After Man United and Liverpool, It Could Get Messy at the Emirates!
After the very messy financial situations at Manchester United and Liverpool became more widely discussed and commented on it became obvious that such a situation was highly unlikely to be repeated at another top,English football club.
But last year there were a few panicky moments for Gunners fans when a game of musical shares was taking place between Stan Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov, Danny Fiszman and Lady Bracewell-Smith the four biggest shareholders (with a combined 88% of the clubs shares between them).
An agreement not to sell had expired and it seemed inevitable that a battle royal between Usmanov and Kroenke was weeks away.
If that had happened then the future of the club in the short term would likely be a rough ride.
Only months later however and the major players have agreed to promote an unusual scheme to enfranchise the supporters at as low a financial outlay as possible.
With a single Arsenal share costing upwards of £10,000 even the most ardent fan would find it difficult to get involved but now, it seems that may change.
The board are looking at promoting fan ownership by selling shares or a share for as little as £10 per month and therefore allowing more fans to get involved.
Two questions need to be asked however -
Firstly, how could this scheme make any real indent in the £600m valuation of the club and any sort of inroads into the current share ownership. Isn't it just a bit of window dressing to appease the fans?
Secondly, why would they do this?
It is impossible for me to answer these questions but there are likely to be more voluble arguments both for and against it than if one person were to attempt to take sole ownership of the club.
What should also concern Arsenal fans is why ahve none of the major shareholders made a move to buy the rest of the club?
Lady Bracewell-Smith made it clear only a few months ago that she was willing to sell her shares but nobody seems to want them.
Could we be looking at a board hoping to pay considerable dividends in the next few years?
And will the noise about the possible fans ownership help take peoples eye of that issue?
At the very least Arsenal fans have a few months of mild concern until these things gain clarity.
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