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Kroenke's next move could decide future Arsenal ownership

PUBLISHED: 10:05 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 07 September 2010

BYJEM MAIDMENT The battle for control in Arsenal s boardroom has again been thrust into the spotlight. When Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith began the process of selling her considerable stake this week, within 24 hours the club s largest shareholder confirmed his intention to

The battle for control in Arsenal's boardroom has again been thrust into the spotlight.

When Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith began the process of selling her considerable stake this week, within 24 hours the club's largest shareholder confirmed his intention to take full control of a key part of his sporting empire.

Few, though, could have predicted Stan Kroenke would instead buy up the remaining 60 per cent of NFL franchise, St Louis Rams.

"We have exercised our right to purchase the remaining interest in the St Louis Rams football team under the terms of our partnership agreement," said Kroenke, who is expected to pay more than £480m, adding to the 40 per cent share of the Rams he already owns.

"We will respect the league and its processes in our efforts to complete this transaction."

There was no mention of Arsenal, despite Kroenke squeezing a place on the usually impenetrable Arsenal Board, and despite needing a mere ten more shares to spark an obligatory takeover of the club under strict City regulations.

He remains static on 29.98 per cent, tantalising close to the magic 30.

Meanwhile, Lady Bracewell-Smith's clear desperation in finding a buyer for her 15.9 per cent stake further muddies the waters.

Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose Red & White Holdings arms owns just over a quarter of the club, is the only other potential buyer known to the Arsenal public.

Fans await a conclusion to the ownership issue, which has been hanging over Emirates ever since foreign billionaires brought their way into the club.

So what happens next? Arsenal reporter Jem Maidment explores the possibilities in this week's Ham&High, out tomorrow, and for regular updates, visit this site.


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