Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Trophies beckon for Arsenal after lean years

05 August 2014, 13:36

London - Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title again after being hamstrung for a decade by repaying the debt on their Emirates Stadium, according to Alisher Usmanov, the club's second largest shareholder.

"I think we begin a new era for Arsenal where we win trophies," the Russian billionaire, who owns 30 percent of the club's shares and has invested 200 million pounds ($337.70 million), said in a Daily Telegraph interview on Tuesday.

Arsenal ended a nine-year trophy drought when they lifted the FA Cup last season, a barren spell Usmanov believes was caused by loading the club with debt to finance a move from the old Highbury site to the 390 million pounds Emirates Stadium in 2006.

"The acquisition was financed with debt, which would be repaid through match-day revenues among other sources," Usmanov said. "There is another way of doing it: when shareholders buy all of the assets and contribute them to the club.

"As a result, these debt-free assets may generate income for the club. The board and the main shareholders chose the debt option at the time, which led to Arsenal going almost 10 years without winning a domestic title or the Champions League.

"As a result of this choice, they were selling player and were unable to buy top players. These difficulties have now been overcome and the team is in a good state."

The likes of Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Thierry Henry have all been sold by Arsenal since the move to the Emirates although annual qualification for the Champions League and 60,000 home crowds have helped the club wipe off a huge chunk of the stadium debt.

Big singings

Manager Arsene Wenger has already been active in the transfer market this summer, with Chile's Alexis Sanchez the biggest name signing from Barcelona.

More players could arrive before the end of the transfer window and Usmanov believes Arsenal are now in a position to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.

"In my opinion, in line with existing rules, the club has the best decision-making process in place, including their selection policy, especially now, when they have the means to buy the best players," Usmanov, said.

"The club's finances are in order and I believe that Arsene Wenger and the club's CEO (Ivan Gazidis) will manage them correctly."

Usmanov was involved in a battle with Stan Kroenke for a controlling stake in the club right up until 2011 when the American upped his shareholding to 62.89 percent after diamond dealer Danny Fiszman sold his shares shortly before his death.

He admits he has never had any contact with Kroenke but while he is not on the club's board and is therefore excluded from decision-making, Usmanov said he would not be selling his stake in the club any time soon.

"I have no plans to exit," he said. "I wish Arsenal success and hope they win trophies."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Reuters


7 arrests over violence at West Ham

27 October 2016, 18:00

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...