Arsenal news: Club ends £3m annual fee to owner Stan Kroenke after fan backlash over 'inappropriate payment'

The club have said that Kroenke Sports Enterprises have 'waived' the fee this year

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The Independent Football

Arsenal have scrapped their annual £3m payment to the club’s majority owner Stan Kroenke after it was questioned by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust [AST].

The club have paid the consultancy fee to Kroenke Sports Enterprises, a firm owned by the 69-year-old American, for the past two years, but that payment ended this year after the AST raised fears over the legality of the payment to Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick.

The club have said that the fee was “waived” by Kroenke’s firm, although they declined to comment when contacted by the Daily Mail over whether the payment was in breach of regulations and a conflict of interest. They also refused to comment on whether the letter sent by the AST had an impact in the fee being scrapped.

AST chairman, Glyn Taylor, wrote the letter and sent it to the club in January this year, with concerns being initially raised during a frosty Annual General Meeting last October.

The letter, seen by the Daily Mail, read: “We have serious concerns over £6million being paid by Arsenal to an overseas corporate entity related to one single shareholder and two directors [the KSE Payments], as well as wider governance matters. These concerns are shared by other shareholders as was evident at the Annual General Meeting [AGM] in October 2015.

“From Arsenal’s public statements at the 2015 AGM, and other disclosure, the payment appears to have been made: without a pre-existing contract or competitive tender for services without fully considering whether there was a conflict of interest; and potentially in breach of regulations.

 

 

“The world of football, and its global governance institutions, face unprecedented scrutiny of their conduct and internal procedures. Shining a light on cronyism and backroom deals in football such is occurring at FIFA and UEFA is long overdue and rightly welcomed by the honest majority in our sport.”

AST spokesman, Tim Payton, added that the fee had been considered an “inappropriate payment” given that Kroenke had neither been able to explain nor justify the payment, and praised the fact that fan power can still have a say on how matters are run at a Premier League club.

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Arsene Wenger alongside Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick (Getty)

In response, an Arsenal spokesman said: “For the year ended 31 May 2016 Kroenke Sports & Entertainment LLC has waived its entitlement to any fee in respect of services provided to the Group.”

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