I will not sell my stake in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke because I love the club and they cannot do without me - Alisher Usmanov

Russian billionaire insists that he has no intention of letting go of his shares, although he welcomes American's experience and gives his full backing to Arsene Wenger
Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov insists that he will not be selling his stake in the club to Stan Kroenke.

Kroenke, who recently upped his stake in the club to over 62 per cent, agreed to make an offer to buyout the other shareholders and gain complete control of the Gunners.

However, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust have refused to sell their shares, and now the Uzbekistan-born billionaire has followed suit by insisting that he does not intend to let go of his interest in the club.

"I’m not going to sell my stake," Usmanov told Bloomberg.

"I love Arsenal, that’s why I’m a shareholder."

Usmanov, estimated to be worth more than £11 billion, went on to say that the club relied upon his backing and insisted that no single shareholder should take full ownership.

"My principle in regards to Arsenal is that it can’t do without me," Usmanov said.

He continued: "The board of Arsenal always held the position that none of the shareholders should take control over the company.

"That is why I never did any offer to increase my stake more than 50%. But probably something has changed, to my surprise."

However, the billionaire added that he hopes Kroenke's experience as an investor in sports teams in America would help Arsenal.

Usmanov said: "We know that Kroenke is a large investor in sports brands. We hope that experience will help Arsenal."

He also gave his backing to boss Arsene Wenger, who has come in for criticism with the club looking set for another trophyless season.

He added: "I am big fan of Arsene Wenger and as long as he heads the team, I am sure of Arsenal’s success."

Our  provides the best breaking news online and our  football fan community is unmatched worldwide. Never miss a thing again!