The power struggle going on behind the scenes at Arsenal continues between the two top shareholders.

By 90Min
October 04, 2017

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has publicly declared that he is not in talks to sell his 30.4% stake in the club to hugely unpopular majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, reassuring supporters that it also remains his intention to buy more Gunners shares and take control.

It was reported this week that Kroenke, who also owns multiple sports franchises in his native United States - including the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, had offered Usmanov a total of £525m in an attempt to buy him out of the Emirates Stadium altogether.

That would have seen Kroenke's stake, currently 67%, rise to over 97% and near full private ownership - a situation Arsenal fans have been desperate to avoid.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, Gunners legend Ian Wright described Russian billionaire Usmanove as Arsenal's 'only hope'.

Responding to the speculation, Usmanov has issued a statement, reassuring supporters that he is not selling his shares to Kroenke and that he would be running things differently were in charge of any decisions - the 64-year-old does not currently have a place on the Arsenal board.

In his statement, Usmanov acknowledged the 'anxiety' that news of Kroenke's bid had created and believes that retaining his stake will help 'protect the best interests' of supporters.

"I would like to be clear that I am not holding any talks with Mr Kroenke about a sale," he said. "My interest in Arsenal from the beginning was long term and my intention has always been to buy additional shares should they become available."

Usmanov bought up current Everton majority shareholder and business partner Farhad Moshiri's shares to double his stake to its current 30%, and explained how he has already made his own offer to buy Kroenke out of the club in a deal that values Arsenal at £2bn.

"That offer remains valid today," he said. "I have always been and will continue to be an ardent supporter of Arsenal and I see my 30% stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the club.

"It has been well documented that I have no say in the running of the club, that my views differ from those of the majority shareholder and that I would take a different approach to delivering footballing success.

"I would like to assure supporters that I am open to various future scenarios - a constructive partnership with the majority shareholder, the purchase of his stake either alone or in a consortium, or if a party appears who shares my and undoubtedly the majority of fans' vision for the club, I could consider the question of selling my stake."

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