Published: Mon, May 22, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Alisher Usmanov makes bid Arsenal takeover

The Financial Times reported on Friday (19 May) that billionaire Uzbek-born Russian steel magnate Usmanov, who increased his own stake in the Premier League giants to 30% after buying out partner and now Everton owner Farhad Moshiri previous year, had made a $1.3bn (£1bn) offer to buyout his fellow shareholder.

Reports in Usmanov's homeland (via the Sun) claim that he is set to double his offer to buy out the man dubbed "Silent Stan" after becoming concerned over the manner in which the Gunners are now being run by the American.

The approach, made last month, valued the club at $2 billion (€1.8 billion).

Usmanov would have known when making his $1.3bn offer- revealed by the Financial Times on Friday - that the United States sports mogul Kroenke would be unwilling to sell.

Steel magnate Usmanov already had a previous bid for Arsenal rejected and has been critical of Kroenke's passive ownership style in the past.

"I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening", he told Bloomberg - adding that the board, and main shareholder (Kroenke) "bear huge responsibility".

Kroenke was singled out for criticism by supporters at Emirates Stadium yesterday as Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 but failed to secure Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years. "Now I am not so sure", a person close to the situation said.

One intriguing sideshow to the internal battle is Usmanov's backing of under-fire boss Wenger.

"Some continuity is needed".

"Overall I believe we played since January in a very hard environment for different reasons", Wenger said. "I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor".

Kroenke has been with Arsenal since 2008, a period which witnessed only two pieces of silverware in back-to-back FA Cups.

Kroenke, who also owns the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, has been Arsenal's majority shareholder since 2011.

Arsenal has endured an eventful 2016-17 season in which it slipped out of the top four for the first time since the arrival of Arsene Wenger in 1996, missing out on the Champions League as a effect.

Kroenke's statement comes at a time of great uncertainty at Arsenal, with manager Arsene Wenger's future still undecided, while there are fears that star duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez could push for a move away this summer.

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