Ex-Arsenal shareholder Usmanov weighing up Everton investment

Ex-Arsenal shareholder Usmanov weighing up Everton investment
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has revealed that he is “thinking about” investing in top-flight English soccer club Everton.

Usmanov, who also serves as President of the International Fencing Federation (IFF), previously owned 30 per cent of Arsenal until selling his shares to the Premier League club’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in 2018. 

Now, speaking to the Financial Times, Usmanov revealed that he could return to the Premier League by making an investment in Everton, who are owned by the 66-year-old’s close friend and business partner Farhad Moshiri.

“Yes, with great pleasure, if [Moshiri] asks,” Usmanov told the FT, when asked about investing in Everton. “I am thinking about my investment in this club.

“[But] I cannot reject Arsenal. I will not leave them as a fan. But if I join Everton, then I will wear an Everton shirt, because I am a professional.”

Usmanov’s holding company USM has sponsored Everton’s Finch Farm training ground since 2017, and the Russian hinted that he would also be interested in purchasing the naming rights to the club’s proposed new UK£500 million (US$654 million), 52,000-seater stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.

"It's not obligatory for me to participate myself. I could sponsor them. I could be a shareholder,” Usmanov added in his interview with the FT. “They're going to build a new stadium. Why not the USM Arena?”

Everton, who recently brought in Carlo Ancelotti to replace Marco Silva as their Manager, sit 11th in the Premier League, and host Brighton and Hove Albion in their next game on 11th January. 

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