Friday, September 21, 2007

Alisher Usmanov: Friend or Foe?

Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire who has been rumored to be milling over a possible Arsenal takeover bid, has already lost the affection of many Arsenal fans. Usmanov's lawyers have coerced web hosting companies to take down sites including titles he finds offensive.

Craig Murray, former ambassador to Uzbekistan, has had his site taken down, as has Tim Ireland, the owner of

The hard man of Russia was already not popular amongst Arsenal fans who see him as someone in the same vein as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. Usmanov has been warned not to attempt a hostile takeover bid by the Arsenal board of directors, but as the second largest shareholder at Arsenal, it seems that he may try anyways.

Personally, I don't want Usmanov anywhere near my club. 21% is already far too much to be in the hands of such a heavy handed man, and Usmanov could easily destroy the image of Arsenal as a pure footballing club. It seems that Usmanov views Arsenal as an investment rather than a soccer team, and it is for this reason that he does not belong. Thank god the board is unwilling to sell.

Arsene Wenger is doing fine with the funds that he was given, and even with minimal investment we now find ourselves at the top of the Premiership table. We are the second richest club in the world now and we don't need Usmanov's money - and we certainly don't need his attitude.