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Arsenal fans score victory after club ends payments to owner Stan Kroenke's KSE business

Joe Hall
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Arsenal Stan Kroenke fan protests
Stan Kroenke is unpopular with large sections of Arsenal's support (Source: Getty)

Arsenal supporters have scored a victory over owner Stan Kroenke after the club announced they are no longer paying an annual £3m to the American's company.

Full details of Arenal's annual accounts for last season, sent to shareholders this week, reveal that the Premier League club did not pay for the "strategic and advisory services" from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE's) which had cost it £6m over the previous two years.

The payments had provoked anger amongst fans and shareholders, including Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov who owns just over 30 per cent of the club.

After board members were asked to provide greater transparency on KSE's services at recent AGMs, chairman Sir Chips Keswick said; "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."

Read more: Stan Kroenke lifts lid on why Arsenal prioritise business foundations over spending big on transfers

With the payment now appearing to have been excluded from Arsenal's list of expenses, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust said the club had listened to fans' concerns.

"The AST is delighted that following our pressure for the board to end these payments, they have listened and none will be made this year," said spokesman Tim Payton.

"Arsenal have never been able to explain what - if any - services were specifically provided by Stan Kroenke. They have done the right thing by ending this payment."

Arsenal's full-season accounts revealed a £9m increase in turnover to £353.6m but slim profit before tax of just £2.9m — their lowest since moving to the Emirates Stadium.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis heralded the "significant investment" on player transfers from Kroenke. Yet reinvesting profits in the squad should be an expectation, not a surprise, according to the AST.

"Every penny that Arsenal earns is contributed by fans and supporters through TV, commercial and match day revenues," Payton said.

"Therefore it is right that this money is reinvested in making the club stronger."

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