Despite owning nearly 30 percent of Arsenal Football Club, the Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov cannot get a seat on the board and so cannot influence the running of the club nearly as much as he would like. Stan Kroenke, the American businessman who has more say than anyone because of his controlling stake, has come under attack again from Usmanov, who is convinced that silent Stan is not doing the right thing.
Usmanov suggested, as have many Arsenal fans, that Kroenke has little or no ambition to win things with Arsenal. He feels that the American is happy to leave things as they are with the team just getting into the Champions League every season. He seems as frustrated as most of us about the policy that has seen Arsenal selling the best players year after year.
“The team has no superstars now,” declared the Russian tycoon.
Although many would like Usmanov to takeover, he cannot do so unless Kroenke is willing to sell his shares. There were rumours of a possible takeover bid earlier this year, but it appears that Kroenke would dig his heels in and reject a good offer. This must be frustrating for Usmanov, but he has declared his intention to stick with Arsenal anyway.
“In our understanding,” he continued, “Kroenke has no plans to sell his stake, but we also won’t sell out, because we are the team’s fans.”
It seems incredible that Usmanov has money he is desperate to invest in the Gunners in order to make us successful, but he cannot. The Glazer family may have saddled Man United with debt, but at least they make sure Ferguson has the money to strengthen the squad every year. I’m not sure that Kroenke realises that the whole point in football is to win if you can.