Usmanov: I’ve decided to sell my shares

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Alisher Usmanov has released a short statement confirming that he is selling his stake in Arsenal to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.

The Uzbek-born billionaire currently holds 18,695 shares in the club (30.04%) but is accepting an offer of £29,419.64 per share from the American, which will net him upwards of £550 million; a profit of around £300 million on his initial investment.

Usmanov’s statement reads: “I have decided to sell my shares in Arsenal Football Club, which could be the best football club in the world.

“I wish great success to this wonderful football club and to everyone whose life and career are connected with it.”

It remains unclear why Usmanov has chosen to sell his shares at this particular time, although the decision has upset the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust who’ve labelled it a ‘dreadful day’ for Arsenal. As recently as last October, Usmanov had claimed he wasn’t overly interested in selling his shares.

There had been rumours that he might join his former Red & White Holdings partner Farhad Moshiri in investing in Everton, but according to the BBC, he has no intention of doing that. He’s also been linked with a purchase of AC Milan.

For more on what happens next, check out our short Q&A with Phil Wall of the AST. 

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makom
makom

afraid will become just like man utd. glazers

Chrispy
Chrispy

yup because they’ve done really badly since they took over.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

No, we will be much worse. The Glazers actually spent money, I don’t believe the Kroenke family will

Goonsquad
Goonsquad

It’s hard to take to an owner with seemingly no emotional investment in the club. But at the same time we’ve spent some money recently, I think the squad looks pretty good, the new management structure seems to make sense, Emerey seems to be the type of guy I would have liked to come in after Arsene and even saying goodbye and replacing him has been handled well.
I’d like to see a bit of passion from him, but that aside I don’t think we have much to complain about do we?

Thomas B
Thomas B

This is how it looks now. Just wait until your money is being used to pay Kroenke’s loans. This guy won’t invest in this team, and he doesn’t care about Arsenal. This is the worst day in my life since I started to support this club almost 30 years ago.

Alex
Alex

You must be having a great life, considering nothing that happens with or for Arsenal has any impact on your life beyond the imagined.

IamaGoober

I think what speaks volumes is the fact that Kroenke hasn’t come out and said anything at all. The only thing we’ve heard from his camp has been directly to the remaining Arsenal shareholders who he is in the process of squeezing out. He nor KSE has done anything at all to address the millions of Arsenal fans in London, and around the world.

That most likely boils down to the fact he knows he doesn’t have to.

As surely if the Kroenke’s genuinely cared about how the Arsenal fan base and wider footballing public perceived him and KSE as a sporting enterprise first and foremost. You would surely release a prepared savvy PR statement, designed to reassure everybody that is concerned with the takeover bid.

But as far as I am aware, there has been nothing of the sort. Which is standard practice for him.

Lets not forget here, this is the same guy that went on record to state that he had no interest in moving the Rams from St Louis to LA – then he got recorded in illegal meetings with senior NFL officials saying that’s exactly what he was planning to do all along. In fact, he is currently going through legal proceedings in the US right now for that whole saga. As the state of St Louis rightfully took him and the NFL to court for the illegal relocation of the Rams.

And just look at the whole way he has gone about acquiring Usmanov’s shares. So he says that the bridging loan will not be paid back with the clubs money.. but I highly anticipate that to be another lie. As conveniently, that whole process will take a long time, and most likely at the time of conclusion, Arsenal would already be a private company and he would be under no legal obligation to publicly confirm how those loan repayments and the interest rates (which are about £15 million a year) are being financed.

And whats more alarming is the fact that if he or his wife were to die, or go bankrupt, before the loan is repaid. Then Deutsche Bank, a Bank which is heavily saturated in its own issues with insolvency, (i.e. bankruptcy) would therefor legally get a huge stake in KSE, subsequently becoming one of the major shareholders at Arsenal.

And furthermore, its come to light this morning that Kroenke placed costs in excess of £600,000 onto Arsenal for the legal and financial counsel of yesterdays take overbid…

So clearly, if he is already prepared to use the clubs money to finance his OWN legal advisor’s to assist him with the bridging loan to buy Usmanovs shares, he is obviously going to use Arsenal’s money when he privately owns the company.

Let me just close out my point by saying, he is a multi-billionaire. He does not need to take out a bridging loan to buy Usmanovs shares. He can easily afford that cost on his own. Especially after driving down the share price near enough 16% saving himself the best part of a further £130M, if he was actually a decent enough human and paid the market value of the club shares currently.

Brown
Brown

Kronke shouls release a statement as to what his intentions are now that he has taken control….or not- he can do whatever he wants now

Chidi
Chidi

He doesn’t have to.. That’s the idiotic part of the whole thing!

Dat guy
Dat guy

The fact that no one is optimistic about this takeover a bad omen in itself. It’s up to kroenke to prove us wrong I guess

Dave
Dave

balls

GloryHunter
GloryHunter

we are screwed

1993
1993

No more ‘we’ I’m afraid

Goontang
Goontang

There you have it folks, the move from higbury to the Emirates was now a complete waste of time. Because now this cunt will throw us back into cash saving mode to help pay off the loan he’s going to get to fund the takeover.

Nice way to do this a few days before the opening game of the season. Really shows just how much he has no fucking clue

LEFT08
LEFT08

Plonker.

Thierry bergkamp
Thierry bergkamp

Unrelated to this article. I just saw Lucas Perez going into Shoreditch town hall with a smartly dressed man, I’m assuming his agent. I wished him well wherever he’s going and they both said thanks. I’d guess that his situation will be sorted sooner rather than later.

That’s it really….

NJC
NJC

That was me with Lucas. He is signing for AC Shoreditch today, pending a medical at The Ditch HQ

onenil
onenil

Getting Married?

shokim
shokim

Perez is already married if I am not wrong.

Perez Wife
Perez Wife

No, because he’s leaving the epic Arsenal we are getting a divorce.

Yellow Ribbon
Yellow Ribbon

We are doomed. There is no Wenger too.. to save our asses now that we have successfully kicked him out.

Look at what the Yankee has done so far to the other teams he owns.

Oh! My poor old Arsenal.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

I know Arsene’s wages were high but do you really think he has nearly 2 billion quid handy to buy out the Kroenkes?

Yellow Ribbon
Yellow Ribbon

The point is we don’t have have anyone to lean back onto. Love him or hate him but you can’t deny the fact that he had our backs when we needed him.

I worried that there is no such person available in this club to save us from this money mongrel.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

What exactly do you think he would have done if he was still manager to make this situation less shitty? Nothing….cos there’s nothing he could have done.
It just amuses me how when anyone criticises Arsene these days it’s pathetic for dragging him into every & any conversation & yet on the other side it’s always ok to bring him up when it suits.

Lucas Perez's Diaper Shorts
Lucas Perez's Diaper Shorts

I’m really not getting the hysteria behind this takeover. Sure, the AST are mad, but we would expect them to be mad, right? Yes, AST meetings are gone, but they were huge venting sessions anyway. Did it really change where Arsenal finished in the table?
For the average fan, is this going to really matter, or change how they view Arsenal? Sure there’ll be some carping in the short term but if we win matches, everyone will forget. If we don’t, well this will just become another crutch we use to explain our chronic under-performance (like stadium move, Dein, Wenger, Gazidis, Kroenke etc)
Overall, I’m not that pessimistic because in the long term Arsenal’s financial performance is wedded to how well the club does on the pitch. Like it or not Arsenal is a global enterprise in a performance driven industry. They need win things to continue to be relevant and to keep fans overseas happy and ensure they continue to receive lucrative endorsements and merchandise sales. Not to mention a bigger share of the pie from the League or any future Euro League.

Henry
Henry

-you won’t live “long term”…..sorry…but great that you are happy, and can use wrongdoings of the past to explain/justify current as well as future failings…..The performance records of Kroenke’s sports investments are easy to find, should you ever be bothered….Usmanov is sensible to withdraw his investment and collect a profit….

Lucas Perez's Diaper Shorts
Lucas Perez's Diaper Shorts

That’s a flawed comparison. American sports just do not operate in the same way. The LA Rams do not have to perform well to please fans in Europe, Asia and Africa. Arsenal do. The LA Rams do not have to qualify for playoffs year after year to stay relevant. They will stay relevant merely by being in the NFL. Arsenal do have to at least qualify for the Champions League semi-regularly. My point is Kroenke is not incentivized for Arsenal to do badly on the pitch. If we keep finishing 6th for a decade, his investment suffers too! If we win (or at least challenge for) titles, the club will perform better financially also.

DontForget
DontForget

The other thing is American Sports have a draft system where the worst teams are rewarded with the best picks, owners of bad teams use this as an excuse behind “tanking” and not spending money, trying to get the best young players all at the same time without spending any money. If an epl team is bad, it just makes it harder to attract the top talent

Sànde Class
Sànde Class

Fiiinnally! A voice of reason! Waitanimmit. Is this one of those new age AI bots?!

Chidi
Chidi

No kidding!

onenil
onenil

Time for FC Arsenal?
Maybe some of the small shareholders who get bought out would like to re-invest in a club for the fans.

Lula
Lula

who could he sell to at a price he wants who wouldnt just accept a better offer from kroenke? he had no-one to sell to who wouldnt just sell to kroenke except arsenal fans who dont have enough money to be taken seriously.

that is my guess.

TotsOfJack
TotsOfJack

The fans could have bought the shares if we had been serious enough about it.

Mark
Mark

A cool £300m profit… not too shabby eh!? If we can make ourselves understand why a footballer (Perez) would find it difficult to accept a £1.5m paycut, it is pretty easy to understand why eventually someone would take their £300m profit and disappear… regardless of the absurd amount of money they already have stockpiled in their various accounts and assets.

LondonN5
LondonN5

And there goes any chance Arsenal ever had of competing.
An owner that say’s he will never invest is never going to spend on the squad.
The supporters trust are usually negative about most things but they are correct in saying this is a sad, sad day for Arsenal…

KongoKim
KongoKim

How do you guys think Arsene would have reacted in the press over this?!? Emery was a yesman at PSG and that’s why the board were after him.

George
George

Oh, ffs, I get dumber by the minute reading shit like this.

American Gooner
American Gooner

Now the Gazidis to Milan rumors make much more sense, why stay in a place where you answer to a run-a-muck billionaire who is content to be middling and uncompetitive, what a terribly sad day to be a Gooner.

Arsene49
Arsene49

Thanks for your article on the guardian Andrew. Hopefully sheds some light on this issue to fans of other clubs who think this is some great new development for Arsenal. I have had 4 people text me today saying wow, looks like arsenal are gonna be getting a lot of investment. They have no clue…

Junior Kay
Junior Kay

Wenger gone. Usmanov selling. Gazidis jumping ship. Welcome to the Final Frontier.
Arsenal FC under construction again, hope it’s going to be solid.

Cameron
Cameron

Oh shit—it’s Mr. Creosote!

assistantref
assistantref

This is an absolute disaster for the club. There really is zero possible upside. Kroenke was never going to invest a penny, so that won’t change. All accountability and transparency will disappear completely. KSE dividends (ahem, “management fees”) will come back without a doubt – and won’t even be made public till a year after the fact.

Essentially, whatever vestigial traces of Arsenal the football club will now be gone – it will just be a football business.

RIP Arsenal Football Club – welcome to Arsenal Football Company.

spinner
spinner

You mean KSE London Soccer Corporation.

Gunnertron
Gunnertron

So this is why Gazidis is jumping ship.

Tarik
Tarik

Is this to do with British crackdown on Russian affiliated money?

shaka
shaka

after me, the deluge

Random Witness
Random Witness

Excerpt from article on Guardian:

“… For instance, if Kroenke or his wife – the guarantor of his loan – were to die, that would be considered a default on the loan….”

How is this legally tenable? How can someone dying result in default of loan? Can anyone get in touch with Swiss Ramble and ask him to write about this?

Usmanov's Mole
Usmanov's Mole

Should have done a crowdfunding exercise Blogs – £550m / 60000+ season ticket holders and waiting list would have worked out at under 10k each. Or a lot less if you wider consider interest from fans around the world – apparently our global fan base is 27m, who knew.

Looks like it would have been a decent investment too given what Usmanov walked away with…