Arsenal's second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov insists he is not in talks to sell his 30 per cent stake to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke - but has hinted that he is open to selling to a third party.
Quite the opposite is true.
Kroenke, who also owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, would potentially be in a position to buy up the remaining shares should Usmanov accept his offer of £28,000 per share, making Arsenal a private business.
"We understand the reality that any stake in Arsenal is available to buy at any time should someone make an acceptable bid, but we will oppose any attempt to buy the club outright and take it into single ownership". On Wednesday, Usmanov personally stated he would not allow such a move to happen.
As a result, dealings within Arsenal have become a struggle for all parties - with Usmanov constantly being rejected a seat on the board.
With no say in Arsenal despite a huge 30% stake, selling that on to another group to compete with Kroenke would allow him to swap to Merseyside. That offer remains valid today.
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Usmanov owns significantly less than Kroenke, who controls a 67 percent stake.
There has been talk of Usmanov joining lifelong businessman and former Arsenal shareholder Farhad Moshiri at Everton.
"It has been well documented that I have no say in the running of the club, that my views differ from those of the majority shareholder and that I would take a different approach to delivering football success".
But he also claimed that if a buyer emerges who shares his vision for the club, he "could consider" selling his 30 per cent stake.
Kroenke first bought shares in Arsenal in 2007, when he bought 9.9 per cent of the club.
It's suggested in the report a 97 per cent share for Kroenke would increase the likelihood of the Gunners becoming a privately owned business and put pressure on minority stakeholders to give up what are often longstanding shares in the club. The best ownership model for Arsenal will always include supporters being represented and involved in the ownership structure as shareholders.
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