Alisher Usmanov Speaks on the Bracewell-Smith Renunciation
by Brian Phillips · December 22, 2008
He’s not making a move for the Bracewell-Smith shares, he says, but over time he wants to accumulate more and more of the club. He loves Arsène Wenger, but he has serious questions about the Arsenal board:
What has happened in the last year poses questions. When in the space of a year four members of the board of directors are sacked, when the general director whom everybody had praised is changed, we consider that to be a huge matter — just to sack a major shareholder without explanation. Mr Moshiri is now in London and is trying to find out the reasons for these sharp changes and according to what explanation we get, we will decide our strategy.
So everything’s on hold while his business partner, Farhad Moshiri, “investigates” what’s going on at the club. On a quick read the interview seems to throw cold water on the takeover rumours; on a second reading it seems deliberately equivocal, and you get the feeling it was dictated by Usmanov’s desire to slow the process (while rolling out some criticisms of the Arsenal board) rather than by his having any real news to announce. We’ll see what strategy Moshiri’s magnifying glass ultimately recommends.
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