Arsenal AGM: Directors heckled over £3m payment to majority owner Stan Kroenke's KSE business

 
Frank Dalleres
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Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke's KSE firm received a £3m payment from Arsenal (Source: Getty)
Arsenal directors pointed to their FA Cup success as justification for paying majority owner Stan Kroenke £6m in fees over the last two years after being heckled at the club's AGM today.
Shareholders repeatedly queried why the Gunners had paid the American's company Kroenke Sports Enterprises £3m in 2014 and 2015.
Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick attracted cries of "answer the question" after his first attempt to address the issue failed to quell demands from the floor for more details.
And though he remained unwilling to divulge precisely what the payments had been for, aside from terming them "advisory fees", he said the team's successive FA Cup wins were evidence that they had been value for money.
"The answer to your question cannot be codified and I will make no attempt to do so, except to say that we get the best advice as quick as we possibly can, and if you want proof of what that's worth then you can look at this [FA Cup], you can look at that [Community Shield] and you can look at our accounts," he said.
Keswick rejected comparisons from one shareholder between the arrangement and Fifa president Sepp Blatter's £1.3m controversial payment to Uefa chief Michel Platini, which has threatened both men's positions.
"I'm not Mr Platini, I'm not Mr Blatter and there is not a written whatever you want..." he added. "Good advice is where to get it and how to get it, and if you get good advice you succeed, and if you don't get good advice you fail."
Keswick attempted to address concerns at the start of the meeting, saying he still "felt it was right to pay a fee for a wide range of services provided by KSE".
He added: "We should not be in a position where we expect these things to come for nothing - that would not be good governance. I would remind you that KSE is one of the most respected sports organisations in the United States. This has contributed to our positive evolution in a number of areas."
When that response attracted murmurs of derision, he promised to return to the matter during a question and answer session - and did so.
"You were clearly dissatisfied by the answer I gave about the KSE fee, and there was quite a large support for your dissatisfaction from the hall," he later said.
"I can elaborate a little. I don't know how many of you here run your own businesses, but those of you who do will know that the best advice you can possibly get is the quick advice from people or organisations who know more about the problem than you do.
"If you're humble enough to accept it you will go and get good advice. And that's precisely what we do at Arsenal with KSE. I'm responsible ultimately for the money management of the club and making sure it's well spent and I'm very determined that will continue to be the case."

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