Alisher Usmanov. Photo: Reuters

The Russian businessman has sold belonging to him the shares of the London club.


– I have decided to sell my shares of football club “Arsenal”, which can be the best in the world.

I wish great success to the wonderful football club and for all, whose life and career are connected with it, – said Alisher Usmanov, whose statement “SE” provided by the press service of the businessman.

According to the Financial Times, Usmanov (the state – $ 12.5 billion according to Forbes) has sold a 30 percent stake in Arsenal’s primary shareholder of the club – American Stan Kronke (condition 8.3 billion dollars), which also owns “the Denver nuggets” (NBA), “Colorado rapids” (NFL) and the “Colorado avalanche” (NHL). As writes the edition, the transaction amount, completing a multi-year joint conflict amounted to 550 million pounds (about 712 million U.S. dollars).

Earlier, the Russian billionaire has repeatedly tried to become the owner of a controlling stake. For example, in may 2017, it was reported that Usmanov had intended to buy Kronke 67% stake in Arsenal for $ 1.3 billion, but the deal never took place. In October 2017, it became known that already Kronke suggested Usmanov 525 million pounds sterling (at that time 784 million dollars) for a 30 percent stake. The Russians refused, stressing that he owns stake is “an important aspect of protecting the interests of the fans at the club.”

However, in July 2018, the Financial Times reported, according to which Usmanov came to terms with the inability to become a major owner of Arsenal and seriously thinking about selling his stake.


Usmanov became the owner of Arsenal in 2007, through the company Red and White Holdings Ltd bought is 14.65% of the shares of the former Vice-President of the club David Dean for 75 million pounds (then more than 150 million dollars).

In February 2016, the businessman increased the stake to 30.04%, acquiring shares with his partner Farhad Moshiri. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. British media estimated it at about 200 million pounds (at the time – about $ 280 million). Thus, despite a significant portion of the shares, Usmanov was not involved in the Board of Directors, which excluded the possibility of making key decisions about the future of the club including its activities in the transfer market.

Kronke also took over a blocking stake in April 2011, when he agreed with Danny Fishman and Nina, Braswell Smith, who together controlled nearly 33% of the shares. In July 2012, Usmanov and Moshiri issued an open letter to the Board of Directors of Arsenal, criticizing his actions – and, in particular, Cronce. The message noted that the club’s policy leads to the loss of leading players, not allowing Arsene Wenger to reveal coaching capacity, as Arsenal is to rely on something more than a place in the Champions League.

In August 2012, Usmanov in an interview with Forbes explained that the participation in the Board of Directors for him and Moseri appropriate only “upon receipt of the controlling club or equitable and respectful partnership”. The entrepreneur also noted that, when he came to Arsenal did not represent “the full depth of the conflict between shareholders”. Usmanov was very disappointed that Fishman, at that time, in fact, driving the gunners, have formed opinions about the Russians on the basis of “at least biased opinions and judgments of some persons.”

– Also, unfortunately, all this mythology, together with the shares of Danny Fisman inherited and new controlling shareholder (Kronke. – Approx. “SE”), – said Usmanov.

“Arsenal” in the era of Kronke three times won the Cup and the Supercup of England, but never won in the Premier League and has not achieved significant results in the Champions League.


Over the past 12 months in the media appeared information about the fact that Usmanov intends to buy a particular club. So, in the fall of 2017, the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported that billionaire considering buying Anderlecht – the most titled team of Belgium. In a press-service of the businessman have confirmed the presence of an acquisition proposal of the Brussels club, but said that “no decision was taken.”

In March 2018 the portal Football Italia spread information about Usmanov’s interest in buying Milan. The reasoning was as follows: red and black owe the hedge Fund Elliott Management 303 million euros, and Usmanov is in a good relationship with his head Paul singer. However, this information was categorically refuted. “Mr A. B. Usmanov gets a lot of proposals about the purchase of football clubs. Some suggestions are seriously considered and analyzed, some don’t. Proposals on the acquisition of FC “Milan” is not received”, – stated in the press service of the businessman.

There was talk about the fact that Usmanov could invest in “Dynamo”. But in June of 2017, the Chairman of “Dynamo” Vladimir Strzhalkovsky said in an interview with “SE” that, under certain conditions, the billionaire is willing to consider funding a hockey blue and white, but not football. However, you cannot say that Usmanov is in no way affiliated with the Russian football. So, in 2015, the debt to the former head coach of Russian national team Fabio Capello, amounting to several hundred million rubles were repaid with financial assistance Usmanov.

As for other sports, Usmanov is the President of the International fencing Federation and supports the artistic gymnastics.

Ilya ANDREEV, Sport-Express