Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, says that Stan Kroenke must ‘bear huge responsibility’ for the problems at the club, and has suggested that Arsene Wenger should be involved in the process of selecting a new manager.
The Uzbeki oligarch owns 30.04% of the club’s shares, but remains very much on the outside and does not have a place on the board.
He has no relationship whatsoever with Kroenke, whose KSE holding company owns 67.05% of the shares, and he has criticised the American in an interview with Bloomberg.
“I personally, unfortunately, am fully isolated from decision making in the club,” he said.
“All the responsibility for the fate of the club rests with the main shareholder.”
There has been continual focus on the future of Wenger, but very little clarity with the manager unwilling to discuss his plans, while Kroenke has had nothing to say at all.
Usmanov clearly has doubts about the board’s ability to find a successor, and seems to want Wenger himself to play a role.
“Some continuity is needed,” he said. “This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way.
“I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor.”
The Frenchman has often said that he would not be a part of that process, but his input wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing given that his football knowledge certainly outweighs that of Stan and Josh Kroenke.
Whether Kroenke will respond to Usmanov’s criticism remains to be seen, but chances are he will do what he always does and remain silent.