Kroenke's Arsenal Plans Making Big Waves

April 2010
The political climate in England ahead of next week's elections is so contentious that the value of the nation's currency is dropping, according to Business Week, but all eyes are on Denver-based sports magnate Stan Kroenke and his plans for Arsenal. Kroenke--the owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, and the Pepsi Center and a minority owner of the St. Louis Rams--controls 29.9 percent of Arsenal, and under British law would be required to make a bid for the entire team if he bought just nine more shares at about $13,000 each. The Denver Post talked to an English soccer consultant and media adviser who says Kroenke's next move with the team could easily bump news about the contentious elections off the front page. The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that Kroenke also recently made it known that he wanted to become the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams (recap via the Associated Press). For now, Kroenke is staying silent, which may be a prudent business move but is not winning him any fans in England. "People think he's got something to hide," Nigel Phillips, the spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters Trust, tells the Post. Phillips says Kroenke seems like a good team owner, but he needs to start trying to convince fans he'll do right by the historic soccer team. European soccer fans look at Americans owning European soccer teams as a negative, specifically looking at the track records of Malcolm Glazer and Manchester United and George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who bought Liverpool in 2007. Both teams have taken on considerable debt loads since being bought by the Americans and don't have the money to pay for high-caliber players like in the past. Arsenal is a very profitable team and worth about $1.2 billion, according to the Post, but fans are still worried.