Kroenke, Usmanov Intend To Keep Arsenal Despite Reported Record Bid For Club
EPL club Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke and investor Alisher Usmanov yesterday were “united in their resistance” to a record $2.26B (all figures U.S.) purchase of the team “by a Middle East-based consortium that has vowed to ‘transform’ the club’s dwindling fortunes,” according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Kroenke and Usmanov “made it clear they had no intention of selling their respective 66.83 per cent and 29.96 per cent stakes.” The purchase price “would be a world record for a football club, dwarfing” what the Glazer family paid for Manchester United in ’05. The group involved does “not want their identities made public yet but have requested a meeting” with Kroenke "to discuss the proposed offer, which would net the American billionaire a profit” of around $602M. Arsenal Communications Dir Mark Gonnella yesterday said that Kroenke has “never sold any of his sports investments.” A Usmanov spokesperson insisted that Usmanov, “who has made no secret of his desire to take control of Arsenal himself, also had no interest in selling his stake.” Rumsby notes Arsenal is “facing the prospect of finishing outside the Premier League top four for the first time” during the tenure of manager Arsene Wenger. He said yesterday that he “did not know anything about the proposed bid and rejected the idea that missing out on the top four would make his side vulnerable to a takeover” (London TELEGRAPH, 3/4).