Board changes at Arsenal

The most recent news coming from the Arsenal boardroom is that there are a few changes underway.

Lady Nina, who owns 15.9% of the club is leaving the Board, and the club, after a family association of over 50 years. She is now free from the lockdown agreement which the Board members entered into, and is free to sell her shares in the club.

As the third largest shareholder this is worrying, and it seems likely that she will sell, although whether to Board members, or to Red & White Holdings remains to be seen.

As well as Lady Nina leaving, Richard Carr who owns 4.4% will step down from Director, a position he has held for 27 years.

This is all part of the long term changes which began when Dein left the club, and new holders like Usmanov and Kronke have come in. It is not known the terms on which Lady Nina left but there are hints that there is some unrest at Board level.

As ever Hill-Wood wants to keep us stable and self-sufficient. It remains to be seen if this is possible.

Who owns Arsenal:
Directors’ collective shareholding 41.8%
Daniel Fiszman 24.1%
Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith 15.9%
Richard Carr 4.4%

Peter Hill-Wood (chairman) 0.8%
Lord Harris of Peckham 0.09%
Ken Friar 0.07%
Sir Chips Keswick 0.06%
Keith Edelman 0.04%
Others: Red & White Holdings 24%; Stan Kroenke 12.4%
Remaining shares: approximately 1,200 minor shareholders.

Table edited from the Telegraph

Gunnerblog has views and excerpts from Wenger’s recent webchat with fans here.

Also on Sunday against Liverpool wear Yellow! We want to commemorate the title winning season at Anfield 20 years ago, and REDaction has come up with this idea. Newsletters were passed out at the Wigan game, and Arsenal.com has endorsed it too, so it would be great to see a yellow stadium on Sunday.

Hill-Wood can’t deny shareholders in a market economy + Dein is off.

Peter Hill-Wood the Arsenal chairman has spoken out about possible takovers at Arsenal FC.

He sensibly made the point that the Board don’t want to sell, they want to keep the club as it is, but in a market economy, if someone will buy ath the right price, you can’t stop shareholders from selling.

“If somebody came and made a really huge bid then you cannot recommend shareholders turn it down because we don’t like it.

“We want the club to stay in its current ownership and, of course, you have some concern that someone will try to buy the club.

“The directors don’t want to sell but we are a public company. It depends on the price.”

This is nothing more than stating the obvious, so I wouldn’t worry too much, it is just the media getting a story off the back of the Man City takeover.

Of course if someone bids a massive amount of money then shareholders are allowed to sell. Luckily the Board are currently in a lockdown agreement, which means that the biggest shareholders aren’t allowed to sell their chunks of the club.

The main contender is Usmanov, who has something like a 24% stake, he only needs 30% to be able to launch a takeover bid. The lockdown agreement makes this very hard for him to do.

I don’t want to see Arsenal sold to a foreign owner, I like the way the club is run and I think we can be successful without a foreign billionaire bankrolling the club and overruling the manager on many matters.

You only have to look at Chelsea – Mourinho sacked, Shevchenko saga, or Man City – Sven outrageously sacked – to see what unstability such oligarchs can create.

In a related story, David Dein, the man who was helping Usmanov in his bid to buy the club, has stepped down from his role at Red & White Holdings. According to the Daily Mail he has done this to improve Usmanov’s relationship with the club.

“Dein realises that there is now no chance of Usmanov having the type of input into Arsenal — and a possible seat on the board — his shareholding merits while the former Arsenal vice-chairman remains so closely tied to him, such is the hostility towards Dein.”

Dein believes that Arsenal need a billionaire owner to compete in the modern world of football, I think that he realises that his relationship with Arsenal is bad, and Usmanov is better off without him.

I have mixed feelings about the guy, he has done a lot of good for the club, but seems to have gone off the rails slightly. I would imagine that he will still have some level of involvement with Usmanov, but not in the public sphere.