Arsenal will struggle to “win the title again in my lifetime”, says Paul Merson, with the former Gunners star vehemently opposed to Stan Kroenke’s proposed £1.8 billion ($2.3bn) takeover.
The American businessman is already the majority shareholder at Emirates Stadium, but he has moved to acquire the 30 per cent stake of Alisher Usmanov.
Goal revealed that Kroenke has seen a £550m ($712m) offer for those shares accepted, freeing him to take complete control in north London.
Merson fears that could spell the end of Premier League challenges for the Gunners, with a frugal approach to recruitment set to deliver further regression for a side already without Champions League football.
“Money talks in this game and Kroenke doesn’t want to spend it, he only wants to make it. Arsene Wenger was only there for the last few years for one reason – to make the club money.
“Why aren’t they doing what Liverpool have done and buying star players? Are Arsenal just a team who want to finish fourth?
“The fans pay big money and they are tired of it. My brother is on the waiting list for a season ticket. This year is the first time the club has called to offer him one. The demand isn’t what it used to be.
“I don’t think it’s a good move, Kroenke taking full control. He’s taking a loan out to do it too, and while it’s not against the club, how’s he going to pay it back? Will it affect transfers?
“The fans are disillusioned. They are paying top dollar to try and finish fourth. There might be more protests now. It all depends on results really.
“If they start getting beaten heavily the fans won’t be happy – and Unai Emery has a tough start with City and Chelsea his first two matches.
“They like to have a say, Arsenal fans. And that’s being taken away by someone who doesn’t know football because Kroenke only knows about money.”