The Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has let it be understood that there is no way that he is going to give up on taking over Arsenal from Stan Kroenke, despite his opening offer of one billion GBP being turned down by the American.
His company released a statement saying: “KSE UK, Inc notes the recent media speculation concerning its shareholding in Arsenal Holdings PLC and confirms that its shares are not, and never have been, for sale,”
“KSE is a committed, long-term investor in Arsenal and will remain so.”
But Usmanov, whose latest estimate of nett worth was 11 billion GBP, is obviously keen to revive Arsenal after seeing them drop out of the Top Four for the first time since Wenger’s arrival. He has always stated that if given the full financial backing of the Board Wenger would have performed much better in recent years, and even now he respects that Wenger should be given the opportunity to prepare his successor before he leaves.
Just last month Usmanov was quoted as saying: “Some continuity is needed,”
“This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way. I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor.”
But now that SkySports are reporting that the Russian has not accepted the rebuttal and is intending to carry on his crusade to own Arsenal. This is music to the ears of Arsenal fans, who have seen how unsuccessful Kroenke’s other ‘franchises’ are doing in America. The Yank is in this game simply as an investment, whereas I believe that Usmanov has ambitions to challenge Chelsea’s Abramovich for bragging rights amongst their Russian billionaire friends.
Let’s hope he makes Kroenke an offer he can’t refuse!