Arsenal legend Wright drums support for Usmanov, calls for Kroenke's head
EPL By: Ambrose Udeme | 05/10/2017
Arsenal legend Ian Wright says Alisher Usmanov is the Gunners' only hope and must not be pushed out of the club especially after Stan Kroenke's reported £525m offer to buy out the Uzbek-born Russian business magnate.
Kroenke who currently owns 67 per cent of Arsenal's shares on Tuesday reportedly 'made £525m offer' to buy Usmanov's Gunners 30.4 per cent stake, which would increase his shareholding to more than 97 per cent.
Usmanov has unsuccessfully tried a number of times to take over the club from the American. The last of these attempts occurred last May when he made a £1bn bid to take control of the club which was rejected by Kroenke.
Reacting to the Guardian's report that Kroenke has offered £28,000 per share in order to buy out the Russian, Ian wright who spent seven years at Arsenal, scoring 128 goals in 221 Premier League appearances took to Twitter to show his support for Usmanov.
"Arsenal FC is an institution! It’s people’s lives!It must be protected from Kroenke. Usmanov you’re our only hope please do not sell."
Meanwhile, Usmanov the metal magnate who bought his first shares at Arsenal in August 2007 on Wednesday said he is "not holding any talks" with majority shareholder Kroenke about selling his stake in the club.
"I see my 30% stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the club..
"My interest in Arsenal from the beginning was long term and my intention has always been to buy additional shares should they become available.
"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."
Despite being a shareholder, Usmanov is not part of the board or the decision-making at Arsenal, and has previously criticised Kroenke for Arsenal's failings on the pitch.