Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has reiterated his goal of securing outright ownership of English Premier League club Arsenal.
Usmanov, and his business partner Farhad Moshiri, have been steadily increasing their stake in the club in recent times and currently own 29.72% of Arsenal through Red and White, their investment vehicle. American billionaire Stan Kroenke is Arsenal’s majority shareholder with a 66.83% stake, but Usmanov has been a vocal critic of his management of the North London giant. Russia’s richest man has no seat on Arsenal’s board and has been frozen out by Kroenke.
“I want to take this opportunity to just reaffirm that in order to help the team, we would be ready to buy more shares, to buy control, to buy all shares,” Usmanov told American broadcaster CNBC. “It is my dream to have a controlling stake of Arsenal. I would never instruct the chief executive, and I would ask if they need my help. If I had a big stake in Arsenal of course I would have my opinion of what we must do, for example on the commercial side. I think there are also many questions about the management of Arsenal’s commercial activity. We will see and we will wait. Maybe one day I will wake up and have control of Arsenal.”
Apart from Arsenal, Usmanov has a keen interest in the world of sports business and was this month re-elected to another four-year term as president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE). The 59-year-old mining and lumber magnate is worth an estimated US$18 billion.