Usmanov Increases Stake in Arsenal
The day it was reported that Alisher Usmanov’s wealth had crashed from $13.3bn to a mere $4.5bn, our friendly Russian through his Red and White Holdings vehicle has increased his stake to the highly significant 25%.
At this level, Red and White can block any Special Resolution that the board puts to the shareholders in terms of restructuring.
Red and White are now only 4.9% away from having to make a formal bid for the club.
There are many opinions as to whether a takeover is the right thing for Arsenal.
The recent shenanigans at Chelsea with Abramovich flying in to sack Scolari and appointing yet another of his friends as manager, the circus that is Manchester City and the failure of the Americans to provide the money to build a new stadium for Liverpool have turned many against a potential takeover by Usmanov.
However, the difference is that at the heart of Red and White Holdings is Mr Arsenal himself, David Dein. As long as Dein is involved with Arsenal, he will ensure that the best interests of the club come first and will not allow the Mickey Mouse antics that are going on at other clubs to come to Arsenal.
The next step in the eventual and inevitable takeover of Arsenal will come in the summer; Usmanov will be sounding out Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith who was ignominiously sacked by Arsenal. Her 14% plus the shares owned by her extended family would allow Red and White to own in excess of 40%. This will be moment when the board, except for our Etonian Chairman, waves the white flag, takes their millions, and retire in Switzerland as tax exiles.
What Arsenal Football Club needs is a man at the controls who lives and breaths Arsenal, a man who will ensure Wenger REALLY has the funds he needs at his disposal, not mere empty statements. Dein will be that man and he could work in tandem with Ivan Gazidis.