Kroenke set for full ownership of Arsenal after Usmanov deal

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The American sports mogul, who already owns 67 percent of the club through his company Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), has reached a deal with Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov for the sale of his 30 percent stake, according to a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

KSE had made an offer of around £525million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov's Red and White Securities Limited in October, but saw that bid rejected.

The news spells an end to a decade-long power struggle in the Arsenal boardroom which culminated in Stan Kroenke's bid to buyout Alisher Usmanov's shares.

The statement on the London Stock Exchange said KSE, a DE corporation owned by Kroenke, holds 41,743 Arsenal shares.

The purchase of Usmanov's stake would give Kroenke 97 per cent ownership and would lead to the compulsory purchase of the remaining shares, some of which are owned by Arsenal fans.

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With that in mind, the message from the Arsenal Supporters' Trust was a lot less dire.

And the Arsenal Supporters' Trust has voiced several concerns over the potential takeover in a strongly-worded statement of their own.

Not everyone associated with the club shares the same optimism as Kroenke though.

Initially viewed with suspicion by the board, Kroenke started building up his position from 2007 as he slowly bought out the families who had run the 132-year-old club for generations.

"We at KSE are moving forward with this offer leading to 100 percent ownership of the club, " Kroenke was quoted as saying.

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Arsenal last year parted ways with Arsene Wenger, who had managed the club for over 20 years after they finished the season 6th in the Permier League, their worst position since 1992.

"Many of these fans are AST members and hold their share not for value but as custodians who care about the future of the club".

It also said that Kroenke would be able to "implement detrimental actions", including "pay [ing] management fees and dividends without any check or balance" and "plac [ing] debt onto Arsenal to support his other business interests". "KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the Club".

New manager Unai Emery, who joined from Paris St Germain, will be given a baptism of fire this weekend when Arsenal kick off their new season against Manchester City.

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