Usmanov bid to buy Arsenal rejected by Kroenke

The Uzbek-born Russian reportedly was willing to pay £1 billion (approximately $1.3 billion) to acquire Kroenke's 67 percent stake in the club, but the latter's company KSE UK has now seemingly ended Usmanov hopes of a takeover.

KSE UK, Kroenke's holding company, owns 67 per cent of the north London club, compared to Usmanov's 30 per cent, but have no intentions to sell.

Usmanov's Red and White Holdings has always been shut out of a seat on the Board even though they own 30% of the club, which has long angered the minority owner.

Although Kroenke did not immediately dismiss the idea, he has indicated he is not interested in selling his stake to Usmanov or anyone else, the FT said. The Financial Times report that the metals magnate made a bid worth £1bn for Kroenke's stake in the club, with the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson later confirming that the offer was rejected, but remains on the table.

Fan protests have mounted against manager Arsene Wenger with calls for him to leave after nearly 21 years in charge. At the very least, the bid may put pressure on Kroenke - a remote figure rarely seen at the Emirates - to find a bold way of demonstrating to supporters that Arsenal's decline can be turned around.

That Wenger felt compelled to stay away speaks volumes about the growing divide between sections of Arsenal's support and the club's management.

The FA Cup final awaits but Wenger has leaned heavily on his 19 successive years in the Champions League.

"I would like him to stay because I have a lot of admiration for the guy", he added. "It's the technical department that is responsible for that".

Wenger's priority next season will be to break back into the top four and will use the opportunity to rest his key players next season. Does Kroenke and Wenger both need to go?

In an interview with Bloomberg last month, he said the blame for the club's performance should not rest exclusively with Arsène Wenger, the manager, but also with Mr Kroenke and the board, from which Mr Usmanov is excluded. "I don't see what he has to do with that".

  • Julie Sanders