For 102 years Rangers Football Club in Scotland have owned a stake in Arsenal. A close alliance between the two clubs was forged at start the of the last century when Arsenal were, apparently, in financial difficulties.
Two shares were purchased in 1910 and some years later Arsenal gifted another 14 shares to the Scottish giants. Now though, and somewhat ironically, Rangers own financial problems have forced their hand, and the shares have been sold.
The Daily Record reports that the club’s owner, Craig Whyte, sold the 16 shares to Red and White Holdings Ltd, fronted by Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri for £230,000 (£14,375 per share).
They continue, “Whyte then blocked a move for the cash to be paid into the Rangers bank account, demanding instead it stayed lodged in one of his own companies, Pritchard Stockbrokers in Bournemouth.
“Pritchard’s assets have now been frozen on the orders of the Financial Services Authority. The FSA moved in on Friday after ruling that Pritchard, who listed Whyte as board secretary, had used client money to cover its own costs.”
Rangers were placed into administration last week after years of financial mismanagment, and the opportunistic Usmanov has swooped to continue his efforts to reach a 30% holding in the club.
For those who are not wise to, or confused by, what effect this might have, this piece blog post by Angry of Islington sets out the implications in clear and precise form and is essential reading for any Arsenal fan.
It does seem a shame that Craig Whyte seems to have overlooked Rangers association with Arsenal when deciding how to dispose of the shares, but then considering the way he’s run things I don’t know that we’d have been dealing with the most above board businessman of all time.
CURRENT ARSENAL SHAREHOLDING
|RED and WHITE SECURITIES LTD*||18,437||29.63%|