Sports

Usmanov bid to buy Arsenal rejected by Kroenke

Usmanov bid to buy Arsenal rejected by Kroenke

Usmanov now owns a 30 per cent stake in the club and has a personal fortune of around £11.2bn.

The 63-year-old now owns 30 per cent of the club through Red & White Holdings and has made a move to wrestle a further 67 per cent away from majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.

Usmanov has been a shareholder at the Premier League club since 2007 and upped his stake from 14.6 per cent to 30 when he bought out Farhad Moshiri in 2016. The takeover bid was mounted as another season at Arsenal draws to a conclusion amid uncertainty and strife on and off the pitch at the north London club.

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It is understood Stan Kroenke has yet to formally respond to the offer, but it is expected he will reject it. The person told The Associated Press that Usmanov's offer valued the Premier League club at $2 billion. The American is notorious for being more interested in the financial gain of owning a sports club than for the success it can bring in from achieving major honours.

Fan protests have mounted against manager Arsene Wenger with calls for him to leave after nearly 21 years in charge.

Wenger said on Friday that his future will be discussed at a board meeting after next weekend's FA Cup final, when Usmanov's bid will likely be a big topic as well.

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Wenger is yet to reveal if he will extend his 21-year reign and failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in two decades would cost Arsenal an estimated £50 million in revenue.

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.

Kroenke, who also owns the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, has been Arsenal's majority shareholder since 2011.

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The latest attempt at taking over majority control can be easily seen as a way for Usmanov to unseat the current Board, assume full decision-making and, to possibly the fans' delight, pave a way to inject the club with funds needed to purchase the players they watch go to other league rivals.


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