Alisher Usmanov launches £1billion bid to buy Arsenal
May 20 2017 by Michele Stevens
Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has had a £1 billion bid for Stan Kroenke's 67% stake in the London club rejected today. They go on to state that, according to sources familiar with the process, other bidders were considering their own offers to Kroenke for his shares, possibly indicating that the ownership of Arsenal is as tenuous as it has been since the American took full majority control in 2011.
He first acquired shares in Arsenal in 2007, when he teamed up with Farhad Moshiri to purchase a 14.6 per cent stake for £75m. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the club's financial matters. The Uzbek-born Russian is of the view that the owner isn't investing enough in the squad, and recently blamed Kroenke, along with the Arsenal board, for the club's recent failures.
Arsenal are in danger of finishing outside the top four in the Premier League and failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in over 20 years.
The takeover bid adds to the sense of uncertainty surrounding the club, with Arsene Wenger's future beyond this season still up in the air.
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Red and White Holdings, Usmanov's investment vehicle, declined to comment, while Arsenal FC was not immediately available to comment and Kroenke could not be reached.
Although there has been no formal response from Kroenke, as yet, the expectation from sources close to Usmanov, who has grown increasingly frustrated as he has been denied any say in the running of Arsenal, is that the bid will fail.
Arsenal have to beat Everton in their final League game on Sunday and hope either Liverpool draw with Middlesbrough or Watford beat Manchester City with a five-goal swing. The last title came in 2004 and the only silverware since then has been FA Cup successes in 2014 and 2015.
Usmanov now owns a 30 per cent stake in the club and has a personal fortune of around £11.2bn. The 63-year-old tycoon, who started out with a plastic bags business, also heads the International Fencing Federation.