Board blamed over Van Persie exit bombshell

Julian Harris
Follow Julian
ARSENAL’S billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov lashed out at the club’s board yesterday, accusing the directors of being culpable for the apparently imminent departure of captain Robin van Persie.

Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is committed to Arsenal’s so-called self-sustainability model of only investing revenues raised through the club’s activities.

Yet Usmanov said that he and Kroenke should inject extra cash through a rights issue, to pay off debts and help the team.

“[Your] policy is leading to the loss of our best players,” Usmanov complained in an open letter to the board, published by his Red & White investment vehicle. “The situation with our captain and outstanding performer from last season Van Persie sums this up.”

Van Persie is also in disagreement with the board, having said on Wednesday that he will not extend his contract at Arsenal, which has only one more year to run.

And Usmanov – owner of nearly 30 per cent of Arsenal – is set for a long stand off with the board, who are refusing to speak with him or entertain his investment plan.

The Arsenal board have no appetite for discussions with Usmanov, yet he will continue to speak out against their business plan while purchasing more shares in the club, City A.M. understands.