Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second highest shareholder, has reiterated his believe that the Gunners are ‘well placed’ to enjoy a trophy-laden future.
Usmanov in a rare interview surmise Arsenal, who have taken their tally of spending to over £50million with the arrivals of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers this summer, are ready to claim their first Barclays Premier League title since 2004.
‘The club is very well placed to succeed,’ he told the Daily Telegraph. ‘I think we begin a new era for Arsenal where we win trophies.
‘That is most important for football. In my opinion, in line with the existing rules, the club has the correct decision-making process in place, including their selection policy, especially now, when they have the means to buy the best players.’
Arsenal ended their nine-year trophyless run after they lifted the FA Cup in May, but Usmanov believes Wenger’s side could have tasted success earlier if they’d adopted a different strategy when they moved from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie were among the main high-casualty departures as the Gunners looked to balance the books.
‘The board and main shareholders chose the debt option at the time, which led to Arsenal going almost 10 years without winning a domestic title or the Champions League,’ he said.
‘The first trophy only arrived in the 10th year. As a result of this choice, they were selling players and were unable to buy top players.
‘These difficulties have now been overcome and the team is in a good state; the club’s finances are in order and I believe that Arsene Wenger and the club’s CEO [Ivan Gazidis] will manage them correctly.’
Usmanov insists he has never spoken to the club’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke – known as ‘Silent Stan’ and says he will remain with the Gunners.
‘I have no plans to exit. I wish Arsenal success and hope that they win trophies.’
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