Monday, April 11, 2011


Stan Kroenke, the American who is poised to add English soccer club Arsenal to his bulging portfolio of sports clubs, is a property billionaire who pumps his money into his childhood passion. Nicknamed 'Silent Stan' because of his low profile, Kroenke made a big noise on Monday with news he had agreed to take over Arsenal in a deal which would value the Premier League club at 731 million pounds ($1.2 billion). [ID:nLDE73A0GI]

Something of a collector of sports teams, Kroenke already owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, NFL team St Louis Rams and Major League Soccer team Colorado Rapids.

The 63-year-old has talked about a love of sport stemming from listening to baseball on the radio with his grandfather and even his name is sports related.

His full name Enos Stanley Kroenke was given in tribute to baseball players Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial who were part of the St Louis Cardinals team that won the World Series three times in the 1940s.

Born in Missouri, Kroenke also owns a regional sports TV network, a sports arena and soccer park and a real estate portfolio that includes shopping centres, office and apartment buildings, vineyards and ranches throughout North America.

Forbes magazine listed him last year as worth $2.9 billion, while his wife Ann Walton Kroenke of the Walmart Walton family has a net worth of a similar amount.

"He is just a brilliant man, a legendary businessman, who has done things in his life that 99.9 per cent of the world didn't have the amount of drive and success to do," Paul Andrews, executive vice-president of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, was quoted as saying in British daily The Telegraph last year.

"He has built something from when he was a kid until now and he is just a very genuine individual that likes to play basketball, loves to talk sports, loves to watch sports. If he was sitting with you and me now, he would be just a normal guy."

Kroenke has pledged to take Arsenal "to new success" and although there is no information about how much money there might be for transfers, fans will hope he can repeat some of the success he has had with his other teams.

Colorado Avalanche won the 2001 Stanley Cup in the first season under his ownership and if he could bring similar joy to Arsenal fans in the shape of the Premier League title which they have not won since 2004, he will have done well.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood, who will stay in his post, believes the club is passing into good hands.

"The Board of Directors and I consider it a key responsibility to protect the ethos and spirit of the club," he said on the club's website (

"Mr Kroenke, although relatively new to Arsenal, has shown himself to be a man who values and respects the history and traditions of this very special club that we cherish. We are confident that he will be a safe custodian of its future."

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