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Mar 3, 2013

Kroenke not interested in £1.5bn takeover

Arsenal have insisted that majority shareholder Stan Kroenke would have no interest in selling his stake amid reports of a potential £1.5 billion bid from the Middle East.

The Sun on Sunday and Sunday Telegraph have both reported that an Arab consortium is interested in the Gunners and would be prepared to pay double the amount the club was valued at two years ago to take 100% ownership.

The group is apparently ready to cut ticket prices, which has been a cause of significant concern in recent times, as well as to prevent the regular sales of the club's key players. It is suggested that Arsene Wenger would come under scrutiny, having failed to bring any silverware to the club since the 2005 FA Cup.

It is said that the deal, which would reportedly wipe out the club's £250 million debt, would be dependent on Arsenal qualifying for next season's Champions League.

However, Arsenal communications director Mark Gonnella told Reuters: "There has been no contact from any potential investors.

"Stan Kroenke is committed to Arsenal for the long term and has no intention of selling his stake."

Kroenke holds 66.83% of the club, having pushed through a £430million-plus takeover in April 2011. Uzbek oil magnate Alisher Usmanov, who holds a 29.96% stake in the club, is believed to be similarly reluctant to consider cashing in.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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