ALISHER Usmanov, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, saw his fortune more than quadruple in the last year, according to new estimates.
The figures, part of Forbes magazine’s list of the 10 richest football club moguls, show the Russian’s wealth swelled by £3.6bn to £4.7bn.
That amount looks like small change, however, next to QPR shareholder Lakshmi Mittal, who tops the list with a mammoth £18.7bn. The Indian, who owns 20 per cent of the Championship club, saw his estate rocket by £6.1bn in the 12 months to the end of March.
Mittal, Usmanov and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich all benefited from higher commodity prices and the recovery of global stock markets.
Abramovich, who is fourth in the list, recovered from a bad previous year to grow his wealth by £1.8bn to £7.3bn. The Russian became rich on oil but has since invested heavily in steel.
Usmanov, who is eighth on the list, made his money in iron ore and steel, and has also ploughed funds into telecommunications.
Despite owning 26 per cent of Arsenal, he has been sidelined in the battle for control of the club by American sports entrepreneur Stan Kroenke, who has 29 per cent and is believed to have been anointed by the board as its eventual owner.
But while Kroenke has committed a large slice of his estimated £1.9bn fortune to buying American football team the St Louis Rams, Usmanov is flush, making him the better placed to launch a hotly-anticipated takeover bid.
RICH LIST | FOOTBALL MOGULS
1 LAKSHMI MITTAL, QPR £18.7BN
2 AMANCIO ORTEGA, LA CORUNA £16.3BN
3 PAUL ALLEN, SEATTLE SOUNDERS £8.8BN
4 ROMAN ABRAMOVICH, CHELSEA £7.3BN
5 SILVIO BERLUSCONI, AC MILAN £5.8BN
6 FRANCOIS PINAULT, RENNES £5.7BN
7 JOHN FREDRIKSEN, VALERENGA £5BN
8 ALISHER USMANOV, ARSENAL £4.7BN
9 PHILIP ANSCHUTZ, LA GALAXY £3.9BN
10 BERNIE ECCLESTONE, QPR £2.6BN