Takeover & Football update

*Originally posted 12th April 2011

Far from beginning to settle the dust, knocked up by Stan Kroenke’s takeover of Arsenal, continues with impetus, although some elements of the deal and its knock on effects are starting to become a little clearer.

One of the most important details is that whilst KSE are obliged by city regulations to make formal offers to all remaining shares there is absolutely no reason for share holders to do business, in fact while I’m sure Stan would be willing to snap up shares where possible he may not actually wish to acquire sole ownership.

Personally I think it is vitally important that smaller independent shareholders and groups such as the Arsenal Supporters Trust hang on to their shares and continue to have a voice within the club.

Even at the current time there is nothing stopping supporters getting involved with the AST or participating in the Arsenal Fan Share Scheme, which is greatly admired and endorsed by the government & UEFA while in the wake of the takeover Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged Stan Kroenke to keep the fans involved

There has been rumours circulating that Alisher Usmanov attempted to stop KSE purchasing the 15.9% of Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith by making two late bids for her families shares which would have earned her an extra £12m.

Great credit must be given to Lady Nina, had she taken the Uzbeks offer we would have seen a real power struggle between KSE and Red & White Holdings for the smaller shareholdings I previously mentioned.

Uzmanov is reported to be livid by the fact KSE have managed to make a deal for the Bracewell-Smith and Fiszman shares and feels he has been ‘stitched up’.

The AST held a very well timed meeting last night and stated their intention to continue dialogue with RWH and in a statement issued after the meeting said –

“AST is encouraged to hear Red & White plan to keep their shares. They have previously stated their long-term commitment to the club and this decision would be a good demonstration of that”.

In a special Arseblog Arsecast Released yesterday Tim Payton of the AST spoke of how in the future he hopes that RWH can be given a seat on the board and invited to work with Kroenke, and that all shareholders can be given a further opportunity to be represented at boardroom level.

I am encouraged by the AST’s desire for stability and a sustained relationship between all parties but personally I still hold reservations that Usmanov & RWH have the clubs & the supporters best interests at heart.

Having said that, I appreciate that due to being effectively frozen out by the board of directors, RWH have been unable to participate within the club in the same manner as Kroenke. That said, I am sure he could have used the media and wider football community as a tool to discuss and present ideas, opinions et al.

And so the drama continues and no doubt will do so for some time yet to come, so away from this it is important to remember that the club is built around our football team and that team is still involved in the title race and have important games coming up.

Up next is Liverpool on Sunday, a game which could see the return of Wojciech Szczesny, as I reported Wenger had alluded to on Sunday, and Johan Djourou could also return. It would be a timely boost to have the pair back especially as Liverpool are beginning to look like a new animal, as was evident against Manchester City last night, although admittedly City were poor.

It has been reported that Robin Van Persie & Abou Diaby were involved in a dressing room altercation at half time on Sunday after Diaby had needlessly got himself booked shortly before half time. This could well be what Jens was alluding to when presenting Robin with the MOTM champagne after the game. The returning goalkeeper stated –

“You deserve this for your performance on and off the pitch”

That kind of response is great to see from one of our most senior players, keeping the players motivated and focused. We’ve already heard from Wilshere that Jens gave a half-time team talk on Sunday and was extremely vocal on the pitch.

Whilst you can’t lay the blame solely at Diaby’s feet for the capitulation at St James’ Park earlier in the year it is fair to say that the Frenchman’s sending off was most certainly a contributing factor and with key games coming up he needs to keep a cool head, as do all around him.

I’m sure whatever happened at Bloomfield Road between the two on Sunday there will have no knock on effect between the pair and we can only hope that it inspires the other players in the squad and instils a little more of the fight that we’re so often told is lacking in this Arsenal side.

Jack thinks that United’s European exploits may well catch up with them, frankly any slip up by Fergie’s side in the league will be most welcome at this point but as I keep saying all we should be concentrating on is winning our own games.

Finally it was pointed out yesterday that during the 1997/98 season Arsenal went unbeaten in the Premier League from December 13th and finished as champions. We are currently unbeaten in the league since December 13th…

I’m not really one for superstition and omens but at this moment in time I’ll take any bit of good fortune.

Thanks for reading.

Up The Arsenal!

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