sport

Usmanov always looking

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has admitted he is always ready to increase his stake in the club, although his backing of Russian sport is his priority.

The Moscow-based businessman has a 30 per cent stake in Arsenal, although he does not have a place on the club's board due to major shareholder Stan Kroenke, who he has criticised for not investing heavily enough.

Writing in a blog for Bloomberg, Usmanov insists that Arsenal remains a business opportunity for him but he would add to his investment if the opportunity arose.

"Many people ask me why I bought my stake in Arsenal, rather than spending the money on Russian football," he wrote.

"The fact is, I invest millions in Russian sport each year - an amount far in excess of my Arsenal investment.

"But I also think it's worth pointing out that the English Premier League is a highly organised sports business and Arsenal is, first and foremost, a business investment for me. It is one of the leading clubs in terms of how its commercial operations are managed, and I am absolutely convinced it will be a successful investment.

"I am fine with the size of the stake I have in Arsenal now, but I'm always ready to increase it. One other thing: the taxes that I will pay on my profits from this venture will be paid in Russia, thereby potentially finding their way back to Russian football."