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Usmanov: Politics Holding Arsenal Back

Arsenal majority shareholder Alisher Usmanov has once again openly questioned the Arsenal board, asserting his belief that politics are holding the club back. This follows on from Usmanov`s investment vehicle Red & White Holdings releasing an open statement the day after Robin van Persie`s "statement for the fans" questioning the board on their strategy to take Arsenal forwards.



The Uzbeki steel and lumber magnate told Forbes, "Disregarding the series of trophyless seasons, you have to accept that a few of the current board of directors were at the helm during the greatest moments of the Arsene Wenger era.



"But the footballing landscape has changed. Our point of view on which direction the club is going today, and our disagreement with this direction, have been laid out in our open letter to the board.



"We do not consider just qualifying for the Champions League to be the chief ambition of the club, and with all our hearts we support the team and wish them well for the new season.



"Victory is absolutely not ruled out, but the current politics of the club`s management will leave Arsene Wenger and his team with fewer and fewer opportunities in the long run."



Usmanov has asserted once again that Red & White will continue to buy shares in the club, "We plan to continue to buy shares in the club. From the point of view of investment, this has already been a successful policy: the value of the club has risen from 300-400million to 700-800million.



"But this is not the point. I am a fan and I am not going to sell these shares at any time, since this is the club that I consider the best in the world."



Usmanov went on to describe how we became interested in being involved with Arsenal, ""Arsenal were one of the first teams I saw on television, and at that time I started supporting them," Usmanov revealed.



"I was introduced to David Dein by a mutual friend. At that time I was looking at a number of possibilities to invested in Premier League clubs, but the chance to buy a small shareholding in Arsenal outranked all other considerations.



"When I bought shares off David Dein I was happy with the opportunity to get to know the footballing legend which Arsenal represent. I was absolutely satsifed with this purchase and wanted to buy more shares in the club."

But he revealed that he hadn't realised the depth of the divisions within the club, ""At that time I never imagined the depth of conflict between the shareholders," he said.

"I was also disappointed, and very much regretted, that Danny Fiszman, who at that time ran Arsenal, dealt with me on the basis of totally unobjective opinions and assertions of a few individuals. Also, unfortunately, this entire myth-making, along with Danny Fiszman's shareholding, have been herited by the new controlling shareholder. " (Taking a potshot at the dead guy there, nice one).




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 7 2012

Time: 8:52AM

Your Comments

Usmanov's statement is political in the extreme and yet he believes politics is holding Arsenal back! If he doesn't want to hold Arsenal back, he would just sit tight on his investment which has already appreciated significantly and let the club management get on with their job. Because his designs involve control of the club he will not sit quietly though and will rear his head EVERY time the team go through a bad patch on the field - an opportunist if ever there was one. The statement on Danny Fiszman was beyond the pale and also show him for the brutal profiteer oligarch that he is.
Deltaforce
Having seen the club play once and decided 'that's the best club in the world', you would think he'd be less critical of it! If the club is that good, why so many complaints Usmanov? Hasn't given us any useful information about anything. What a cock.
damiano_tommassi
If Fiszman would only deal with him on the basis of 'unobjective opinions and assertions' it would have been fairly easy to dispel them. The probability is that he didn't because he couldn't. He did ok from his investment but Fiszman could have used the situation to make more money for his family than he did. Seems as though he really did have the club's interests at heart.
Amos.
Usmanov will keep coming up with criticism of the club at every turn now, as I am sure he senses it may be "now or never" for his ambition. Should the club start to win things again, what will he have to say, then? I bet he has that in mind and wants to shake up things as much as possible; if it doesn't work out for the club, he can say "you see?". On the other hand, if it works out, he will attempt to take some credit, deviously so, for making the board change its approach. He is like a drowning man clutching at straws (any straw) at this time.
Naijagunner
 

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