Arsenal second majority shareholder, Alisher Usmanov has ruled out selling his stakes at the club to Stan Kroenke.
There had been reports earlier this week that majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke has offered close to £600 million to the Uzbek billionaire in a bid to buy his stake at the club. This has caused a bit of apprehension among fans who can now breath easy after Usmanov’s statement.
Here is the statement in full:
“In recent days there has been speculation relating to a possible offer for my 30% stake in Arsenal. As part of that I can understand the anxiety that these rumours are causing to the fans as reflected by the Arsenal Supporters Trust.
“In light of this, I would like to be clear that I am not holding any talks with Mr Kroenke about a sale. My interest in Arsenal from the beginning was long term and my intention has always been to buy additional shares should they become available. This I did with the purchase of the stake of my business partner Farhad Moshiri with which I increased my shareholding from 15% to 30%, and also with my proposed offer for the stake of the majority shareholder which valued the Club at some £2bn.
“That offer remains valid today. I have always been and will continue to be an ardent supporter of Arsenal and I see my 30% stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the Club. It has been well documented that I have no say in the running of the club, that my views differ from those of the majority shareholder and that I would take a different approach to delivering footballing success.
“I would like to assure supporters that I am open to various future scenarios – a constructive partnership with the majority shareholder, the purchase of his stake either alone or in a consortium, or if a party appears who shares my and undoubtedly the majority of fans’ vision for the club, I could consider the question of selling my stake.”
It’s unclear which way this power tussle would go, but what is clear is Kroenke taking full control of the club will have a detrimental effect.
It’s a good thing Usmanov has ruled out selling.