Arsenal supremo and new Fulham owner have history

St Louis Rams

Stan Kroenke and Shahid Khan wrestled for control of NFL franchise the St Louis Rams in 2010.

Fulham FC are now yet another Premier League team owned by an American businessman after auto-parts mogul Shahid Khan purchased the club from Mohammed Al Fayed.

Khan, as we all know by now, is already the owner of another sporting franchise; the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. The Pakistani-born businessman acquired the Florida franchise in 2011 from Wayne Weaver.

But this was not the first time he had tried to buy a NFL franchise; which brings me to Stan Kroenke.

Kroenke is the largest shareholder in Arsenal Football Club and has often been the subject of a bitter war of words between himself and Alisher Usmanov.

It is also fair to say that Kroenke is not the most popular man amongst Arsenal fans.

And other than a rivalry for two of the greatest moustaches in the land these two went at it for control of the St Louis Rams back in 2010.

Khan attempted to buy the 60% of shares at the Rams that was not then controlled by Kroenke. His bid to purchase the majority shareholdings in the franchise was greeted warmly by Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez.

But Khan didn’t bet on old Stan fighting back; and that he did.

Despite NFL rules against owning teams in other markets (Kroenke is also owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Mammoth) Kroenke had it written into his contract with the Rams that he had the right to match any offer made for the remaining 60% and have first refusal on those remaining shares.

He quickly changed the name on the ownership of his Colorado sporting franchises to that of his son Josh Kroenke and took up the remaining 60% on the Rams; leaving Khan in the cold.

In the end Khan got his NFL wish with the Jaguars but you just wonder if there are any hard feelings between the pair… well apparently not.

Just this week Khan said he spoke to Kroenke at length about buying a Premier League team and he was given sound advice from his former nemesis.

After all, the Rams saga would have been nothing personal; just business.

image: © Herkie

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