Arsenal legend Ian Wright is hoping that Alisher Usmanov can become a Roman Abramovich-type figure for the Gunners after the billionaire shareholder put in a bid to buy unpopular American Stan Kroenke out of the club, suggesting that spending with a winning mentality is the only way.
Usmanov’s first £1bn bid to become sole shareholder is thought to have been rejected, but rumour has it he’s planning to make a second offer of up to twice the size. And Wright couldn’t be happier, drawing parallels with the effect Abramovich has had across London at Chelsea.
“Abramovich is a winner. Stan Kroenke sees it as another asset,” the retired striker told BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday night.
“If you look at all his other franchises, they are doing the same. They are mediocre, with poor attendances and aren’t achieving anything as a team. That is where Arsenal are at the moment.
“We need an owner like Abramovich, who wants to win. I would swap Arsenal’s last 10 years for what Chelsea have done.”
Kroenke also owns NFL franchise LA Rams, MLS’ Coloraro Rapids, basketball team Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and none are performing in a sporting sense.
Usmanov himself (pictured below), whose share in Arsenal currently sits at 30%, has pointed the finger at Kroenke in recent months, suggesting the American must ‘bear responsibility’ for Gunners failings.
Arsenal are in danger of missing out on the Champions League for the first time since they first qualified for the competition in 1998, with a seemingly unlikely last day collapse from Liverpool their only hope of sneaking into the Premier League’s top four.
“It is not looking good for Arsenal at the moment,” Wright commented.
“They may be out of the Champions League – something they are not used to – and they have to beat one of the best Chelsea sides I have seen for a long time in the FA Cup final to try and get something from the season.
“Where are they going to sign players from? Who is going to want to come to Arsenal instead of anywhere else in London? At the moment, they are not an attractive proposition.
“We are already missing out on the managers we are supposedly interested in and we are going to start missing out on the kind of players that are going to be available and want to play in the Premier League.
“Top players may want to leave. Too much is up in the air. Something has got to happen for Arsenal to go to that next level. This [Usmanov] bid will galvanise the fans.”
To continue the discussion on Twitter follow @jamiespencer155
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