Gunners MD plays down Dein news

August 30, 2007

Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman has claimed the Gunners do not need foreign investment and are well-placed to fend off a takeover bid.

The club's former vice-chairman David Dein has announced he is to sell his 14.58% stakeholding to a company called Red and White which is jointly-owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and London-based investor Farhad Moshiri.

Edelman said: 'The club is in a very strong position financially and you are going to see that at the end of September when we release our results.

'We have ample cash resources for the manager to invest in his team and his squad. He was able to get all of his targets this year well within his budget which means his budget will be increased next year.

'We are in a very good position, we realise David has sold his shares to Red and White owned by Mr Usmanov, we note that but don't believe it changes anything for Arsenal FC.

'The current shareholders on the board control over 45% of shares and we believe the way the club is being run and the financial strength of the club will come through.'

'The club is in a very good position, and the stadium is producing very large cash balances for us.'

Edelman also issued a plea for manager Arsene Wenger to commit his long-term future to the club.

He added: 'Arsene's a great manager and has produced outstanding teams.

'We think we are on the verge of another outstanding team of young players and we would like Arsene to join with us in enjoying that experience.'

Asked about a possible joint takeover bid by Red and White and American tycoon Stan Kroenke, who owns 12.2% of Arsenal shares, Edelman replied: 'That's hypothetical. We have to evaluate that when we get there and that depends on price and the attitude of the shareholders. The board has to act responsibly and look at any offer if an offer is made.

'They own some shares in Arsenal FC but that gives them very few rights in terms of involvement in club affairs so I don't think they are that involved.'