Fat Russian Cat Alisher Usmanov has moved to assuage Gooner fears that after gobbling up Arsenal he will belch all over their history and traditions and then start putting his greasy fat sausage-like fingers in places where they aren’t welcome. However, whilst he tried to convince the Arsenal faithful that he was a Gooner at heart he also had a teensy weensy confession – that he thought about purchasing Manchester United with his business partner.
Usmanov said: â€œIf I had an opportunity to buy United, I would stop acting like a fan of Arsenal.”
And all this time we thought that naming his group “Red and White Holdings” meant he was a lifetime fan! Such betrayal! Usmanov started to sound like an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show – apparently he’s all about building bridges and relationships. Usmanov said:
â€œI am grateful that David decided to sell his shares to me and not someone else, but we donâ€™t want his relationship with the board to affect in any way my relationship with the board. I want to establish my own personal relationship. From the outside we will try to convince David to be less hostile to the board. And we will make an effort to pacify the board in their conflict with him.â€
Usmanov also reiterated that he was in for the long term and he wasn’t about to re-gift the shares he bought as a christmas present or anything silly like that. Usmanov said:
â€œWe donâ€™t have any interest in bidding for the club, but this is business and life changes. Something you canâ€™t do today, you can do tomorrow. If a significant shareholder sells, the whole dynamic changes. We didnâ€™t buy to make a quick turn, to resell.â€
So is Usmanov a nice guy, or just a sly toad trying to appear as a nice guy?