Stan Kroenke’s £300million problem as Arsenal slip away from European rivals

Scarcely a day goes by of late without a warning for Arsenal of how close they are to slipping away from Europe’s elite.

The Gunners have ingrained advantages, not least their status as one of the Premier League’s big six, that make it hard for them to ever truly fall back into the pack in English football but yesterday’s football club valuation report from KPMG showed Arsenal at serious risk of finding an unwanted space between the behemoths of the sport and the rest.

KPMG’s analysis saw Arsenal handed an enterprise value of just over £1.5billion, an eight percent fall on the previous year. Perhaps most concerningly of all for ownership the Gunners would now appear to be a less valuable asset than the one they bought outright nearly two years ago.

At the time the £602million Stan Kroenke invested to buy up Alisher Usmanov’s stake and the remaining shares of individual supporters valued the club as a whole at £1.8billion. Inevitably something of a premium was paid by the club’s owner to finally move on his rival for control but it does not reflect well on KSE’s stewardship that Arsenal are moving further away from the valuation their owner put on it.

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All that at a time when their rivals are seeing double digit growth in valuation. The explanation for Arsenal’s struggles is simple, laid out in stark detail by the authors of the report.

“Moving to less positive news… Arsenal deserve a special note,” rarely the sort of statement to delight supporters. “The Gunners are struggling on the field in the latest seasons, having missed out on UEFA Champions League participation since 2016/17, and by consequence also suffering on the financial side.

“This year they registered an 8% enterprise value decrease, mainly because of worsened profitability.”

The picture KPMG paints is all the more concerning when there is no immediate indication of respite. Mikel Arteta has given Arsenal propulsion on the pitch but it will still take a remarkable series of results for the Gunners to get back into the Champions League.

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