Usmanov slams Gunners board

Arsenal's second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, has launched a scathing attack on Stan Kroenke and the rest of the Gunners' board, accusing them of being unwilling to invest in the first team squad.

The Uzbek billionaire began his association with Arsenal in August 2007 when he acquired 14.58 percent stake in the North London club under Red and White Holdings, and has since increased his stake to 25 percent.

The 58-year-old stressed the need for Arsenal to retain their star players and criticised the reluctance of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke to invest in the playing squad, calling it “simple commercial logic”.

Usmanov underlined his intention to keep his distance from a board that shows lack of respect to the Gunners fans.

“If the role of a board member is to oversee a trophyless period, while making significant personal profits and asking fans to pay the cost with inflation-busting ticket prices increases then, no, I would not want to be on the board," he told the News of the World.

Usmanov also offered his opinion on how he feels the club should be managed, reasoning that board members should aim “to increase your personal investment in the club, to help develop the commercial position and to ensure the fans have a say in the running of the club.”

In a final swipe at the current board, Usmanov sided with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, claiming the Frenchman has “too much expected of him.”

He continued: “Arsenal had Dein out there every day living and breathing the club and working closely with Wenger to secure the best players.

“They haven't had that for three or four years and it can be no coincidence that Arsenal has not won anything during that time.”

By Killian Woods