Friday, October 16, 2009

PHW's "relaxed" about a takeover

"It does look like he is edging towards a takeover, which I would welcome. I have not asked him if that is what he plans to do, but I am very relaxed about it. If it was to happen, I don't think you can expect any big changes because he seems to like things very much the way they are."

- Peter Hill-Wood, about the prospect of a takeover

A couple of days ago, Kroenke bought another 90 shares at £8,500 per share, taking his overall stake in the Club to 28.9%. He's edging closer to the 30% needed to trigger a mandatory compulsory takeover. As Myles Palmer said "he now needs only 645 more shares to take him to 29.9% . Then Stan will probably stop buying shares till the end of the season."

In light of this news, Peter Hill-Wood is "very relaxed" about the idea of Kroenke buying the Club. He "doesn't think" there will be big changes because Kroenke "seems to like things" the way they are. He's being very nonchalant about the future of the Club. In other words, he's telling us that if it happens, when it happens, how it happens, whatever happens it'll be sort of, maybe, probably okay.... he thinks.

To me, it's not a particularly reassuring statement. It came from a man who, two years ago, famously said that "we don't need his money and we didn't need his sort" at the club. Hill-Wood doesn't mince words when he speaks to the media. He says what he likes, how he likes - even if some of what he says is xenophobic, inane crap.

So why has he changed his stance?

Why is he prevaricating and qualifying his statements?

I think it's because Arsenal is being eaten alive by two very hungry billionaires, and Peter Hill-Wood has woken to the fact that there's sweet FA he can do to prevent a takeover. And the Board's anointed Kroenke as the lesser of two evils. And Hill-Wood's just realised that, after insulting Kroenke in all the major papers two years ago, Kroenke might not be too well-disposed to him when he's in charge. So Hill-Wood's decided to say something like that to curry favor with Kroenke so that he can retain his honorary Chairman of the Board title in the event of a takeover.

All hail our new insect overlord.

Personally, I think it'll be a shame if we were bought outright by one person. I like Kroenke and think his presence on the Board is of great benefit, but I wouldn't like to see him owning the Club outright. I prefer the status quo, with a group of major shareholders (some with a long association with the Club) running the Club. It gives us the assurance that if one person decides to sell, we've still got some continuity at the Board level. If Kroenke buys us outright, then sells us us in five years' time, there's no guarantee that the next owners will be competent custodians of the Club.

But then again, as Peter Hill-Wood has learnt in the past two years, there's sweet FA we can do about it. Kroenke and Usmanov are eyeing the Club, have the money to buy it, and are going to make a bid when they think it's time. All we can do is put on some lippy and a nice dress, cosy up with our new owners, and hope it's not going to be too bad.


GPS Justin said...

Takeovers are now the norm in the Premier League

Birmingham's now being taken over by some Chinese businessman- Carson Yeung or something

Connolly's agent said...

Just saying it's a pity.