Hill-Wood to meet Kroenke

28 April 2007 12:28
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood will meet Stan Kroenke to discuss the future of the Gunners amid continued speculation that the American investor is planning a hostile takeover. Kroenke recently increased his stake in the club's holding company to 12.19 per cent and the relationship between David Dein and the US sports magnate is believed to be the reason why the Gunners' former vice-chairman left last week after a disagreement with the rest of the board. Hill-Wood recently claimed Kroenke knows "sweet FA about our football", but his stance appears to have softened in a letter to shareholders in which he claims is set to meet the owner of owner of MLS side Colorado Rapids in a face-to-face meeting. "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," read the letter. "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. "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." Hill-Wood has also confirmed that money is available for Wenger to strengthen his squad in the summer. "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," the letter continued. "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."

Source: ESA

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