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By ESPN Staff

Premier League approves Kroenke

Stan Kroenke's controlling interest in Arsenal has been officially ratified by the Premier League and the American has given other shareholders a fortnight to accept his unconditional offer for their holdings.

Kroenke currently owns 66.06% of the Gunners following the sale of shares from former directors Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith and the state of the late Danny Fiszman.

With the Premier League approving the club's change of ownership, Kroenke has given the club's remaining shareholders 14 days notice on his unconditional offer to own 100% of the club.

Arsenal's second largest shareholder with 27.37%, Alisher Usmanov, has already insisted he will not sell to Kroenke, as have the Arsenal Supporters' Trust, who own some of the remaining shares.

Regardless of the outcome, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood claimed there was an exciting future at the club.

''The club is very pleased to announce that the Premier League Board has confirmed that the change of control processes under the rules of the Premier League have been concluded to its satisfaction in relation to Stan Kroenke's control of the club,'' he said in a statement.

''KSE's (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) offer for Arsenal Holdings PLC is wholly unconditional and we now look forward to a new and exciting phase in the life of the club.

''The plan is to maintain the PLUS listing provided there are a sufficient number of shareholders for that to be permitted.''

Kroenke also owns the St Louis Rams of the National Football League, National Basketball Association franchise Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer outfit Colorado Rapids.

He said: ''As the controlling shareholder of Arsenal Football Club, it will always be our intention to do what's necessary to assure success on the pitch, provide long-term stability and build on the accomplishments and history of the club.

''We recognise that overseeing the operations of the club is not only a privilege but a responsibility that will require attention and dedication as the club strives to reach all of our goals on and off the pitch.

''We will continue to grow the club's presence globally while also adhering to the club's self-sustaining economic model. The club has funds to invest and will do so wisely.

''Our constant aim will be to compete for silverware and championships.

''The long-term health of the club is of utmost importance and the board, chief executive, manager and the wider team will be working hard to achieve success for the club and our fans, and to play our part in our communities in north London and beyond.

''Arsenal is not about one shareholder, one player or one fan. It's a special institution and we look forward to celebrating that further during the 125th anniversary year of the club.''


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