of the takeover, but to start buying odd shares now in an attempt to cause it to fail? It would end up in a lot of bad publicity, for a start. Not that he cares too much about that, you might well point out, as he sits in his ranch in Colorado.

So I don’t know. I don’t know why he’s bought two shares after buying none for two years, and I don’t know why it’s taken a month to tell us. By the way, if he got an associate to buy shares for him at any time, as a Director I believe he should also announce that – so unless he’s been flouting every rule in the book, this is his first genuine share purchase for two years.

It’s entirely possible that Stan’s minions in KSE didn’t bother telling anyone at Arsenal that this purchase had happened – the trade was off market, so invisible until the share register has to be updated, which only has to be in a reasonable time.

Still, strange that it was only after I noticed and tweeted it, and then at least one other journo got hold of it and questioned the club (no idea if he spotted it independently, but look for a story in a national UK paper tomorrow) that an announcement was made. Coincidence? Maybe. Stan hiding something? Maybe.

I do know one thing – well two, actually. One: Arsenal’s ownership does matter, because it affects everything that happens on the pitch. Two: if Stan communicated with fans (again as he promised to do) then we wouldn’t need to sit around guessing his motives.

We’ve gone from custodianship to effectively single owner silence in what seems a very short time. How sad for all of us, and maybe even sadder for our children.

Twitter: @AngryOfN5


29 thoughts on “Stan Kroenke Buys More Arsenal Shares!

  1. I don’t trust Kroenke as far as I could throw him. The fans in St Louis and Denver will tell you the same. He is playing a game and whilst not certain, I’m sure he is trying to drive up the enterprise value of the club.
    He is paranoid about Fanshare and Usmanov.

    Wenger has followed a plan which meant he did not need to pt his hands in his pockets to help with the stadium funding, and is probably licking his lips at the fact that despite his CEO saying there was money to spend, Wenger has actually made him more money!

  2. interesting. i suggest you and everyone else make this public immediately. it pains me to say, as an american, that no americans belong owning any english club. especially arsenal. this muppet doesn’t care one bit about the club. he’d sell as soon as we slide below 4th (which will be after this next season), or buy up the rest and ride out each season getting that tv money.
    regardless, the lack of respect for us by not disclosing this properly worries me. but i can’t say i don’t expect it. our team is in proper dire straits. something very bad is going on over there.

    • Spare us the knee jerk xenophobia. Kroenke is American – ohh big deal. He didnt hijack the club, it was sold ro him by Englishmen who enriched themselves with not a care for the fans. So lets dispense with the idiotic premise that foreigners have horns and that englishmen are born “custodians”.

      If you dislike Kroenke, fine. Just keep it to that and keep the prejudice to yourself.

  3. Kroenke is taking a once great institution ( THE ARSENAL ) and turning it into a laughing stock. No transfers (sorry apart from Sanogo) with 3 weeks to go. What a joke, and the whole £40,000,001 which idiot came up with that? Probably gonna take a pay cut from his current £2 m a year to £1,999,999 to say what a great thought he had. Why not pay 10 pence over the top if that’s how cheap they want Arsenal to look.
    Kroenke is nothing more than a Walton puppet and through some severe bad luck ended up at the head of our great club. I can’t tell the story here but it’s a joke…..
    The club has £300 million in cash and we bid £1 over the release clause. Shame on you all.
    I hope the boos ring in all of your ears next season, and don’t think the Champions league tie is done and dusted, that’s a dangerous team with incredible home and away support and a stack of decent and experienced players. Hold on to your seats, if you can be bothered to turn up that is !

  4. Great spot it looks to me like someone preparing to sell and try and sell big. AW has built up a huge transfer kitty to then ship out a ton of players and then not buy big.
    Arsene has let his contract run down which is a bit strange and Stan has been sold the whole investment based on AW not spending and I’ve always thought that if AW goes then Stan goes too.
    With such huge investment coming in this season and the fact new TV money normally gets spent on players wages the shareprice will probably hit an all time high before the money filters out and the agents have managed to take huge amounts of value from the clubs for their clients.
    I might not trust Usmanov as I don’t know that much about him but if he is motivated to make Arsenal a success and he doesn’t treat the club like his own play thing then he gets my vote. If I was in charge of the AST I would encourage him to help fund a major fanshare push and fan representation on the board with an eye to the Bayen model. I just hope things change but I guess I am not alone.

    • Why not get father christmas to buy AST a Ferrari each, while you’re at it? Can he buy me some sweets too? And a 10% stake in my local pub. Purely for community-based purposes of course.

      • So you don’t like the German model? You do understand how much stake in the club he would control right? More than any person has before in our history and therefore fan representation would be needed. Then again of course you already knew all of this because your clearly so well informed. Got anything to actually add or are you just feeling like your intellect is being threatened. Fanshare is a legitimate program and someone with so much control and money could easily fund such a project based on a buy back scheme.
        You understand what I am saying right? This isn’t complicated for you?

      • Some people just throw terms around with no idea. The “German model” is not an option for English football – the train is long gone.

        Germans did their thing before their clubs started exchanging hands for huge sums of money. It’s not going to happen here. Not with Usmanov and not with Kroenke. In fact not with any premiership club – because that is basically equalivalent to “nationalizing” people’s person habits. And you aim to do this in the most commercialized and libertarian leaning country in all of western Europe?

        Get with reality, please. We have a bigger chance of father christmas coming down here with a Ferrari each for all you who want to play armchair socialism with other people’s money. I mean that sincerely. Personally, my politics are totally left leaning. But I don’t live in la-la land. You are not going to make revolutionary change with assets of this size. If you have the stomach for a battle, you are better of with drawing fan support and creating new leagues. And you’d find that isnt an easy task either, as FIFA are basically gangters – organized crime behind all this.

        Leave it alone is my advise. Take this like watching WWF wrestling – watch amateur football if you really want something unspoiled. You’re not going to have fan influence in this monster.

  5. I think as fans could actually force Kroenke out.
    How about we contact the fan clubs and fan base of his sports holdings in the states and start a campaign to get him out.
    I know it is difficult to get Arsenal fans to work together never mind getting a number of different groups working closely. However if there is one thing that Arsenal fans agree on is that Kroenke is a cancer of mediocrity and must go.
    To Angry, feel free to contact me, you should have my email from this reply.
    I think we could pull this off as any business can only take a certain amount of bad press.
    I am willing to devote some of my time to this.

  6. I don’t what happen to arsenal share holder and chairman with wenger, every summer arsenal late to buy, profit is target for stan korenke and co not trophy for fans

  7. It needs all the fans groups to get together. This Man has no love of AFC and is going to ruin us. I hope the fans can come together to remove this cancer tearing us apart.

  8. Can Fanshare fund the purchase of those two shares at that price? If they were unable to in the timescale demanded, maybe someone wanted to sell to anyone but Usmanov? Had made a promise to give Stan first refusal?

    Interesting to find out the truth.

  9. It’s about time we hit him where it hurts the most……profit. As a season ticket holder, I would never consider boycotting the game, but if we all boycotted the food and beer stalls at every game, this would be a significant show of unhappiness. Screw the armoury as well! Assume 40,000 spend on average £5 per game – I can think of no other way without being ridiculed by other supporters.

    • Lee that is genius idea, boycott of the extras would destroy matchday profits and would be more than enough to put the gitters up Stan. Protests will get so far but this would work. She wore a yellow ribbon is a group who would like that idea and a few other groups through them would help push it to the fans. Boycotting the new strip is another way to really scare investors. Got to hit the brand identity it scares U.S investors like nothing else, well except maybe empty seats but they can do that on their own.

      • Disagree. Already paid £1200 for the season ticket. Not going to the game doesn’t affect the match day revenue and they already have my cash. I also want to support those on the pitch

      • Lee, you have known where this was going for the past half a decade and this year you STILL bought a season ticket. And now you say you already bought the season ticket so therefore cant boycott?

        Of all the rable-rousers, who is actually will to spend their money on something else. Because that is what it will take. Otherwise there is no need for the aggro – just deal with it it as it is. Skipping the sandpaper filled pies and the watered down beer is not going to kill the beast.

  10. ziontrain: I guess you saw ‘The Third Man’ on TV as an impressionable kid because you’ve been playing that scene – Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton at the top of the Prater wheel – on here ever since.

  11. Stan Kroenke is an enigma. All anyone can do to divine his possible motives and likely actions is draw conclusions from his past record. On that basis we can expect him to be in it for the long haul. Presumably SKE has an over-arching grand plan, a fulfilment of Stan’s secret ambition. As a WalMart clone, expansion might be in his DNA: his aim might not be to be the best, but the biggest. Or maybe he simply wants to leave something for the kids: AFC as a family heirloom.

    • What does it matter to you? Dein & Kroenke sold. I dont recall any dissertations on what their “motives” were either – but they sold to Kroenke. This train of thought is a total waste of time.

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