Arseblog News has learned that Alisher Usmanov has made repeated attempts to meet with Stan Kroenke in the last few months as he attempts to persuade the American to part with his majority stake in Arsenal.
It is understood however, that Kroenke, remaining loyal to a pledge made to the recently deceased Danny Fiszman, has outright refused to talk with the Russian instead directing his lawyers to rebuff all approaches.
The current state of affairs has so frustrated Usmanov that the 58-year-old, who was recently valued by Forbes at $17.7 billion, is counting down the days until his company Red & White Securities Ltd reaches a 29.9% shareholding in the club.
Approximately 460 shares short of reaching the mark at which he will have access to Arsenal’s accounts, it is believed that Usmanov plans to use his blocking stake to veto board decisions and to tighten the screw on directors who have thus far denied him a say in the day-to-day running of the club.
Viewing the likes of Peter Hill-Wood, Ken Friar, Sir Chips Keswick and Lord Harris of Peckham as future casualties of any stand-off in the Emirates corridors of power, there is no suggestion that Usmanov has any intention of walking away from the Emirates with his ownership aims a long-term venture.
The apparent commitment to a durable relationship with Arsenal echoes comments made by Stan Kroenke in statements made last month. Speaking at the AGM the Denver-born entrepreneur told shareholders, “We [Kroenke Sports Enterprise] are glad to be here, are happy with the direction of the club and are here for the long term – we love London. You had better get used to seeing us, because we will be around.”
Of the 62,219 shares issued in Arsenal Holdings plc, Stan Kroenke currently owns 41,474 (66.82%), Red & White Securities Ltd hold 18,354 (29.49%) while 2,291 shares remain in the hands of other private investors.
One football club, two men, billions of pounds in wealth, no communication and a Russo-American stand-off worthy of the Cold War – welcome to modern football.
Brace yourself for a protracted battle, because this is going to run and run.