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Dec 20, 2012

Usmanov 'dreams' of owning Arsenal

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has said, in an interview with CNBC, it is his "dream" to have a controlling stake of the club while also stating he feels it was a "mistake" to sell Robin van Persie.

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Usmanov's Red and White Holdings owns 29.9% of Arsenal, with American businessman Stan Kroenke boasting a 66.7% share of the Premier League club.

The direction of the Gunners has recently been called into question, in particular their transfer policy, after a failure to lift silverware.

Usmanov would like to have more power at Arsenal but stressed he would be reluctant to interfere in matters that are not his speciality.

The Uzbek billionaire told CNBC: "It is my dream to have a controlling stake of Arsenal. I would never instruct the chief executive, and I would ask if they need my help.

"If I had a big stake in Arsenal of course I would have my opinion of what we must do, for example on the commercial side.

"I think there are also many questions about the management of Arsenal's commercial activity.

"We will see and we will wait. Maybe one day I will wake up and have control of Arsenal."

Usmanov was quizzed on the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer, with the Dutchman the latest star name to leave North London in recent years.

He said: "This decision (letting Robin van Persie leave) is a mistake, but Wenger explained that Robin wanted to go to win trophies."

Asked specifically about Wenger, he said: "I've not heard about Arsene Wenger being against me being on the board.

"Mr Wenger is one of the best coaches in the world. He has had many, many difficulties - of course today less so - during the last five years.

"He hasn't had enough support to achieve his conceptions of the game, with resources for transfers or keeping players."

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