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Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 18:23 UK

Arsenal are in safe hands - Fynn

Kroenke accepted an offer to be a non-executive director at Arsenal in 2008.
Kroenke also owns three American sports teams

Football consultant Alex Fynn believes Arsenal are in safe hands after Stan Kroenke increased his stake at the club to just over 20%.

The American tycoon purchased 5,000 ordinary shares from fellow director Danny Fiszman, at a cost of £42.5m.

And Fynn feels the move will bring stability to the Emirates Stadium.

"Previously there was one strong guy, Danny Fiszman, now there's two. The more Kroenke's involved in the club the better," he told BBC London 94.9.

"He has a wealth of experience in the NFL, NBA and Major League Soccer, so he's not a foreigner in terms of the game."

If Kroenke's firm Kroenke Sports Enterprises increases its stake to 30%, it will be obliged to launch a takeover bid under financial regulations.

However, the Arsenal directors have a "lockdown" agreement in place - which means they cannot sell their shares to anyone before April 2009 other than a limited number of people, such as family members.

It's actually the race for fourth place that is really important. If the club didn't qualify after 11 consecutive seasons, it would cost them more than £40m in lost revenue

Alex Fynn

Kroenke is now the second-biggest shareholder at the Emirates behind Uzbekistani metals magnate Alisher Usmanov, whose Red and White Holdings group owns 25%.

Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith also holds a 15% stake but, after leaving the board in December, she could be willing to listen to offers.

And Fynn added: "Her stake is very important, particularly because there's no love lost between her and the Arsenal board."

"I think she should have realised how fortunate she was to be on a board of such a terrific football club."

"Perhaps because she is a very successful businesswoman in her own right she felt she should have been listened to a little more but I suspect that they felt she was a little inexperienced for what was required."

Fynn is confident Kroenke's additional purchase gives Arsenal a more stable boardroom and said it is only failure to qualify for the Champions League that can really unsettle the club at the moment.

"Supporters should be less concerned by what's going on off the field. Stan Kroenke will have to get more involved, simply because he has a bigger shareholding."

"However, any forward movements are balanced by Danny Fiszman, who has a love affair with the club and isn't going anywhere."

"It's actually the race for fourth place that is really important. If the club didn't qualify after 11 consecutive seasons, it would cost them more than £40m in lost revenue.

"That's the key thing, in terms of the future, because they've got large loans to pay back."



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