Alisher Usmanov

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Usmanov buys first option on naming rights for Everton stadium

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LIVERPOOL, England — Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has paid Everton $39 million to secure an exclusive option on naming rights for the Premier League club’s proposed new stadium.

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The 66-year-old Usmanov, who sold his 30 percent stake in Arsenal for $715 million in August 2018, is a long-time business partner of Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and already sponsors the club’s training ground.

His holding company, USM, now has an agreement in place for first option of naming rights, at current market rates, once the venue at Bramley-Moore Dock is near completion. It is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

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The latest investment by Usmanov was announced by Everton as the club published its accounts for 2018-19, showing a loss of $145 million despite posting the second-highest revenues in its history, of $245 million.

Usmanov releases statement over Arsenal shares

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Alisher Usmanov is not contemplating selling his shares in Arsenal to current majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.

Quite the opposite is true.

Usmanov owns 30.04 percent of Arsenal with Kroenke owning 67.5 percent and reports have suggested that Kroenke had offered close to $700 million for Usmanov’s shares.

If that bid was accepted then Kroenke could make Arsenal a private company but Usmanov has said he is not holding talks at all and is still eager to buy Kroenke’s shares in the club.

Russian billionaire Usmanov has long held different views to Kronke about how to bring back the glory days at Arsenal but he has no say on any club matters due to Kroenke being the majority shareholder.

Below is the statement released on Wednesday by Usmanov.

Report: Kroenke aiming for buyout to own 97 percent of Arsenal

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Just as Arsenal is hitting its stride under Arsene Wenger, the North London club may find its relatively stable run through the headlines put off kilter.

The Guardian reports that American owner Stan Kroenke is trying to buy out fellow owner Alisher Usmanov in a move that would give him all but about three percent of the Premier League giants.

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A spokesman for a consortium of investors hoping to get a seat at the table, so far reportedly rebuffed thrice by Kroenke, is not pleased. From The Guardian:

“If Kroenke were to get to 97 percent he can force Arsenal into becoming a completely private company. That would be a major concern for everyone involved in Arsenal. At that point transparency would be a real minimum.”

Kroenke has been a controversial figure at Arsenal, to say the least, and a full takeover would do little to quell concerns from a certain portion of its fan base.

The American also owns the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL.

Reports say Stan Kroenke wants “long term” stay at Arsenal

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Following a $1.3 billion bid from Alisher Umsanov for his shares, Arsenal’s current majority shareholder Stan Kroenke reportedly wants to remain with the Gunners “long term” despite the American businessmen under increasing pressure from fans.

[ MORE: Usmanov bid rejected ]

Widespread reports state that Usmanov’s offer was quickly rebuffed and the 66th richest person on the planet, who has promised to spend big on new players if he does become the majority shareholder, will now have to go back to the drawing board as his six-year long battle to wrestle the power from Kroenke continues.

A report from the Telegraph states that Kroenke has “reassured” directors at Arsenal that he will not sell his shares in the club as a rare period of uncertainty on the soccer side of things continues.

Kroenke — who also owns the LA Rams, Colorado Rapids, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche in the U.S. sporting realm — owns a 67 percent stake in Arsenal and Usmanov owns 30 percent of the shares with the rest shared between minority owners.

The battle between Usmanov and Kroenke has been arduous and this bid from Usmanov seems to suggest that the Uzbekistan born billionaire is keen for a huge shake up at the Emirates Stadium.

However, Kroenke is a big supporter of Arsene Wenger and the stability the Frenchman has brought to the club with 20-straight top four finishes.

That run could end this weekend, depending on how the Championship Sunday results end up, but it appears that one thing which isn’t up in the air is Kroenke’s commitment to Arsenal.

Whether Arsenal’s fans think that is a good thing or not remains to be seen but there have been many protests against the board of the past few years as star players were sold and many of the fans believed more money should’ve been spent on new players.

This saga will rumble on for many years to come.

Reports: Usmanov bid to buy Arsenal rejected by Kroenke

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LONDON (AP) Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has had a $1.3 billion bid to take full control of Arsenal rejected by owner Stan Kroenke, a person familiar with the offer said Friday.

Usmanov remains interested in buying out Kroenke’s 67-percent majority stake in a deal valuing the club at $2 billion, the person told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the club’s financial matters.

It is the latest move in a decade-long battle to own Arsenal by Usmanov, who has built up a 30 percent stake in the Premier League club since 2007. The takeover bid was mounted as another season at Arsenal draws to a conclusion amid uncertainty and strife on and off the pitch at the north London club.

Arsenal is set to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in two decades, with the team in fifth place heading into its final match of the league campaign against Everton on Sunday.

Alisher Usmanov (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Fan protests have mounted against manager Arsene Wenger with calls for him to leave after almost 21 years in charge. Wenger said his future won’t be settled until a board meeting is held after Arsenal plays Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 27.

Usmanov, whose investment in Arsenal is through Red & White Holdings, has been denied a place on the board of directors by Kroenke and he has publicly questioned the lack of investment in the squad. Kroenke, who – like Usmanov – first started amassing shares in Arsenal in 2007, succeeded in gaining full control in 2011.

Under Kroenke, Arsenal’s Premier League trophy drought has continued. The last title came in 2004 and the only silverware since then has been FA Cup successes in 2014 and 2015.

The Financial Times first reported that Usmanov made the recent offer to buy out Kroenke, who also owns Los Angeles Rams NFL team and Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids.