US investor and twirly mustache villain cosplayer Stan Kroenke has won full control of the English premier league football club, Arsenal, after Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov agreed to sell his 30% stake for around $712m.
The deal reportedly gives Kroenke the 90% stake he needs to purchase the remaining shares and become the indomitable sole-superior of one of Europe’s biggest soccer teams (now valued at $2.3B).
A grudge match for the ages
For the past 11 years (since Usmanov became an Arsenal shareholder) the two have vied for sole proprietorship of the storied sports club.
The two went back and forth during their time together, purchasing shares whenever they became available, repeatedly trying and failing to dethrone each other (last year, Kroenke declined an offer north of $1B from Usmanov to relinquish his shares).
But Kroenke gained the upper hand in 2011, leaving Usmanov nothing to do but denounce the ownership’s effectiveness in several strongly worded letters.
Fans aren’t psyched about Kroenke’s takeover
The deal clears the way for Kroenke to take the club private, an action Usmanov had long blocked by refusing to sell his shares.
Kroenke reportedly intends to see his long-standing dream come true, forcing the remaining small shareholders, most of them Arsenal supporters, to sell their shares to him.
The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) criticized the announcement, describing it as “a dreadful day for Arsenal football club.”