Wenger calm over Kroenke investment

Arsene Wenger has no problem with Stan Kroenke's continued investment in Arsenal - so long as it never impacts on the way he runs the team.

The American tycoon has edged closer towards the takeover threshold following the announcement of the purchase of another 427 shares in Arsenal's parent holding company, at a cost of some £3.6million.

The Denver-based sports magnate is now the largest individual shareholder in the Gunners, with a stake of some 29.6% after acquiring more stock from the estate of the late British industrialist Ernest Harrison.

Should Kroenke, or indeed anyone else such as second-largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov, reach a figure of 29.9%, they would, under the City's financial regulations, be obliged to launch a formal takeover bid.

Wenger, though, insists it remains very much business as usual at London Colney, where he was preparing the squad for tomorrow night's Champions League clash with AZ Alkmaar at the Emirates Stadium.

"Inside the club, on a daily basis, it does not change anything," the Arsenal boss said.

"As long as I am not told I have to change the way I see the vision for the club on the technical side, as long as nobody interferes with that, then I do not see what kind of impact it could have on me."

Wenger added: "I believe I have shown I can manage a club on the technical side - and I have that guarantee at the club, no matter who the owner will be."

As yet, Kroenke - nicknamed 'Silent Stan' for his choice to keep away from the media spotlight - has made no public statement on his long-term intentions for the Barclays Premier League club.

Indeed, when Kroenke, now on the Arsenal board, was directly questioned during the recent Annual General Meeting, the American chose not to take the opportunity to address the gathered shareholders, with chairman Peter Hill-Wood intervening.

While Hill-Wood insisted major changes behind the scenes were not on the agenda, the Arsenal chairman has also suggested he was "very relaxed" about a proposed takeover by the American.

The Arsenal Supporters Trust, meanwhile, believe the latest moves do not mean a takeover from Kroenke is imminent, rather more a "consolidation" of the American's position, perhaps even to fend off potential further moves by Usmanov's Red & White Holdings group.

"While the AST welcome Stan Kroenke's involvement, we agree with the sentiment of Peter Hill-Wood's statement at the most recent AGM that there is no need for any shareholder to launch a takeover of the club," the statement said.

"The AST believes in plurality of ownership.

"If a takeover is launched by any party, we would seek urgent discussions with those involved."

However, the AST also warned against problems which can be associated with individual ownership based on significant debt.

The statement added: "The AST has a good relationship with both Stan Kroenke and members of his team at Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE).

"We have stressed to them the importance of custodianship and that the club will be stronger if it has supporters directly involved in its ownership model.

"While we cannot vouch for their future actions, we are encouraged that they have said they see the AST having an important role to play at Arsenal.

"The AST has repeatedly stated that we are generally opposed to a takeover and would fight any plans that require the club to incur debt to pay for a takeover, as has happened at Manchester United and Liverpool.

"Two red lines that cannot be crossed are the use of debt secured on the club's assets to fund a takeover and an ownership structure which excludes small shareholders. Arsenal is too important to be owned by any one person.

"The AST's own assessment of today's development is that a takeover is not imminent and that today's purchase is the consolidation of an existing position."

Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
News
UK Border Control
i100
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn