SBD/Issue 28/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Stan Kroenke Set To Buy Another 
Several Hundred Shares In Arsenal
In London, Paul Kelso reports Arsenal investor Stan Kroenke is "poised to increase his holding" in the EPL club this week, taking his total stake near the 29.9% limit "beyond which he would have to launch a full takeover." Kroenke is scheduled to attend Arsenal's annual meeting this week, and will "pick up several hundred shares in the coming days." Kroenke currently sits "just 646 shares below" the 29.9% threshold, but there is "no expectation" that he is "willing, or able, to launch a takeover," which would cost him an additional US$762.5M. Kelso notes Kroenke's "strategy has to have been to sweep up as many shares as possible," blocking any hostile takeover by Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal's second-largest stakeholder (London TELEGRAPH, 10/21).

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: In Columbus, Tom Reed reports the Cavaliers tonight will host the Celtics in a preseason game "before a sellout crowd" of about 19,400 at Value City Arena in Columbus. The Cavs last season averaged a 1.81 rating on FS Ohio in the Columbus area, higher than "13 NBA teams' ratings in their home markets" including the Knicks and 76ers. The rating also was "only slightly behind" a 1.85 for local coverage of the Blue Jackets last season, during which the team made their first playoff appearance (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/21).

MARKING HIS TERRITORY:'s Michael Farber wrote Mark Messier's title with the NHL Rangers as Special Assistant to the President "translates to 'GM general in waiting.'" But there are "pitfalls to a neat succession," and the "question is whether Messier will be willing to put in the work." If Messier can "forget how much he is revered in the hockey world and embrace the grunt work, he could be a first-class executive." But if the "Being Mark Messier thing seduces him, the Rangers would be making a mistake" (, 10/20).

DON'T PLAYER HATE: ESPN's Michelle Beadle said the "problem" with the Nets' new $25,000 "Your Ticket to a Player" courtside ticket plan is the buyer cannot choose the player who make the visit. ESPN's Colin Cowherd: "If you paid $25,000 for a band at your party, shouldn't you be able to choose Paul Simon and not Boxcar Willie?" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 10/20). Meanwhile, ESPN's Tony Kornheiser asked, "Can they do this? In other words, is it in the standard player's contract that you can be loaned out like an animal at a petting zoo for an hour at a time?" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/20).

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