Why Usmanov giving up his shares is very bad news for Arsenal fans

It is being widely reported, even in respected papers like the Financial Times, that Alisher Usmanov has decided to offload his 30% share of Arsenal Football club, and this is definitely bad news for Arsenal fans everywhere.

The Moscow times reported today: Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov is exploring a sale of his 30 percent stake in English football club Arsenal, the Financial Times reported.

The Russian billionaire has grown frustrated that the club’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, is unwilling to engage in takeover talks and has given up all hope of acquiring the club outright, the report cited the sources as saying.

Usmanov had previously made a $1.3 billion offer to buy out Kroenke, but Kroenke’s KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) UK Inc said its shares in the Premier League club were not for sale.

Their have been many reasons given for his motives and the oldest one is that he is going to take the money to invest in Everton, who are controlled by his friend Farhad Moshiri and are looking extremely ambitious this summer. That is one possibility….

Another reason, as touted by Moscow again, is that Russia’s so-called oligarchs who have relocated to London (like Abramovich and Usmanov) could be under threat as there have been calls to deny them access to their London lifestyles following the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain. If this is true then he could take the money out of the country completely…

But I think there is another worrying reason for Usmanov pulling out…
Back in 2012 when Arsenal sold Robin Van Persie to Man United, it was reported that Kroenke had offered to buy out Usmanov but the Russian responded in very strong terms. “In our view it is clear you are trying to distract attention from the more fundamental issues facing the club,” Usmanov wrote in an open letter. “These are the financial model, the lack of investment and club’s future strategic direction.

“Mr Kroenke was sold a vision by the board at a time when the club could be successful without further investment,”

“As a consequence of this policy, which is dressed up as prudent financial planning, it is down to our manager and not the shareholders, to have to deal with the club’s tight finances, carry the burden of repaying the stadium debt by selling his best players and having to continue to find cheaper replacements.

“This policy is leading to the loss of our best players, often to main competitors, and even causes the players themselves to question their future at the club and the club’s ambitions.”

He also finished that letter by saying he was going to keep his shares as a long term investment for his family’s future.

But now what has happened? The shares have increased fivefold since Kroenke took over, but he has had no personal investment and the fact is that without Champions League football for a second year, the clubs profit margins have dropped, and Usmanov may feel that there is little room left for any more growth without real investment in the squad and should cash in while the shares are at a high, and invest in a club with more growth potential. And whoever buys them will still be a the mercy of Kroenke’s decisions as the majority shareholder.

Or even worse, Kroenke himself could get hold of the shares. The Mirror reckons that Usmanov will not sell to Kroenke under any circumstances, but it has not been unknown for billionaires to persuade their friends to be used as middle men to acquire total control of businesses. If that happens then Arsenal fans will be subject to a man in total control of the club and the prospect of no further investment for the forseeable future.

We are on a downward spiral now, but will Kroenke invest to make us great again?

We all know the answer to that one…..



  1. gotanidea says:

    The fans would not be able to do anything

    Unless a richer guy comes with an offer that Kroenke cannot refuse, like what AC Milan have undergone recently

  2. LoveArsenalHateKroenke says:

    I’d say that Kroenke is perfectly happy with us sitting in 6th for the unforeseeable future.
    So whatever the club manages to do above that is more than success. Even now, with a much better squad, we’re still nowhere near the position to fight for the title. We’ll barely make it in the top four, if that in Unai’s first season with us.
    Waiting on Dangote and an offer scumbag stan can’t refuse.

  3. Victoria Concordia Crescit says:

    Never been a fan of privatising clubs. Clubs for me anyways, are for the fans and the community in general not individuals! But reality is its the way of the world. And tbh not unexpected that this day was going to come. Let’s all pool in some money and buy out of kroenke and usmanov!

  4. A.ball08 says:

    Unfortunately Kroenke sporting businesses are not built on sport sucess, they are built on off the field financial success.
    We have all grown accustomed to hearing the white noise coming out of the boardroom.. there is plenty of money available but really no one has the safe combination to spend it.
    Was it AW not wanting to spend or the board not willing to spend.
    Bar a few transfer windows we have always made a profit …
    People have to remember we are being run by a rich astute business person rather then a passionate fan… even chelski are are going that way
    Bloody frustrating I know but we support the badge and not shop keepers who are running the club.
    The club will be still be here long after they are propping up the daisies

    1. D says:

      “Was it AW not wanting to spend” For anyone that actually believes this was the case, please use some common sense for a second. Why would Wenger not want to improve our team? Why would Wenger not want to buy a player if he was an obvious upgrade? Why would Wenger want to sell our best players to our direct rivals? Do you think Wenger wanted to go about 8 years not being able to spend more than he sold? The idea that Wenger had all of this money available, but simply refused to spend it is absolutely absurd.

      If you believe he did this simply because he couldn’t recognise an upgrade on our current players, please ask yourself this; do you honestly think that someone who has been working at the absolute highest level in football for almost his entire life wouldn’t be able to see how good a player is, yet you, the person that wasn’t even born when Wenger got into football, can? Of course not.

      Wenger just had too much class to come out and blame all of these issues on the board. Anyone with even a fraction of common sense can plainly see that it was Kroenke that wouldn’t allow us to spend and not Wenger. And yet who is it that you all (along with the British press) blamed and attacked for years on end about being “tight” or a “cheap penny-pincher”?

      1. Durand says:

        So Kronke only gave Wenger £11 million to spend on Cech in 15/16? Or did Wenger decide himself the squad good enough to chase the title? Yeah, thought so. That one was Wenger’s fault.

        Maybe Kronke said he had to sell players to bring in new ones? Remember Wenger said he didn’t want to miss Walcot’s “golden years” and tried him as a striker, epic fail by the way.

        Player sentimentality has hurt this club. Whether keeping Walcott too long, not upgrading on Giroud, offering Ox 180k a week to stay, Wilshere, etc… Manager decisions of that sort aren’t Kronke’s fault.

        Lack of ambition, cheap substandard replacements are Kronke faults.

        1. OzzieGunner says:


      2. Im sorry to be the bearer of bad news but thats exactly what we think about wenger, the same clown who instead of buying kante opted to buy xhaka at an extra 10 million, the guy who bid £60 million and £1 for suarez, the guy who refused to pay the prices the market dictated time and time again, remember two seasons ago when we lost at home to liverpool on the opening game as we played with no recognised centre backs depsite having 12 weeks to purchase one.

        I 120% believe that wenger was not able to see the clear and obvious areas within the squad that needed to be sorted, he didnt have an unlimited cheque book obviously but he didnt purchase even adequate necessary players, he refused to by a dm for 10 years due to pure stubbornness

        To think that are fallings lay at the door purely of the board is naïve at best, stupidity at worse, emery has managed to purchase 5 players already on a limited budget and hes done his business early, this is what dynamic, instinctive, target driven coaches do, Wenger simply perpetuated the problems from the board and magnified them 10 fold, the board sanctioned purchases of 40+ million plus for lacazzete and pierre so clearly they are not completely adverse to spending on quality

        Im sorry you cannot see that the game simply left wenger behind but it’s a sad and true fact, its nice to look back with rose tinted glassed but be pragmatic and you will have a more balanced view

        1. OzzieGunner says:

          In addition Arsene Wenger pocketed the money and ran interference for Kroenke and the board. He should have tendered his resignation when David Dein was forced from the board, instead of staying to work for the parasites.

      3. jon fox says:

        Ok then , answer me this: Did Kroenke tell Wenger who to buy, how and where to play him and how to coach- or not coach him at all- were he a defender? True, Kroenke is a miser of the first order and poison to any franchise he owns but WENGER WAS CORRECTLY BLAMED FOR HIS CONSTANT ERRORS. The only wonder is why the fans waited so long to act against the man destroying our team. BUT I have nothing except a deep loathing of Kroenke and all his kind. He is a greater poison than Wenger, because he has ultimate power and cannot be sacked. Those two men were BOTH culpable, for different reasons.

        1. Ken1945 says:

          Jon, with the knowledge you have, can I ask you s very simple question?
          If the board wanted to, couldn’t they reverse the decision taken years back?
          The decision that Kronkie asked for and received from this board that stopped Usmanov joining the board?

          1. OzzieGunner says:

            Ken, one would think that given Kroenke controls 67% of the voting shares, that decision can only be reversed with Kroenke’s approval.

  5. Break-on-through says:

    Get the old protest shirts out, placards, airplanes, the whole shebang. WOB ..Woenke out brigade.

  6. gotanidea says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Malcom from Bordeaux FC is a Barcelona’s player now

    Another talented young left-footed inverted winger snapped by the giant football club

    The ones that remain in the market: Gareth Bale, Douglas Costa, Leon Bailey, David Neres, Adnan Janujaz

  7. Victoria Concordia Crescit says:

    Red Alert No way has Kronke got the money. Not unless some kind soul has agreed to build his new Rams stadium in LA for nothing. He doesn’t have the money for that, let alone the money required to buy Usmanov out.
    The alternative is that he loads Arsenal with debt in a manner that makes the Glaziers seem modest. Let’s hope the report is wrong. Big time Wrong.

    1. OzzieGunner says:

      VCC, unfortunately his wife (nee Walton) an heiress to the Walmart fortune does. We can hope she doesn’t lend her husband or son Josh the money!

  8. chucky says:

    Only fools blamed wenger

  9. big g says:

    if fans want Kroenke out then all they have to do is continue to boycott all games and stop buying tickets and merchandise. This is the only way to force him out of our beloved Arsenal and it may take some time but what would you prefer, Kroenke stays in charge with no proper investment that is likely to help us or Kroenke out which might give us a slim chance of getting our club back so long as the next owner is flush with cash and wants to spend it on our cause.

    1. OzzieGunner says:

      Kroenke would probably “arrange” for the relevant local government authority to rezone the site and sell the Emirates stadium to developers.
      Its a good thing that Arsenal has a good relationship with Boreham Wood FC and provided funding for the ground upgrade, because it might be the new home ground for the Arsenal!

    2. jon fox says:

      What you suggest IS INDEED THE ONLY WAY TO FORCE THE POISONOUS ONE OUT. But it will NOT be tried. Only 100% home and away grounds empty of Gooners for as long as it takes would work. People are too short sighted to attempt this, enbloc. That is the tragic reality and thus until something unexpected happens we are doomed to have Kroenke for the forseeable future and therefore no TITLE. Top four and domestic cups plus the Europa are a possibility but no more than that , while Kroenke remains.

  10. snowden says:

    “It is being widely reported, even in respected papers…..”

    Could the writer please clarify, which papers are not respected and which papers are respected?
    Thank you.

    1. Admin says:

      Hmmmm for financial information the FT is by far the place for facts usually.
      You give me your verdict on the Star, the Sun, the Express, the Mail, etc’
      The Times USED to be respected in England but nowadays probably just the Guardian…

      1. Mobella says:

        Admin why is it so bad he is giving up his shares. This is a guy that has zero influence in how the club is run. He is nothing but a dormant shareholder and the club is and has always be technically owned by Stan.

      2. stubill says:

        The Gaurdian! Lol.

        1. Admin says:

          Actually the BBC did a study a couple of years ago on transfer rumours and success rates, and the Guardian came out on top!

          1. stubill says:

            Any paper the employs that little runt Owen Jones is not worth sullying my eyes with!

      3. jon fox says:

        Mr Admin , We now know your politics for sure. If you think the Guardian is widely respected, you are on a different planet from me.

        1. OzzieGunner says:

          Hang on jon, I read the Guardian on line too!

  11. Chiza says:

    Now that Malcolm is going to Barcelona then it’s so obvious that Dembele is joining arsenal..arsenal is surely about to sign Dembele

    1. RSH says:

      you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

  12. Chiza says:

    So nzonzi’s father has said that arsenal is serious about his son.. and that arsenal is about to make an offer for Nzonzi…that says alot about Ramsey leaving arsenal

    1. Break-on-through says:

      How would his father know that and why would he tell everyone. His dad seems more that he’s trying to get people interested. AFC would be a dream move for Nzonzi, his father wouldn’t do anything to hurt it. I never trust this kind of stuff, I know the Marseille president Aulas spills the beans often but most of the time I’d ignore this type of stuff. A bid coming soon, why would he even say that, if its coming then he has nothing to worry about. Like how did he get this info, did we tell him to expect a bid soon. I can’t imagine Arsenal doing that. We’re said to be negotiating with them at the moment, so maybe he’s playing it safe in case we don’t get them to drop their valuation, but I suspect its because he knows the truth about whether we’re negotiating or not.

      1. Durand says:

        Rumor has it that Nzonzi’s father due a £5 million payment if his son transfers. Both clubs want the father to drop that payment to lower the buyout clause.

        No idea if clause would be lowered, or what new amount would be. I just read it , (can’t remember site)

        I’m only passing along rumors, no claims or predictions from me, just sharing gossip.

        1. Break-on-through says:

          Cheers dude, that’s new news to me too. Explains a bit doesn’t it, about his Dads loose lips.

          1. Durand says:

            Exactly my thoughts too. However seems dad is speaking perhaps due to talks progressing?

            I’m not trying to be kev, just trying to help out fellow gooner.

            That being said, price would have to drop A LOT to be worthwhile. Maybe £15 -£18 million, but Seville probably not digging that figure.

            Perhaps £18 million+1?
            Heh, couldn’t resist

          2. OzzieGunner says:


  13. RSH says:

    All depends on who he sells to. I don’t think Usmanov would even sell the rest of his shares to Kroenke. I know Dangote, a Nigerian billionaire is interested in Aresnal, so it’s possible he could buy the shares. I don’t think this is necessarily bad news looking at what is happening with Chelsea and Abramovic. Though Usmanov is Uzbeki as well and may have means to continue doing business. Not sure about all the specifics. A lot of backroom changes coming to Arsenal as well makes things very very unpredictable. New manager, new CEO if reports are to believed, and same with a huge shareholder. Wow. We’ll have to see how this all pans out. I’d rather not lose Gazidis considering he was a driving force behind booting AW out, and now he is just leaving. Strange move. AC Milan is kind of a walking disaster.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      It doesn’t matter who buys them, with Kroenke in power there is nothing a Nigerian billionaire can do that Usmanov couldn’t do. If I was Usmanov I wouldn’t be selling my Arsenal shares unless I was interested in acquiring another team, that’s the worry. Arsenal shares, like all of top PL clubs, are constantly on the rise. Inflation will take care of that. We are up the proverbial creek. Also this Gazdas to Milan rumour, I don’t believe it for a second. Gazidas has a great job here, all the money he could want. I don’t see him leaving the Arsenal post for any other post. I was thinking it would be great if they brought Dein back into the fold, but I don’t see Gazidas leaving.

  14. Chiza says:

    Hmm with this available rumours..then i foresee a team like this
    Bellerin Sokratis Mustafi kolasinac
    Torreira Nzonzi
    Dembele Aubameyang Mikhitaryan

    The Dortmund trinity rejuvenated (dembele,aubameyang and mikhitaryan)

  15. waal2waal says:

    many fans saying how they prefer uzmanov to kroenke for reasons he pledges to invest more into the club blah blah blah. seems to me that once the real reasons surface, as to why he wants out, he will simply be seen as an unscrupulous sort whose soul interest is to line his own pockets and a kind that is disingenuous about being a supporter from the beginning. if he doesn’t see any merit (or profit) in being a shareholder then he should bugger off because there’s other’s who will want to acquire more shares – i suspect dangote’s will announce he still has a keen interest very soon…

    1. RSH says:

      Usmanov has wanted to become majority shareholder for ages. He made offers to Kroenke to buy more shares but was turned down. If we are to believe reports, he’s simply grown frustrated that he can’t be involved more. I don’t think the guy is even included in all the meetings. Him and Kroenke dont get along, which is also why I don’t think he’d ever sell to him and give him 97% control. But billionaires at the end of the day care only about money, so if Kroenke makes the best offer it’s a possibility.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Its crazy that he doesn’t even get a seat on the board, like WTF, how does that happen. Usmanov didn’t have to tell us that he wanted to have Arsenal compete against the best, he didn’t have to say he’d plough money into the club if given half the chance. If it was all just because Arsenal shares are a smart purchase, and your money keeps doubling over time, sure he could’ve done that without saying two words to the fans. Fans should have demanded for Usmanov to get a seat at the table. Its only wise to use every available resource to your disposal, even if the money part was a non starter, Usmanov knows how to beat people. You can’t amass all that wealth without knowing or gaining certain advantageous skills. He was a good resource and unlike Kroenke he is more open about it all. Kroenke has watched one too many spy movies, silent Stan with his cloak and dagger type s**t. Now we hear he wants full control over shares just so he can do away with the Arsenal share holder meetings. He’s a cancer to a club, I don’t expect us to behave like an Abramovich or a Sheik, but I do expect the owner to throw everything in our Arsenal for our betterment, even dipping into the red at times knowing that next seasons money is basically money in the bank. And I’d also expect him to know what David Dein meant to this club. Gazidas kept on his toes and reminded of our huge expectations fairly often. Kroenke is a poor owner, we make the top three rich list world wide thanks to our billionaire duo, but because one of them is an American A-hole we look fifth wealthiest in England.

        1. OzzieGunner says:

          Break-on-through, I’m with you; I can’t understand under Corporation Law, how Usmanov with a 30% shareholding can be denied a seat on the board?

      2. waal2waal says:

        @RSH – the fact billionaire businessman don’t get on is immaterial here both are shareholders and as such they’re meant to be showing solidarity for the sake of the fans and the future of our club, but by his action what exactly is he about. Abromovich wasn’t allowed to re-enter the uk recently and by all accounts he decided to “buy citizenship” in a new country, thereby making a laughing stock out of himself, his club and their fans.

        its not inconceivable this fella usmanov is also with tainted or otherwise questionable past trying to hide here beneath the guise of arsenal football club. im suggesting there’s likely to be much more to this when the truth comes to the surface. i wont be surprised when his reason for selling up is found as less to do with football: neither surprised when his association to dirty dealing (here and in russia) comes into the light.

        1. Angello says:

          Who the hell is this guy? Do you have a personal beef with Usmanov? Or are you related to Kroenke? At first it has not been confirmed if Usmanov is actually giving up his shares, even if he is, his reasons are yet to be known and you are here attacking him already? Usmanov has been oppressed by our greedy owner, and he still stick with the club because he is a real Arsenal fan….. you have no right or what so ever to judge him even if he decides to invest his money somewhere else.

          1. waal2waal says:

            @Angello – remarked of russian oligarch usmanov “Usmanov has been oppressed by our greedy owner, and he still stick with the club because he is a real Arsenal fan…”. You sir, are a comedian.

            And in answer to your Q: No im as much a relative of kroenke as you are of your pal usmanov. your remark about an oligarch being oppressed made not an ounce of sense. And if he’s the “Arsenal fan..” you say then he’ll happily maintain his interest along with share-holds intact and we’ll hear no more on the matter, yes?

          2. Angello says:

            He hasn’t sold his shares has he? At 54 you believe rumour you hear or read? pathetic

          3. waal2waal says:

            Who the hell is this guy? i guess at 54 yrs you could say im old school and by that i mean im from a period when when clubs excelled without having to depend on the autocrat or oligarch.

  16. Chiza says:

    Or we go for massive destruction..a massive release of our attack and potential with a 3-2-3-2
    Mustafi Sokratis Mavrapanos
    Torriera Nzonzi
    Dembele Ozil Mikhitaryan
    Lacazette Aubameyang

    what a mouth watering formation..LMDAO(Laugh My Dumb Ass Out)… L.. Lacazette… M.. Mikhitaryan… D.. Dembele… O…Ozil…… LMDAO

    this formation would give us so much joy….somepeople might complain about the lack of width… but with torriera and Nzonzi.. covering spaces and doing the dirty work and then feeding it to LMDAO to damage up front… so many teams would want to sit back which would allow us cover the lack of width which allow us to be all over teams like bees…..we won’t fear counterattacks because we have the soldiers(torriera and Nzonzi) to protect…….. With this formation we would ambush teams with a lot of goals… I wish emery can get (nzonzi and dembele) to try this formation out.. I’m salivating already!!!!!!!!!………LMDAO coming true!!!..all hail Dembele! .the future king is on his way..i can smell his fragrance

  17. D says:

    But hang on, I thought Wenger was the route of literally every single problem at Arsenal?! You can’t possibly be telling me that 90% of the users on here ignorantly attacked him and blamed him for things that he had no control over?! Who woulda thunk it!

    1. Durand says:

      Oh dear, forgotten about the lack of tactics? Lack of defensive improvement? Lack of youth development in the first team?
      How about only buying Chec for £11 million in 15/16?

      Kronke is a tool, but can’t be blamed for the things listed above. Many more reasons, but Arsene dug his own grave, and was a victim of his earlier success.

      Refusal to evolve, lack of leaders in team, surrounding himself with “yes” men to avoid being challenged, and telling some of ourformer legends they are not welcome at grounds. No one to blame but himself.

    2. Angello says:

      Your god Arsene Wenger destroyed every legacy he created with our beloved club our of stubbornness, he is no longer with us, you better move on or leave with him.

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