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Arsenal Supporters Trust do not expect Kroenke to perform takeover

The Arsenal Supporters Trust believe Stan Kroenke isn't planning to buyout the club.

The American tycoon has edged closer towards the takeover threshold following the announcement of the purchase of another 427 shares in Arsenal's parent holding company, at a cost of some £3.6million.

The Denver-based sports magnate is now the largest individual shareholder in the Gunners, with a stake of some 29.6% after acquiring more stock from the estate of the late British industrialist Ernest Harrison.

Should Kroenke, or indeed anyone else such as second-largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov, reach a figure of 29.9%, they would, under the City's financial regulations, be obliged to launch a formal takeover bid.

"While the AST welcome Stan Kroenke's involvement, we agree with the sentiment of Peter Hill-Wood's statement at the most recent AGM that there is no need for any shareholder to launch a takeover of the club," an AST statement said.

"The AST believes in plurality of ownership.

"If a takeover is launched by any party, we would seek urgent discussions with those involved."

However, the AST also warned against problems which can be associated with individual ownership based on significant debt.

The statement added: "The AST has a good relationship with both Stan Kroenke and members of his team at Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE).

"We have stressed to them the importance of custodianship and that the club will be stronger if it has supporters directly involved in its ownership model.

"While we cannot vouch for their future actions, we are encouraged that they have said they see the AST having an important role to play at Arsenal.

"The AST has repeatedly stated that we are generally opposed to a takeover and would fight any plans that require the club to incur debt to pay for a takeover, as has happened at Manchester United and Liverpool.

"Two red lines that cannot be crossed are the use of debt secured on the club's assets to fund a takeover and an ownership structure which excludes small shareholders. Arsenal is too important to be owned by any one person.

"The AST's own assessment of today's development is that a takeover is not imminent and that today's purchase is the consolidation of an existing position."

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Tribal Football Staff

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