Gunners vote down Usmanov finance deal

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Football News

Arsenal's board have decided against a proposed rights issue to generate new cash which was put forward and underwritten by the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, the second biggest stakeholder in the Barclays Premier League club.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis confirmed the subject was given due consideration, but has been turned down in favour of the status quo which sees the Emirates Stadium club remain self-financing.

"The board, with its financial advisors Rothschild, considered thoroughly the proposal to use permanent equity capital to either pay down debt or to add to the club's spending in the transfer market," Gazidis said in an interview with the club's official website.

Usmanov - whose Red & White Holdings group have a stake of around 25% in the club's parent company - had argued the scheme would help to reduce both the long-term debt of some £400million, which is mainly associated with the new stadium, and also hand manager Arsene Wenger extra transfer funds.

However, Gazidis maintained Arsenal's current capital structure was "very efficient".

And added: "With regard to debt, the conclusion reached is that the club has a very efficient capital structure with long-term debt on attractive interest rates.

"We can comfortably afford to meet the annual costs of this debt while at the same time generating surplus funds to invest in the club.

"Using permanent capital to pay down debt would not, therefore, radically transform the annual cash flow of the club."

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