Billionaire Usmanov made US$1.3 billion offer for control of Arsenal

News of the bid was revealed by The Financial Times with sources confirming to Telegraph Sport that an offer had been made with Usmanov arguing that he has already demonstrated he has the long-term interests of the club at heart and, crucially, is willing to invest heavily to make it more competitive again on the pitch.

A person familiar with the situation says Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has had an offer to buy out owner Stan Kroenke rejected.

The club is in a vulnerable position, as is Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov has identified this.

The Financial Times first reported that Usmanov, who has a 30 percent holding in Arsenal, has been seeking to buy Kroenke's 67-percent majority stake. "Now I am not so sure". In an interview with Bloomberg last month, Usmanov said the blame for the club's performance should not rest exclusively with Wenger, but also with Kroenke and the board, from which Mr Usmanov is excluded.

Arsenal fans have been disappointed by the club's performance this season and manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday a decision on his future will be made at a board meeting following the FA Cup final clash against Chelsea this month.

Demands that Wenger and his protector Kroenke leave the club will escalate if Manchester City and Liverpool secure the draw and win which they respectively need on Sunday to keep the North London club out of the top four.

Usmanov now has the maximum stake he can hold without making an official takeover, with 30% ownership in his hands.

'I don't think the coach alone is to be blamed for what's happening, ' he told Bloomberg.

The Gunners face a multi-million pound drop in revenue if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League. Usmanov on the other hand is anticipated to have twice the wealth of the American businessman, an opportunity that Arsenal fans would surely desire at the club right now.

Usmanov increased his stake to 30 per cent a year ago, buying out Moshiri, who went on to buy Everton.

  • Carolyn Briggs