Usmanov Lodges Bid For Total Control Of Arsenal
Arsenal are the subject of a £1billion takeover bid by minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov. The Uzbekistan-born businessman has made the offer to Stan Kroenke the club’s effective owner who has a 67 percent stake.
The Financial Times reports that Usmanov made the offer last month but that there has yet to be any response from Kroenke or the Arsenal board. The bid values the club at £1billion.
Despite having a substantial stake in the club – second only to Kroenke – through his company Red and White Holding – Usmanov has no seat on the board.
In April, Usmanov fired a broadside at the club’s hierarchy. He said that Kroenke must take “a huge responsbilitity” for Arsenal’s failings. “I don’t think the coach alone is to be blamed for what’s happening,” Usmanov told Bloomberg.
The Gunners look set to miss out on Champions League football for the first time in 21 years. They need to defeat Everton in their final Premier League game of the season on Sunday and hope that both Liverpool and Manchester City slip up in their games against Middlesbrough and Watford respectively.
Wenger is out of contract at the end of the season and is due to have talks with Kroenke after the FA Cup Final clash with Chelsea on 27 May. But the American businessman looks set to offer a new one-year deal to the Frenchman with the option of two more years commencing in the summer of 2018.
News of the takeover bid will be welcomed by a section of the Arsenal support who wish to see a complete overhaul of the club. Part of the ‘Wenger out’ movement want to see Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis removed along with Wenger. However, some Arsenal supporters would rather see the Frenchman remain in his post to see the club out of its current predicament.