Arsenal Watch: Stan Kroenke's Critics

November 5 2009, 9:15 AM

Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke isn't getting much attention for the wins both teams put up yesterday (4-1 for the Avs over the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Nuggets went 122-94 over the New Jersey Nets). Instead, Kroenke is getting mixed reviews for his approach to a formal takeover of European soccer juggernaut Arsenal. CNN reports that Kroenke paid $2.8 million in recent weeks for 200 more shares in the club, putting him fractionally below the 29.99 percent ownership level that forces an automatic takeover bid under British law. It would apparently cost Kroenke $760 million to buy the team, and a group called the Arsenal Supporters' Trust doesn't necessarily want Kroenke to take over the entire club. World Football Insider introduces international intrigue into the matter, suggesting that Kroenke's bid is a boardroom maneuver to keep the club's second-biggest shareholder from launching his own takeover bid. Alisher Usmanov, an Uzbek mining billionaire, owns roughly 26 percent of the team. His seedy past, which includes serving six years in prison for fraud and embezzlement in the Soviet era, creates a lingering "whiff of impropriety," writes World Football Insider, which claims Kroenke's increasing ownership is part of the Arsenal board's at-all-costs attempt to prevent Usmanov from taking over.