Stan Kroenke has already made $685m Arsenal decision to avoid points deduction with Man City fear
Arsenal news as Stan Kroenke's business practices in north London gain attention after Everton punishment and Manchester City wait
Stan Kroenke may well have saved Arsenal from the fate dealt to Everton in the past week as the Arsenal owner continues to steer the club safely up the Premier League table. Over a weekend that has seen the football world collapse over itself to grasp the full scale of things following the Premier League's punishment of the Toffees, Arsenal are safe.
Unlike their title rivals Manchester City, who have 115 charges hanging over their heads related to financial misdeeds over a 10-year period between 2008 and 2018, the start and middle of their remarkable run of success, the Gunners have nothing to worry about. Although many have criticised the ownership, especially in the late and post-Arsene Wenger era, getting through with more trophies than Manchester United and doing so without looming issues is a tick in their box.
Kroenke, who hasn't always been a popular figure at Arsenal and remains divisive having spent more of his time devoted to American sporting franchises since his involvement in the club started in 2011, is now leading the way in a sense. His side are second in the table and are under no investigation from any of football's leading governing bodies.
They are doing so without the wealth of a nation-state or royal family-backed takeover, though a real estate tycoon blurs the lines in ethical terms with Kroenke's abundance of riches, and the path looks clear. In Mikel Arteta the Gunners have a popular manager with supporters who is young, charismatic and energetic, all traits that his team now take on as well.
Things weren't always destined to end this way though and it takes a look before even the 2021 European Super League debacle - the lowest point in Kroenke's tenure as owner - to truly realise why. As Everton deal with the docking of 10 points due to breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules, it is one of their investors that has come into the light.
With Sean Dyche's men going above the £105million ($130m) loss budget over a rolling three-year period by nearly £20million ($24m) the club pointed towards exacerbating circumstances to defend their position, citing not only the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hitting them harder than others but also the loss of income from a deal with Alisher Usmanov's USM.
The Russian oligarch was one of those who had assets frozen by the UK government in 2022 along with Roman Abramovich, then still owner at Chelsea, due to links to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. His company had a five-year deal with Everton worth over £12million ($14m) that was all stopped immediately in the light of conflicts across Europe, therefore damaging the accounts.
Usmanov had been a minority shareholder at the Emirates Stadium for over 10 years, becoming involved in the club with Fahrad Moshiri. In 2007 he upped the stake previously held by David Dein - under Red and White Holdings - to become the second-largest shareholder.
As Kroenke went on to be the largest shareholder he offered to buy the club, as agreements dictated, in 2011 but Usmanov declined. In 2013 Usmanov owned 30% of the club and had already criticised Kroenke and his sports and entertainment empire (KSE) for a lack of ambition. He still refused to sell his shares but in 2018 would go on to accept a bid of £550million ($685m) from Kroenke.
At the same time, Usmanov and his holding company USM had already agreed to have the naming rights for Everton's Finch Farm training ground after Moshiri became involved in Merseyside. Now, given the impact his eventual investment into Everton had on their financially perilous position, David Ornstein has opened up on just how different things could have been.
"You'll look at clubs like Arsenal for example who had, as a large minority shareholder, Alisher Usmanov at some point," he told Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE. "Who with Farhad Moshiri moved over to Everton and a lot of the problems Everton are facing are due to the loss of money that was on behalf of Usmanov.
"You could say that might have been Arsenal had things worked out differently and KSE, the Kroenke family hadn't taken full control. There were so many questions about why aren't you spending more money for so many years.
"And clubs like Arsenal, now Manchester United and even Newcastle under their Saudi ownership are saying 'we can't because of financial fair play rules and profit and sustainability.'
"'We don't want to break them because of the potential consequences', and perhaps now we are seeing why they were so firm on that. And maybe their supporters will give back a little bit of credit or reduce the frustration that they expressed at lack of spending because if you're not careful it could be you in this position.
"Ultimately, whatever the politics or agenda around this - and there will be so much conversation and conspiracy theory - the Premier League are clearly trying to get tough and show they can govern properly and create a league that has the trust of the people."
Arsenal have now managed to get back to the top table of English football and it has coincided with Kroenke himself having a reduced role within the club as his son, Josh, takes more or the day-to-day decisions under his wing as co-chair. Josh has been central to the changes made alongside sporting director Edu Gaspar and Arteta.
The club are now spending more as well, though there is no threat of FFP worries at this stage. The Gunners splashed out over £220million ($274m) on new players this summer after also going big in 2021 on an influx of young players to build the future around. It could all have been very different.