Arsenal shareholder Stan Kroenke: My shares are not for sale and I'm in for the long term

 
Oliver Gill
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Arsenal v Hull City - Premier League
Stan Kroenke also owns US basketball team Denver Nuggets and ice hockey franchise Colorado Avalanche (Source: Getty)

Arsenal's largest shareholder Stan Kroenke has this morning committed to the future of the club after a takeover bid was tabled by a rival investor.

In a short stockmarket announcement the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) said:

KSE UK, Inc notes the recent media speculation concerning its shareholding in Arsenal Holdings PLC and confirms that its shares are not, and never have been, for sale.

KSE is a committed, long term investor in Arsenal and will remain so.

The response comes amid reports last week Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov made a $1.3bn (£1bn) bid to buy Kroenke's majority stake in the club.

Read more: Russian billionaire makes £1bn bid to buy Arsenal

Usmanov, who already owns 30 per cent of Arsenal, approached Kroenke last month, the Financial Times reported on Friday. Sources told the newspaper Kroenke initially dismissed the approach and privately informed Usmanov his 67 per cent shareholding was not up for sale.

Concerns were raised by Usmanov in April that Kroenke was failing to invest in the club. In an interview with Bloomberg he said Arsenal's performance should not just be blamed on manager Arsene Wenger.

Yesterday, the club failed to secure a lucrative European Champions League berth for the first time in 20 years.

And Usmanov said previously the Arsenal board, of which he is not a member, should also take responsibility for the club's performance.

Sources also told the Financial Times steel magnate Usmanov was not the only suitor circling Kroenke's shareholding.

Read more: Wenger: Uncertainty over my future derailed Arsenal

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