Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) has said it will not sell its shares in the football club and has urged all supporters to reject Stan Kroenke’s offer for the club.
Over 100 members of the group met in London to discuss the American’s takeover bid after Kroenke increased his stake to 62.89% and voted unanimously to continue support for fans to be involved in the club’s ownership.
"Arsenal is too important to be owned by any one person. The AST wants to work with Stan Kroenke to keep Arsenal supporters involved in the club’s ownership structure,” an AST statement said.
"The AST and the Arsenal Fanshare scheme will not be selling the shares it owns and urges all supporters to reject this offer.
"In just six months the Arsenal Fanshare scheme has gained 1800 members who have invested £500,000 in Arsenal shares. This scheme has been widely praised across the football community and is supported by the government who are currently reviewing football’s governance structures. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday called on Stan Kroenke to continue the Fanshare scheme."
The trust also confirmed it had spoken to Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis about the £731m bid.
"The AST spoke to Ivan Gazidis and he reiterated the importance he places upon fans involvement in the club and stated his commitment to custodianship.
"The AST is encouraged that Kroenke's offer states that he does not intend to 'de-list' Arsenal from the PLUS markets. In the next few days we will seek further confirmation of his plans in this area and would like to see more detail on this subject in the formal KSE offer document."
Kroenke Sports Enterprises acquired the additional shares from Danny Fiszman (16.1%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%), taking its shareholding to 62.89% with Russians Alisher Usmanov the major remaining shareholder.