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Should Arsenal offer Usmanov a place on the board?
Yes - He is a major share holder 53%  53%  [ 19 ]
Yes - Providing his position ties in with the boards 11%  11%  [ 4 ]
No - Under no circumstances 36%  36%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 36
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 Post subject: Arsenal Takeover
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:33 am 
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Fans restless as Arsenal shares hit massive high

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/ ... 555742.ece

March 23, 2007

By Kevin Eason

Takeover rumours are driving the price of Arsenal shares to a record high and putting millions on the value of the investments held by the ten directors. The share price closed last night at £6,200, up £900 in a week since Danny Fiszman, the largest shareholder, sparked speculation by offloading some of his stake.

The most spectacular investment, though, is that of David Dein, the vice-chairman, who first bought into Arsenal in 1983, spending £290,250 on 1,161 shares. Peter Hill-Wood, the chairman, said at the time: “I think he’s crazy. It’s dead money.” Last night, Dein, a lifelong supporter, was sitting on a stake worth about £57 million.

However, that stake can be realised only if Dein puts his shares up for sale and the club and analysts dismissed the prospect of Arsenal — the last of the Barclays Premiership’s Champions League clubs to be in English ownership — being sold to foreign investors. The club said last night that there has been no approach and there is no interest in selling.

Supporters, though, are baffled by the astonishing rise in the price of shares and who is buying them. Shares were priced at only £700, with the club valued at £39.2 million, when Arsenal joined the Plus Markets Group, a “junior” stock market specialising in small companies, in October 1995.

Six months ago, they were worth about £4,500 but, by the start of this month, were trading at £5,300. Fiszman, a diamond dealer and another lifelong supporter, received £5,975 a share when he offloaded 659 last week, worth £3.9 million.

That sparked a renewal of the takeover talk persistent for months. Investors in Dubai and Qatar are continually pushed into the frame by City speculation, while rumours linger that Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire oligarch in the mould of Roman Abramovich, is waiting to pounce.

A spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust said last night: “It is all very intriguing. We know who is selling, but we don’t know who is buying the shares or why. And the movement in the price has been so rapid that it makes us wonder what is going on. We are not worried, but it is unsettling.”

Arsenal are an attractive target: the club still own the old Highbury site where new high-priced apartments are being built, while the new 60,000seat Emirates Stadium has transformed finances, bringing in gate receipts of up to £2 million for each home match.

Such a change in fortunes will have accounted for some of the rise in the share price, but it also makes Arsenal an increasingly expensive football commodity. At a present market value of £385 million, potential buyers would be making the second-biggest purchase in British football history, beaten only by the Glazer family takeover of Manchester United, which amounted to £790 million.

The chances of a takeover are slim, though, as long as the board is controlled by three key shareholders, whose wealth and love for the club outweigh their need to sell. Dein, who holds almost 15 per cent of the shares, is a powerbroker who took Arsène Wenger to the club and has been a powerful influence in English football over the past decade. Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, who has a stake of almost 16 per cent, is a member of a family dynasty whose association with Arsenal goes back more than 60 years. The most speculation surrounds Fiszman, but he has said repeatedly that he does not want to sell and he devoted himself to the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. The most likely to sell is ITV, which is desperate to get rid of its 9.9 per cent. But even if it sold, it would not be enough to trigger a full takeover bid while that powerful trio remains dedicated to Arsenal.

There are some comments about this at the very bottom, which make quite an interesting read. IS this good or bad, only time will tell


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:42 am 
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To be quite honest, I do not think that the fans are restless or unsettled about this.
At the end of the day, If the shareholders decide to sell then there is nothing that the fans can do about it.
This was shown to be true in the Glazer takeover of Manchester United.
The fans tried everything to prevent this and failed.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:10 am 
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Does anyone here have shares in the club?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:28 am 
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The Qatar Investment Authority is rumoured to be interested in acquiring a 9.9 percent stake in English Premier League team Arsenal FC, according to ArabianBusiness.com. UK broadcaster ITV is trying to offload the $96m stake and the QIA is thought to be one of three interested parties. The team's main sponsor is Dubai's Emirates Airline which holds the naming rights for its new stadium for the next 16 years.

http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2007/03/12/2407981.htm

Shares are too expensive right now...and with the speculation rife, I wont be surprised if they climb even further


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:57 am 
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I'm interested in the opinions of the fans across the pond..I for one, wouldn't really have a problem with 'foreign' ownership (maybe because I'm a foreigner myself), as long as they handle it like any other club...Liverpool seem to be in good hands, maybe owners of that nature?. Is it English pride or more than that?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:30 am 
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Nothing much has happened at Liverpool yet, it's too early to say whether the new owners will be good or bad for them, although I admit the signs are more positive than at Utd, for example.

The real crux of the "problem" of foreign ownership seems to be (with the obvious exception of Chelsea, whatever that idiot Kenyon says) that a foreign owner is far more likely to view a club as a business investment, whereas home-grown owners have (daftly in many cases) tended to view a football club as a hobby, a passion, an "investment" which is unlikely ever to produce a significant financial return.

Arsenal's owners seem to have found a fairly successful compromise, with the business decision to relocate being very much a long-term strategy for the good of both the club and the shareholders. Personally I would be deeply worried if a new owner like Glazier came in, bought a controlling share in the club and financed it with a large amount of new debt which was ploughed directly into the club's books - Arsenal are at a crossroads right now, make no mistake about it, the wrong new investor (IF Fiszman really does sell up, which would surely cast a massive shadow on his intentions when he pushed through the new stadium) could destroy a lot of the good work done and saddle the club with even more debt that could ultimately destroy it if dropping attendance figures and ticket prices arrive at Ashburton Grove too. No matter what the club says, our finances are massively dependent on full houses with (to be brutally honest) obscene ticket prices at the new ground, any new debt which a takeover might produce could tip us over the edge without truly world-class business minds at the helm. More worryingly than anything else, nobody really knows how Wenger would react to new ownership, especially if that new ownership marginalised David Dein even more than he has already been - could you imagine short-term or even mid-term Arsenal success on the pitch with even more debt and no Arsene Wenger to find astonishing talent very much on a shoestring?

I didn't mean to sound quite as pessimistic as this, as things stand right now there is no real need to be worried. But (and there's always a but) any new investor in Arsenal will have to share the same long-term view as current investors or there might be trouble ahead...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:55 pm 
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Arsenal investment talk denied

http://home.skysports.com/list.aspx?hli ... ball_home&

Kroenke Sports Enterprise has denied reports which stated the American company is planning to buy into Arsenal. Talk of new investment in The Gunners has grown as a result of rising share prices, and ITV is believed to be receptive to offers for the 9.9 per cent stake it currently holds in the London club. American billionaire Stan Kroenke has been widely linked with possible investment in Arsenal as his company already has a relationship with the Premiership club through MLS side Colorado Rapids. However, the American club's senior director of communications and international business Jurgen Mainka has denied that KSE are looking to invest in The Gunners.

"At this point, there is no interest or intention from KSE in buying any shares or any pieces of Arsenal Football Club or any club in the English Premier League," said Mainka. "There certainly is no substance to these stories and rumours in the media which indeed started when we first announced our commercial relationship with Arsenal Football Club."


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:00 am 
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Are Gunners set to join ranks of the 'elite'?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=444929&in_page_id=1779


As the last remaining English football superpower not to fall into the hands of a foreign oligarch, Arsenal appear like the independent shopkeeper who refuses to sell out to the all-powerful supermarkets.

The team might be more cosmopolitan than a series of A Place In The Sun but Arsenal the institution retains its aristocratic heritage, reflected in the club's lengthy associations with the Hill-Wood and Bracewell-Smith dynasties.

Yet there is the unmistakable whiff of change in the air.

The relocation to Ashburton Grove might not be the only dramatic change to the club's 21st-Century landscape, as speculation that a takeover bid is imminent refuses to die down.

American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, who is estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth more than £1billion, is believed to have been in talks with ITV about buying the broadcaster's 9.9 per cent stake in Arsenal, worth around £40m. Indeed, whispers coming from the City is that the ITV sell-off is all but a "done deal".

Informed sources are convinced that Kroenke, who owns the Colorado Rapids football team, the Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Colorado Avalanche ice hockey squad, is preparing to launch a full bid, even though his company Kroenke Sports Enterprise insisted last night it had "no interest or intention" of buying Arsenal shares.
"If ITV is a done deal then it changes everything and a takeover is coming," said analyst Stan Lock, of brokers Brewin Dolphin.
"Arsenal are a massively attractive club - but at the right price. They have a great history, a new stadium is in place which has already considerably increased turnover and they are a well run club on and off the field.
"Put that lot together and it's very attractive to a potential buyer. If you look at the top four English clubs, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been sold to foreign investors and only Arsenal are left. One day they will be taken over. It's a matter of when." Shares in the club have soared over the past fortnight amid talk of a takeover, fuelled by news that majority shareholder Danny Fiszman offloaded one per cent of his 25 per cent stake 11 days ago for £4m. He sold 659 shares at £5,975 each to an unnamed investor. Arsenal shares, which are listed on the alternative Plus market, formerly Ofex, were changing hands yesterday at £6,800, making the club worth £423m.

Unlike at Liverpool, where Americans George Gillett and Tom Hicks had to buy out David Moores' 51.6 per cent controlling interest to complete their takeover today, Arsenal are owned by a collection of individuals who usually prefer to keep their own counsel.

It is understood that vice-chairman David Dein was not even aware Fiszman had sold his one per cent of his shareholding two days afterwards.

Any potential buyer would need a 30 per cent stake to launch a takeover bid and would need to buy the stake of one or more of the four principal shareholders - ITV, Fiszman, Dein or Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith.
It is common knowledge in City circles that ITV has been trying to sell its stake for 18 months but the broadcast company is said to want about £8,000 a share, regarded by analysts as 'pie in the sky'.

Dein has shown no desire to dilute his 14.6 per cent stake but the motives of Lady Nina and Fiszman are less clear.

Lady Nina, of Indian origin and in her 50s, is the daughter-in-law of former Arsenal director Sir George Bracewell-Smith, who was the son of Sir Bracewell Smith, Arsenal chairman for 14 years after the Second World War.

Her 15.9 per cent stake has entitled her to a place on the board since 2005 (she is the only female director of a Premiership club) but she attends matches infrequently and is not believed to be a great fan.
It is unknown whether she would welcome an approach for her stake.
The most speculation surrounds lifelong supporter Fiszman.
Although he was a key figure in the relocation to Emirates Stadium and has said that he does not want to sell, he has lived as a tax exile in Geneva for 15 months and might have tired of being so closely involved with the club.

Some Arsenal sources with close links to the board are convinced that Fiszman has decided to sell his holding to Kroenke and that the deal could be completed imminently. Lock is not totally satisfied by that argument.

"Danny Fiszman is a very shrewd man," said the analyst. "If he thought there was an inkling of a takeover he would not have sold any shares. He would want maximum value.

"Just because he sold one per cent doesn't mean he is looking to sell his shares. He held 15,659 before and reduced it to 15,000. It is quite common to round up a holding in this way. Or maybe he was looking to raise a bit of capital or just test the water."

All the rumours are contributing to a significant degree of unrest among supporters.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust rarely makes public pronouncements but were concerned enough yesterday to say that, while not against a buyout per se, they opposed a 'Malcolm Glazer-style' takeover of their team whose "principle objective is taking profits out of the club".

Any potential buyer would need significant funds. Arsenal are £260m in debt following the construction of Emirates Stadium and therefore have an enterprise value of nearly £700m, even though the Highbury Square development is set to clear £75m of the stadium debt when the project is completed in 2009.

The views of manager Arsene Wenger are also crucial. He has frequently spoken of the importance of maintaining the club's English ownership and their traditional values of good housekeeping and conviviality.

Arsenal's ability to fill their 60,000-seater stadium and sell £25,000-a-season executive boxes relies heavily on Wenger and the faith fans have he can continue producing teams that play the most enchanting football in the Premiership.

Wenger is out of contract in 14 months and, while there is no indication he will not extend the deal, there will be angst among Gooners until he does so.

The prospect of a potential takeover could do more than disrupt that old village spirit in N5.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:16 am 
sean7 wrote:
I'm interested in the opinions of the fans across the pond..I for one, wouldn't really have a problem with 'foreign' ownership (maybe because I'm a foreigner myself), as long as they handle it like any other club...Liverpool seem to be in good hands, maybe owners of that nature?. Is it English pride or more than that?



Arsenal really doesn't need American ownership. For people like Hicks and Glazer it is a bottom line business, they have nothing at stake in owning Man U or Liverpool other than saying to the other uber-rich people in this country 'look at my new toy'. Eventually the euphoria will die down and it will become a bottom line business and Man U and Liverpool will not be the better for it IMO. It should also be noted that neither Glazer nor Hicks are renowned for making good sporting decisions with their respective clubs. Glazer got rid of Tony Dungy and after winning the Super Bowl Glazers Tampa Bay team have done little if anything with their great hire in Jon Gruden to replace Dungy. Hicks is more known for giving Alex Rodriguez that massive 10 yr/250 million dollar contract than actually winning anything at all. Hicks is also paying 10 million of A-Rod's current 25 million dollar salary for him to be on another team. Imagine if we sold Henry to Barca and had to pay part of his salary on top of it?!?!?!?!?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:25 am 
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Its a credit to the club that we are the last remaining powerful club to hold out against selling to new owners...but it will happen. Whether its this year, or in 5 years it has to happen like it or not for the club to compete and survive. I dont think it will make as big an impact as people think, Man.U are pretty much the same club they were before the takeover, its only Cheslea whos identity as a club has changed.

Whatever people say about money and that we dont need a larger spending warchest is naive, we lack the world-class players that Chelsea and United have gone out and bought...the Rooneys, Ronaldos, Essiens, Drogbas. Time will tell if those who we have will go on to become as dominant as those lot but in terms of the divide the gap is widenin between the big 4 to become 2 and 2. If it does keep increasing then we will drop back into the pack, especially as even the 'smaller' lot are being taken over, how long till Villa start to pull together, god forbid a Tottenham or a Newcastle get big investors.

Nobody wants Yanky Joe or Al-Oilman but it will happen. At the end of the day it is still Arsenal, thats what matters not the nationality or bank balance of the owner. If Bill Gates turned up with a blank cheque and said he'd sign whoever wenger needed...surely thats a good thing. We will always be the last to hold out!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:31 am 
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idunyo14 wrote:
Its a credit to the club that we are the last remaining powerful club to hold out against selling to new owners...but it will happen. Whether its this year, or in 5 years it has to happen like it or not for the club to compete and survive. I dont think it will make as big an impact as people think, Man.U are pretty much the same club they were before the takeover, its only Cheslea whos identity as a club has changed.

Whatever people say about money and that we dont need a larger spending warchest is naive, we lack the world-class players that Chelsea and United have gone out and bought...the Rooneys, Ronaldos, Essiens, Drogbas. Time will tell if those who we have will go on to become as dominant as those lot but in terms of the divide the gap is widenin between the big 4 to become 2 and 2. If it does keep increasing then we will drop back into the pack, especially as even the 'smaller' lot are being taken over, how long till Villa start to pull together, god forbid a Tottenham or a Newcastle get big investors.



I doubt Wenger would let the money go to his head and buy World reknown names anyways...i dont think he sees the challenge in that.....


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:46 am 
Not a single player mentioned above was 'world class' when they were signed.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:56 am 
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idunyo14 wrote:
Whatever people say about money and that we dont need a larger spending warchest is naive, we lack the world-class players that Chelsea and United have gone out and bought...the Rooneys, Ronaldos, Essiens, Drogbas.


We don't lack World Class players. Gallas, Henry, Fabregas are all top notch and we have Robin van Persie who will be and a collection of players who don't quite fall into the highest bracket but deserve to be here (Toure, Hleb, Rosicky etc). The difference is those players mentioned have had exceptional seasons without injury whereas our stars have mainly been injured (in the case of Gallas, Henry and Robin van Persie). To say we need millions to buy World Class is wrong. We have it and if they can play more than 3 games in a row without breaking down, we would be much better off.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:41 pm 
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http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/06042007/4/k ... -move.html


Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes no football club should be totally dependent on wealthy backers. The French coach believes just throwing money at the squad is not necessarily the answer as Arsenal look to make the most of the transition to their 60,000 Emirates Stadium. "In the longer term, it is always better that you produce your own resources and, for us with a new stadium, I feel in the near future - four, five or six years - the club will be capable to compete on its own resources," said Wenger. "I am not sure that the Americans will say every year to Liverpool: 'We have lost £50million, but you can have £30million more to spend on players.' They will want to manage the club with its own resources. Only [Chelsea owner] Roman Abramovich up until now has done differently - and it looks as if even he wants to calm down as well."

The Gunners boss insists his main worry is moulding the current squad into champions rather than how much cash he may or may not have to spend. "The temptation [of huge investment in the team] is always there, but at the moment I am more concerned about developing the young players," said Wenger. "Next year will be a decisive year for us to fight for the championship. That is the main target next year and if that does not work then it needs to be invested with much more money - at the moment I do not think the club needs a big investment. I believe it will work. This team has shown they can beat everybody and that it is part of their growing process. There is a huge potential there. I do not feel at the moment the needed solution is more money."


If Arsene Wenger doesnot believe in spending more money for established players, will he sign a big name this summer? I feel he is not going to!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:06 pm 
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indiangunner wrote:
That is the main target next year and if that does not work then it needs to be invested with much more money - at the moment I do not think the club needs a big investment.


Translated as... "We won't be spending big money in the summer."


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