The Guardian report (Arseblog news originally reported this last week) that Stan Kroenke is trying to buy Alisher Usmanov’s Arsenal shares for £525m. If the American is successful in buying the shares, he would take his stake in the club to over 97%. Kroenke already owns 67% of the club, while Usmanov owns 30.4%.
The two men don’t see eye to eye at all, and aren’t even on speaking terms. Alisher Usmanov isn’t even allowed a seat on the Arsenal board, and doesn’t have much of a say about anything the club do. His shares are virtually useless, apart from making him more money (which he has enough of anyway; Forbes estimate he has a net worth of $15 billion).
It was reported in May that Usmanov tabled a bid of $1.3 billion for Kroenke’s shares, but Kroenke came back and said his shares “are not, and never have been, for sale”.
The worry for Arsenal is that with such a high stake, Kroenke would have total control over the club and Arsenal would become a private company. This would mean that there would be no detailed accounts that are given now, and there would be no AGM.
Kroenke’s ‘franchises’ in the US haven’t had great success in recent years, and most of his sports teams do quite poorly. It’s now a huge worry for Arsenal that they won’t improve on recent seasons and could find it difficult to become the European powerhouse they planned on being when they built the Emirates Stadium. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Usmanov sold his share in the club since he doesn’t have any input at all. Usmanov’s former partner, Farhad Moshiri, owns a 49.9% stake in Everton so it wouldn’t be surprising if he wanted to team up with him again at Everton.
Worrying times ahead for Arsenal.