Emirates Stadium: Home of Arsenal(credit: Leigh Copson)
Alisher Usmanov has insisted he will not sell his stake in Arsenal to American businessman Stan Kroenke.
Kroenke purchased the shares of Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith earlier this week to increase his share in the Gunners to 62.89%, triggering a mandatory buyout.
However, Kroenke Sports Enterprises have come up against a road block in the form of Russian billionaire Usmanov and the Arsenal Supporters Trust, who have refused to part with their shares in the football club which is currently valued at £731m.
Usmanov currently controls 27% of the club’s holding company, with his shares valued at £194m, and insists he is love for the club means he will not sell to KSE.
He said: “I’m not going to sell my stake. I love Arsenal, that’s why I’m a shareholder.”
And a spokesperson for AST, who are against allowing one man control of the club, welcomed Usmanov’s comments, saying: “AST welcomes Red and White Holdings' commitment to Arsenal and calls on all shareholders to work together.
“Their priorities should firstly be making Arsenal a successful football team, secondly placing no leveraged debt on the club or taking dividends and management fees out of the club, and thirdly helping supporters be directly involved in the club's shareholding.”
Meanwhile, the Gunners are mourning the death of director Danny Fiszman following a long battle with cancer.
Chairman Peter Hill-Wood told the club’s official website: “Danny Fiszman was a visionary Director, a gentleman and a true Arsenal fan.
“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Danny. His voice, wisdom and presence around the football club he so dearly loved will be sorely missed.
“Arsenal Football Club will forever be indebted to Danny for his invaluable foresight and contribution during the move from Highbury to our new stadium.
“Our thoughts at this time are with Danny's wife Sally, family and friends. We have lost a much loved husband, father, grandfather and friend.”