The Board of Arsenal Holdings plc have agreed a revision of the 'lock-down agreement' over any potential sale of their shares.
 
At Thursday's AGM, chairman Peter Hill-Wood announced that Club directors would only sell their stake to "permitted persons" before April 2009 and had to give fellow board members 'first-option' until October 2012. However, there was a termination clause in the agreement in October 2010.
 
This replaces the existing deal which was due to expire in April 2008 and will be seen as another safe-guard against the possibility of a takeover.
 
Mr Hill-Wood said: "Members of the Board are committed long-term shareholders and to strengthen the current position they have entered into a new agreement which replaces the existing lock-down agreement which expires next April.
 
"Under the new agreement, the Board members have agreed not to dispose of any of their interests in the Club before 18 April 2009, other than to certain permitted persons such as close family. After that date, for the remainder of the term of the agreement, they can only sell their shares to another person if the other parties to the agreement do not wish to buy them. The agreement is for five years (until 18 October 2012), although it can be terminated early by the parties on its third anniversary (18 October 2010)."

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting held today at Emirates Stadium Peter Hill-Wood, Chairman of Arsenal said:

"We had a very successful financial performance over the past year. Together with our very promising start to the season, in which Arsène Wenger's team has won 12 of our first 13 matches, we are all very encouraged with the current performances of our Club both on and off the field.

"There has been much recent media coverage surrounding the share ownership of the Group, following the arrival of two new major shareholders in the past year. I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise to all Shareholders that the Arsenal Board is committed to the principle of developing the long-term stability of the Club through maintaining a business that pays its own way. Members of the Board are committed long-term shareholders and to strengthen the current position they have entered into a new agreement which replaces the existing lock-down agreement which expires next April. Under the new agreement, the Board members have agreed not to dispose of any of their interests in the Club before 18 April 2009, other than to certain permitted persons such as close family. After that date, for the remainder of the term of the agreement, they can only sell their shares to another person if the other parties to the agreement do not wish to buy them. The agreement is for five years (until 18 October 2012), although it can be terminated early by the parties on its third anniversary (18 October 2010).

"We have reviewed our policy towards Shareholder benefits and we are delighted to announce the introduction of the following four Shareholder benefits:

  • A question and answer session with Arsène Wenger at Emirates Stadium. This event, in which free refreshments will be on offer, will be limited to the first 600 shareholders to confirm their interest.
  • A 10% discount to all Shareholders purchasing Club Level tickets at next season's Emirates Cup.
  • A 25% discount to all Shareholders signing up for Arsenal TV online.
  • A priority booking system for all Shareholders for Members' Day in July.

We are delighted to be able to offer our Shareholders these benefits and thank everyone for your continued support.

We will be writing to all Shareholders soon to explain these benefits in more detail.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 18 Oct 2007