Everton FC Shareholders’ Association Statement Regarding the Ownership of Arsenal Football Club
The 7th of August 2018 may go down in the folklore of Arsenal Football Club as much as Everton’s move from Anfield in 1892; both events driven by an individual’s intent on taking their football club in a direction not supported by the majority.
Today Stan Kroenke, through his company KSE, has reached an agreement with Alisher Usmanov to take total ownership of Arsenal Football Club through the acquisition of his shareholding. Usmanov, despite a 30% holding in the club, has been unable to have any direct influence on any strategic or operational affairs at the club. In these circumstances one can understand why Usmanov might wish to sell his shares.
However, as a direct result of the acquisition of Usmanov’s shares Kroenke is also able to compulsory purchase the shares still in the hands of small shareholders, often held not for financial gain but to ensure that the club is accountable for its dealings both on and off the pitch.
The Arsenal Supporters Trust, of which some shareholders are members, see this as a “Dreadful day for Arsenal”.
In an age when fan ownership, or at the very least fan representation at board level, is very topical this is seen as a retrograde step.
The EFCSA acknowledges the disappointment of the small shareholders of Arsenal Football Club and hopes that going forward they may bring influence to bear in other ways.
The EFCSA will continue to strive to be the custodians of Everton Football Club to ensure it continues to act in a proper manner.
We are reassured that our major shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, has repeatedly said that he has no plans to dilute or undermine our position.