Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday April 28 2007
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has sent a leter to Arsenal's shareholders to inform them of the curent situation with regards to the possible takeover.
The media has been rife with speculation since the departure of David Dein. I could spend all day typing them, but I don't think I need to.
I'll let Hill-Wood tell you the rest: 'As you will no doubt be aware, Arsenal now has a new major shareholder, Stan Kroenke, who has bought a 12.2 per cent stake in the Club over the last few weeks.
'Mr Kroenke, an American entrepreneur, is a known sports investor and currently owns several sports clubs including the MLS side Colorado Rapids, with whom Arsenal recently formed a strategic marketing partnership. Our managing director, Keith Edelman, has already had one meeting with Mr Kroenke since his investment and I myself have spoken to him recently to arrange a meeting so that I can hear what he has to say.
'His recent acquisition of shares has caused a great deal of media speculation and the Board felt that the time is right to reassure you about the future of our Club.
'Our philosophy at the Club is the same as it always was: to ensure that Arsenal remains one of the elite football clubs and consistently competes at the highest level.
'Many years ago the Board recognised that if Arsenal Football Club was to retain this position, there would have to be a serious change in the way that we operated our business and, specifically, this meant moving from our beloved Highbury.
'Our approach, which is very much in line with Arsene Wenger's, is that the funds generated from ticket sales, broadcasting revenue and the like should be made available for investment in players and that this is the most sustainable way to ensure the Club's long-term growth and future.
'The Board, and in particular Danny Fiszman, Ken Friar and Keith Edelman, have worked tirelessly over the last few years to increase the funds available for the Club, in particular through the development of the Emirates Stadium.
'The result is that we now generate revenues comparable with the largest football clubs in the world and we have nearly tripled revenues over the last six years.
'The Directors, who as a collective group are the Club's largest shareholders, have always decided against the payment of dividends so that the money can be filtered back into the playing side of the Club.
'I do recognise that this season has not yielded the silverware that we would all have wished for, but we fully support Arsene and his strategy of building an outstanding young team which plays attractive football and will challenge for trophies well into the future.
'In addition, should Arsene wish to strengthen the squad in the summer, funds are available for him to do so. In fact, we plan to continuously increase the investment in the squad year on year.'
Can we now expect to hear something from Mr Kronke in the next few days?
Date:Saturday April 28 2007
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