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Usmanov offers Arsenal backing

RUSSIAN oligarch Alisher Usmanov has written to the board of Arsenal Football Club, offering to backstop a &pound;100m rights issue.<br /><br />Usmanov, Arsenal&rsquo;s second largest shareholder with 25 per cent, has said he wants to help the club clear its debt and raise a summer transfer kitty.<br /><br />The club&rsquo;s board will discuss the letter at a meeting next week and is taking advice from Rothschild on its plans for a rights issue.<br /><br />Usmanov has made no secret of his desire to tighten his grip on the North London club.