HE’S NO Ken Bates,’ is how one colleague describes Arsenal’s publicity-shy prospective owner Stan Kroenke. That is putting it mildly for a man known as Silent Stan. His profile is famously low so City A.M. spoke to sources on both sides of the Atlantic in an attempt to learn more about the Missouri native.
PROUD SELF-MADE MAN
Billionaire Kroenke married into the WalMart dynasty but industry insiders in Denver, where he owns several sports franchises, say he is fiercely proud of having amassed his own fortune through real estate.
Arsenal fans hoping he’ll let his guard down should not hold their breath. Journalists in Colorado say he has tightened media access to management of his franchises. While not unpopular with supporters, some question his reluctance to talk.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Is Kroenke’s son Josh a future Arsenal director? The ex-Lehman Brothers analyst has the reins at the basketball and ice hockey franchises, where he is known as similarly business-minded but more media friendly.
He is said to like business but like sport even more, and is not in the game just for the money, according to those who know him, easing fears he could siphon off Arsenal’s profits.
SPORT IN THE BLOOD
His full name is Enos Stanley Kroenke, after basketball players Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial, of the St Louis Cardinals, and he excelled on the court as well as in the classroom.
He is trim for a man of 63 and reports depict him as health conscious, working out daily and shunning bread and pasta in favour of lean buffalo meat, fish and egg white omlettes.
He has shown he is not afraid to upset fans, moving the Rams from Los Angeles to St Louis, and lately has shunned big signings at the Denver Nuggets in favour of a youth policy.
While he stays out of the locker room Kroenke is known for having the last say on business decisions. Sources say he is methodical, chooses his preferred plan, and then sticks to it.
Additional research by Alex Sharp.
First invested in 2007, now has control of 63 per cent of shares and has offered to buy the rest in a £731m deal.
Bought NBA side in 2000 and improved results towards end of last decade. Now run by son Josh.
Took over in 2000 and won 2001 Stanley Cup, then divisional titles. Handed overl to Josh in 2010.
ST LOUIS RAMS
Bought 40 per cent of NFL side in 1995 and persuaded then Los Angeles Rams to move to Missouri. Won Super Bowl in 2000.
Snapped up in 2004, formed partnership with Arsenal in 2007 and won first Major League Soccer title in 2010.