Monday Kickoff: Arsenal shareholders deny takeover claims, Totti scores historic goal, and more

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

Arsenal may be struggling on and off the field, but the club’s main shareholders aren’t ready to jump ship just yet.

Over the weekend, a report in the British paper The Telegraph quoted a source on an imminent $2.25 billion takeover of Arsenal from a Middle-Eastern consortium of investors from United Arab Emirates and Qatar. However, on Monday, current majority shareholders Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov both denied that they were interested in selling the club.

Kroenke and Usmanov would be in line, if they did sell their shares in the club, to make a substantial profit, as the takeover is about $1.1 billion above where Arsenal is valued. The American owner released a statement through the club, saying “Stan Kroenke is committed to Arsenal for the long term and has no intention of selling his stake. There has been no contact from any potential investors.”

Here are some more stories to start your Monday off right:

TOTTI TIES FOR SECOND-PLACE IN SERIE A GOAL SCORING HISTORY

AS Roma forward and Italian legend Francesco Totti scored his 225th career goal on Sunday evening, when he opened the scoring in Roma’s 3-1 win with a penalty kick goal.

The goal puts Totti alongside with the late Swede Gunnar Nordahl, who scored 225 goals with AC Milan between 1948 and 1958. The two now sit in second place, 49 goals behind Silvio Piola, who set the record between 1929 and 1954, playing for five different teams in Serie A including Juventus, Torino, and Lazio.

The 36-year-old Totti has played his entire career for Roma, making his first appearance in 1993, and now having made 525 career appearances in Serie A.

RIVER AND BOCA BOTH LOSE IN LEAGUE PLAY

Powerhouses River Plate and Boca Juniors both succumbed to defeats on Sunday in Argentina’s Torneo Final, as Lanus rose to the top of the table on ten points.

Boca got 90 minutes out of midfield legend Juan Roman Riquelme, but lost at home to Union de Santa Fe 3-1. The visitors scored two goals in eight minutes in the first half, before adding a third 16 minutes into the second half to complete the rout. The match was Riquelme’s first at home since re-signing for his boyhood club last month. Boca have now lost two in a row, dropping to 14th place.

River Plate meanwhile lost their first match of the season to San Lorenzo 2-0 on the road. San Lorenzo got off to a dream start with Denis Stracqualursi’s goal in the first forty-two seconds of the match, while Mauro Cetto added the final nail in the coffin for the hosts in the 20th minute of the match. David Trezeguet of River Plate struggled, and was substituted at halftime, along with two of his other teammates.

The weekend’s action was marred by the death of a football supporter in the city of La Plata. Fans of Gimnasia & Esgrima de La Plata and Nueva Chicago fought before their match, leading to one man being shot and killed, and an 11-year-old boy wounded by a gunshot.

QUICK KICKS

Italian club Pescara have fired their manager Cristiano Bergodi, their second such managerial firing this season. (REPORT)

Alessandro Del Piero scored this goal, but it wasn’t enough for Sydney, as they lost to Perth 2-1 on Saturday. (REPORT)

Goalkeeper Ben Foster has lauded Roy Hodgson’s relaxed atmosphere as a reason for coming out of international retirement. (REPORT)

Barcelona and Qatar Airways are unavailing their sponsorship deal on Monday, with Barcelona only wearing the Airline’s name on the front of their shirt. (REPORT)

Karim Benzema is in serious danger of missing France’s key World Cup qualifying match against Spain because he is due to appear in a Madrid court to contest a speeding ticket. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Arsenal’s top shareholders selling the club this summer? Do you believe that Totti can break the all-time record? Do you see Benzema missing the World Cup qualifier to be in court?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Arsenal shareholders deny takeover claims, Totti scores historic goal, and more

  1. 34443334442233 says:

    show some love for Cherundolo who…. copied this from bigsoccer.

    Not only is Steve 3 games short of becoming Hannover’s all-time Bundesliga appearances leader, he is also 13th all-time in Bundesliga appearances among foreign players and third among players who spent their whole career with one club.

    • RedBull to CO says:

      if you’re not first, you’re last. -Ricky Bobby

      • shane says:

        That’s ridiculous, why you can be second, third, you can be forth, heck you can even be fifth – Ricky Bobby’s dad

      • Roberto says:

        Being in second place is being the first…. of the last. another way to look at it

        • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper" says:

          I read in this really old but incredible book that “… the First shall be last”

          - Jesus (Matt 20:16)

  2. 34443334442233 says:

    Is Ben Foster so good that England needs him? They have Joe Hart who is world-class. They also have the young Birmingham FC GK and a few other solid options such as Rob Green. It’s just annoying for players to constantly retire from the NT and then suddenly they wanna be back as no.1 in time for the WC. If you want the glory, then work for it. Put in the extra miles. You can’t just retire. It’s 1 thing for family time or keep yourself fit for your club but retiring because you don’t want to feature in qualifying matches or cause you can’t be no.1 is sefish

  3. Big Chil says:

    Isn’t seasoning something that’s used on food?

  4. Travis says:

    Kroenke is a businessman above all else, if he stands to make that big of a profit he should sell and never look back.

    • Old School says:

      At this point, this appears to be purely a rumor. However, you’re absolutely right. He’s a shrewd businessman and would sell this in a nano second at that kind of profit.

      • RedStateJim says:

        Kroenke has never sold any of his sports franchises and has stated he never plans to. He does not need the money.

        If he were to take the money as you suggest, where would he put it? In another soccer club? Why would he do that since he already owns one.

        • Old School says:

          He’s an absentee owner at almost all of his franchises.

          He’s not owning them for his sporting pleasure or passion for the game. Why else would I think a businessman would turn down an amazing offer to profit?

          Let me count the way$.

        • Travis says:

          he has also never been offered far far far more than market value for any of his other teams. he may not need the money but who in their right mind would turn down an offer like this?

      • Anthony says:

        The problem with Kronke is that all the teams he owns, he tends to buy them when they are great. Then and they settle into above average, but not great because that may be where the optimum profitability might be.