It has been announced that Stan Kroenke has provided the money to cover the bonds issued in 2006 to fund the Emirates stadium. The Arsenal Supporters Trust insists the club still owe money: not to bondholders, but to Kroenke.
Now, Arsenal have redeemed the bonds (a bond is a type of a loan) thanks to Kroenke's loan. In short, Arsenal are still not debt-free now. However, the owner's actions will be of an immediate benefit to the club.
Here is a more detailed view of the situation as reported by the Arsenal Supporters Trust.
- Silent Stan has decided to pay the £144m debt in full. He will do it in August. However, he'll have to also cover an additional penalty for doing it early, not in 2031.
- Hence, Arsenal will have to pay £184m in August and they will do it by taking a loan from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the businessman's company.
- Basically, this is restructuring the debt: Arsenal no longer owe to external bondholders but to the man who owns the club.
- The Gunners will save up some money on that but the news does not mean Kroenke invests into Arsenal. The club will have to pay him back, with an unspecified interest rate.
- However, it will free up the funds (~£36m) Arsenal have already held in order to repay to bondholders in September this year.
- This money will help Arsenal weather the crisis caused by the pandemic: it will probably go to players' and staff salaries. Part of the money could be used to finance the transfer campaign but it's not guaranteed.
- Overall, not much changes for the club in the long-term.