Arsenal’s minority shareholders are believed to be preparing a tough list of questions for majority owner Stan Kroenke over a £3m payment from the club to his holding company. Kroenke bought a majority of Arsenal shares in 2011 in a £731 million deal.
The payment is believed to have been made to Kroenke’s company for advisory services. Along with that payment, questions will also be raised regarding the fate of the Fanshare scheme and ongoing issues over player recruitment.
According to the Guardian, among the list of questions submitted by the minority shareholders, they will ask: “Was a competitive tender issued for these services and can you tell us specifically what the services were, why they were needed and whether such fees will become an annual feature?”
The club fans are also concerned that a data-analytics company bought by the club in 2012 could be providing services to other KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) companies without receiving proper compensation, affecting the club’s finances in the process.
The club’s transfer business in the summer has also led to disappointment among fans as they will be questioning the club’s limited spending to strengthen the team despite availability of funds.
“Once again Arsenal have ended a transfer window with tens of millions of spare cash not invested in the playing squad. At this stage of the season we are four points down on the comparative points from the same fixtures last season and have gone four years without winning an away game against a team which has finished in the top four,” says one.
“Does the board withhold these cash reserves from the manager and if not then why we are so short of defensive players? So much so that two weeks after the close of the transfer window the manager admitted we were ‘light at the back’.”
Kroenke and the board will also be asked to confirm that there will not be a further rise in the ticket prices next year as it is generating a bad feeling amongst the supporters.
Questions about the innovative Fanshare scheme will also be raised as it likes the scheme will not materialize. “Can Mr Kroenke explain why he doesn’t want to support the Fanshare scheme, which looks like it will sadly close, either by issuing new shares for it to purchase or through the club continuing to cover some of the running costs?” read one of the questions.
The AGM atmosphere this year is expected to be much less tense than in recent years, considering Arsenal ended their trophy drought last season after winning the FA Cup.