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Arsenal Agree to $1.2 Billion Takeover by Stan Kroenke

The American invasion of the Premier League is set to expand to include Arsenal as the latest team owned by a businessman from the United States. Currently, Liverpool, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Sunderland are owned by Americans. Arsenal will become the fifth team to have an American owner.

Stan Kroenke already owns several sports teams including NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, NFL team the St Louis Rams, and Major League Soccer team the Colorado Rapids. Now he’s poised to add Arsenal to his mantelpiece, one of the best known soccer brands in the world.

He currently owns 62 percent of Arsenal and now will make an offer for the remaining shares, according to several media outlets in England.

“We are excited about the opportunity to increase our involvement with and commitment to Arsenal,” said Kroenke. “Arsenal is a fantastic Club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsène Wenger. We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the Club to new success. I am delighted that Peter Hill-Wood has agreed to support us by continuing as Chairman.”

Arsene Wenger added his two cents regarding the news. “I have worked with Stan Kroenke at board meetings over the past couple of years and I believe he has the best interests of Arsenal at heart,” said Wenger. “He understands the Club’s heritage and traditions and our ambition to run the Club in a way which protects our long term future.”

The American influence in the Premier League goes beyond just the four clubs owned by Americans (soon to be five). For example, the chairman of Chelsea Football Club, Bruce Buck, is American. Robert Earl, CEO of Planet Hollywood (based out of Orlando) is a director at Everton Football Club. And of course there are several high profile Americans who play in the Premier League at a variety of clubs.

What do you think about the Stan Kroenke news? Do you think it’s a good or bad move for Arsenal? And what do you think about more American owners taking over English Premier League clubs? Share your insight in the comments section below.

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  1. besitzer

    April 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    This can’t be a bad move for Arsenal since clubs currently owned by Americans are in great shape. United are close to getting the title. Liverpool and Aston Villa didn’t have their best season but are still decent in the table, sitting in the top half. He seems to be a good manager for the sports teams he currently owns.

  2. R2Dad

    April 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I’d always hoped that an EPL team would buy an MLS franchise and let their B team members play here one season before getting a call-up instead of loaning them out to other PL/La Liga/Serie A teams. THAT’S the type of cross-marketing needed, but the MLS is too proud to admit they’re a feeder league. Why can’t they allow one team from each of the major leagues to own an MLS franchise (appropriate to the city involved)? How awesome would that be? Seems like a no-brainer, as does relegation, but like the NASL logic kneels before pride and expediency. When will MLS teams finally own the contracts of their own players? The MLS league structure is hobbling the growth of the brand.

    • Sean

      April 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

      There are a several problems with that.

      For one, clubs like to keep players in their own country simply because the type of football played in various countries differ. Although the quality is not the same, the general brand of football is and a club’s players are of more use to them if they only have to adapt to the quality of football when taking a step up as opposed to having also adapt to the type of football.

      In addition to that, MLS would then strictly become a feeder league. If the MLS wants to continue growing, I think that is definitely the wrong way to go because it is hard to see how it will ever rise above lower division status if that mentality becomes engrained.

      Finally, having an EPL club own an MLS team and strictly use if for the players outside of their first team would not be possible with international player limits. Yes, the MLS could just change their rules and allow an unlimited number of international players but that would completely go against its goal of being a league that can aid in the development of North American players.

  3. Allojohn

    April 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I fear there will be no change at all.

    • J-Goon

      April 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      Agreed. And the statement says there will be no debt involved in the takeover.

  4. tonyspeed

    April 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

    As long as he spends his own money, it should be ok.

  5. Gsmith318

    April 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Stan is a self made billionaire and his wife is a billionaire due to her Dad being Sam Walton (ever heard of Walmart?). Money is not a problem for him (like it is/was for the Glazers and previous Liverpool owners). From what I’ve read, he is not going to do a leveraged buyout on Arsenal so there shouldn’t be a debt problem (he hasn’t leveraged up any of his other teams). With that said, Stan is notoriously cheap and fiscally responsible, so don’t expect the coffers to be unleashed. It will be business as usual for Arsenal and Arsene (at least in the short term).

    • brn442

      April 11, 2011 at 9:53 am

      Being a billionaire does not mean there is a billion dollars in your bank account or under your mattress (unless you run an oil rich country.) If he’s smart, he will take on debt to finance the takeover.

      • Norfolk Enchants

        April 11, 2011 at 11:13 am

        No f*cking chance. He doesn’t need to take out debt. Just watch he is going to pay down the debt on the stadium too.

        • brn442

          April 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

          He probably doesn’t need to finance the deal but if he’s half as smart as people say he is, he probably will. Rich people usually prefer to use other people’s money on things like this.

  6. DGS

    April 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Is Kroenke going to force Wenger to spend? (Man, that sounds backwards…)

  7. brn442

    April 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    So the Russian fella lost. I’m curious on where Kroenke will find financing at a decent non – Glazer interest rate to buy the remaining shares as I assume he has no where near that amount of liquidity, then $$$ for players, granted Wenger is no Benitez in terms of spending.

    Gaffer, with all this American ownership, you have to wonder about there being a Liverpool/Arsenal/ Manchester – USA, etc in the MLS one day or the possibility of a real Premier League match taking place outside of England being a little bit closer.

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