Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who is a 30% stakeholder in Premier League club Arsenal, has seen his takeover bid for the Gunners rejected. He made an offer of $1.3 billion for majority share owner Stan Kroenke’s 67% stake, but was turned down by the American.
This is not the first such buyout attempt made by Usmanov, and there were rumblings that after this disappointing season when Arsenal look likely to miss out on a Champions League spot for the first time in 20 years, Kroenke would want to sell out.
However, media sources are reporting that the Kroenke family wants to maintain control of the club despite having several other franchises to their name, including the Los Angeles Rams (NFL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.
Earlier this season, Everton had signed on a company partly-owned by Usmanov, USM Holdings, as the new sponsor for the Finch Farm training facility. The Toffees’ majority owner is Farhad Moshiri, a close business associate of Usmanov’s, and speculation has always been high that should Usmanov could make the switch to Everton by buying out Bill Kenwright and the rest of the Board’s 50.1% holdings to match Moshiri’s 49.9% stake.
Ironically, Everton take on Arsenal in the last game of the season at the Emirates on Sunday and it will be interesting to see if Usmanov is present at the game or not, along with Moshiri.
Everton have been taking active steps to improve their financial standing over the last few months with Moshiri coming through on his promise to bring in more investment for the club to prevent UEFA Financial Fair-Play restrictions from hamstringing the club’s ambitions.