Arsenal

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke hit with £592m bill after major agreement is confirmed

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has avoided facing trial with regard to his NFL franchise.

However, the American billionaire will have to pay a settlement of $790million (£592m) to the city of St Louis following the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles dating all the way back to 2016, as confirmed by the LA Times.

At the time of the move, Kroenke explained his motives as he said: “We’re in the sports business, you know, a number of places. London, Denver, [Los Angeles]. So, we’re also real estate developers.

“There are just so many factors that you look at, but Los Angeles is a huge market.

“The National Football League is, you know, the most successful sports league in America by many metrics and it had no team.

“And so for a guy like me it’s pretty obvious, right? The league wants a team here.”

Since moving to California the franchise have been making progress on and off the field. They have built a state-of-the-art facility whilst their estimated value on the Forbes list is at $4.8bn (£3.6bn) making them the fourth most valuable team in the NFL.

Meanwhile, the team reached the Super Bowl back in 2019, lost in the Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers last season and remain on course for another Super Bowl appearance in 2022.

With that in mind, it’s safe to say that Kroenke, despite the controversial decision, is being vindicated by relocating the Rams.

But he is still counting the cost of that decision.

Despite receiving approval from 30 of 32 NFL owners about relocating The Rams and having to pay a $550m (£412m) fee to move the team, in 2017 a lawsuit was filed against Kroenke, the Rams and the NFL alleging that the move from St. Louis to Los Angeles violated the NFL’s relocation policy, under which the team and the league should have made every reasonable effort to keep the team in St. Louis.

And on Wednesday it was revealed that the Rams and the NFL agreed Wednesday to pay £592m to settle the lawsuit.

As a result, Kroenke and the NFL avoid trial next month and under the terms of the settlement, St. Louis gets the money no later than Christmas Eve, with Kroenke and the league left to decide how much of the payment should be allocated to the Rams and how much to the NFL and other owners.

This development comes amid Stan’s son Josh, flying in from America earlier in the month to participate in the first-ever Supporters’ Advisory Board meeting with elected members of fans groups.

Effectively, Kroenke Sports Entertainment’s latest attempt to improve their relationship with fans.

From what we noticed about the meeting, Josh appeared to drop a transfer hint after suggesting that Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad is far from complete.

“From a collective ambition from my father, to myself, to Edu, to Mikel and on down to the rest of the football operations staff we had a clear idea of what we wanted to do with the club,” he said when asked to elaborate on the club’s summer strategy.