by Lewis Ambrose

Alisher Usmanov is a name well known in these parts, owning over 30% of the shares in Arsenal Holdings Plc, but what exactly is he doing paying Fabio Capello?

The former England manager is currently manager of the Russian national team, and has a contract until after the 2018 World Cup which Russia will definitely participate in, having qualified as the host nation.

Capello signed for the European nation back in 2012 after leaving his role as England boss and is owed £3.5M by the Russian FA, which Usmanov has decided to pay.


“As a member of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee Supervisory Board, Usmanov decided to give financial help to the RFS (Russian Football Union) to the tune of 300 million roubles,” read a press statement released on behalf of the Uzbek businessman.

“Ahead of the 2018 World Cup, the question regarding the head coach is of great importance for the national football team.”


Following a poor World Cup the Russian national team are currently struggling to qualify for Euro 2016, which will be played in France. Capello has led the side to just two wins from their last 10 competitive games – one came by default after an abandoned match in Montenegro, the other was against minnows Liechtenstein.

Usmanov seems to have given up hope of forcing his way into a position of power at Arsenal after he himself struggled for quite some time.

In 2008 Usmanov’s Red and White Holdings Plc were the largest shareholder but he was undone by members of the board refusing to sell any more shares to him.

Instead Stan Kroenke ultimately purchased the shares held by Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith in 2011 to take control of the club as he held 62% of the shares.

Kroenke was obliged to make a bid for the remaining shares but Usmanov resisted and there has been a stalemate ever since, despite the Russia-based businessman taking his shareholding to over 30% as of October 2013.

It is thought that Usmanov is worth over £9 billion, more than double Stan Kroenke, but his openly critical and divisive approach to club matters has seen him locked out of the board.

It seems that nobody at the club wants him anywhere near us.