Stan Kroenke prend le contrôle d’Arsenal

C’est l’actu de la semaine.

Arsenal, le plus français des clubs anglais, vient d’être racheté par un milliardaire américain, Stan Kroenke. Cette nouvelle, qui a précédé la triste annonce de la mort de Danny Fiszman, l’un des propriétaires du club, a entrainé l’oeil des média anglophones et francophones, mais aussi de la blogosphère française puisque je fus invité par l’ami Vincent de Groover.fr pour donner mon point de vue sur cette transaction financière en tant que « expert du marketing sportif ».

Le podcast se trouve ici

Après avoir acheté les parts de feu-Danny Fiszman et Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, Stan Kroenke est donc dans l’obligation légale de racheter les parts d’Alisher Usmanov pour compléter le rachat du club. Or l’ami Usmanov (qui est aussi, pour info, le président de la fédération internationale d’escrime), refuse de se faire racheter ses parts par l’américain, mettant en avant son amour pour le club…  Bizarre pour un multi-milliardaire qui avait déjà déclaré par le passé son amour pour le Dinamo Moscou, en 2008, lors du partenariat entre le club et Metalloinvest, le groupe du magnat ouzbek. En cas de vente, Usmanov, qui pèse actuellement 17.7 milliards de dollars (12.2 milliards d’euros), réalisera une plus-value de 160% puisque Kroenke lui versera la somme de £198 millions (223.6 millions d’euros)

Néanmoins, Usmanov s’est trouvé un allié inattendu en la personne de l’Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST), l’association de supporters détenant des parts dans le club (parts estimés à 3%). Si Kroenke « avale » Usmanov comme il en est obligé, il sera facile pour l’américain de prendre les 3% restant à l’Arsenal Supporters Trust, avec le risque pour ces derniers d’être mis sur la touche… Une réaction à contre-courant de la part de l’association de supporters, puisqu’il y a deux ans de cela, lors de l’arrivée d’Usmanov, l’AST s’est opposé à l’ouzbek et s’est déclaré très ouvertement en faveur de Stan Kroenke qui fournissait une alternative logique au club, à l’époque…

Pour le club en tant que tel, je ne crois pas que la prise de pouvoir de Stan Kroenke aura de réels impacts sur la gestion sportive du club. L’aura de Wenger est si grande qu’il n’y aura pas de bouleversements majeurs. Comme je le disais dans le podcast, Kroenke s’attachera, je pense, à maximiser les revenus du club issus des opérations commerciales et cela va commencer par la renégociation des contrats avec Emirates et Nike (respectivement partenaire maillot et équipementier du club) qui prennent fin en 2014 et qui sont actuellement largement en-dessous de la réalité du marché. De plus, les multiples investissements de Kroenke aux USA (Denver Nuggets en NBA, St Louis Rams en NFL, Colorado Avalanche en NHL, Colorado Rapids en MLS) devraient créer des passerelles intéressantes pour Arsenal en terme de communication et permettre au club de booster ses revenus sur le territoire américain (tournée estivale aux USA?).

Et vous, que pensez-vous de ce rachat? Bonne ou mauvaise chose pour le club? pour le football anglais?

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