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Tim Collings reckons Kroenke takeover completed in weeks

In Arsenal FC on January 15, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

And Wenger is waiting to see developments before committing ……

Tim Collings is a respected football journalist – he has maybe lowered his reputation by recently publishing articles on the unreliable goal.com, but his comment on the ongoing Kroenke purchase of the club should be recognised.

Stan Kroenke is currently only 17 shares away from acquiring 30 per cent of the shareholding, a threshold that would require him to make a formal takeover offer.

At the moment the takeover of the club (which seems inevitable one way or the other), has been dragged out for a couple of years. Remember a few years ago and the famous “we don’t want his sort at this club” aimed at Kroenke, after that Alisher Usmanov started gobbling shares up faster than a plate of chips and the boards stance towards Kroenke, seen as the lesser of two evils, softened.

There isn’t really time to go into the more intricate details of the shifting on the board and the seeming shut out of Alisher Usmanov but in this article by Tim Collings, there seems to be some sensationalised scaremongery – particularly around the future of the manager if the takeover goes ahead.

Here are a few lines ….

“He may well be reaching for more wood, and more good luck, if as expected Stan Kroenke succeeds in completing a take-over of the club in the next few weeks. Or he may reach for his phone to dial Madrid and discuss his possible availability if events in north London do not work to his satisfaction.”

“Gunners supporters should be excused if they associate ‘Silent Stanley’ more readily with the old ‘Silent but Deadly’ jokes.”

“So, how long before an American not only sits in the chairman’s chair, but also in the dugout?”

“That could mean, in theory, that he may consider putting a roof over the Emirates to multiply the revenue opportunities”

Of course, Wenger is a man of his word and is one of the few managers in football to really respect his contract. His style is to run it down and then sign a renewal once he is less focussed on club matters, he puts the club before himself. This method always leads to rumours of him scattering off to Madrid but time after time the boss has said that the style of management at Real Madrid is not his cup of tea. I think the chances of him signing a new contract at Arsenal are high and that he will never, ever manage Real Madrid, regardless of what offer is made to him.

The growing so-called ‘americanisation’ of Arsenal is bound to happen having an American majority shareholder and an ever-growing American contingency at the club, I see no issue against putting a roof over the Emirates as long as it doesn’t affect the pitch and the club benefit from it, hell, maybe Kroenke could invest in the local transport links in the area so that the Stadium can be expanded which we know is possible, creating room for more fans and some low-cost seating?

Foreign ownership is a one way street though, there are few British owners with the power and wealth of their American counterparts, once we go there we can’t go back to the old regime. For sure, there will be benefits but we only have to look a few hundred miles north to see the mess Liverpool and (if you believe the press), United, are in at the moment.

Tim Collings is the first real person to put their neck on the line and predict when Kroenke will purchase those final few shares and make his offer for Arsenal…. if he does at all.

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4 Responses to “Tim Collings reckons Kroenke takeover completed in weeks”

  1. This does look like a suitable time to takeover the club; Wenger has put Arsenal in a good position and the fact he has not committed leaves avenues open for the new owner. Plus, there’s a whole new strategic input now from the various Americans.

    But the article doesn’t really have much inside information rather than speculation which is ironically how things are run. Kroenke’s readying his options and it seems a matter of time – the potential is huge for a club like Arsenal who as a plus are self-sustaining. He won’t pump so much money but will have finances available for whoever the manager(s) may be. Let’s see if that is Wenger….

  2. Tim Collings has more than lowered his reputation, he’s obliterated it. His quotes are not based in fact, there seems to be no research at all to back them up. Frankly, it all smacks of xenophobia, and it is appropriate that Mr. Collings now posts on goal.com, as it is, if possible, less reliable than the transfer rumours seen in the red-tops.

    The “ever-growing American contingent” at the club, as you mention, refers to a story referring to someone brought in to enhance the Arsenal “brand” overseas, something that United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona, Madrid and several Italian clubs have done to great effect, which has amounted to loads of money pouring into their coffers. Arsenal have been slack in this department, and Gazidis, shrewd businessman that he is, has moved quickly to rectify the club’s backward position.

    Finally, if Kroenke DOES reach the magical 30% threshold requiring him to make an offer for all shares, that does not mean that he will in fact acquire them, merely that he must make an offer. Kroenke has so far conducted himself with respect, and has acquired his shares by paying for them himself, rather than the model chosen by the Glazers at United and Hicks/Gillette at Liverpool, borrowing large sums to buy the shares at once and dumping that debt on the clubs’ books.

    I expect more from an Arsenal blog, I would think that knowledgable readers would share that sentiment.

  3. Its fact though… there are more Americans behind the scenes at Arsenal since Kroenke’s investment, than before it. Whats xenophobic about that? I have nothing against Americans.

    Kroenke has conducted himself well but his wall of silence is something I don’t agree with. It is about time he stated his intentions.

    Calling me xenophobic is a big accusation. Care to back it up?

  4. Kroenke could leave himself open to legal action for discussing an official takeover attempt (which is what the 30% mark would trigger) before it had begun, and a quick look at Usmanov’s history since joining the club (he went so far as to threaten Arseblogger with suit because he didn’t like how he was being portrayed) will tell you he’s certainly not averse to such things.

    My remarks about xenophobia are addressed to the quotes attributed to Tim Collings. Your comments toward Kroenke are generally unbiased, but posting tripe like the quotes above is beneath the best of us. You yourself mention the unreliability of goal.com; I personally would go so far as to state that they make things up as they go along, or just post whatever sounds controversial on News Now.

    Everything coming from the club (granted, the club don’t release all information) is that Arsene operates in cooperation but also independently of the Board, meaning that a change in ownership would ostensibly mean no change to the way Arsene works within the club. Mr. Collings’ statements would have us believing that if Kroenke were to gain a controlling share, Arsene would bolt for Madrid, which is patently false given Arsene’s long history of honouring contracts and his genuine affection for AFC. And I would further state that saying Kroenke would construct a roof to Emirates, and instill an American as manager after (based on the quotes) forcing out the legend Wenger, are nothing more than scare tactics meant to stir up resentment for Kroenke and the Board, which would only benefit Usmanov (who has before been accused of having “friendly journalists” plant stories glorifying himself or demonising Kroenke).

    I would hope that Collings and his ilk would stick their neck on the line only if a blade waited above. He is a terrible excuse for a journalist. In the future, you would do well to avoid quoting anyone from online publications as sketchy as goal. It’s as creative as linking us with Yaya Toure or Sebastien Frey.

    These are my opinions of course, strong as they may be, but I welcome opposing viewpoints as well.

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