Before I start, I should point out that I am in no doubt that there will be a takeover attempt, with the intent of putting Arsenal into foreign ownership, and with David Dein achieving his aim of becoming chairman. But will it happen?
Simply put, there are a few assumptions being made. For a takeover to succeed, Red and White Holdings still need to purchase a considerable number of shares. To do this, they need to buy shares from at least two significant sources. One is widely assumed to be Stan Kroenke, if he realises his own takeover plans are fading, while the other could be any other major shareholder.
But will that happen? Most newspaper reports focus on the fact that if Kroenke sells his shares, Usmanov and co will own close to the 30% mark that could start takeover proceedings. To me, that’s a leap. American businessmen and Russian oligarchs don’t exactly have a healthy history, do they?
As for the rest of the shareholders, many are tied up within the board. After being so opposed to Kroenke, is there any chance that they will sell to such a shady individual as Usmanov, with Dein in tow, who they booted out just a few months ago? I’d say that’s far from certain, no matter what sums are on the table.
Unless I’m very much mistaken about how the takeover process would take place, I see it as far from a formality. And that gives me hope. Hope that Dein has shot himself in the foot by backing a man with the reputation and baggage of Alisher Usmanov.