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Arsenal back new 'fanshare' scheme

Arsenal fans can now buy small but affordable chunks of their club and have more say in how it is run.
Arsenal fans can now buy small but affordable chunks of their club and have more say in how it is run.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal are backing a new 'fanshare' scheme to get fans more involved in the club
  • Supporters can buy shares of the club for a fraction of the market rate
  • A minimum sum of $150 is required to become a member

(CNN) -- Arsenal are backing a ground breaking new scheme to allow their supporters to buy affordable shares in the club and have a greater say over how it is run.

The English Premier League club are supporting the "Arsenal Fanshare" initiative, which offers the opportunity to purchase shares at a fraction of the normal market rate.

Buying one "fanshare" will allow a member to quiz Arsenal's directors on key decisions and cast their vote on the direction of the club, similar to how Spanish champions Barcelona are set up.

Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) has set up the scheme to boost fan representation, and it has now been backed by all four of the north London outfit's major shareholders.

Currently, one share in Arsenal costs over $15,000 but "fanshare" members can buy them for a hundredth of the price, beginning at a down payment of just $150.

We urge all Arsenal fans to get involved - by working together we can make Arsenal even stronger.
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Those who sign up can even pay in monthly installments, starting at just $15, and their "fanshare" will grant them the rights of a shareholder, including entry to a ballot for a chance to attend the club's annual general meeting.

"The support Arsenal Fanshare has from all of the club's major shareholders should allow all talk of a takeover to be put to one side," said Arsenal Fanshare board member and AST spokesman Tim Payton.

"Arsenal Fanshare has been established to increase supporter ownership and representation.

"We urge all Arsenal fans to take this opportunity and get involved - by working together we can make Arsenal even stronger."

At present, 88 per cent of the club is spread between four majority shareholders: American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov, Danny Fiszman and Lady Bracewell-Smith.

Kroenke has repeatedly upped his stake in Arsenal and now stands just ten shares short of 30 per cent - the figure that under UK takeover law would mean he is compelled to make an offer for the remaining shares.

AST fights to prevent the club being bought by one wealthy individual and wants supporters to snap up "fanshares" that can then be bound together.