Apr 28

Usmanov wants bigger stake in Arsenal

Russia’s richest man Alisher Usmanov has admitted he is keen to up his stake in Arsenal by acquiring further shares in the club.

Usmanov, who controls 30 percent of the north London side with his business partner Farhad Moshiri, will seek to boost the stake, according to an interview broadcast on state television.

The 58-year-old oligarch is rated as the 35th richest person in the world and has previously been critical of Stan Kroenke’s current regime for what he sees as a lack of investment in the playing squad.

“When we invest in domestic sports – we do not expect an immediate return. We are prepared to wait for trophies and big successes”, Usmanov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 channel.

“But the “Arsenal” – this is a real business. It generates about two hundred million dollars in revenue.

“This is a club that is worth more than a billion dollars today. When we bought it, it was worth about half. I am very pleased with our investment. And in any case, I will increase it [his stake in the club].”


8 Responses to “Usmanov wants bigger stake in Arsenal”

  1. wayne medina says:

    We have got to give Usmanov a bigger stake! “Medina”

    Newsmaker: Usmanov Took Long Road to Become Rich.

    26 April 2012

    By Howard Amos

    There are few former Central Asian jailbirds who can also claim to be popular hate figures among football fans in north London — but they include Alisher Usmanov, who became Russia’s richest man and married a gymnastics champion along the way.

    Usmanov’s fortune, which he amassed through a myriad of investments from iron ore producers to stakes in Facebook, is currently estimated at more than $18 billion, after it bounced back from $1.6 billion during the 2009 crisis, according to Forbes.

    After the Uzbek-born tycoon spent six years in prison in the 1980s for extortion, alongside the son of a regional KGB deputy, his first successful business foray was into plastic bag manufacturing.

    Unlike other modern Russian oligarchs, he did not shoot to fabulous wealth on the back of privatization deals in the early 1990s but worked his way steadily upward. A key moment was his appointment in 2001 as director of Gazprominvestholding, which raises money abroad for the state-controlled gas giant and directs investments. He is still in the post.

    Today Usmanov’s business interests stretch across multiple continents and range from high-technology firms like Twitter, Groupon and Zynga to mining and metals conglomerate Metalloinvest and British football clubs.

    His stake in Facebook, which he bought through Yury Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies in 2009, has grown to five times its purchase value. He is in line for a huge windfall in the company’s upcoming IPO.

    Just this week Usmanov, 58, consolidated his hold on Russia’s No. 2 wireless carrier MegaFon in a deal with shareholders that leaves him with a 50 percent plus one share stake in the firm. He was also entangled in the corruption scandal that blew up around Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov last month.

    Anti-corruption blogger and lawyer Alexei Navalny accused Usmanov, who has British citizenship, of laundering money for Shuvalov on March 30. “After Usmanov secured the money in the right place,” Navalny wrote on his blog, “he began getting on really well in business.”

    Usmanov controls big media holdings in Russia that include the Kommersant publishing house and news website Gazeta.ru. In December, the editor of Kommersant Vlast was fired for printing an obscene photo involving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    “I am proud that I know Putin,” Usmanov said in a 2010 interview with Forbes. “And the fact that not everybody likes him is not Putin’s problem.”

    The oligarch also has stakes in London-based Arsenal and Scotland’s Rangers football clubs. Some Arsenal fans were not ecstatic about Usmanov’s investment and gave him the unkind terrace nickname Jabba after the hulking, slug-like villain in George Lucas’ “Star Wars.”

    But Usmanov’s interest in sport dates back to his own period as a young fencer on the Uzbekistan national side. Though he no longer fights, he is today the president of the International Fencing Federation.

    It was also through fencing that he met his wife, Irina Viner, the famous gymnast and trainer, who has nurtured such Russian stars as Alina Kabayeva. They first encountered each other in a Tashkent gym and were married in 1992.

    In an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets last year, Viner admitted that she and Usmanov were not the sort of couple who brought each other breakfast in bed.

    “But when we do see each other it’s as if it’s for the first time,” she said.

  2. nasri says:

    i think he should bought the biggest share to invest the club viva la arsenal viva la cesc fabregas

  3. gunneri says:

    Important facts:

    1. He has the money, so much more than stingy yankee kroenke.
    2. He’s willing to spend on top players.
    3. He’s a fan of Arsenal.
    4. Wenger is ok if he’s on the board. Can also means that they can work together.
    5. He wants results – trophies, titles – for the club as well, not just monetary returns.

  4. david boyle says:

    bring in the ruskei fuck off the yank if we want to win things. Enough said!

  5. Korkow says:

    This guy want to see Arsenal succeed in the pitch, I hope he should also be included in board.

  6. Lee. says:

    Not that I think he’s pulled up any trees for us since he took over, but I’d give Stan one more year before we need to ask for his head. Also think it would not be the worst thing in the world to have Usmanov on the board. Because now he’s in the money bracket that we will only be a little play thing for him & not a cash cow, however I’m NOT convinced Stan has the same outlook on “The Ars” as he has already said in the past. He sees nothing wrong in taking money from his businesses “that being HIS right” of course…..

  7. Roy Davis says:

    If he was in charge we would still have Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy Kolo toure and loads more Lukaku Mata Eden hazard I could go on and on.

  8. Uncle Bould says:

    Whit Uzmanov we will se Dein i the boardroom again


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