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GAZIDIS: Arsenal takeover isn't inevitable despite Kroenke

PUBLISHED: 11:05 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 16:31 07 September 2010

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis does not believe a takeover of the club is inevitable – despite Stan Kroenke s latest acquisition of shares in the club. The US sports magnate took his overall stake to 29.6 per cent this week – just 0.3 per cent short

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis does not believe a takeover of the club is inevitable - despite Stan Kroenke's latest acquisition of shares in the club.

The US sports magnate took his overall stake to 29.6 per cent this week - just 0.3 per cent short of the number needed to spark a formal takeover under City regulations.

Kroenke, who is also reportedly on the verge of selling his 40 per cent stake in American Football team St Louis Rams, has remained silent on growing speculation he wants to take over the Gunners lock, stock and barrel.

But Gazidis, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference, said: "I don't know that it (a takeover) is inevitable.

"The club has been very public about its desire to operate a self-sustaining business model and I think all of our owners, those on the board and those outside the board, have subscribed to that philosophy.

"Certainly anyone that's been buying shares understands that this is a self-sustaining business model that they're buying into.

"Whether or not that turns into a takeover bid only those shareholders can ultimately speak too, but I think the fact that nobody has taken their shareholding over 30 per cent... indicates that we don't see a move for a takeover at least at this point."

The Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) echoed Gazidis' views.

"The AST believes in plurality of ownership," read an AST statement.

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

"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.

"Arsenal is too important to be owned by any one person.

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