Today sees another chapter in the Alisher Usmanov Press Release Story. Today, Usmanov yet again beat the same tired drum he's beaten since he bought into the club:
"The team has no superstars now," Usmanov, Russia's richest man, said in interview in Moscow. Should the team finish fourth in England's Premier League this season, Kroenke "would probably be happy."
The team has no superstars now? Now we're defining the success of a team by the presence of "superstars"? So if Arsenal go out and sign a "superstar" and then don't win the Premier League, is that a failure?
Usmanov said he "will think what to do with Arsenal" by the end of the season. "In our understanding, Kroenke has no plans to sell his stake, but we also won't sell out, as we are the team's fans," Usmanov said.
So, yeah. Same as it ever was - minority shareholder is not happy, wants to foment popular revolt against majority shareholder, so disparages majority shareholder as not interested in winning or anything. Usmanov's claim that he will "think what to do with Arsenal" is kinda funny, as well - as a 30% shareholder, and with no one else willing to sell shares so he can increase his stake, he doesn't have a lot of thinking to do about his position.
All he can do is lob these bombs from the sidelines and hope he'll get the fans mad enough that they'll start lighting pitchforks on fire and storming the gates of House Emirates, or maybe I've been watching too much Game of Thrones.
Here are some counterpoints to Usmanov:
1. Arsenal are in the midst of re-negotiating all their commercial deals, which will net them more money
2. New TV deal kicks in next year, which will net them more money
3. Even Arsene understands at this point that strengthening the squad will require spending money of which they will have more, see above
4. Shut up annoying Russian oligarch
At any rate, as usual with Usmanov, take this with the seriousness it deserves. He has no power, he has very little credibility, and he has no business spouting off about this in the press. I can't wait for the day he gets so frustrated he sells his 30% and lets the rest of us get on with our lives.