Usmanov hints at cash injection

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Alisher Usmanov could be ready to help Arsenal pay off some of their debt in a bid to help them challenge for honours at home and in Europe.

Russia-based billionaire Usmanov, the Gunners' second-highest stakeholder with 25% of shares, last week called on the club to "step up" their transfer dealings this summer and it now seems he could be prepared to help them do so.

Debts associated to Arsenal's move from Highbury to the Emirates are understood to be a factor in the club's transfer budget and it is a factor Usmanov seems willing to help ease, if approached.

A spokesman for Usmanov's investment company, Red and White Holdings, told the Daily Telegraph: "The key issue is to ensure that the club remain both self-financing and competitive at the very highest levels of European and world football.

"The debt at the club appears to be an impediment to that and we are ready to help address that if the board asks. Raising ticket prices is not the answer."

Prices were raised by 4.5% last year but the Gunners have already committed to a price-freeze for next term.

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