Aisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire who owns a 30% minority stake in Arsenal has issued a statement denying that he has no intention of selling his shares to owner Stan Kroenke, amidst reports that the American owner wants to buy-out his shareholding for £525 million.
Kroenke’s move is bitterly opposed by the Arsenal Supporters Trust and other fan groups, who are worried about the implications of taking the club private, and are disenchanted by the American’s perceived lack of ambition for the club.
Usmanov, who despite his shareholding, has no seat on the Arsenal Board or relationship with Kroenke, launched his own bid for the club in August, and his statement emphasises that “he does not intend to sell his stake in Arsenal” and that he “considers his stake in the club as a long-term investment”.
However, questions have been raised about his future intentions because he has made clear that he might sell his shares to someone who shares his, and the majority of Arsenal fans’ “vision for the club”.
Expect this story to take more twists and turns.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.