Arsenal takeover puts heat on Arsene Wenger to end trophy drought

12 April 2011 06:51
Time to deliver: Wenger will be under pressure to deliver silverware

Arsene Wenger will find himself under new pressure to end Arsenal's trophy drought following Stan Kroenke's takeover of the north London club.

Kroenke has confirmed that a deal is in place to buy shares from Danny Fiszman and Nina Bracewell-Smith which will increase his stake to almost 63 per cent.

The American, who revealed he has notborrowed against the club to fund his takeover, will provide Wenger with transfer funds and challenge the manager to produce results now he has completed his patient plan to seize control of Arsenal.

Kroenkesaid: 'Arsenal is a fantastic club with a special history and traditionand a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger. We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success.'

Wenger,who has gone six years without winning some silverware and trails Manchester United by seven points in the title race, knows the American,who has been a director since 2008, and welcomed Monday's development.

Themanager said: 'I have worked with Stan Kroenke at board meetings over the last couple of years and I believe he has the best interests of Arsenal at heart. He understands the club's heritage and traditions and our ambition to run the club in a way which protects our long-term future.'

Kroenke's deal will be triggered by the death of Fiszman, who is gravely ill and it will mark the end of an era for the Gunners, with boardroom power shifting to the American sports mogul, who also owns St Louis Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rapids.

New man in charge: Kroenke (left) sealed a controlling stake at the Emirates with a ?300m swoop on Monday

Arsenal are the 10th Barclays Premier League club now in the hands of foreign owners. Peter Hill-Wood will remain as chairman but has agreed also to sell his small stake to Kroenke, as have the other shareholders on the board, Ken Friar, Sir Chips Keswick and Lord Harris of Peckham.

If other small shareholders accept Kroenke's offer to buy at the ?11,750-per-share price agreed with Fiszman and Bracewell-Smith, his stake will increase even further.

Up for sale: Kroenke's controlling stake has cleared the way for a full takeover which would make him the fifth US owner of a Premier League club

Once he owns more than 75 per cent, he can turn the club into a private company, although Kroenke has stated he values the club's Fanshare scheme and this is not his intention.

Alisher Usmanov owns 27 per cent of Arsenal through Red and White Holdings, who refused to comment yesterday, but the Russian billionaire is understood to be unhappy with Kroenke's ascent to power at the Emirates and is reluctant to sell his shares to the American.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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