Billionaire Alisher Usmanov in April made an offer to buy a controlling stake in London football club Arsenal for $ 1.3 billion, the Financial Times reports, citing three people familiar with the situation.
Usmanov, who already owns 30% of the club, wants to buy out 67% of the shares from the American tycoon Stan Kronke. Thus, the club is valued at $ 2 billion.
Kroenke has yet to give an official answer. As the newspaper notes, he did not immediately reject the offer, but then made it clear that he was not interested in selling his share to anyone. According to an FT source, two weeks ago it looked like a deal was possible, but now he’s not sure.
In April, in an interview with Bloomberg, Usmanov said that the blame for the club’s unsuccessful results this season lies not only with head coach Arsene Wenger, but also with Kronk and the board of directors. Usmanov himself was removed from decision-making. Arsenal are now fifth in the Premier League and are at risk of missing out on the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years, depriving them of around £ 50m in revenue.
Group and Arsenal did not respond to a request for comment. The Red & White company through which Usmanov owns the club’s shares declined to comment.
Arsenal are in 5th place with one game remaining in the current season, 1 point behind the 4th place in the next Champions League. Manchester City and Liverpool also claim a place in the four, with 75 and 73 points, respectively, against 72 for Arsenal. The last games of the 2016/2017 season will start on Sunday at 17.00 Moscow time, Arsenal will play with Everton, Manchester City – with Watford, Liverpool – with Middlesbrough.