Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Thursday April 5 2007
American billionaire Stan Kroenke has brought ITV's 9.9% stake in Arsenal.
Rumours of a takeover have been in the air around The Grove since Arsenal announced a 'technical partnership' with Stan Kroenke's current 'soccer' team - The Colorado Rapids earlier in the year.
Mr. Kroenke already has several ventures in sports, with stakes in various basketball and ice hockey teams in America.
Rumours weren't helped by Arsenal MD Keith Edleman. When he was asked about the possibility of a takeover he said it wouldn't happen 'at this moment in time.' The fact that the value of Arsenal's shares have rocketed hasn't helped things either.
The American-born businessman also brought a 50% stake in Arsenal Broardband Ltd - taking his spending on Arsenal to around £60Million in just one day!
Some interesting debate has taken place iver on our forum about it, including this from one of our American members Sweep05: 'I actually live in Colorado, USA, where Kroenke lives and owns the Rapids, Nuggets and Avalanche. I am here to say that a potential takeover for Arsenal would actually be a good thing.
I've seen what Kroenke has done here for the local professional teams and if he was to buy Arsenal I've no doubt that he would provide the money to compete with Chelski and Manyoo. Everyone knows Arsenal doesn't buy talent but develops it. If we could combine Kroenke's checkbook and Wenger's development skills, we would be deadly.
It's a shame in football these days that money is often the determining factor in wins and losses but it is what it is, and Kroenke would definitely help us. As for those who would be upset because Kroenke is not English, I ask-what's more important to you - Englishness or winning?
After our loss to Liverpool were you patting yourselves on the back because Arsenal is more 'English' than the Scousers and their American owners or were you pissed that Peter Crouch had scored a ridiculous hat trick and we lost the game? It's about winning, not nationalities-and Kroenke would help us win.'
It would be a nervous time for Arsenal fans if this were to happen. Kroenke clearly loves sports but would he see Arsenal as one of his 'usual' investments or as a pure business oppertunity? With the Highbury square project set to enter a new phase, rumours of a Euro tunnel station being put to use near Arsenal it could be a way for Stan to make a quick buck. Or he could love Arsenal and want to make a sucess of them?
I guess only time will tell so watch this space!
Date:Thursday April 5 2007
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