It must be a eyeopening time to be a fly on the wall of Arsenal’s boardroom right now. Today, Arsenal’s vice-chairman David Dein left the club after citing “irreconcilable differences” with the rest of the board.
Dein, who has been a director at the club since 1983, has been a central figure at Arsenal. His departure comes as a massive shock to the Gunners and English football. Rumors reveal that Dein was in favor of U.S. businessman Stan Kroenke’s takeover of Arsenal, while most of the remaining board members were opposed to it.
Kroenke’s actions in recent weeks have definitely ruffled the feathers with the Arsenal executives. Only yesterday, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said that “[the boardmembers have] no intention of selling to some stranger” and would be “horrified to see the club go across the Atlantic.”
Kroenke recently bought 9.9% of Arsenal from ITV and purchased more shares from major shareholder Danny Fiszman.
However, in a statement today, the board has said that “In light of recent speculation with regards to the ownership of the club, the remaining board members, who together own 45.45 per cent of the issued share capital of the company, would like to reassure the supporters, shareholders and employees of Arsenal Football Club that they remain long-term holders of their interests in the club. To this effect, they have entered into an agreement not to dispose of their shares for at least one year and have confirmed that they intend to retain their interests on the expiration of this period.”
Obviously there’s a power struggle within Arsenal right now. With Dein leaving the board, Arsenal fans and executives will be worried that Dein may sell his shares to Kroenke. If Colorado Rapids owner Kroenke is interested in taking over Arsenal, it’s going to get ugly.
Meanwhile, Dein is current chairman of the G14 group.