They’ve made offers to get rid of each other, in a winner takes all battle for Arsenal football club and they are both currently waiting for the other to blink. It’s a heavyweight battle like no other as The American billionaire Stan Kroenke tries to fend off the advances of Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
One has the approval of the board and is the majority shareholder, the other is the fans choice and a close associate of the ever popular David Dein.
Kroenke has 67 percent of the club’s shares and is, for now, the man that holds all the cards, whilst Usmanov has 30 percent and no place on the Arsenal board, making him the Watson of the partnership, whilst Kroenke assumes the role of Sherlock.
It’s a 2 billion pound soap opera that’s not about to end anytime soon with Kroenke making the last bid to remove the Uzbekistanian and that was for £525 million but the second highest shareholder was undeterred by the offer from baseballs popcorn king.
He briefly made some noise about finding another investor to sell to but anyone who has followed this football spat will know that this is just a ploy to get under Kroenke’s skin. He went further to hint that he might sell up and join Everton which is a bit like a power ranger joining the Wombles.
Fans were shocked and immediately went into a meltdown fearing that there would be no one to challenge invisible Stan. It’s a name the American will dispute but you don’t see him in North London very often.
So fans took to social media to voice their displeasure and in the hope that the businessman would change his mind but the truth was, that he had no intention of moving on or counting the profit on his initial investment.
Usmanov isn’t the type to slink off with his tail between his legs and utter the words ” Oh well, I tried”. He is a patient man who isn’t used to coming second and he will be looking at fresh ways to squeeze into the Arsenal boardroom and take charge of the club.
He is on record as saying:
“It is my dream to have a controlling stake in Arsenal football club “
As yet that dream hasn’t been realised but whilst contemplating his next move, he opened talks in November of this year to take majority control of Anderlecht for €80m. Well, it was Wednesday and he was bored!
At the end of the season, you can bet your bottom Euro that he will be in the process of launching another massive bid for the North London club and the question is, how long will Kroenke hold out?
Usmanov may not hold the keys to the Emirates but he can afford to wait around because his net worth is 12 billion, double the net worth of his American nemesis. If Usmanov finally breaks Kroenke’s resolve and comes in, from the cold, Wenger will be out by teatime, so those wanting the Frenchman to leave will certainly be leaning towards the Russian.
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