Billionaire Alisher Usmanov made an offer in April to buy a controlling stake in London football club Arsenal for $ 1.3 billion, the Financial Times (FT) reported, citing three people familiar with the situation. Usmanov, who already owns 30% of the club, wants to buy out 67% of the shares from American tycoon Stan Kronke. The entire club, according to FT, is valued at $ 2 billion. Bloomberg, citing two sources, writes about Arsenal’s estimate of £ 2 billion ($ 2.6 billion).
Kronke rejected Usmanov’s offer because he wants to retain control of the club in order to see Arsenal again in the future as the champion of the English Premier League and one of the strongest teams in Europe, writes the Daily Mail. Two weeks ago, it seemed that the deal was possible, the FT source notes, now he is not sure about it. The Mirror also notes that a deal is unlikely. According to the British press, there was no official response from Kronke.
In an April interview with Bloomberg, Usmanov blamed the club’s poor performance this season not only on head coach Arsene Wenger, but also on Kronk’s board of directors. In a conversation with the FT, the Russian billionaire accused the main shareholder of Arsenal of insufficient investment in the development of the team. Usmanov himself is not a member of the club’s board of directors, although he is the owner of the second largest stake. According to Bloomberg, in addition to a letter with an offer, Usmanov sent the main owner of Arsenal a proposal for further joint work for the sake of a “confident future of the club” if Kroenke does not agree to sell the stake.
Kroenke Group and Arsenal did not respond to FT requests, a representative of Red & White (through which Usmanov owns the club’s shares) declined to comment. Usmanov’s representative did the same. True, an acquaintance of the businessman knows that he is very interested in gaining control of Arsenal and intends to do everything possible for this. Arsenal finished 5th in the Premier League and missed the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years despite winning the last game of the 2016/17 season against Everton on Sunday, depriving them of around £ 50m in revenue.