Usmanov slams Arsenal board

Updated: 12 June 2011 19:44 IST

Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov has slammed the Arsenal board for the Premier League club's failure to win a major trophy in any of the past six seasons.

Usmanov slams Arsenal board

London:

Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov has slammed the Arsenal board for the Premier League club's failure to win a major trophy in any of the past six seasons.


Usmanov, 57, who is not a Gunners director despite owning 30 percent of the club's parent company, said too many board members were blinded by their own self-interest and said he did not wish to serve on such a board.

"If the role of a board member is to oversee a trophyless period, while making significant personal profits and asking fans to pay inflation-busting ticket price increases then, no, I would not want to be on the board," Usmanov told the News of the World.

"If instead it is to try to deliver sustained success, to increase your personal investment in the club, to help develop the commercial position and to ensure the fans have a say in the running of the club then, yes, I think I certainly have something to contribute."

"In terms of doing things differently, let me give you a very clear example. Arsenal has all of its major commercial contracts coming up for renewal in the next couple of years."

"It's no secret that to maximise the value of those you want to have success on the field and be winning trophies."

"To do that you need to invest now in building a winning team. This is simple commercial logic. Whether it comes to pass, we shall see."

Arsenal suffered a dramatic slump following their English League Cup final defeat by Birmingham in February, with their bids for the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League all declining after that defeat.

Usmanov urged Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger be given the funds to bring in experienced players in key positions to bolser the Gunners' crop of promising young talents.

"There is a widely-held view among most commentators - and one that I agree with - that the club needs to stiffen the defensive spine of the team, with a dominant keeper, strong centre-halves and a powerful defensive midfielder in the mould of Claude Makelele," he said.

"The Premier League is one of the most competitive in the world and whilst we have consistently challenged for honours, the club needs to develop talent and buy top-class players to win the trophies we all crave."

"This requires greater investment which, I believe, has been lacking thus far."

"What, however, is not clear is whether the board shares this view. For too long they have seemed happy to sanction second, third and fourth as being acceptable, whilst at the same time they are planning to sell their shares."



Topics : Football Arsenal
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