ARSENAL supporter groups have called for a guarantee that new majority shareholder Stan Kroenke will not sneak money out of the club in the form of a dividend.
The American sports tycoon confirmed on Friday in his official offer document that he will not load any debt onto the club as part of a proposed £731m takeover. But while that came as a relief to fans, fears remain that Kroenke could siphon off cash raised in part by a 6.5 per cent hike in ticket prices – at a time when the team appears in need of investment.
“I’m not worried in the long run that this guy is going to bleed Arsenal dry but the club must urgently clarify that extra money from season tickets will go directly to investment on the pitch,” Tim Payton of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) told City A.M.
Small shareholders are being urged to reject Kroenke’s offer of £11,750 a share so the club remains in plural ownership. Some 1,800 fans are part of the Fanshare scheme, which allows supporters to buy affordable chunks of a share. Kroenke “expects to continue to engage with supporters for the long-term good of the club,” according to his takeover document.