Alisher Usmanov increases stake in Arsenal

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Major Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has taken his stake in the club past 30 per cent, reports the Daily Mirror.

Red & White Securities Limited, which is part owned by the Uzbekistan billionaire, released the statement soon after Arsenal's AGM meeting at the Emirates stadium yesterday afternoon.

The only other company to own a larger stake is KSE Uk Inc, which is owned by American tycoon Stan Kroenke.

Normally, passing the 30 per cent mark triggers a mandatory takeover bid but, because Kroenke is the majority shareholder with 66.83 per cent, a bid is not necessary.

Kroenke himself surpassed the 30 per cent mark in 2011 but Usmanov refused to sell his share meaning a full takeover could not be completed.

Usmanov, who has been outspoken in his criticisms of the way Arsenal is run, has been keen to get a seat on the Arsenal board but has been turned away.

Arsene Wenger himself backed this decision last year saying the club don't need external benefactors to succeed.

He told reporters in 2012: "I’ve always said the same, which is that we want to produce the money from our own resources.

"Because we are in the Champions League, we can produce the money."

Wenger reiterated these claims at the AGM yesterday saying: "Of course when it's needed we will put big numbers out and buy the players - but that cannot be the base of the stability of our club."

However, Usmanov remains resilient and insists a major cash injection is needed for the club to move forward.

Earlier this year the billionaire, Britain's richest man according to the Sunday Times, criticised Kroenke for his lack of ambition, saying to reporters: “The team has no superstars now,” before insisting Kroenke “would probably be happy” with fourth place.

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