Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has released a statement saying he is not about to sell his shares to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke after the American made a bid to take full control of the club.
Reports suggested Kroenke Sports Enterprise UK were set to offer some £525m to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov's Red and White Securities Limited.
The pair are the two biggest shareholders at the Emirates and together own around 90 per cent of the club.
Russian businessman Usmanov has previously made a formal £1bn bid to buy Arsenal, which led to a statement from KSE UK in May 2017 re-affirming their position that the “shares are not, and never have been, for sale,” adding Kroenke's organisation was “a committed, long-term investor in Arsenal and will remain so”.
But Usmanov has resisted Kroenke’s own interest and released a statement on Wednesday afternoon stating his intention to keep hold of his 30 per cent share and that he is not in talks with Kroenke.
“In recent days there has been speculation relating to a possible offer for my 30% stake in Arsenal,” Usmanov said in a statement. “As part of that I can understand the anxiety that these rumours are causing to the fans as reflected by the Arsenal Supporters Trust.
“In light of this, I would like to be clear that I am not holding any talks with Mr Kroenke about a sale. My interest in Arsenal from the beginning was long term and my intention has always been to buy additional shares should they become available.
“This I did with the purchase of the stake of my business partner Farhad Moshiri with which I increased my shareholding from 15% to 30%, and also with my proposed offer for the stake of the majority shareholder which valued the Club at some £2bn. That offer remains valid today.
“I have always been and will continue to be an ardent supporter of Arsenal and I see my 30% stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the Club.
“It has been well documented that I have no say in the running of the club, that my views differ from those of the majority shareholder and that I would take a different approach to delivering footballing success.
“I would like to assure supporters that I am open to various future scenarios: a constructive partnership with the majority shareholder, the purchase of his stake either alone or in a consortium, or if a party appears who shares my and undoubtedly the majority of fans’ vision for the club, I could consider the question of selling my stake.”
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