Arsenal legend Ian Wright has begged Alisher Usmanov not to sell his shares to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, after reports that Kroenke could become a 97% owner of the Gunners.
Wright shares the fans’ concerns about Kroenke’s attempt to purchase Usmanov’s 30% stake in the club. He took to Twitter to plead for Usmanov not to sell and “protect” the club from the American, says latest reports.
Usmanov has since released a statement denying that he was in any talks with Kroenke and reiterating his long-term commitment to the club. Crucially, he explicitly stated that he would consider selling his shares to a party who shares his vision for the club.
The cold war between the two majority shareholders is set to continue for a while longer. Usmanov made a £2bn bid for Kroenke’s 67% stake back in May, but found his offer rebuffed.
One man having sole ownership of the club isn’t a good situation due to the risk of privatisation, in my opinion. In that scenario, Arsenal would not be obligated to release their financial accounts or invite shareholders to a general meeting.
Kroenke is a deeply unpopular figure amongst the fans due to his reluctance to invest in the club. Usmanov, meanwhile, has been seeking to gain fan backing by criticising the current ownership.