American businessman Stan Kroenke, who has been nearing a takeover of the London outfit over the last six months, has yet to pay up to £50 million to Arsenal's directors, according to a report in The Sunday Times.
Kroenke, who in recent months has been edging towards control of the London English Premier League club, has still not paid half of the agreed amount when he decided to increase his share in the club from 12.38 per cent to 28.3 per cent in December 2008, which was widely reported at the time to have been £100 million commitment.
Since then Kroenke has edged further towards the 29.9 per cent of control that would require him to make a formal takeover bid. He currently owns 28.3 per cent, after acquiring 80 more shares – for around US$1.1 million – as recently as the end of September.
It is believed the directors in question are Danny Fiszman and Richard Carr with both owed significant amounts, in Fiszman’s case up to UK£40 million. The Sunday Times quoted a source close to the board as saying: “Kroenke doesn’t have UK£50 million sitting in a bank doing nothing. It could be many months or years before he has paid off all the money.” The fear amongst the board is that the delay could further impinge on the club’s ability to buy players and retain its place amongst the elite of English soccer.
Kroenke has been Arsenal’s largest shareholder since May. However there remains great uncertainty as to whether he is interested in launching a formal takeover bid, which would be required under club regulations should he acquire a further 1.6 per cent.