Published: Mon, May 22, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Kroenke confirms Arsenal stake is 'not for sale'

The Financial Times reported on Friday (19 May) that billionaire Uzbek-born Russian steel magnate Usmanov, who increased his own stake in the Premier League giants to 30% after buying out partner and now Everton owner Farhad Moshiri previous year, had made a $1.3bn (£1bn) offer to buyout his fellow shareholder.

Alisher Usmanov, a Russian billionaire who owns 30 percent of Arsenal, made the $1.3 billion offer in a letter to American billionaire Kroenke, who controls 67 percent of the club, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The Financial Times report that Usmanov, 63 - already a 30% stake owner of The Gunners - conveyed an offer in writing of his desire to take full control of the club to current "owner" and United States sports mogul Kroenke.

Usmanov's interest in acquiring a larger share at the North London outfit is no secret as he now plays no part in the decison-making at the club.

Usmanov said in April that Kroenke must "bear huge responsibility" for the club's failures on the pitch.

What with the distinct possibility of Arsenal missing out on £50million's worth of Champions League revenue next season, Usmanov was apparently hoping to strike while the iron was tepid.

However Kroenke does not appear inclined to sell, causing Gunners fans to get very wound up on Twitter.

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That does not mean Usmanov has been put off and he could yet return with an increased bid - with Forbes now listing his wealth at £11.2bn.

Many, disenchanted with the club's form in recent seasons, have accused Mr Kroenke of being an absentee owner.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "He has put in the bid and it is great news".

"It is not looking good at the moment. Now I am not so sure". Arsenal have some selection concerns the FA Cup final, with the defender Laurent Koscielny banned following his red card on Sunday, while Gabriel had to be carried off on a stretcher after sustaining a knee injury. The 69-year-old reportedly intends to stay with the Gunners for the long term.

With a lack of ambition from top to bottom, it's argued that a change in the hierarchy is necessary to push Arsenal in the right direction, but it doesn't sound as though that change will be coming in the near future.

"You have certainly to know that there are many aspects of a football club which have to be discussed at a board meeting".

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