Usmanov keen to increase Arsenal shares

Uzbekistan-born billionaire hoping to increase his stake at the Emirates, but will not join Stan Kroenke's board after criticising the American for a lack of ambition
Eastern European tycoon Alisher Usmanov has revealed he would like to increase his stake at Premier League giants Arsenal, but insisted he is not interested in joining the board.

Usmanov is one of a handful of billionaires who own or hold stakes in top-flight clubs alongside Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic at Chelsea and Anton Zingarevich, who recently acquired a 51 per cent ownership of newly promoted Reading through his company Thames Sports Investment.

"As much as possible, every time, I'm open to increase my shares," Usmanov revealed at an international economic forum in St. Petersburg.
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According to the club's official website, Usmanov and business partner Farhad Moshiri's Red and White Holdings currently own 29.72 per cent of Arsenal Holdings plc after initially acquiring a £75million stake from David Dein back in 2007.

American billionaire, Stan Kroenke, is currently the club's majority shareholder after buying a 66.83 per cent stake from Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, but the two have been at loggerheads for some time after the Missouri entrepreneur was obliged to make an offer for Usmanov's shares, which he rejected.

However, Usmanov has accused Kroenke, whose enterprise also owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and the NFL's St. Louis Rams, of a lack of ambition and investment in the London club.

"No, I don't want to be on the board when I'm not invited," he added.