Usmanov may sell Arsenal stakes to invest in elsewhere!
In what is terrible news today, it has been reported in the media that Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov is considering selling his percentage of stakes in the club, in order to invest in another Premier League side.
Despite owning around 30% of the club’s shares, Usmanov currently has no active position on the board at Arsenal and so the Russian is unable to have his say in any official decisions that the club currently undertakes. Usmanov is known to not be keen on the way that Arsenal is currently run, with the billionaire understanding that Arsenal is directed more like a business, than a football club under the American majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. Usmanov doesn’t exactly have a fruitful relationship with Kroenke and with the pair practically rivals for owning the club outright, it is unlikely that the American businessman will be allowing Usmanov to take up any more ownership of the club, or to even have his say on a board of directors.
With this in mind, it is understood that Usmanov is now sick of waiting around at Arsenal, with little ambition being shown to run the club for its footballing product rather than its business returns. The Russian is now supposedly considering investing his money elsewhere, with Premier League side Everton taking his fancy. Usmanov is supposedly good friends with the Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and the pair may look to link up to buy the Merseyside club outright.
Even though Usmanov is a billionaire, it is likely he would pull his shares at Arsenal and put them up for sale, to then reinvest the money into Everton. Usmanov is the far more favoured shareholder at the club by Arsenal fans, much more than Stan Kroenke and so it is generally feared that if Usmanov was to pull out of Arsenal, then Kroenke would snap up the 30% ownership of club shares that Usmanov currently owns.
Kroenke has openly stated that he invested in Arsenal for the business, not for the trophies and this is also recognised in his investments in other sports sides worldwide. Usmanov instead favours seeing Arsenal return to winning ways and although of course he would like to see major returns for his investments, he also wants to the club to be run like a football team, rather than an business minded organisation. To lose Usmanov would be devastating for the future of Arsenal’s financial structure, especially if those shares are bought out by Kroenke.
Let’s hope that Usmanov doesn’t decide to sell up and that if Usmanov cannot be brought in, then somehow Kroenke changes his approach on Arsenal, although not that it is very likely.